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Re: Killing Platycerium an Essay

  • Subject: [ferns] Re: Killing Platycerium an Essay
  • From: "philip crabb" ninnescah@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 22:53:21 -0500

Hi Fern-netters,

My experience is quite the opposite. I am not an expert, but I, too, have the friends, who shall remain nameless, who are. I've never lost a Platycerium to rot, but only to my greed at trying to harvest a pup when it was too small; and I once let a P. andinum get too dry and lost it. I have 250 plants and I submerge them until they're soaked every week.

It's not, in my experience, how wet a staghorn gets, or what parts get wet, it's how fast it dries out. My plants dry in 3 to 4 days. Knowing your plant, your moss, the thickness of moss pad, the tightness of your mount, your environment, and your drying time is critical.

I've worked to develop the environment that supports this growing style, and my results are very satisfying. I grow only 12 of the species (so far), and many cultivars, and none of the plants is so huge that I cannot do the soaking. But the day is coming soon, so arrangements will be made. We've got livestock tanks, and block and tackle, so I don't anticipate a problem. The great cost is in time, in my case time spent quite enjoyably, as a hobby should be.

The hazard of this method, as has been pointed out, is the possibility of passing pests and diseases from plant to plant.

I fully recognize that this method will not work in many, and possibly most, growing situations.

Happy growing, Philip Crabb

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