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My staghorn sumac's early leaves have gone brown and withered on the branches and although replacements have grown further down the branch, these do not look too healthy either. I think it's dying. Any ideas what might have killed it? There is a large split in one of the main branches that we have held together with ties. Other than that it has been here for twenty years and has always been magnificent. I notice there are not the usual prolific suckers either this year.



Staghorns are epiphytes and are aerial plants. They don't need potting soil or growing medium. In nature, they cling to trees or are nestled in the crotch of tree branches for support. They take their water and nutrients directly from the air, like orchids. You can just mount them to a wooden plaque with wire or use a chunky orchid mix if you prefer that method. They want their roots exposed to the air. Simply mist the roots with room temperature water daily and allow to dry out. Fertilize monthly with 1-1-1. Good air circulation around the roots is critical. Allow the roots to dry out after watering. Too much wetness will promote fungal growth & diseases.

5 Jun, 2017


Bathgate, sorry to butt in, but Jude is asking about a Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina) tree, rather than the Staghorn Fern (Platycerium) - which you're absolutely right is an epiphyte!

Jude, I'm afraid I can't help with any advice, but I think I read recently that Sumac's apparently don't go on forever, and do seem to just give up the ghost all of a sudden. So perhaps it's sadly coming to the end of it's life...and its 'injury' hasn't helped :(

You might just need to sit it out...and leave a sucker or two just in case! Good luck!

5 Jun, 2017


That's right Bloom! of course you are right, lol thanks

5 Jun, 2017

How do I say thanks?

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