The Death of my Staghorn ferns

Asked May 25, 2018, 8:34 AM EDT

I have a large shaded bed of staghorn ferns which have been regularly reappearing every spring for about 15 years. This year for some unknown reason about half have died. The brown woody bases are dry and shriveled. Nothing has really changed in their environment. I am at a loss as to the cause, and hope you have some ideas. Thanks, Betsy Romano

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

This spring several different types of perennials either died over winter or showed odd signs, like retaining their leaves instead of dropping them. I suspect the warm fall, followed by the sudden freeze in December, didn’t allow the plants to receive the ‘go dormant’ signal, and so they didn’t make it through the winter. This is what caused many trees, like maple and smoketree, to hold dead leaves into this spring, when they normally do not. Thanks for using our service.