Mounting Your Own Staghorn Ferns
Unfortunately… or fortunately, this post might not be as exciting or nearly as dirty sounding as the title. Staghorn Ferns are one of my favorite plants. I like them so much I brought the three I had all the way from San Diego to Minneapolis in the back seat of my car. Two of my Staghorns I rescued from the trash at work and the other one, my first one, I bought at the Home Depot. Usually when I have seen them for sale they are potted. Staghorn ferns, like Orchids, are epyphitic, meaning they grow on other plants, trees or objects. The reason they are typically mounted and wall hanging is that it more closely resembles their natural growing condition and gives them the best opportunity to thrive. I won’t bore you with the details but for a full run down on Staghorn Fern care, click here.
Back to the task at the hand. If you’ve got a potted Staghorn fern that needs a new vertical home, here’s how to make that happen.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Potted Staghorn Fern
- Peat Moss
- Sheet Moss
- Monofilament (Fishing Line)
Here’s a step-by-step photo set for the more visually inclined and instructions below.
1. To start off with, you need something to mount your Staghorn on. I’ve seen versions where the plant is mounted to all kinds of substrate but I settled on cedar. Since cedar has a rough grain it helps give the roots something to grab on to over time. I cut 5 pieces of 2″ X 3/4″ cedar at 10″ long, essentially creating a square when all five pieces are lined up.
2. Cut two additional boards a little smaller for the back. These will become your cross braces and will give you space to hang your plant with a few screws and wire while still allowing it to sit flat against the wall. Once you have everything cut you will screw through the back of these boards to connect all the front pieces together.
3. Using a triangle I laid out my final shape. You can go for any shape you like or leave it square. I like the hexagon shape because it’s simple but a little different. It helps to number the pieces on the back so that you remember how they fit together once they’re cut.
4. With all the pieces cut you can now lay it face down and screw through the back to connect everything together. This is not the most glamorous photo but helps illustrate how everything works. I used two additional screws and wire for hanging. Note that you can see the monofilament crisscrossed all over the back.
5. Now that your construction is complete you can move on to getting the fern onto the mount. (Sorry but no photos from here on out. My hands were too dirty to operate the camera.) Remove any loose dirt from your potted plant making sure not to tear off any roots.
6. With your mount laying flat on a table, create a small bed of peat moss on top of it, just a little larger than the size of your root ball.
7. Set your fern on top of the bed of peat moss and pack a little more peat moss around it. This helps to keep the roots from drying out.
8. Cover all the peat moss with sheet moss. The idea is that the sheet moss holds everything in place once you secure it with monofilament.
9. Secure a long piece of monofilament to one of your screws on the back and then wrap up and over the root ball and moss, making sure not to secure any leaves. Wrap and wrap until you’re sure the plant is secure on the mount.
You’re done! Find a home for your fern where it gets bright but not direct sunlight. I soak it in the shower once a week and spray it with a spray bottle in between. They like the humidity of the misting but also need to dry out between watering.
Here’s the final product:
As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.