How to Mount a Staghorn Fern

Written by Emily Vogler

April 19, 2023

A staghorn fern is quite the sight to behold! Found in tropical areas near the equator, these guys can get quite big and live in trees. Spores from the plant float in the air and land in the crooks of trees, soaking up the moisture and nutrients from the bark. They look incredible when mounted on a wall, and here at Gardens of Babylon, we even have our very first staghorn fern that was donated back to us and is still thriving in our greenhouses!

379A6942.00 00 40 41.Still002

Supplies you’ll need

  • a staghorn fern
  • fishing line
  • sphagnum moss
  • a board to mount your fern onto (a piece of wood will look the most natural)
  • a hanging device – hook, wire, etc.
  • something to make holes in your mounting board to thread the fishing line through
  • water
  • epiphyte fertilizer

Step 1: Prep your plant

Start by removing some of the soil from the root ball. But be careful, you want to be a little gentle because you want to try to keep as many of these roots as possible. Remove 70% of the dirt – as an example, the plant we chose went from about 5 inches of soil to about 2 inches of soil. You only want your plant to stick off the board a couple of inches.

379A6942.00 04 10 27.Still006

Step 2: Prep your board

For this hanging method, we recommend making 4 holes that go straight through your board to secure your plant with fishing line. Don’t do less than three holes! You don’t want your plant to fall off its board! We chose a piece of beautiful cork wood, which looks very natural! Then we created the holes with a small drill bit.

379A6942.00 03 28 40.Still005

Step 3: Choose a potting medium + feeding

So let’s talk about what medium is going to be the best for supporting our fern. We’re huge fans of sphagnum moss. It holds moisture the best and looks the most natural. You’ll want to take a good chunk of moss and soak it completely in water. Get in there and smash it around just to make sure that everything is completely saturated!  At this step, you can also add a bit of fertilizer. Staghorn ferns are epiphytes, so we’re going to use orchid food. Next, you’re going to take a handful of moss and squeeze out a lot of that water. Then, you’ll take that moss and apply a thin layer in the center of your board – this is going to be the initial rooting area for this plant until the roots can dig into the cork. Place your plant, root side down, onto the moss.

379A6942.00 04 57 54.Still008

379A6942.00 05 17 09.Still007

379A6942.00 05 32 07.Still009

Step 4: Securing your plant

Now that it’s centered and ready to go, get out your fishing line! Hold your fern onto the board, and feed the fishing line through the back to the front side of your board! Then the other side of the fishing line then goes into a different hole. This is the initial tie off, which is what keeps your plant on this board. Try your best to go through a separation in the shields when you tie off your fishing line. We don’t want to hurt these shields because they protect the fronds! For a more in-depth breakdown of this step, check out the full video on our Youtube channel! 

379A6942.00 05 45 27.Still010

379A6942.00 06 25 52.Still013

Step 5: Add more moss and make the final ties

Now that we made the first initial tie, it’s time to add a bit more moss to the root ball. Thin some out apply it to the plant on the soil and base. You don’t have to make this perfect. Next, take your fishing line and go all the way around the moss and root ball. Keep wrapping the line around until you have the moss completely adhered and secured to the plant. Find the end of your fishing line and tie it off! Make the knot several times to really secure your plant! Very carefully turn your plant over and find the next hole. Thread your line through another hole and do one more good tie off. If you went from top to bottom before, go left to right! Finally, double check everything, and it’s ready to go!

379A6942.00 06 39 20.Still014 379A6942.00 06 58 51.Still015 379A6942.00 07 38 08.Still016379A6942.00 08 17 20.Still017

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *