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Mounting Staghorn Ferns: Tips for Growing These Tender Epiphytes

Have you ever wondered how to mount a Staghorn Fern? These beautiful ferns are epiphytes, meaning they grow on trees in the tropical climates, but they can also be found in your home. Mounting them is a great way to show off their unique fronds and keep them healthy. But be careful – if you overwater them, they can get root rot. Keep reading to learn how to mount a Staghorn Fern the right way!

Mounting a Staghorn Fern – The Perfect Environment for Optimal Growth

When it comes to mounting a staghorn fern, rot-resistant wood such as cedar should be used. This is because of the vigorous watering technique associated with these ferns and their close attachment to the mounting surface. As such, it is important that a sturdy material like cedar is chosen in order to ensure longevity.

The type of support used to mount a Platycerium, commonly known as a staghorn fern, can vary. If you live in an area where they are hardy, you could opt for options like a plaque or board mounted on a log or tree, or even hang them in baskets.

However, regardless of the support chosen, it should be at least twice the size of the fern base. Ideally though, it should be much larger as staghorn ferns can get quite large when they grow. Despite their ability to reach a large size over time, they are slow-growing plants.

In addition to the wood, sphagnum moss, sheet moss (optional), and clear fishing line should also be available in order to create the perfect environment for your staghorn fern.

The moss will help keep the fern in place and the fishing line or twine can be used to secure it. The green fronds at the base are sterile and called basal fronds, which should not be removed as they are essential for keeping the plant alive.

For those who want to hang the staghorn fern on a wooden surface, pantyhose can be used instead of microfilament or wire. The benefit of this is that the pantyhose will eventually rot away without cutting into the plant. To do this, simply place a few sphagnum moss pieces on the board and attach your plant to it with pantyhose.

When it comes to hanging a heavy staghorn fern, it is best to hang chained plants from large tree limbs that can support the weight of the plant and the chain. To protect the tree limb from damage, place the chain in a section of rubber hose or foam rubber pipe insulation so that the chain is not touching any bark.

For those who prefer to hang their staghorn fern in a basket, the ideal option is a wire hanging basket. This is because it provides an ideal environment for all staghorn fern varieties. A wire hanging basket is in the shape of a large bowl with metal wires forming the bottom of it.

When it comes to keeping a staghorn fern happy, the most important factor is lighting. Staghorn ferns need bright, indirect or diffuse light to thrive, but most species must be protected from the harsh rays of the direct sun. It is recommended that people place staghorn ferns in the brightest area of their home where, once again, the plant won’t be exposed to direct sunlight.

Growing Staghorn Ferns: Mounting vs. Containers

When it comes to the question of whether or not a staghorn fern should be mounted, the answer is no. It is a more natural way to grow them and can be an incredibly cool way to display them. Furthermore, as they are slow-growing plants, it will take some time for them to reach their full size potential and require larger mounting surfaces than other plants. Therefore, when considering whether or not you should mount your staghorn fern; think about what options best suit your lifestyle and the environment that you have available for the plant.

For those who cannot or do not want to mount their staghorn fern, it is possible to grow them in containers. Since these plants are epiphytes and don’t usually grow in soil, they require a rich and well-drained medium such as sphagnum moss. Smaller staghorn ferns can also be grown on the ground with this type of medium.

Additionally, staghorn ferns can be grown in a pot, wire basket or wire frame. This allows for maximum air circulation which is something that these epiphytes love.

When placed in a pot, make sure to use a well-draining potting soil and sphagnum moss. spagmoss brand new zealand sphagnum moss is perfect for this application and Staghorn Fern care. It can be mounded around the base of the plant to hold hydration around the root system.

No matter where you decide to place your staghorn fern, one of the most important things to remember is that they thrive in shaded areas. Staghorn ferns get most of their water from the air or fallen plant matter and should be hung on limbs or in the crotches of trees similar to how they grow in their native environments.

In the case of the black metal fruit bowl with a Staghorn fernhorn mounted to it, the fern was secured to the open grid with metal wire and will be easy to take down for a good soak of water. However, it is important to note that after a few years, depending on how much growth has occurred on the plant, that metal may rust if you intend to keep your staghorn in this planter indefinitely.

When it comes to the cold weather, staghorn ferns thrive in warm, humid climates and should be protected from cold temperatures. Most species cannot tolerate temperatures below 55°F; however, Platycerium bifurcatum and Platycerium veitchii can survive temperatures as low as 30°F. If you live in a region where winter brings snow or frost, then it is best to bring your staghorn fern indoors during this time or provide some sort of protection such as a greenhouse or cold frame.

Finally, it is important to remember that staghorn ferns are susceptible to overwatering. Since the roots of these plants are smaller than you might think, they can easily be overwatered and cause root rot which will harm your plant. Brown or black spots at the base of the antler fronds indicate overwatering so make sure to monitor your watering schedule closely.


The Staghorn Fern is an epiphytic plant that needs to be mounted in order to thrive in its environment. It is recommended to be mounted on rot resistant wood such as cedar and be placed in a bright, indirect or diffuse light. It is also important to remember that Staghorn Ferns need to be protected from cold weather and overwatering. With the proper care and maintenance, the Staghorn Fern can make a beautiful addition to any home.