When it comes to strange and unusual plants, staghorn fern, with its large fronds resembling moose antlers, is one of the strangest. In their natural tropical environment, staghorn ferns attach themselves high in trees, where they take water and nourishment from the host plants. As domesticated plants, staghorn ferns are usually mounted on sturdy boards. Grow staghorn ferns outdoors if you live in a warm climate; otherwise, bring them in where it's warm.
Things You'll Need
- Staghorn fern
- Sturdy piece of hardwood, branch or driftwood
- Hook or steel chain
- Sphagnum moss
- Small nails
- Clear fishing line or panty hose
Select a mounting surface for the staghorn fern. A sturdy piece of hardwood such as oak is a good choice, but you can also mount it on a large branch or a piece of driftwood. Choose a large mounting surface to accommodate the growth of the fern. If the board is too small, you'll be re-mounting it fairly soon.
Put a heavy-duty hook or a sturdy steel chain on the back of the mounting board. Keep in mind that the staghorn fern will eventually become very heavy. Don't use nails, because they will pull out.
Soak a piece of sphagnum moss in water overnight. Tap water is fine, but rainwater is better, if you have it. The sphagnum moss should be large enough to cover the roots of the staghorn fern.
Squeeze the water out of the sphagnum moss, and wrap it around the roots of the staghorn fern. The sphagnum moss should be wet clear through, but not dripping.
Place a few small nails in the mounting board. Position the staghorn fern on the board temporarily to decide where the nails should be, and put three or four nails into each side, about two inches from the outer edges of the plant.
Place the sphagnum moss to the mounting board between the nails, and attach it with clear fishing line, strips of nylon stockings, or the sturdy strapping method of your choice. Criss-cross the strapping material tightly across the staghorn fern, working from nail to nail, and secure the end of the straps with small nails or staples.
How to Care for a Staghorn Fern
A real departure from the feathery fronds of terrestrial ferns, staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) have large, leathery, coarsely branched fronds that resemble...