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How to Hang a Staghorn Fern – A Beginner’s Guide

How to Hang a Staghorn Fern – A Beginner’s Guide

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Are you looking for that feature that will grab your visitors’ attention?

Think of hanging a Staghorn fern on something striking or unusual, or just on your wall, and you will have just that.


How to hang a Staghorn fern?

A Staghorn needs to be hung or mounted on something that will support it as it grows. This can be a flat wooden plaque, a log, or a hanging basket. The plant needs to be secured to the support until the roots can take hold. This means using soft wire or string to hold it in place.


How to Mount a Staghorn Fern

The method of mounting the fern will depend on what you use as its mount.


Piece of Flat Wood

For this method of mounting the fern, you will need something that can hold the plant, but which has a flat bottom. I recommend using a piece of aluminum.

You will need to make holes in the corners and the middle of the four sides of the flat piece and place some fairly thick wire through the holes.

These can be formed into hooks that will hold the root bowl of the plant. When you have secured the plant like this to the flat piece, it can be mounted on a plaque.

This could be done by hooking the wire over the top of the plaque. You can also create a mount into which the aluminum can be slotted.

This can be done by hammering four nails into the plaque, forming a square, just fractionally wider than the aluminum.

Slide the aluminum mount into the frame made by the nails. This will hold the plant on the plaque, but also allow you to remove it if necessary.


Log or Branch

If you use a log or branch to mount the Staghorn, you need to be able to support the plant on the wood until the roots can take hold.

This can be done quite simply by placing the fern where you want it to be and using a soft wire, or string, to tie it in place.

I recommend using something that is softer and which may even rot as the plant grows and as the roots take their natural hold on the wood.


Wire Hanging Basket

Make sure that the hanging basket you use for your Staghorn is filled with something that is water-durable and which will not harm the plant. It should also be something that the roots can take hold of.

I recommend using a coco coir liner.

Don’t fill the basket, but make a padded hollow for the plant.

Place the whole root bowl into the hollow. It will be necessary to use some string just to hold the plant in place until the roots can take hold of the basket itself, which will keep the plant more securely anchored.


Why a Staghorn Fern Needs to be Mounted

Most simply, a Staghorn doesn’t grow in the ground and needs support to hold onto. However, mounting this plant is not just for support.

To keep the fern healthy, it may be necessary to move it in winter, so mounting it on something that can alternate between inside and outside is more advisable.

This tip’s crucial, especially if your area has cold winters.


What to Use to Mount a Staghorn Fern on

You can mount your Staghorn on anything substantial to hold it and which can either be placed in a strategic position in your home, or actually mounted on a wall, or similar feature.

You can also put the fern outside on a tree, or even mounted on a fence. This will really only suit warm climates.

You can also become creative and mount your Staghorn fern on a more artistic support, or on something unusual.

Rather than using a block of wood as the mount, you can use a log or a gnarled piece of wood as the mount.

You can also use something less natural, such as a wire basket. However, whatever you choose as the mount, it must allow the Staghorn’s roots to take hold and must offer sufficient support to hold the plant as it grows.

It may also need to be able to be moved quite easily.


What a Staghorn Fern is

A Staghorn is a type of fern, found in hot, humid environments. The leaves look just like a stag’s antlers, which is where the name comes from.

There are various species of Staghorn and they are becoming a popular, unusual houseplant.

The Staghorn has two types of leaves: the typical ‘antlers’, which are long and stick out from the center of the plant; and the ‘shield’, which are hard and round and grow around the base of the plant, protecting the roots.


How Staghorn Ferns Grow

Staghorn ferns do not grow in soil as most other ferns do.

Naturally, they will attach to trees, but are not parasitic and do not feed off the trees. The fern simply needs the support.

Essentially, a Staghorn is a type of air plant. It takes all its nutrients and water from the atmosphere. The roots only attach the plant to the tree.

Staghorn ferns are sensitive to cold temperatures. If you grow a fern outside, then it will need to be brought inside in the colder months, particularly when there is frost.

Because these plants specifically need natural light, they will have to be placed next to, or close to, a window. They do not tolerate direct sunlight, though.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Mount a Staghorn Fern


Why do I need to mount my Staghorn fern?

A Staghorn fern cannot grow on its own. The roots are only developed to anchor it onto something, not to grow in soil and absorb nutrients. The fern is really an air plant and gets both nutrients and water from the surrounding air. You must simulate the natural growing conditions by mounting the fern onto something.


Will a Staghorn fern tolerate frost?

Staghorn ferns grow naturally in jungles, or hot areas, which are preferably humid. This means that they are sensitive to cold and certainly won’t survive in frost.



Staghorn ferns are unusual and attractive plants, especially when mounted on a feature. The roots need to be able to attach to the support and hold the plant.

There are a few alternatives to mounting or hanging these plants, but a good, solid piece of wood may just be the best bet in the long run.