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How to Mount a Staghorn Fern?

If you have a Staghorn Fern and you’re wondering how to mount it, you have landed on the right page.

The general rule for mounting a Staghorn Fern is to dampen the underside of the sheet moss with water, wrap it until the rootball is fully covered, and tie a fishing line around the nails to stretch it across the nail on the opposite side.

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Continue reading to learn how to mount your Staghorn Fern properly and what you can do to keep them healthy.

Should You Divide Staghorn Fern before Mounting?

Staghorn Fern is categorized as an epiphytes plant that grows while hanging. So, it is necessary to mount them as they thrive in their replicated habitat.

Like air plants, a stag is a tropical species that are easier to grow because it has different growth points and consists of rhizomes.

So, you might want to divide as it is easy to determine where to mount because of longer fronds.

But, considering the roots are dense and mighty in numbers, you can use scissors to divide them gently but don’t use knives as they can destroy the rhizomes.

Mounting a Staghorn Fern Plant

There are a considerable amount of materials required for mounting the stag. Out of them, readily available materials are listed below.

  • A mature stag for mounting.
  • A scissor for diving the fronds.
  • A hammer for nailing.
  • A green sheet of moss for covering the plant.
  • A fishing twine for tying a knot.
  • Nails for keeping the plant still.

Now that you have gathered all the materials remember to be gentle with your plant during the mounting process.

Step-by-Step Guide for Mounting Staghorn Fern

You must follow these simple steps to kickstart your journey to mount Staghorn Fern.

Step 1: Preparing the base

The first thing you need to consider on how to mount Staghorn Fern is preparing the base. A pressure-treated fencepost is recommended for the base material.

Likewise, you can mount your fern on a tree outside, a piece of wood, a wire basket, or even the side of your house or garage.

Staghorn fern in a cardboard box
You should always be considerate about the base where you plan to mount your Staghorn Fern.

Cedar or redwood is highly recommended for a DIY base as it is naturally rot-resistant, considering the fern’s dramatic watering habits.

You can prepare your board easily by following these steps:

  • First, fold a piece of paper in half to get the designated shape, ensuring it fits on your board when unfolded.
  • Draw a shape and trace it on your cedar board.
  • Cut out your shape with a jigsaw, and you’re done.
  • Hammer the nails around the wooden plank or fencepost every 1-2 inches to secure the stag.

Step 2: Positioning the Fern

Before positioning your fern, deciding where the plant is about to be set up is crucial. Now, lay your fern to determine the space on the wooden base we just prepared.

Then, mark spots inside the rootball at an angle to make it easier to wrap your fishing knot.

Remember, the rootball should be smaller for the smaller plants and more significant as the size increases.

Finally, the dried leaves should be at the top while mounting so the plant can shoot straight up rather than up and out.

Step 3: Securing the Rootball

Now, if you are sure about your designated position on the board, it’s time to secure the rootball.

Put the rootball on top of the sheet of your moss and lightly secure it to the board with the help of the fishing twine.

Make 2 – 3 knots across the rootball to make putting moss on the top easier.

Next, spread a medium layer of a sheet of moss around the back of the plant and over the rootball with longer fronds facing upwards.

Step 4:  Finishing the Mounting Process

Wrap around the base of the stag’s root with the help of twine or a fishing line. Then, make double turns around each nail in a crisscrossed way to secure moss and plant around the wooden plank.

Make sure you don’t go over the top of dried leaves, or the fishing line will cut it through.

Here’s a beginner-friendly complete YouTube video guide to mount your beloved green buddies.

Tips to Take Care of Mounted Staghorn Fern

Commonly found in the forests, Platycerium fern species prefer damp and shady habitats. It can grow up to a height and breadth of one meter.

However, they grow best on a similar structure resembling their natural habitat.

1. Location and Sunlight

The Staghorn Fern requires moderate indirect light, so direct sunlight or dim conditions may harm them.

Therefore, you need to choose an intermediate source of lighting location like window light or diffused light.

2. Watering Technique

To water the plant, you may soak the rootball until saturated and mist your plant in between as stags absorb water from fronds than roots.

You can soak your rootball by filling a sink or submerging the plant. Then, drain the water by sorting them upright when the moss is completely soaked.

They require constant moisture, but make sure you don’t overwater them. Placing a plate underneath will help to circulate ideal daily humidity.

Unlike other ferns, stags should dry out between watering to prevent black spots.

You can soak the rootball about once a week for twenty minutes and mist using a squirt bottle every day.

3. Maintaining Optimum Temperature and Humidity

Your average home temperature should suit the plant just fine as they’re houseplants.

Ensure they’re far off the areas like doorways to avoid extreme humidity and maintain around 50-60°F.

The Staghorn Fern plant also needs high humidity above 50%, and the good news is you can set up a terrarium for ideal humidity level by placing pebbles from a fish tank.

In this way, they can mimic their natural habitat. You can even display it in places like the bathroom or kitchen as they’re humid naturally.

4. Fertilizer Requirements

Staghorn prefers acidic soil, so the water-soluble fertilizer formulated for fern might help them retain their natural habitat.

You need to regularly fertilize your plant once a month in a 1:1 water and fertilizer ratio.

In addition, fertilizers containing ammonium nitrogen may discolor the plant, so as long as your plant receives adequate light and moisture, the problems will not persist.

Note: Diluted fish emulsion can be used as organic fertilizer for your fern.

5. Pruning Habits

Developing a full Staghorn Fern takes about five years, but you can always do some pruning to encourage it.

Prominent Staghorn Fern Plant
For better growth of Staghorn fern, you need to prune it occasionally.

Make sure you cut the dead fronds, usually characterized by brown sections, so that this part can grow new ferns.

Don’t use sharp objects like knives, as the rhizome is delicate.

6. Control the Infestation of Pests and Diseases

One of the significant problems for stags is crown rot caused by Bacillus subtilis which is tough to eliminate as they usually rot from the edges.

However, we can eliminate this by cutting off the affected area and using the proper fungicide.

And it is also prone to pests like aphids and insect-like mealybugs, but we can quickly eliminate them using neem oil and insecticidal soap.

Quick Troubleshoot for Staghorn Fern

Significant problems arising while caring for a mounted Staghorn Fern are overwatering, exposure to extreme humidity, loose wooden plank support, and leaves drooping.

But don’t worry; I will list some common troubleshooting tips that are often handy.

  • Try to maintain relative humidity above 50%.
  • Overwatering may cause brown spots on your plants, so limit watering to 2-3 days a week.
  • Ensure the wooden support is strong enough to keep the plant attached to the substratum.
  • Don’t let the soil be arid.

Editor’s Note

Mounting flora imitating fauna, Staghorn Fern, may seem challenging.

But, if you’re looking forward to becoming a plant parent but don’t know basic gardening, these low-maintenance plants may be an excellent start to getting your thumb green.

Get tropical vibes around your space by mounting the Staghorn Fern, a plant as resilient as you want them to be!

Happy mounting!

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