Musings

A Trophy For Your Wall (Part 2): Mounting a Staghorn Fern

By Barbara-

What you need

As an indoor gardener I was intrigued by these mounted ferns which I wrote about it in a previous post. I really wanted to get one but hesitated at first because after much research I concluded I would not be able to keep one alive long enough in my apartment as it is very dry, especially in winter when the heat is on. I have also not yet invested in a humidifier. In the end however, I still wanted to try my hands at taking care of one. The challenge was on. I mean, you have to admit that they are very majestic when mounted and visitors will really be impressed with your gardening prowess. So I went ahead and purchased a small one in a pot as a trial. I decided to mount it on my wall using a scrap of wood and screws I found lying around in D’s Tool box. My husband is referred to as ‘D’ around here.

What You Will Need 

  • Wooden board  (any kind will do)
  • Fishing Line
  • Something to trace a circle such as a plate/bowl
  • Pencil ( I made the mistake of using pen, thinking it wouldn’t be visible once it was done, but that was incorrect as it is partially visible)
  • 6 Screws and a Power tool to drive screws in  Or 6 Nails and a hammer (the more nails the better)
  • Something to all you to hang the board on your wall such as a picture hanger or 2 nails/screws
  • Sphagnum moss (or sheet moss)
  • And of course, 1 potted staghorn fern

Steps

Backing1. First secure a mounting device to where the wood will attach to the wall. I used findings around the house so ended up using 2 nails and a piece of fishing wire. A picture hanger will work fine too. Doing this after the plant is attached rather than in the beginning will be very difficult.

2. Use something round to trace a circle on your board that’s at least an inch wider than the circumference of the plant you’re hoping to mount. I used a small bowl at first but found it to be smaller than the circumference of the base of the fern so I used a bigger cereal bowl which ended up being a bit too big for me (hence the two circles on the wood).  After drawing your circle, put in the nails or screws evenly spaced. I placed my nails in between the two circles I drew as I found that to be the right circumference to hide most of the screws and nails once the plant is secured.  The bigger the circle, the more nails you will need.  I ran out of nails so ended up using 4 nails and 4 screws.

3. Place a small pile of sphagnum moss in the circle that you traced.

4. Now remove your staghorn fern from its pot and loosen the soil until you have only a small amount of soil attached to the roots. I ended up having to prune back quite a bit of roots in order to loosen the most  soil. This makes it so that your fern does not have a huge mound protruding from the wood. It also allows the fern to better absorb moisture in this new planting position.

5. Place the fern on the mount. Wet the sphagnum moss (makes it easier to work with) and wrap the moss around the base of the plant , making sure it stays within the circle of nails. Do this to cover the roots and the soil of the fern.

 

6. Once the base of the fern is wrapped, begin to secure the base with the fishing line. Start by making a knot on one nail and stringing it across the moss and wrapping it around another nail at the opposite end. Do this several times until you feel the base is secure. Pass the line under the sterile rather than over the sterile fronds. This is to prevent the fishing line from cutting into the sterile fronds. Make another knot  on the nail before cutting your line. I ended up going around the screws and nails several times until I was convinced it was secure. Do not hesitate to do this as well as this is the only thing keeping your plant from falling of the mount. This is not needed, but I  made two bows with twine around the moss to keep it in place and give it that added security.

7. Once the plant is secured on the mount, lift it gently to make sure it I s well attached. I shook mine a bit to make sure nothing was loose. No soil or moss fell out.

There! You are all set to mount the fern on your wall.

I debated which way up to hang the fern in the beginning as with the grey furry side up it looked more like antlers. I ended up mounting it so that the shiny green part would be positioned to absorb the most light. I was curious though to see how it would have looked so I just turned the picture upside down. This side up looks more like a mounted antler, wouldn’t you agree?

UPside down

Care Tips

Light: Hang your fern in a place with bright filtered light

Water: Check moss often to see if its moist. If its dry, dunk the mount in a sink/basin of water or spray them in a shower. Allow the excess water to drop before placing the wooden mount back on the wall. I do this about twice a week, as my apartments is dry. The dryer your home, the more frequently you will need to water it. I try to give it daily misting as well to keep it happy.

Feeding: Staghorns are not heavy feeders so there is no need to fertilize often. If you do fertilize any house plant fertilizer about once a month will do. However the staghorn fern is quite sensitive to artificial fertilizers so avoid pouring it straight on a dry root ball. Feeds made from seaweed or fish emulsion are preferred.

Pests: The common culprits are scale insects and mealy bugs. You can control any infestations of the two by conservative measures such as flicking them off or dabbing them with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Till next time!

Barbara

Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.

7 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    This was great info..I have wanted one of these for ever..There not available just anywere..Might have to look at Ebay…

    27 . Dec . 2015
  2. Abigail

    Great post! Very interesting stuff.

    28 . Dec . 2014
    • Barbara

      Thank you

      01 . Jan . 2015
  3. Angela

    I like this post Barbara. It has a lot of helpful information. Thanks!

    28 . Dec . 2014
    • Barbara

      Thank you. There are quite a few different guides out there on how to mount a staghorn, but I found this is the method that seemed easy to do.

      01 . Jan . 2015
  4. Yayra

    This is very interesting. How is it going so far?

    28 . Dec . 2014
    • Barbara

      So far so good. But as I anticipated, the low humidity in my apartment is turning the tips of the ferns brown. Yikes! And it is not letting up.

      01 . Jan . 2015

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