10 Best Step-By-Step Guide to Mounting a Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)”
Staghorn ferns, scientifically known as Platycerium, are unique and captivating plants known for their striking appearance and elegant fronds. Their distinctive antler-shaped leaves make them a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. While many people opt to grow these ferns in pots, mounting them on wooden plaques or boards is an alternative and aesthetically pleasing way to display these plants. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of mounting a staghorn fern, turning your living space into a green oasis.
Materials You Will Need
Please grab the following items before we begin:
Staghorn fern (Platycerium)
Wooden plaque or board
Nylon fishing line or wire
Watering can or spray bottle
Screwdriver or drill
Wall hook or hanger
Water your mounted staghorn fern regularly, keeping the sphagnum moss consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Fertilize your fern with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).
Prune any brown or dying fronds to encourage new growth and maintain its appearance.
Step 1: Prepare Your Fern
The first step in successfully mounting a staghorn fern is to prepare the plant for its new home. Here’s what you need to do:
Select a Healthy Fern: Begin by choosing a healthy staghorn fern for mounting. Look for one with well-developed fronds and no signs of disease or stress. Young, small ferns are often a good choice for beginners.
Remove from Pot: Gently remove the staghorn fern from its pot. Be careful not to damage the roots or fronds during this process.
Inspect the Roots: Examine the roots of the fern. If you notice any dead or rotting roots, trim them with clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. This will promote healthy growth when the fern is mounted.
Clean the Fern: Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any excess soil from the roots. This step helps prevent soil from falling onto the moss bed when you mount the fern.
Allow the Fern to Air Dry: After cleaning, let the fern air dry for a few hours. This helps reduce the risk of fungal or bacterial infections when it’s mounted on the moss.
By preparing your staghorn fern with these steps, you’ll ensure that it’s in the best possible condition for a successful mounting process.
Step 2: Choose Your Mounting Board
Selecting the right mounting board is crucial for the stability and aesthetics of your mounted staghorn fern. Here’s what you need to consider:
Sturdiness: Choose a wooden plaque or board that is sturdy and can support the weight of your staghorn fern once it’s mounted. It should be able to withstand the moist environment required for fern growth without warping or deteriorating.
Size: The size of the mounting board should be appropriate for the size of your staghorn fern. It should provide enough space for the fern to grow comfortably. Generally, a board that is slightly larger than the root ball of the fern is a good choice.
Material: Ensure that the wood used for the mounting board is resistant to decay and rot. Cedar, cypress, or redwood are good choices as they can withstand moisture and humidity.
Aesthetic Appeal: Consider the visual aspect. You may want a board that complements your home decor and enhances the overall appearance of the mounted fern.
Hanging Mechanism: Attach a wall hook or hanger to the back of the board. This should be securely fastened, as the weight of the fern can be substantial once mounted. Ensure that the hanging mechanism is strong enough to support the board and the plant.
By carefully selecting your mounting board, you’ll create a stable and visually appealing base for your staghorn fern. This step is crucial for the long-term success and aesthetics of your mounted plant.
Step 3: Attach Mounting Hardware
Before you can mount your staghorn fern, it’s essential to have the right hardware in place to ensure stability and secure hanging. Here’s how to attach the mounting hardware to your chosen board:
Choose the Location: Decide where you want to hang your mounted staghorn fern. Ensure it’s a spot with appropriate lighting conditions, preferably indirect or filtered light, and away from direct sunlight and strong winds.
Mark the Location: With a pencil or marker, mark the spot on the board where the hanging hardware will be attached. This is typically towards the upper center of the board.
Attach the Wall Hook or Hanger: Using a screwdriver or drill, securely fasten a wall hook or hanger to the marked spot on the back of the wooden board. Make sure it’s firmly in place to support the weight of the fern.
Test for Stability: Give the board a gentle shake to ensure that the wall hook or hanger is firmly attached and can hold the weight of the mounted fern. This step is crucial for the safety of your plant and to prevent any accidents.
By attaching the mounting hardware properly, you’ll have a secure and stable foundation for your staghorn fern. This ensures that your mounted fern will hang safely and beautifully in your chosen locations
Step 4: Soak Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum moss serves as the growing medium for your staghorn fern and helps retain moisture. Here’s how to prepare the sphagnum moss:
Gather Moss: Obtain a generous amount of sphagnum moss. You can usually find it at garden centers or online. Make sure it is dust-free and clean.
Soak the Moss: In a container or bucket, submerge the sphagnum moss in water. Allow it to soak until it is thoroughly saturated. This usually takes about 15-30 minutes.The moss should be somewhat moist, but not soggy.
Squeeze Out Excess Water: After soaking, gently squeeze the moss to remove excess water. It should be slightly damp but not soggy. Make sure to completely wring off any excess water as this can cause rot.
By soaking and preparing the sphagnum moss in this way, you’ll provide your staghorn fern with a suitable, moisture-retaining environment when it’s mounted on the wooden board. This step is crucial for the fern’s long-term health and growth.
Step 5: Create a Moss Bed
Now that you’ve prepared your sphagnum moss, it’s time to create a comfortable and moisture-retaining bed for your staghorn fern. Follow these steps:
Position the Wooden Board: Lay the wooden board on a flat surface, ensuring it’s well-supported.
Spread the Sphagnum Moss: Take the damp sphagnum moss and gently spread it across the wooden board. The moss should form a mound that is roughly the same size as the root ball of your staghorn fern. Ensure an even distribution to create a consistent growing medium.
Shape the Moss Bed: Use your hands to mold the moss into a slightly rounded shape. This will provide a cushion for the root ball and promote healthy growth. Ensure that the moss bed is thick enough to hold the fern securely.
Leave Space for the Fern: Create a central depression or hollow in the moss bed where you’ll position the staghorn fern. The root ball should sit snugly in this space.
By creating a well-shaped moss bed, you’ll provide a comfortable and stable foundation for your staghorn fern. This will not only help the plant thrive but also enhance the aesthetics of your mounted fern.
Step 6: Position the Fern
With the moss bed in place, it’s time to gently position your staghorn fern onto the wooden board. Follow these steps for a successful fern placement:
Handle with Care: Lift the staghorn fern with gentle hands, ensuring that you don’t damage the fronds or root system. Hold the plant close to the root ball for stability.
Place on Moss Bed: Position the fern onto the central hollow or depression in the moss bed that you’ve created on the wooden board. Make sure that the root ball rests securely on the moss.
Centering the Fern: Adjust the placement of the fern so that it’s centered on the board and sits comfortably on the moss bed. This not only ensures an attractive display but also even growth.
Check for Stability: Gently press the root ball down into the moss bed to secure it. The fern should be stable and not wobbly on the board.
Properly positioning your staghorn fern on the moss bed is crucial for its stability and growth. With the plant securely in place, you’re one step closer to creating a beautiful and healthy mounted fern.
Step 7: Secure the Fern
Now that your staghorn fern is in position on the moss bed, it’s essential to secure it to the wooden board for stability. Follow these steps to ensure your fern stays in place:
Use Nylon Fishing Line or Wire: You can use either nylon fishing line or wire to secure your staghorn fern. Start by threading the chosen material through the holes or around the edges of the wooden board.
Wrap Around the Fern: Gently and carefully wrap the nylon fishing line or wire around the base of the fern. Be sure not to damage the fronds or root system while doing this.
Create a Secure Fastening: Cross the lines or wire in a crisscross pattern around the fern to ensure it’s firmly attached. Make sure the fern is snugly secured to the wooden board without being too tight, allowing some room for growth.
Tighten and Knot: Once you’re satisfied with the secure fastening, tighten the nylon fishing line or wire and knot it securely to hold the fern in place.
By properly securing your staghorn fern to the wooden board, you’ll ensure that it remains stable and doesn’t shift as it grows. This step is essential for the long-term health and aesthetic appeal of your mounted fern.
Step 8: Wrap with Garden Twine
Adding a decorative touch with garden twine not only secures your staghorn fern but also enhances its visual appeal. Here’s how to do it:
Select Your Garden Twine: Choose a garden twine that complements the overall aesthetic of your mounted staghorn fern. You can opt for natural jute twine or a color that matches your decor.
Start at the Base: Begin wrapping the garden twine around the base of the staghorn fern, covering the area where you’ve secured it with nylon fishing line or wire. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fern.
Wrap in a Crisscross Pattern: As you continue wrapping, create a crisscross pattern around the base of the fern. This not only adds an attractive element but also provides extra support.
Tie Knots Securely: After wrapping the garden twine a few times, tie knots to secure it in place. Make sure the twine is snug but not too tight to allow for future growth.
Continue Wrapping: Continue wrapping the garden twine until you’ve covered the area around the fern’s base to your satisfaction. You can choose to wrap it sparsely for a rustic look or more densely for a neater appearance.
By wrapping your staghorn fern with garden twine, you’ll not only add a decorative element but also provide extra support to the plant. This step adds a finishing touch to your mounted fern, making it an attractive addition to your home decor.
Step 9: Water Your Mounted Fern
Now that your staghorn fern is securely in place on the wooden board, it’s time to give it the moisture it needs to thrive. Follow these steps for proper watering:
Water Thoroughly: Use a watering can or a spray bottle to thoroughly moisten the sphagnum moss beneath your fern. Ensure that the moss is evenly moist but not waterlogged.
Watering Frequency: Staghorn ferns prefer consistently moist conditions. Depending on your home’s humidity and temperature, you may need to water every few days to a week. Monitor the moisture level of the moss to determine when it needs water.
Monitor Drainage: Be cautious not to overwater. Check that excess water doesn’t accumulate in the moss bed.Make sure the drainage system is working properly to avoid wet roots, which can cause root rot.
Misting: In addition to watering the moss bed, mist the fronds of your staghorn fern occasionally. This replicates the humid conditions these ferns enjoy in their natural habitat.
Use Rainwater or Filtered Water: If possible, use rainwater or filtered water to avoid mineral buildup on the fronds, which can harm the plant over time.
Proper watering is essential for the health of your staghorn fern. Regularly check the moisture level of the moss and adjust your watering schedule as needed to maintain a consistently moist but not waterlogged environment for your fern to thrive.
Step 10: Hang Your Mounted Fern
With your staghorn fern securely mounted and properly watered, it’s time to hang it in your chosen location. Follow these steps to ensure your mounted fern is displayed effectively:
Choose the Ideal Location: Select a spot in your home that provides the right lighting conditions for your staghorn fern. They prefer bright, indirect light, so avoid direct sunlight.
Secure Hanging Mechanism: Use the wall hook or hanger that you attached to the back of the wooden board in Step 3. Make sure it’s securely fastened to the wall or ceiling, as the fern can become quite heavy as it grows.
Hang at Eye Level: Position the mounted fern at eye level for the best viewing experience. This will make it a captivating focal point in your living space.
Avoid Drafts and Extremes: Ensure that the fern is protected from strong drafts, as well as extreme temperatures. Staghorn ferns thrive in a stable, temperate environment.
Regular Inspection: After hanging, regularly inspect your staghorn fern for signs of health or issues. Check for any dried or yellowing fronds and adjust your care routine as needed.
By hanging your mounted staghorn fern in the right location, you’ll not only showcase its beauty but also create an environment in which it can thrive. Regularly enjoying the unique aesthetic and air-purifying qualities of your fern is a wonderful reward for your efforts in mounting and caring for this remarkable plant.