Staghorn Ferns

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Mounting a Staghorn Fern


Because of their relatively large size, Staghorn ferns are rarely grown in pots except when produced as small specimens for sale at nurseries. Their natural, epiphytic 
growth habit makes them well suited for mounting on trees, slabs of wood, tree fern 
fiber or wire baskets. To mount a fern on a piece of wood or tree fern fiber, place a few handfuls of organic growing medium such as sphagnum peat moss on the mounting surface slightly below center. Shape it in a circular mound and place the fern on it so 
that the basal fronds are in contact with the mounting material. Use wire (not copper), monofilament fishing line, plastic strips or nylon hose to secure the fern  tightly to its mount. When a wire basket is used, pack it with an organic medium and mount  and secure the fern “face-up” on the medium. Hang the basket sideways. Pups (small 
plants)  will eventually emerge from the back and sides of the basket and completely cover it.


 

This is a large Staghorn Fern we rescued from a house in Coconut Grove. After it had 
fallen, and the owners could not figure how to re-hang it because of the size and
 weight. We were contacted and the rescue process started again.

Our process to rescue a large Staghorn fern starts after we get a call from someone who's Staghorn has fallen and can't get up. We arrange to go look at the Staghorn fern to see what tools we will need to remove it from the property. In some cases, a come-along and cables can be used to pull it into the truck. Depending on the size and weight, we might have to cut it into pieces that we can carry to the truck. The picture to the right was one of the seven pieces from this large fern. This particular Staghorn was next to a pool laying on the floor. It was about 5' in diameter and about 5' in height. To get it out of the property, we had to carry in out a 36" archway and a 36" door. Yes, we had to cut it up. My guess was that the seven pieces together weighted between 250 & 300 pounds. 
After getting it back to our place is when the work starts. Using a reciprocating saw to cut and a good pair of scissor to trim each individual plant from the large clump. 
 We construct mounting boards using 
1"x3" pressure treated lumber. The 
size of the mounting board is based 
on the size of the plant. This also 
determines our price.
Now the individual plant is cleaned up 
and ready to mounted. 
We put a large glob of sphagnum 
moss on the back of the fern and place 
in on the mounting board.
Next, we use copper colored aluminum 
wire to secure the fern to the board. We crises-cross thewire back and forth and staple it in place.

 

After the fern is finished, we attach a tag 
with the name of the fern to the back of 
the board. Next we give it a good drink of water and hang it ready for sale.
This is what a finished plant will look like.
It is now ready for sale.