How to Build a Staghorn Fern Mount


Staghorn fern, (Platycerium bifurcatum ), is an unusual plant that in nature, grows in the tops of tall trees. Staghorn ferns is an epiphyte, which means it requires no soil. Although the staghorn fern connects itself to the bark of the tree, it does no harm to the tree. To survive, the staghorn fern lives on water that drips from the tree, with nutrients obtained from decomposing leaves and other plant material. Staghorn ferns are fascinating plants to grow, but require a sturdy mounting board to keep the heavy plants safely in place.

Step 1

Acquire a sturdy piece of wood to mount the staghorn fern. The wood should be at least 12 inches square, but a larger board will mean a longer time that your staghorn fern can grow without needing a new, board. Hard woods like mahogany, elm or oak are good choices.

Step 2

Paint or stain your mounting board. Set the board aside to dry thoroughly. You can leave the board unpainted if you prefer, but a coat of clear sealer will help to protect the board from moisture.

Step 3

Attach a sturdy picture hook, wire hanger or chain on the back of the board. Use screws to attach the hanger, as nails will eventually pull out of the wood when the staghorn fern grows heavier.

Step 4

Tack several small nails in a circular pattern on the front of the mounting board. The circle should 1 to 2 inches larger than the base of the staghorn fern. You can use screws instead of nails, but allow the screws to protrude slightly from the front of the mounting board.

Step 5

Place a large handful of damp sphagnum moss in the center of the mounting board. Put the staghorn fern over the moss with the "horns" facing up.

Step 6

Attach a length of sturdy, clear fishing line to one of the nails on the front of the mounting board. Cross the fishing line over the staghorn fern to a nail on the opposite side. Wrap the fishing line around the nail, and cross it over the fern to another nail on the first side. Continue criss-crossing the fishing line until the staghorn fern is securely attached to the mounting board. The fern will be covered as the fern grows over it.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy piece of hardwood
  • Paint or stain (optional)
  • Clear sealer
  • Sturdy picture hook, wire hanger or chain
  • Screws
  • Small nails
  • Sphaghum moss
  • Staghorn fern
  • Clear fishing line


  • MG Online: Staghorn Fern
  • Texas A&M: Staghorn Fern
Keywords: staghorn fern, mounting board, Platycerium bifurcatum

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.