How to Mount a Horn Fern on the Wall


Staghorn fern (sometimes referred to as "horn fern"), with its large fronds resembling elk horns, is an odd-looking, interesting plant that doesn't resemble more familiar, lacy-looking ferns. Staghorn fern, an epiphyte, attaches itself to a rocky outgrowth or tree where it lives on nutrients in the water that drains off its host, as well as its own decomposed fronds. If you wish to mount a staghorn fern on a wall, you must attach it to a sturdy support.

Step 1

Put several handfuls of sphagnum moss in a bowl of water. Allow the moss to soak until it's saturated.

Step 2

Acquire a piece of wood such as a piece of cedar, oak, redwood or driftwood for your staghorn fern's mounting surface. Any sturdy, water-resistant wood will work.

Step 3

Squeeze the excess water from a large handful of the sphagnum moss, form it into a ball, and place slightly below the center of the mounting board.

Step 4

Place the center of the staghorn fern on top of the damp sphagnum moss. Pack the remaining sphagnum moss around the base of the staghorn fern.

Step 5

Secure the staghorn fern to the mount, using waxed string, nylon stockings, fishing line, plastic strapping, or wire or a similar substance. Wrap the string in a criss-cross fashion around the base of the staghorn fern and the board, repeating several times until the staghorn fern is secure. As the staghorn fern grows, it will hide the string.

Step 6

Hang the staghorn fern where it will be in bright, but indirect light. In its natural environment, staghorn fern will receive dappled, or filtered light through the tops of tall trees. Don't mount the staghorn fern in hot afternoon sun.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid using copper wire to attach your staghorn fern to a mounting surface. Copper can react negatively with the fern.


  • University of Florida: Staghorn Ferns for Florida
  • Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas: How to Care for a Staghorn Fern
  • Bella Online: Staghorn Ferns
Keywords: staghorn fern, mount a staghorn fern, horn fern

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.