How to Transplant Staghorn Fern


Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) are tropical plants with wide fronds that grow in two different patterns. The longer top fronds stand erect while the smaller bottom fronds overlap and adhere to surface from which they grow. Staghorn ferns do not grow in soil like most plants. They are in a class of plants called epiphytes, which grow on tree trunks, rocks and branches in their native environment. In the home or garden, they grow on and become attached to "mounts," like a piece of wood. Staghorn ferns are typically transplanted from divided plants obtained from a nursery, a friend or from your own larger staghorn plant.

Step 1

Wet the new mount thoroughly by soaking it in water. Use a rough piece of bark, wood or a layer of sphagnum moss for your mount.

Step 2

Lay the mount over the planting site. You can do this on the ground, wire basket or in a pot filled with soil (you will still not plant the fern).

Step 3

Set the staghorn fern on top of the mount. If you are dividing a larger staghorn fern, cut off a newer section of the plant, called a pup, with a clean knife. Pups look like small plants growing from the sides of the larger plant.

Step 4

Pack some additional wet sphagnum moss around the fern's base and set the plant in a partially shady location.

Step 5

Dip the mount in water once a week. Once "planted," the mount on which the staghorn fern grows should remain moist at all times.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood, bark or sphagnum moss
  • Water
  • Basket or pot (optional)
  • Twine (optional)


  • Texas A&M: Staghorn Fern
  • University of Florida Extension: Staghorn Ferns at a Glance
Keywords: transplant staghorn fern, planting staghorn fern, dividing staghorn fern

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.