How to Grow Staghorn Fern Balls


Staghorn ferns are an interesting and unique plant for a warm climate garden, houseplant or greenhouse plant. Eventually, a properly planted fern will spread and form a large ball, completely obscuring the basket. Baskets can be hung from trees or patio eaves. Staghorn fern can be grown outdoors during the warm months in cool climates and year-round where it stays above 25 degrees.

Step 1

Place a layer of sphagnum moss about 2 or 3 inches thick in the bottom of the wire basket.

Step 2

Remove the juvenile staghorn ferns from their nursery pots they came in and knock the excess soil from the root balls. Leave as much of the roots intact as possible.

Step 3

Place three of the staghorn ferns around the bottom of the basket turned almost completely upside down so that the fronds hang out of the bottom sides through the wire and the root ball sits on top of the layer of sphagnum moss inside. Make sure that the sterile shield fronds are on the outside of the wire. Fill the basket with sphagnum moss.

Step 4

Make a depression in the moss in the top of the basket enough to plant the fourth fern upright and gently pack the moss around the roots. Add more moss so it is packed tightly and the ferns hold in place.

Step 5

Water thoroughly and let the plant drip dry.

Tips and Warnings

  • After planting do not let the moss dry out for several weeks until the plant shows signs of new growth. Keep it damp but not dripping wet.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-inch hanging wire basket
  • Sphagnum moss (wet)
  • 4 juvenile staghorn ferns
  • Fishing line


  • Walter Andersen Nurseries: Platycerium Staghorn/Moosehorn Fern
  • How to Mount Staghorn Ferns and Other Epiphytic Ferns

Who Can Help

  • The Platycerium Site by Louwrens Opperman & Roy Vail
Keywords: platycerium bifurcatum, staghorn fern mounting, hanging staghorn fern

About this Author

Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.