Hanging a Staghorn Fern

Hanging a Staghorn Fern

Staghorn ferns are a typical epiphyte, which is a plant that anchors itself onto another plant or object for the sole purpose of support. Like other ferns, orchids, and bromeliads, many epiphytes are considered parasites that feed off of a host plant. But Epiphytes do not feed on their support plant; they merely grow in the organic matter which collects around stems, bark, or other suitable surfaces from falling leaves, dead insects and fallen flowers and fruits. Mounting staghorn ferns onto a suitable surface allows us to enjoy their tropical effect in our urban gardens.


  • Cedar frame, orchid basket, piece of driftwood or bark
  • Fishing line
  • Sphagnum moss
  • 4″ potted staghorn Fern


  • Scissors
  • Bucket of water

1. Soak sphagnum moss in bucket of water until it is saturated, then wring it out. Create a bed of damp sphagnum moss on the frame or mounting surface. Remove fern from pot, spread out roots and place fern on bed of moss (on the mounting surface). Pack area around fern with more damp sphagnum moss.
2. Cut several lengths of fishing line, each about 4 feet long. Wind line through frame and around fern in criss-cross pattern securing fern to the mount. For more unusually shaped mounting surfaces be creative with your lashing, securing the fern as well as possible to the mounting surface. Hang fern in bright location with indirect light. Water as needed.

The excerpt above is from a Cultivating Life with guest, Erin Frost. Cultivating Life with host Sean Coneway, explored how we’ve all moved out of our houses and into our backyards. Each week, the show celebrated how Americans are reconnecting to the land.