How to Mount a Staghorn Fern to Hang on Your Wall

Wall-mounted staghorn ferns are a beautiful way to add greenery to a room, but they can be rather expensive. I wasn’t about to pay a pretty penny for one when I knew I could mount a staghorn fern myself. Though I was a bit intimidated at first, it was actually not difficult at all, and I love how it turned out. A group of three or four mounted ferns would make a great living gallery wall, wouldn’t it?

Make your own vertical garden by mounting and hanging a staghorn fern

If you’re wondering how to care for a mounted staghorn fern, I’ve got advice on that, too.
Make your own vertical garden by mounting and hanging a staghorn fern

The hardest part of this project might be finding a potted staghorn fern. I found mine at local shop Solabee, but if you can’t find any locally, it looks like this seller has good reviews.

Make your own vertical garden by mounting and hanging a staghorn fern

How to Mount a Staghorn Fern to Hang on Your Wall

Materials

Potted staghorn fern – I used one in a 4″-wide pot. This seller has good reviews and a reasonable price.
Wood board – Cedar is a good choice because it’s rot-resistant.
Rope or wire for hanging – I used synthetic rope, so I didn’t have to worry about it rotting or rusting.
Screws – I used 1 1/4″ coated deck screws.
Sheet moss
Clear fishing wire
Optional:
Plastic netting – I used a plastic net bag that avocados came in, which I chose mainly because it was green.

Tools

Saw
Drill/screwdriver
Drill bit
Pencil
Measuring tape
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden

Steps

1. Cut your wood into a square. I used a scrap of a 7 1/4″-wide board I had left over from a 1″ x 8″. You probably don’t want to use a piece of wood any smaller than this for a fern in a 4″ pot. Drill a hole or two in the board for hanging by rope or wire. To accommodate my rather thick rope, I drilled two holes with a 3/16″ drill bit. If you’re using thinner rope, or wire, you can drill smaller holes. You could also add one of those sawtooth picture-hanger hooks to the back of your wood, and skip the holes and rope altogether. Just be sure to add it before you mount the fern!
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
2. Gently remove the fern from its pot. Set it aside, and place the pot facedown on the board. Center it, and trace around it with a pencil.
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
3. Attach screws around the perimeter of the circle, leaving them sticking out about half an inch. Since the board will need to be submerged to water the fern, and I already had these coated deck screws, I used these screws to guard against rust. You could also use stainless steel screws or even small nails.
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
4. Take the fern you removed from the pot and gently brush off soil from the bottom of the roots, until you’re left with just an inch or two thickness of roots and soil. Wrap it in the netting, and place it on the board surrounded by the screws. Tuck the netting around the screws. The netting is optional, and you could skip it entirely, or substitute something like tulle fabric, or netting from other produce. It just adds a little extra security.
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
5. Wrap sheet moss around the fern’s soil and the netting, being careful not to cover any of the fronds or the brown shield at the center. Tie a length of clear fishing line to one of the screws, and secure the fern and moss by wrapping the fishing line back and forth between screws.

Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden

When the fern and moss are secured, tie the fishing line in a knot around one of the screws. If any of the screws are visible, tuck a bit more moss around them to hide them.
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
6. Add a piece of rope or wire for hanging. You’ll need to submerge the whole board in water to water the fern, so you won’t want to use natural rope that could rot over time. I used a length of synthetic rope.
Learn how to mount a staghorn fern and start your own indoor vertical garden
7. Hang your fern up in a spot where it will get lots of bright, indirect light, and plenty of humidity. You’ll want to put it someplace where you’ll be able to take it down to water it once every week or two. A bright, steamy bathroom is a great choice. (That’s where mine is headed.)
Make your own vertical garden by mounting and hanging a staghorn fern

Staghorn Fern Care

Light:

Staghorn ferns need to be in bright, diffuse light, with NO direct sunlight.

Water:

To water the fern, submerge it in room-temperature water until the plant is fully saturated, about 10-20 minutes. Let the plant drip dry before re-hanging. Water every one to two weeks, but allow it to dry out between waterings. If possible, keep your fern in a humid location. Otherwise, you can mist the fronds regularly to help keep the plant happy.

 
If you want to know more about caring for wall-mounted staghorn ferns, Pistils Nursery has a really informative blog post on staghorn fern care, anatomy, and potential problems.

2 thoughts on “How to Mount a Staghorn Fern to Hang on Your Wall

  1. Thanks for the great tutorial! I’ve been seeing these everywhere lately and wondering how they mounted them without it looking obvious.

    I wish I had windows in my bathrooms; the dry air in my house is killing my birds nest fern. Maybe next house 😉

    Anyways, great post!

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