How to Mount a Staghorn Fern in a Basket: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Mount a Staghorn Fern in a Basket: Step-by-Step Guide

Did you know that mounting a staghorn fern in a basket can create a stunning botanical display in your home? This unique foliar method not only adds a touch of greenery with plants but also serves as a captivating focal point. If you're looking to elevate your indoor gardening game, learning how to mount a staghorn fern in a basket is the way to go.

Whether you're a seasoned plant enthusiast or just starting your green journey, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to master this creative planting technique. Get ready to transform your living space into a lush oasis with this innovative approach to showcasing your staghorn ferns and other plants in wooden baskets.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the Right Materials: Select a sturdy basket with good drainage and appropriate size for your staghorn fern.
  • Prepare Your Staghorn Fern: Trim dead fronds and soak the plant to hydrate before mounting it in the basket.
  • Follow Basket Mounting Basics: Use a suitable mounting board or wire mesh to attach the fern securely to the basket.
  • Secure the Fern Properly: Ensure the fern is firmly attached to prevent movement and damage.
  • Potting in Baskets: Use a well-draining potting mix and water thoroughly to keep the fern healthy in its basket.
  • Care and Maintenance: Regularly mist, water, and fertilize your mounted staghorn fern to promote growth and prevent issues.

Choosing Materials

Selecting Fern

Select a healthy staghorn fern with vibrant green fronds to ensure vitality and growth. Look for well-developed shield fronds and fertile fronds, indicating a mature plant ready for mounting. Ensure the fern shows no signs of pests or diseases, safeguarding its health.

Best Mounting Board

Opt for a sturdy mounting board capable of supporting the weight of the fern once mounted. Consider using materials like cedar or redwood for their weather-resistant properties, ensuring longevity in outdoor settings. The board should be larger than the fern's root ball to provide stability and ample support.

Moss Addition

Use high-quality sphagnum moss to line the wire basket, promoting moisture retention essential for the fern's growth. Soak the moss in water until fully hydrated before adding it to the basket, ensuring optimal moisture levels within the environment. Distribute the moss evenly around the basket to maintain consistent moisture levels conducive to healthy growth.

Preparing Staghorn Fern

Cleaning Roots

Gently remove old potting mix and debris from the staghorn fern's roots to ensure a clean environment. Trim any dead or damaged roots carefully to support healthy growth without harming the vital ones. This process is crucial for the plant's overall well-being.

Trimming Dead Leaves

Trim off any yellow or brown fronds on the staghorn fern to stimulate fresh growth effectively. Cutting close to the base of the frond helps maintain the plant's aesthetic appeal and health. Regularly inspecting and promptly trimming dead leaves contribute to the fern's vitality.

Soaking Moss

k sphagnum moss in water until it's thoroughly moistened, ensuring optimal conditions for your staghorn fern. Squeeze out excess water from the moss to prevent waterlogging issues in the basket. Regularly monitor the moisture level of the moss to provide a suitable environment for your plant.

Basket Mounting Basics

Wire Basket Selection

  • Choose a wire basket with ample drainage holes to prevent water accumulation.
  • Opt for a basket size that accommodates the fern's root system and allows for growth.
  • Ensure the wire basket is sturdy and durable to support the weight of the fern.

Attaching to Wood

Proper Technique

  • Secure the fern to the wire basket using twist ties or fishing line.
  • Position the fern securely in the center of the basket to prevent shifting.
  • Check the stability of the fern in the basket before hanging it up.

Directional Mounting

  • Mount the fern in the basket with the shield fronds facing outward.
  • Ensure the fertile fronds are positioned towards the center of the basket for growth.
  • Orient the fern in a way that mimics its natural growth pattern on trees.

When mounting a staghorn fern in a wire basket, selecting an appropriate container is crucial. A wire basket with sufficient drainage holes prevents waterlogging, promoting healthy root growth. Choosing a spacious basket allows room for root expansion and overall plant development. It's essential to opt for a sturdy wire basket capable of supporting the weight of the fern as it grows.

To attach your staghorn fern securely, utilize twist ties or fishing line. These materials provide reliable support, preventing any movement within the basket. Placing the fern at the center ensures stability and minimizes shifting once hung up. Before suspending your creation, always double-check that your fern is firmly positioned and secure within its new home.

When mounting your staghorn fern, consider the orientation within the wire basket. Positioning shield fronds outward not only enhances aesthetics but also aids in proper growth patterns. Placing fertile fronds towards the center encourages healthy development. By mimicking its natural habitat on trees, you create an environment conducive to your staghorn fern's flourishing.

Securing the Fern

Layering Moss

Create a thick layer of moistened sphagnum moss at the bottom of the wire basket. Add additional layers of moss around the sides to provide support. Ensure even distribution for consistent moisture levels.

Tying Securely

Use twine or fishing line to secure the fern in place within the basket. Tie it gently but securely to avoid damaging the delicate fronds. Check for stability before hanging.

Wall Support

When mounting the basket on a wall, ensure it is secured with strong hooks or brackets. Consider the weight of the fern and basket when selecting mounting hardware. Regularly check for any signs of instability.

The previous section discussed "Basket Mounting Basics," emphasizing the importance of choosing a suitable container and preparing it correctly for mounting your staghorn fern. Now, as you progress to securing the fern in place, focus on creating a stable environment that promotes healthy growth.

Potting in Baskets

Soil vs. No Soil

When it comes to potting staghorn ferns in baskets, you have the option of using soil or going soilless. Using soil can provide additional nutrients for the plant, but it may increase the weight of the basket. On the other hand, going soilless can reduce the weight and create a more visually appealing display.

Consider opting for a soil mix that is well-draining and rich in organic matter if you choose to use soil. This will ensure proper aeration for the roots and prevent waterlogging, which can be detrimental to staghorn ferns. Alternatively, if you decide to go soilless, consider using materials like sphagnum moss or coco coir as a substitute.

Basket Preparation

Before potting your staghorn fern in a basket, it is essential to prepare the basket properly. Start by selecting a basket with sufficient drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. Line the basket with a natural liner, such as sphagnum moss or coconut fiber, to help retain moisture and provide additional support for the plant.

To further enhance the aesthetics of your mounted staghorn fern, consider adding decorative elements such as wood chips or pebbles on top of the soil or soilless mix. This not only adds visual interest but also helps in retaining moisture around the roots of the plant.

Caring for Mounted Ferns

Watering Techniques

To ensure the health of your mounted fern, water it regularly by misting or soaking. Avoid overwatering.

Keep the fern's root ball damp but not soggy, allowing it to dry slightly between watering sessions.

Consider the environmental conditions in your home when determining the watering frequency for your mounted fern.

Light Requirements

Position your staghorn fern in a spot with bright, indirect light to thrive. Direct sunlight can scorch its delicate fronds.

Monitor the light exposure throughout the day to ensure consistent lighting levels for optimal growth.

If you notice yellowing leaves, adjust the fern's placement to receive more or less light accordingly.

Temperature and Humidity

Maintain a consistent room temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C) for your mounted staghorn fern.

Ensure that the environment is kept humid by misting the plant regularly or using a humidifier nearby.

Avoid placing the fern near drafts or heating vents as extreme temperature fluctuations can harm its growth.

Growth and Maintenance

Identifying Growth Signs

Staghorn ferns grow in a unique manner, exhibiting distinct signs of growth. Look for new fronds emerging from the basal area of the plant. These fresh fronds start as small, fuzzy brown bumps that gradually unfurl into large, vibrant green leaves.

Keep an eye out for the shield frond, which is a flat, round structure at the base of the plant. This part protects the fern's roots and aids in its overall health. Observe any changes in color or texture of the existing fronds to gauge the plant's well-being.

Fertilizing Tips

To ensure optimal growth and health, provide your staghorn fern with appropriate fertilization. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength to prevent over-fertilization. Apply this solution to the plant's root ball every two to three weeks during the growing season.

Consider using a specialized fern fertilizer that contains essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This will support robust growth and vibrant foliage. Remember not to fertilize during the winter months when the plant is dormant to avoid stressing it unnecessarily.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Yellowing Leaves

Staghorn ferns may develop yellowing leaves due to overwatering, inadequate light, or nutrient deficiencies. To address this issue, ensure the plant is receiving indirect sunlight and water only when the top layer of soil is dry. Consider feeding the fern with a balanced fertilizer to replenish any lacking nutrients.

In some cases, yellowing leaves could also indicate root rot caused by excessive moisture. If this is the case, carefully inspect the roots for any signs of decay and consider repotting the fern in fresh, well-draining soil. Trimming off any yellow or brown fronds can help redirect the plant's energy towards healthier growth.

Pests and Diseases

Common pests that affect staghorn ferns include aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites. To combat these pests, gently wash the plant with a mild soap solution or neem oil spray. Regularly inspect both sides of the fronds for any signs of infestation and promptly treat affected areas to prevent further spread.

Fungal diseases such as root rot can pose a threat to staghorn ferns if they are exposed to prolonged damp conditions. To prevent fungal infections, ensure proper air circulation around the plant and avoid overwatering. If you notice any signs of disease, promptly remove affected areas and adjust your watering routine accordingly.

Advanced Tips

Remounting Techniques

When remounting a staghorn fern, try to choose a basket that is slightly larger than the current one. This allows room for growth. Carefully remove the fern from its current mount by gently loosening the roots. Position the fern in the new basket, ensuring that the root ball is centered. Secure it in place with sphagnum moss or a suitable mounting material.

To ensure successful remounting, it's crucial to water the fern thoroughly after the process. Monitor the plant closely in the following weeks to ensure it adapts well to its new environment. Top up the basket with fresh soil if needed and provide adequate light and humidity for optimal growth.

Encouraging Large Growth

To promote large growth in your staghorn fern, consider providing a nutrient-rich environment. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength every two to four weeks during the growing season. Ensure that the fern receives adequate indirect sunlight and maintain consistent moisture levels in the soil.

Another technique to encourage large growth is regular pruning of dead fronds. Trim any brown or dried-out fronds close to the base of the plant using sharp scissors or pruning shears. This not only improves the appearance of the fern but also redirects energy towards new growth.

Consider rotating your staghorn fern periodically to ensure even exposure to light on all sides. This helps prevent lopsided growth and promotes a fuller, more symmetrical appearance.


In summary, mounting a staghorn fern in a basket involves choosing the right materials, preparing the fern correctly, understanding the basics of basket mounting, securely fixing the fern in place, potting it appropriately, and ensuring its care, growth, and maintenance. Troubleshooting common issues and following advanced tips will help you master this unique gardening technique. By following these steps diligently, you can create a stunning display of nature in your living space while providing optimal conditions for your staghorn fern to thrive. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and bring some greenery into your home!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right materials for mounting a staghorn fern in a basket?

Select a sturdy wire or wooden basket with ample depth and ventilation. Opt for sphagnum moss, coconut coir, or a mixture of both as the mounting medium. Ensure the basket has proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Can I mount a staghorn fern directly onto a wooden basket without using moss or coir?

Yes, you can mount the staghorn fern directly onto a wooden basket without any additional medium. The fern's roots will attach themselves to the wooden surface over time. Ensure the basket is securely fastened to prevent it from falling.

How should I secure the staghorn fern to the basket?

Use fishing line, twine, or plant-safe wire to secure the staghorn fern to the basket. Gently wrap the material around the fern and attach it to the sides of the basket. Avoid tying too tightly to allow room for growth and expansion.

What are some essential care tips for maintaining a mounted staghorn fern in a basket?

  • Provide indirect light and moderate humidity.
  • Water by soaking once a week.
  • Fertilize monthly with diluted liquid fertilizer.
  • Monitor for pests like scale insects.
  • Rotate the basket periodically for even growth.

Is it normal for my mounted staghorn fern to develop brown tips on its fronds?

Brown tips on staghorn fern fronds can indicate underwatering or low humidity levels. Increase humidity by misting regularly or placing a humidifier nearby. Ensure consistent watering without letting the root ball dry out completely between waterings.

Image Source: Paid image from CANVA

Related Posts

Why Are My Ferns Turning Yellow? Tips for Healthy Indoor Plants

Why Are My Ferns Turning Yellow? Tips for Healthy Indoor Plants

Yellowing fronds on your ferns is a common houseplant woe, but it's rarely a cause for panic due to ...
Ferns Plants Outdoor: Best for Your Garden & Landscape

Ferns Plants Outdoor: Best for Your Garden & Landscape

Looking for beautiful ferns plants for your outdoor space? You're in the right place! We'll guide yo...
Can You Eat Fiddlehead Ferns: Safety, Cleaning, and Cooking

Can You Eat Fiddlehead Ferns: Safety, Cleaning, and Cooking

Can you eat fiddlehead ferns? Absolutely! If you're curious about incorporating these unique ferns i...
What Do Ferns Symbolize: Spiritual Connection & Life Lessons

What Do Ferns Symbolize: Spiritual Connection & Life Lessons

Welcome to the fascinating world of ferns! These ancient plants, with their intricate leaves and uni...