How to Grow, Mount and Propagate Staghorn Fern

How to propagate & grow Staghorn fern mounted on wood plank or in soil! Such an easy care beautiful indoor plant & unique living wall decor!

Few things can bring such a tropical paradise and bohemian vibe to a room than a Staghorn fern. It’s one of my favorite indoor garden plants!

Not to mention Staghorn fern is one of the most beautiful & unique houseplants that are so easy to care for and propagate! I bet when friends see how gorgeous your Staghorn fern looks, they are going to want one! πŸ™‚


Today I will share with you two ways to grow Staghorn Ferns, and how to care and propagate them.

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Staghorn ferns (Platyceriums ) got their names because of the dramatic fronds shaped like animal horns. They are epiphytes, which means they grow harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree) and derives moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and debris accumulating around it.

All we need to do is to mimic their natural habitat, and they will happily settle into our homes.

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How to mount Staghorn Fern on wooden planks.

One of the most popular ways to grow Staghorn Fern is to mount it on wood planks with a growing medium such as peat moss. The mounted Staghorn ferns become such unique and beautiful living wall art!

Materials to mount Staghorn Fern:

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Build the mounting panels by cutting the wood into 18″ long slats, painting them and attaching them to two horizontal 1x4s as braces on the back side with wood screws.

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Tie some wire or fishing lines to the screws for hanging.

Mature plants in a tropical climate can reach a majestic 200 pounds. But no worries, our little plant will take a very long time to get there.

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Make our built-in-reservoir by cutting of the bottom off the water bottle, and poke some holes on the cap and on the sides all the way to the top. Leave the cap screwed on tightly. This will allow the water to seep through all the holes slowly.

It’s also used in our yummy strawberry tower which you can check out here.

DIY Strawberry Tower with reservoir! | A Piece Of Rainbow Blog
Soak the peat moss or coco coir fiber for at least 1 hour.

Wrap the moss or coir around the bottle’s sides and bottom, and secure with clear fishing lines.

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Secure the fern by tying  clear fishing lines around the plates and the wood slats.

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Press on the plate so that the Staghorn fern plate and peat moss / coco coir are making good contact.

Hang them in a bright spot, some morning or late afternoon sun is fine. Water once a week in cool weather, and twice a week when it’s hot.

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To water, simply place them standing in a sink and pour water into the “reservoir”, wait and repeat a few times till the growing medium is fully hydrated. Wipe the frames dry and hang them back on the wall.

Build a stunning tropical outdoor room with pallets- A Renters Remodel! | A Piece Of Rainbow

Another DIY living wall we made with pallets! Check out the tutorial here!

How to grow Staghorn Fern in soil.

This method requires less maintenance, especially when a Staghorn Fern gets bigger, because the soil can stay moist for much longer than the peat moss.

Create a soil mound in a planter or basket, place the Staghorn on top. Don’t bury the plate, but press it so that the Staghorn fern sits securely on top of the soil. After a few week, roots will extend into the soil.

In the photo above, you can see our Staghorn fern growing in soil, among our other favorite indoor plants listed here! We only need to water our Staghorn Fern in soil once a week in summer and once every two weeks in winter!

Staghorn Fern Care Tips:

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Staghorn Fern loves bright shade and dappled morning sunlight. Keep soil moist but not soggy. Fertilize once a month during warm growing season with a house plant fertilizer or compost tea diluted to 50% of recommended strength.

It will be extra happy if you bring them out on a mild or warm rainy day to get a nice bath like in the tropical rain forest!

Staghorn Fern Propagation

Although Staghorn Ferns can be grown from spores ( like seeds), it takes a very long time.

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My favorite and the easiest way to propagate Staghorn Ferns is to gently remove small offshoots of the main plant and plant it in soil or attach it to a new mount.

You may also like: How to grow some of our favorite indoor plants easily in water!

Happy growing! See you soon! πŸ™‚


  1. Great advice although I’m curious about a couple of things.
    Firstly, do you poke holes in the actual cap and if so would that encourage water to drip from the bottom and possibly pool on the surface underneath?
    Secondly, what would the chances of mould and or mildew on the wall be after mounting it?

    • hi Jackie! no holes on cap, just on the sides. if the wood is painted and has air flow between slats, there shouldn’t be mildew. i do appreciate your questions, and i think adding something like a sheet of plastic between the wood and the moss could also be helpful! πŸ™‚

  2. Hi
    Wrong information the plants you are showing here are Elkhorns Platycerium bifurcatum not
    Staghorns Platycerium grande although the same family they are different plants with totally different ways. Of propagation
    Please give correct information

  3. I feed my staghorn banana peels something my grandma told me to do .Why do they like it so much is it the potassium? Mine is huge.

  4. I’ve recently rehung my staghorn after it became too heavy for it’s board. The one thing I had to check was whether it could be put against painted or varnished timber. I found many answers which said it had to be untreated or painted wood. Your two pics showing them against a blue & yellow board must be just for the photo, I presume.

    • hi Louise, i used acrylic paint, which is non-toxic, and dries like plastic. i don’t think it had any negative effects on the plants. πŸ™‚

  5. I live in Florida. I have a staghorn that froze with this last cold spell even though I covered it. It was 4ft across and beautiful. What can I do to revive it. I thought of dividing it and mounting it. It has numerous shoots. Any suggestions

    • hi Janet! if your staghorn fern has numerous shoots, i would leave it and let it grow a bit. once new shoots grow bigger, you can decide if it looks better divided or not. good luck! πŸ™‚

    • hi Denise! the moss is to hide the bottle and more importantly to hold moisture for the fern roots. πŸ™‚ not sure if i wrote “plate” or maybe “plaque” ?

    • I like staghorns. I prefer to growing them in hanging baskets. Some of my older baskets are so huge. I live in Chalmette, Louisiana. I’m sending you pictures of my babies.

  6. The above photos are usually called Elkhorns. [Platycerium bifurcatum]
    Platycerium superbum is generally known as Staghorn [in Australia]. Very spectacular!

  7. Love this and have been wanting one of these for a while, now really just need to see if they are actually sold anywhere near me, hmmm. I have a really fun linky party with contributors from around the world, and would love to have you join the fun, the party is open now, hope to see you there!

  8. I have loved Staghorn Ferns since I first saw them on an episode of Martha Stewart long ago. I would love to try to grow these. Now that I know how to mount them and keep them watered, I just might try! Your patio looks so inviting!

  9. Your staghorn fern project looks so stunning Ananda…wow! I love, love, love the tropical pics. You are a creative genius. Thank you for sharing. xx

  10. That is awesome.. i love how it is self watering! I’ve only seen staghorn ferns in nurseries.. never ‘in the wild’ but having one in my own house would definitely add a little slice of paradise!

  11. Wow, this is timely! I have a staghorn fern on the side of my house I’ve been nursing to keep alive. My biggest challenge is how to keep it hydrated if I move it away from the sprinkler. Love this colorful idea! Thanks so much for sharing it in this months Power Tool Challenge!

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