Few things can bring such a tropical paradise and bohemian vibe to a room than a Staghorn fern, one of my favorite, favorite plants!
Not to mention it is so easy to care for, and easy to propagate – a skill you will need. When friends see how gorgeous your Staghorn fern looks, they are going to want one!
Today I will share with you two ways to grow Staghorn Ferns, and how to care and propagate them.
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.
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.
1 . some scrap wood to build a mounting base, we used some pallet scrap from our pallet patio remodel which you can see here!
2. growing medium: coco coir fiber
3. for mounting: clear fishing line
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
Secure the fern by tying clear fishing lines around the plates and the wood slats.
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. 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.
Another great way to grow Staghorn Fern is 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.
I 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:
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
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 my favorite indoor plants easily in water!
Happy gardening! =)