Garden DIY: Mounting a Staghorn Fern

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

It is easy to bring green into your home during these chilly months with an 8-step tutorial on how to mount a Staghorn Fern in your own space. This is a great replacement for art on your wall or an addition to a gallery wall. A staghorn fern is easy to care for and this easy DIY to mount a staghorn will be a breeze for any one looking to do it on their own.

Staghorn ferns are an easy house plant to have and they look gorgeous with their super long leaves. They feel modern and can work in nearly any space, or with any style. In just a short trip to the garden store you can pull off this gorgeous mounted plant for yourself or gift it to a friend as a house warming gift.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

All you will need is the following:
1 Staghorn Fern – If you cannot find one at your garden store, you can order one here
1 mounting board – We used a split log, but you could use any flat piece of wood. This is a great place to get creative and make it yours
1 a bag of Green Sheet Moss – if you do not find it at your store you can order some here
8 small nails
1 wall mounting device of your choice – this may depend on the surface you decide to mount on
4-5 feet of twine – found at most craft stores, but I use this twine stand and love it! 
Hammer and possibly a screw driver.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

First things first, you will want to set the hook that will attach to the wall. Whatever you decide to use is up to you and the mounting piece you decide on, but begin with placing that before anything else. Trying to do this after you secure the plant could be disastrous.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Next, find a round object that you can trace around for your guide for step three. We used a bowl that was about 5 inches wide in diameter.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Once, your circle is drawn grab your nails and equally hammer in the 8 small nails around the circle’s edge. If you have a bigger circle you will need more and if you have a smaller circle you will need less. This will secure the plant on the mount.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Before you place the plant, it is important to loosen and prune the roots some. This helps better absorb moisture in it’s new environment as well as adapt to the new surface it will call home. After pruning make sure to water the plant.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Once you have pruned the plant, place the fern in the middle of the circle of nails. We also took into account the direction of leaves, where the back hook was. By considering these details it will make the final presentation feel right. There is no wrong way, but sometimes one side of the plant will look better than another.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Now, grab the moss and pull apart a chunk, dampen it slightly and make sure to absorb any drippy moisture. Wrap the moss around the base of the plant to contain the dirt and roots of the fern.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Once fully wrapped, cut a long piece of twine and tie a knot on a nail. Criss-cross the twine over the base of the plant and wrap it around the tops of the nails with each cross. This will be the only security the plant and moss have so make sure to hit every nail and wrap around the heads well. We used a burlap twine as it had a natural feeling and blended well, but you could get really creative and use neon twine, baker’s twine in colors, or simply use fishing line. Choose whatever fits you and your style.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Once the plant is well secured you can now hang it. First, tested all three of our mounted plants before we hung them. We wanted to keep the concept of odds, a triangular shape, and lines of all the objects into account when doing this.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

It took us about 5-10 minutes per plant to create. Corey also wanted to hang his Orchid because Orchids are also an easily mounted plant. It came out very modern, clean, and natural.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

To keep your plant healthy, check the moss every so often to make sure the moss is moist. The dryer your home, the more often you will need to water it. Make sure to also place it in a brighter room to allow enough sunlight, however it should not have direct sunlight. When you do water them place them in a sink or shower and spray them to give them a rain-like experience. Then allow them to drip off the excess moisture. Once they are done dripping and not as damp you can replace them on the wall. I personally maintain my plants once a week in our home and it takes about 10 minutes on a Saturday to do.

Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

I hope y’all enjoy this and if you have any garden diy questions or things you would like to see us create, please leave a comment below. We love to help your ideas come to life and are very open to ideas.

If you do create this DIY, please share it with us in the comments section below or by @ mentioning @freshexchange on Instagram/Twitter. We would love to see how you create your own, bring it into your space, and answer any questions you have.


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    1. Well the awesome thing is that they are so easy to make and there are so many ways you can make them your own too! Check Amazon for some awesome deals on plants as well. I have found great deals on succulents clippings and air plants on there that are far cheaper than a lot of garden stores. 🙂

  1. Are there any additional considerations for mounting orchids? I have a few that would probably love to be mounted! Don’t most varieties grow in trees anyway?

  2. My grandma has had staghorn ferns in her house for as long as I can remember. They were always my favorite plants of hers because I got to feed them banana peels! And the orchid! Such a great idea (and would maybe help me not always kills them)

    1. Hi, found this article very useful. I only recently acquired a Stag’s horn fern and I’ve been meaning to mount it onto some wood. This article is very concise and the diagrams make it even easier to follow. Not many materials are needed too. Just everyday items people have around the house or are easily obtainable. Excellent article. Thank You very much.

  3. Hello I just found this tutorial thanks! I saw one at the store and hesitated to buy until I could do a little research on them. I think I will buy, hopefully no one has snatched it up!

  4. Great work! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared across
    the web. Shame on Google for now not positioning this publish higher!
    Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

  5. Fantastic instructions. I have a potted SF but wanted to mount it. I also bought 2 new ones & hope to mount them on Birch Tree logs or take Birch bark & cover a board first. After seeing your orchid mounted I may have to add them to the collection! Again, Thanks!!!!

  6. I always keep my SH on a trunk out side. Of course I live in Louisiana. I am going to mount about 5 of them for gifts. It is now too heavy to get it to the greenhouse!

    1. You can if you are in a moist climate .They need to be in the shade and not in direct sun all day. Think about where they would be in a forest and that is the kind of environment they need. So placing them on a porch that is covered is a great place.

  7. The hanging plants made of wood, Moss, nails and a beautiful plant is a great idea. I never knew how the plants held securely on the wall until I read this DIY tutorial. Thanks so much. Carolyn

  8. Lovely! This was very timely. I have just been given two Staghorns and I didn’t have a clue how to mount them. Thanks so much this was very helpful to me.

  9. LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! I have some old wooden shingles that I got while volunteering at the “Cradle Of Forestry” in western North Carolina, do you think these would work for the base? Can’ wait to get started!!! What a creative person you are, thanks for sharing!

  10. Since I make my own pottery I was wondering if this would work in a wall pocket made from clay ( glazed or unglazed?) I didn’t know if it needs to be exposed. I have several and am not fond of artificial greens.

    1. The ferns need to breathe around their roots so I would say if you can design something that will retain moisture for them like the wood does but they can still be attached to then you could definitely do that!

  11. I have had my staghorn fern in a container for years and have been looking for mounting instructions. Thanks! I had a patient who had a huge one outdoors. They brought it to Georgia from Florida. It was about 4 feet wide. I hope to grow one outdoors as well as indoors.

  12. Well done. I am from Melbourne Australia and suspect our climate is similar. I have been diviiding large stag ferns for a number of years, predominately using tree fern rounds for a backing, but this variation looks great. Will try shortly as I have another with about a dozen segments to mount..

  13. I have always loved these ferns (I love fern in general) and have had them for many years but cannot find them now. Where do you find them?

  14. mine has not done very well. Perhaps I have over watered it….leaving it in a bucket with 2/3 water over night. I’ve had it hanging under a stairwell, shady area and thought it would do well with a small breeze. The few long leaves it did have have dropped off……My question is: Did I kill it? or is it dorment? Appreciate any hints. Thank you, Peggy

  15. Thank you so much for this fantastic step by step. I’ve been looking for a post like this and so glad I found your site. I got two ferns around the holidays and they definitely need attention. The nail trick is genius. My mom had these when I was growing up and I had her “hand me down” fern in a basket form but had to leave it behind when I moved from the east coast.


  17. Hi there,
    I love the concept of the wall mounted plants but i am worried that the wood could become damp and ruin the wall behind it. What do you do to ensure this doesnt happen?
    Would you recommend a backing be put on the wood to keep it dry?

    Thank you

  18. Hi, was looking for info on mounting a fern. I have quite a laRge one but saw some wood plaques in Michaels that would work. Thought abOut using wire rather than string but see how it goes. Thanks for the Info though. Love the orchid too even without the flower it would look cooL.

  19. I love staghorn plants. we lived in fl. for over 30 yrs and had many, many on our many trees/house walls etc. When moving to N.GA (colder winters) we brought several with us and put them on our trees here along the drive…in winter, we take them down to our storage area under the house and stand them in 5 gal buckets so when they are lightly watered every 2-3 weeks, they drain off in the buckets…has worked well for around 10 years…some of these have been with us since 1982 when we retired to FL…most have been divided and new boards several times…little work for the joy we receive from them.

  20. Yes I live in Florida with this being said there is plenty of Moss in the trees down here, I was wondering if I could use that Moss or should I go buy some. Thank you so much!!!!

  21. This question is actually a concern from my husband. This will be the first mounted plant I have. He was wondering if we have to worry about the moisture ruining our wall that it is mounted on? Do You just shower over the actual plant and moss holding the board (or whatever wall mount) away from the water. I have two staghorn that I have had in hanging planters but would love to mount them. Thanks for any other tips you may have.

    1. You can do that. You could also mount it on some plastic backing to protect the wall as well. I have never had issues with it ruining the wall as we let it dry in the shower. You could also seal the wood it is on so moisture doesn’t get into the wood as well. A few different ways to avoid doing any damage.

      1. Read through all your comments, before I asked…but, I’m still a bit confused (Sorry!)…do you leave the mount on to water or do you take the plant off the mount to water the fern and then resecure it on the mount after? I’m hoping the plant can stay on the mounting because that seems like too much work to remove it every time. I have a huge Staghorn that is outgrowing its pot and thought this would be a great idea to let it flourish. Thanks!

  22. Wonderful post Megan.. Thanks so much for this. I always wondered how they mounted orchids on wood flats or logs with no strings/twines/lines winding around them and the base. i get it now.. Your Phalaenopsis looks really healthy.. thanks again and i will surely check the other posts 🙂

    1. You can place them in hanging glass terrariums and create green walls out of them. There are some systems you can purchase, but I haven’t personally used any of them. We do have a hanging terrarium which we purchased from the Zen Succulent.

  23. Hello, to put the orchids on a mount, do we use the same materials and follow the same steps. When in the yearis the best time to do this? Thank you for your help and advice. Debbie

  24. Can you use any type of wood? I have some mesquite and live oak that was cut down 10 years ago. I would like to hollow out a piece and use it. Would liquid Orchid food work for the fern? I would like one but want to do it right so it grows.

        1. You have to allow the plant to fully drain before placing on the wall. The wood should be fine since you soak it and then let it completely dry out. You could use cedar if you are concerned but we have not found any issue.

  25. Thank you so much for the directions on how to hang the Stanghorn. This is the only website that I found, that really explains in detail. Also, the fact you can hang an orchid. Great job!!!!!

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  27. This has got to be the coolest thing ever, im obcessed with this look 💗👍
    Thankyou for sharing!

    Do you have any ideas on how you can use these split logs as room dividers ?

  28. Hey there! Thanks so much for this! I unfortunately none of the links for the list of things needed, are working for me, tried different browzers but still nada. Do you mind emailing me links? thank you again! [email protected]

  29. Absolutely love this! I saw you have the orchid mounted too – do you have to prune and spread out the roots on the orchid before mounting as well?

  30. It’s beautiful!!! We one a Big one at the house, I was going to change into a bigger place but now i’m thinking i’ll keep some babies with this technique. Thanks for the inspiration ^^

  31. So very helpful I was amazed how easy you made it, thanking you very much another PROcrastination fulfilled thanks again