Stag Horns on the Wall

by | Aug 14, 2015 | 10 comments

I have found myself with 4 small stag horn ferns (Platycerium bifurcatum) left over from my old job. I’ve been wanting to mount them on wood for the walls in the sun room and decided today was the day.

I found this piece of driftwood on the Lake Michigan shoreline last year on my husband’s and my anniversary trip to the west side of the state. I planned on using it for just this purpose, and finally got around to it. (A note to the wise: if you find driftwood from the ocean, please consider the fact that it will have salt water in it. I would think that would be bad for the plant. If you have used driftwood and have found it to work fine, or not, please leave a comment.)

A piece of driftwood from Lake Michigan

A piece of driftwood from Lake Michigan

I gathered my supplies which included long fibered sphagnum moss (not Spanish moss), fishing line, a hook for hanging for the back and my wood pieces. I had a piece of wood that had a fern on it before, but was forgotten and left outside to freeze (bummer). The other piece of wood is a piece of barn wood a friend gave me and the last one is a fence post from my childhood home. (I grew up in mid-Michigan in the country.) I don’t mind if they don’t match.

I used sphagnum moss to pack around the plant after I removed it from its pot and put it on the board. Make sure to soak the moss before you use it. It is much easier to handle when it is moistened first.  I attached the fishing line around a screw/nail and wrapped it tightly over the moss and fern to assure it made good contact with the board.

I decided that I would add some Rhipsalis with the fern on the piece of barn wood. The board is very long, so I have plenty of room. The fern and Rhipsalis are both epiphytes and so I’m sure they will do well together.

This whole process wasn’t hard at all and really was quick to do, and enjoyable. Of course, I love doing anything with houseplants.  I finished them, brought them into my sun room and decided where to hang them. I have always been wary of hanging things on a brick wall. Yet, after visiting the hardware store  and talking to an employee, I found it is easy, much to my husband’s dismay. I’m hanging things everywhere. The key is to get the right size masonry bit that will match the screws you are using. Drill a hole in the masonry and then the screw goes in with no problem. Easy as pie! (I make a great apple pie, too.)


And finally, here are the ferns hanging in the sun room. I love them!

Note: I had some Living Trend magnets (I wrote about that here.) and decided to hang them with the ferns. I used a Dollar Store cookie tray, painted it with Rustoleum paint and hung it on the wall. I love it!

Right now, they are well watered. I will check them in a few days, as the sun room is very hot at this time of year. If they were hanging outside, I would just water them when I watered my annual pots, but these are staying inside. I imagine they will need a good soaking at least once a week, but I will be checking them often.

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  1. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    I really like how this looks! How long will the ferns last on the board do you think? Will it need any other care other than a weekly watering?


      Hi Tanya, I’m not sure how long they will last on the board. I hope a very long time. If they get too big I can always cut plants off.

  2. Patti

    This turned out great. Now I want one!! Thanks for the inspiration!


      Thanks, Patti! It’s easy! You can make one.

  3. tom

    Is it upside down… ??

    • Mona

      I had a huge staghorn I grew from a pup which I found while hiking. It took over the basket, the added chicken wire until it became 200 lbd. I finally donated it to our Melbourne, fl zoo. I saved a pup again to start over. I just use spagnum moss under the pup attached to a piece of scrap board. Our new house has siding. Instead of attaching through the siding I’m going to try a metal gate leaning up against the house. If it takes over that I donate again.

      • Lisa Steinkopf

        I often donate plants that are too big to my local botanical garden. But 200lbs?! Wow! I would like to see one that big!

  4. Darcy

    What did I miss? What is around the root ball facing out? Is that another piece of wood that holds the root ball along with the wire to the board? Beautiful by the way

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Darcy,
      If you are talking about the brown papery looking things? If so, those are the basal fronds of the plant and what eventually will hold the plant on to the board. The wire or fish line is just to hold the plant to the board until it clings on by itself. There isn’t another piece of wood. It is held on by the fish line.



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