The Fresh Exchange Blog

Garden DIY: Mounting a Staghorn Fern


Garden DIY: Mounting A Staghorn Fern | The Fresh Exchange

Last Summer we began chatting about the garden and many of you shared that you loved the posts, but lived in a space where a large garden was not possible. We will bring the 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.

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.



Leave a comment

  1. This is so cool! I love bringing the outside indoors. Thanks for sharing! Xo, Katie

  2. This is fantastic! I have been wanting to know how to do this.
    Thank you!

  3. Love this Meggo, come visit and show me how 🙂

  4. I really love this! Seems simple enough. Definitely going to try it out. Thank you!

  5. These are so great! I love how your site and tutorial are clean and simple. So nice to follow.

  6. Awesome idea!! Love it from head to toe:-)

  7. I love Staghorn ferns, and I’ve been meaning to mount one recently! I also love your mounted orchid… They all look so good mounted with each other!

  8. Love this! My sister and I are all about houseplants these days and this brings it to a new level!

  9. 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. 🙂

  10. Ben

    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?

  11. These look fantastic ! Great way to bring some green inside ! 🙂 x

  12. 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)

  13. This is really cool, thanks so much!!!

  14. Love!!! Great post!

  15. Megaaaaaaan! Night and day you are the one!

  16. Holy cow! I’ve been wanting one forever. Thanks! This will be my new weekend project! 🙂

  17. Very cool! Great directions and it looks fantastic! I would love to link to your directions if you didn’t mind.

  18. I love this plant idea, thanks Alicia for the instructions,this is my next project for spring

  19. […] Yearning to bring a little greenery into your life? Check out The Fresh Exchange’s Wall-mounted Staghorn Fern Tutorial. […]

  20. 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!

  21. […] Garden von RadMegan, 4. Hanging Garden von HomeMade Modern, 5. Mounting A Staghorn Fern von The Fresh Exchange, 6. Gold Leaf Vase von Say Yes, 7. Initial Letter Planters von Henry Happened, 8. Copper Tabletop […]

  22. 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 =)

  23. This is great. I love plants anywhere in my house. Really great idea

  24. 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!!!!

  25. Nice I bought one in Florida, I can’t wait to do this when I get home.

  26. LOVE your idea regarding mounting the orchid like the staghorn fern!! If you ever get to Wasilla, Alaska… please look me up… would love you to help redo my real estate office.
    Jules w/North Star Realty

  27. 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!

  28. Excellent instructions. Clean, bright presentation. Never thought to mount my phalaenopsis this way – looks gorgeous – thank you.

  29. I love the look of Stag Horn Fern’s! Can I put them outside in the summer? I am for sure going to try this

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. Thank you for the step by step guide.. I”ve been wanting to hang mine.. you just gave me the courage.

  33. I have always wanted to do this, but never knew how! Thank you! I have the perfect place for it! It looks very easy, something I can manage!

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. Kim

    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.

  37. I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.

  38. 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..

  39. 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!

  40. Yes I think they would work! Thank you and so glad you loved the tutorial.

  41. 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.

  42. thanks, I have one mounted and it is doing well. Loves a piece of banana skin for the potasium tucked in behind the plant.

  43. Liz Timar

    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?

  44. I’ve always wanted a staghorn fern! Thanks for the great instructions. I saw this on Pinterest.

  45. I love this, thanks for the DIY tips!

  46. What an awesome idea! I want to make these.

  47. I just had a huge fern fall from my tree and I am going to cut out the pups and try this. I never had one indoors before. Do you mist them? Outside they get rained on.

  48. […] The Fresh Exchange […]

  49. […] 7. Mount a Staghorn FernHow-to by The Fresh Exchange […]

  50. […] idea of adding a Staghorn Fern to a gallery wall like Megan Gilger points out in this step-by-step DIY project for mounting a Staghorn […]

  51. […] make you laugh, and the texture they add is something the pros rave about. You can buy a plant and DIY the mounting, or you can buy one […]

  52. […] make you laugh, and the texture they add is something the pros rave about. You can buy a plant and DIY the mounting, or you can buy one […]

  53. Thank’s for this !!!

  54. I love this idea, thanks so much. I’m going to try this with my orchids and see if I can get a staghorn fern.

  55. […] Image via The Fresh Exchange […]

  56. I was given a fern, seems like not a young plant. The lady told me to fill the plant with banana peels. Do you know anything about that?

  57. Peggy

    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

  58. Beautiful. A lot of the other webites make this PROCESS look INCREDIBLY difficult. Thank you for showing an easier method.

  59. jecjec laurente


  60. First, don’t shout at your plants. Then take them down off the wall and soak them in water, or myst them.

  61. 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.

  62. MEL


  63. […] Seems simple enough. Definitely going to try it out. They all look so good mounted with each other! See full article here. GARDEN PLANTER & BIRDS BATH Brilliant! Not only is this such a cute idea, I love the hit of […]

  64. […] How to mount a staghorn fern.  […]

  65. […] Tutorial via […]

  66. Shannon

    How often to you fertilize and what type of fertilize do you like to use? Thanks Shannon

  67. I haven’t fertilized mine and it seems fine I am sure you could use a spray on fertilizer 3-4 months when you water it.

  68. now that’s a really cool idea, time to put my man to work! haha <3

  69. […] Image // The Fresh Exchange Blog […]

  70. […] Green up your working space with staghorns. via The Fresh Exchange […]

  71. […] How to mount a staghorn fern via The Fresh Exchange. […]

  72. Maria


  73. Victoria

    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

  74. […] who like to surround themselves with nature 24/7 definitely should try this Mounted Stag-Horn Fern for a change. You can make it at anytime of the day and it only takes maximum 25 to 30 minutes. […]

  75. Lynn

    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.

  76. […] Staghorn ferns look best when mounted on the wall as feature pieces (as pictured). There are two types of staghorn fronds (a.k.a. fern leaves) – fertile and sterile. The decorative types have fertile fronds that are forked, resembling deer antlers. If you want to DIY your fern mount, here’s a great instructional blog. […]

  77. 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.

  78. […] you want to add some greenery in a room, then look to The Fresh Exchange‘s tutorial on how to hang Staghorn ferns on the wall using split logs […]

  79. Robert

    Once the fern is on the wall, how do you water it?

  80. You take it off and water it. It us mentioned in the post

  81. Sonja Blankenship

    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!!!!

  82. Amanda

    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.

  83. 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.

  84. […] The Fresh Exchange Blog […]

  85. 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 🙂

  86. ray Unseitig


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