I have to admit, after typing that title, I feel like I should take a shower just to be decent. But mounting a staghorn fern is not anything sexual, it is how to plant and hang the lovely staghorn fern.
The rain is continuing today and I will not complain. We really needed it. But it does mean that I am stuck in the house. Lucky for me, I am a project procrastinator and there are just dozens of little projects that I have been meaning to do for months. I thought that this would be a good one as I had bought my baby staghorn fern nearly 2 months ago after reading about staghorn ferns in Martha Stewart. The little staghorn fern has been sitting lonely on my kitchen window sill waiting either to be mounted or die. I thought perhaps I should mount it before it chose to choose the latter.
What you will need for this project is a staghorn fern (I bought mine on eBay at PlantRanch) , some sphagnum moss (long cut), a plaque or board to mount the staghorn fern on, a picture hook and pantyhose or fishing line to attach the staghorn fern to the board.
Stain or paint your board as you would like. Allow the board to dry at least a few days to allow the fumes to dissipate. You can also skip this step and just use natural board, if you would like.
Once the stain or paint is dry, add the picture hook to the back that will allow you to hang the board on the wall after the staghorn fern is mounted. One thing to keep in mind is that your staghorn fern will grow horizontally, so you will want to hang the board with the widest side being horizontal.
Soak some sphagnum moss in water. The moss will need at least a few hours, ideally, overnight in order to fully absorb the water.
Measure and mark your board where you would like the holes to go. You will be drilling 2 holes. I put mine about an inch off from the center on each side. You will need to judge based on the size of the staghorn fern you are mounting. The larger the fern you are mounting, the farther apart the holes will need to be.
Drill your holes with a power drill (remember your safety glasses).
You will be drilling a double hole, this is a single hole made with two drill pushes one on top of the other so that the hole is slot shaped.
Once your holes are drilled, place a small mound out sphagnum moss in between the two holes.
Place the staghorn fern on top of the mound.
Add more sphagnum moss around the fern.
You can use either pantyhose or fishing line to attach the staghorn fern to the board. I chose pantyhose because I thought it would do a better job of keeping the sphagnum moss around the fern. Cut a length of pantyhose and use a chopstick or pencil to help you push the pantyhose through the hole. Loop the pantyhose over the top of the staghorn fern, push the pantyhose through the other hole.
Loop the pantyhose back behind the board and push the pantyhose back up through the first hole. Loop the pantyhose back across the fern, with the pantyhose under the fern this time.
You should end up with both of the ends of the pantyhose sticking out on the backside of the board. Tie the two ends of the pantyhose in a knot and trim off any excess pantyhose.
Tuck as much of the sphagnum moss as you can into the pantyhose. The pantyhose it there to hold the sphagnum moss on until the sterile shield frond grows on the staghorn fern. The sterile frond will be a brown growth that will cover the pantyhose. The pantyhose will not hurt the sterile frond, so allow the sterile frond to grow.
The pantyhose also serves to hold the staghorn fern to the board until the attaches itself to the board.
Now you are ready to hang the fern on the wall. The staghorn fern will need to hung where it will get only filtered indirect light (I imagine that this would be a good office or bathroom plant). Soak the whole board to completely rewet the sphagnum moss and try to keep humidity high around the plant without actually misting the plant itself. Let the sphagnum moss dry out completely between waterings. It is recommend by several sources that you should actually wait until you see some wilting before watering.