staghorn - Knowledgebase Question

Lakeland, Fl
Question by ritasdick
March 9, 2010
I just bought a small staghorn plant,and it came in a pot with soil. The lady there told me to put it in a wire basket and let the roots show. Dose that mean not to use any soil. I see them hanging from trees with just rope. I don't know what to do?I could use any help that you could give me. Thank you.


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Answer from NGA
March 9, 2010

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Staghorn ferns are epiphytes, which means they are air plants. They gladly grow on a wall mount, which lets air circulate around them. You can either plant it in a basket with nothing but spaghnum moss, or you can mount it to a board. Since your Staghorn plant arrived in a pot, pull the plant out of the pot and shake off all excess matter. If you want to put it in a basket, fill the basket with spaghnum moss and firmly set the plant roots into the moss, but leave the fronds out in the open. Or, for mounting, take some sphagnum moss and put a handful onto a mounting board. Bury the roots into the moss and tie it all together with nylon fishing line if necessary. Staple the fishing line to the end of the plaque and wrap the fishing line around and around, allowing the fronds to stick up without being tied. Once secured, staple the line to the end of the board and cut the off excess. You will see the line, but as the shields grow out they will hide the line.

Once mounted, you can water your staghorn by pouring water over the sphagnum moss. Some will be absorbed by the moss but most will simply drain away. Don't be alarmed. The moss will hold plenty of water to make your staghorn happy. Wait until the moss is dried out before watering again. If you water too often the roots can rot so take care not to overwater. Hope this information is helpful!

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