The Staghorn Fern is unusual and can be a challenge to grow. The fern has two types of fronds. One is branched resembling a horn or antler giving the fern its name, while the other forms a circular collar around the base of the branched fronds. Plants can be mounted on a piece of cork, bark or hardwood such as oak, maple, and elm. Fasten the round basal fronds onto the slab with wire or crisscrossing fishing line. Place moist sphagnum moss, Spanish moss, peat moss, oak leaves, or combination thereof between the plant and the wood slab. The plant needs to be kept moderately moist. One can soak the fastening structure and collar of the plant in water for 15 minutes every month to help achieve a moist condition. Ideal growing temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This article originally appeared in the April 19, 2002 issue, p. 45.