For years I’ve been hunting for this fern that you might have seen often in Instagram, Pinterest and blogs. Staghorn fern (Platycerium ssp.) is definitely not just a plant but also an interior item if you want to give your home that jungle hipster look.
But the thing is that the staghorn ferns are not easy to find here in Finland. For so many years I never found them anywhere. This year I’ve seen a few but most of the times they are rather expensive or looking not that well. Then I visited my nearest garden shop and found smaller staghorn ferns just for 5 €!!! The first one I bought for my friend who have been searching for this plant also vigorously. And then today I went back and got myself one, too.
Staghorn fern is a bit different when it comes to the care and soil that it needs. That’s why I made my fern more like kokedama. Staghorn ferns are natural to tropical and they live clinging to tree barks. So adding some moss and bark to cover the small roots of the fern makes the surroundings a bit more natural for it here in my home.
I always try to think where the plants originally comes from when I think about how to take care of the plant. Think about orchids: they live in rainforests (meaning very humid, warm, moist, shadowy) and are usually epiphytic with aerial roots (meaning that they do not need the soil as so many other green plants). The same thing with staghorn ferns.
Mostly you see the staghorn ferns attached to a bigger flat wooden piece, looking more like an artpiece. That’s something that I want to try in future but now the kokedama version will do and I think that will be also perfect for this plant.
If you want to try this kokedama version for your plant (you can also use so many other plants for this technique) here’s a few tips.
- Gather or buy some moss and large pieces of tree bark. Do not tear the moss or bark from the nature but if you find pieces that are already torn, it’s okay to use those. In Finland you can gather pieces from forests if you have the landowner’s permission.
- Take most of the soil away from the fern’s roots. Break a little bit the roots also. Cover the roots with moss and the bark.
- Then you will need a strong cotton or hemp string to tie the moss and bark onto the plant’s roots. Roll the string around the moss ball to make it all stay together.
- Take 6 pieces of string, each 1 meter long. Make a knot to the other end, tying the string all together. Place the knot end under the moss ball and lay the strings evenly under the ball.
- Start to make knots with always 2 strings that are next to each other, going up on the ball. That’s how you form a net-like structure with the string that covers the ball. There should be enough strings for you to hang the kokedama. But if not, just attach another strings.
- To care for you staghorn fern sprinkle it daily with water (misty spray) and once a week make it soak water in bucket for 15-30 minutes.