Staghorns, like all plants, can outgrow their pots and start to feel the need for more space. If this is the case with yours, you will want to know how to repot a staghorn fern.
Once you have mastered this, you can keep your staghorn fern in the perfect conditions, that will help them grow and thrive.
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How To Repot A Staghorn Fern
Thankfully for those of us who are lazy gardeners, these slow growers will not need repotting very often.
In fact, most staghorns will be good in the one growing place for a few years – you only need to repot them when they are literally busting out of their space.
They do best when they are slightly crowded in their growing spot – they are pretty friendly plants, so you really don’t have to repot too often.
- Once you are certain your staghorn fern needs repotting, make sure you gather everything you need before you start, so that the roots do not need to be exposed for too long.
- Use a container (whether this is a board setting, a wire mesh hanging basket or a regular pot) that is at least 2 inches bigger than the previous one.
- If using a pot, fill it halfway with a very well draining and porous potting mixture. Shredded pine bark, sphagnum moss or peat moss should work well.
- Place the staghorn gently into the pot, then cover the roots with potting mix; pat this gently down around the roots.
- A wire mesh hanging basket should contain a similar medium – this is not a plant that needs a lot of soil, and it hates to get its roots wet!
- “Repotting” a staghorn onto a hanging board should follow the same process as you used when you first hung it.
- Make a larger circle on the board, with more sphagnum moss, to allow for the larger roots, and follow the process fro mounting a staghorn on a board.
- However you repot your staghorn, water it in well and keep an eye on it for a few days to make sure that it is settling well into its new home.
- Remember, it needs to be kept warm but out of direct sunlight in order to thrive and grow healthy new leaves.
Here is a video taking you through the repotting process step by step (this one is for a hanging basket):
What Do You Plant A Staghorn Fern In?
These plants do like quite a specific growing medium, but they are not as fussy as, say, orchids.
You can plant your staghorn fern in a standard pot – the soil will need to be very loose and well draining, however!
A better option for these plants is shredded pine bark, sphagnum moss or something similar that will not clog the roots and hold water.
In the wild, staghorn ferns cling to the side of trees, so they really don’t need thick, nutrient rich compost like some other plants.
Your best option is to mount your staghorn on a board or poking out of a hanging basket – this is as close to their natural conditions as possible.
A wire or mesh hanging basket is a great option, because this allows the fern to trail and dangle as it likes to.
This article will give you some information about the preferred growing conditions for a staghorn, as well as a section on what it likes to grow in.
Do Staghorn Ferns Like To Be Misted?
Because these plants come from tropical climates, they do like to be kept relatively moist and humid.
Misting these plants can really help them to thrive, especially when the temperature is warm so the air can create the humidity with the water.
You do have to remember, however, that your staghorn won’t appreciate too much water; excessive watering can cause them a lot of problems!
Misting in the summer, when the weather is hot and the plant needs more water, is always a good idea.
You can also, if you have the means and the space, install a humidifier near your staghorn, to give it a little more of the environmental moisture it likes.
If you’re growing your staghorn outdoors then moisture in the air may be less of an issue, especially during warm, wet summers.
It is still a good idea to mist outdoor staghorns occasionally; just make sure that you do it during a cool part of the day so the moisture won’t evaporate straight away.
But, you should definitely put your spray bottle away in the winter – as the plant goes dormant it requires even less watering.
What Kind Of Soil Do Staghorn Ferns Need?
Unlike orchids and other epiphytes, staghorn ferns are not too fussy about their growing mediums.
Although they prefer a certain type of “soil”, you can grow them in relatively normal compost.
The main key to remember is that these plants won’t cope if they are grown in soil that is allowed to get waterlogged and could potentially rot the roots.
A staghorn fern’s favorite type of growing medium is:
- Shredded bark. This mimics what they would grow in in the wild, so it is a good bet when trying to replicate those conditions at home.
- Sphagnum moss. This medium allows water to drain away, and it holds onto just the right amount of moisture, making it perfect for a staghorn fern.
- Loose, well draining soil. If you don’t have the above, you can use potting soil for your staghorn – just remember to make sure it will not hold onto too much moisture!
Once you have worked out how to repot a staghorn fern, you can allow your potted beauty to really stretch its roots out.
You probably won’t have to repot it too often, but if you notice it outgrowing its pot or looking a little squashed, then that’s your cue.