Mounting Another Staghorn Fern - Pine Board and Moss - February 2022

This is now - unofficially - Staghorn Fern Week - on in my garden diary.  This is the third post in as many days about Staghorn Ferns starting with my first post about bringing home a small 4" Staghorn Fern that the kids and I mounted on a pine board.  Then, yesterday I posted a little story about how I found four 6" - and more mature - Staghorn Ferns at Home Depot and decided I was going to make up a few mounted ferns for Valentine's Day this year.  In that first post, I showed a little look into how we (the kids and I) put together the first mounted fern.  Here, below, is a closer look (with more photos) of how I put together one of these larger Staghorn Ferns using the same process.  

I started this larger, more mature Staghorn with the same size board, but I used a larger bowl to make a slightly larger circle.  Below, you can see the circle I drew in pencil along with the 1-1/4 narrow-threaded drywall screws that I put around the circumference of the circle.  I used eight screws on all of these.

From there, I laid down a thin bed of Sphagnum Moss (soaked in water, then wrung-out) covering the circle I drew on the board.  This is the base for the Staghorn Fern. 

The ferns that I'm working with are currently set up in soil.  And, what seems to be totally regular, ordinary soil.  Not a lot of drainage - no perlite, no bark-like stuff in it.  Not a lot of drainage.  When I took them out of their hanging containers, the roots were soaked.  This was a day or so after I brought them home - and I was surprised by how soaked the roots were.  Below, you can see how robust the root system is currently - all locked in with soil.  I took these two out of their pots and started to pick at them with some plastic chopsticks to remove the soil while leaving the roots (mostly) intact.  I left them out on this tray for like five hours trying to dry the soil out a little bit.  I worry that if left alone in these pots, the roots would suffer, so I'm glad I pulled these two out.  (Have two more to work on, though).

Below, you can see the root balls after I took about half the soil out of them.  I was able to get them down to about 1/3rd of the overall depth from where they started in the containers to when I mounted them. 

Below, you can see how I spread out the roots and stuck it on top of the bed of moss.  Then, I covered it in a volcano-like shape with Sphagnum Moss. 

And, then I wired the whole thing up with fishing wire.  Using the screws, I went back-and-forth and up-and-down to secure the fern and moss to the board.  Below, you can see it stood-up and ready to hang on the wall.  This one is went out the door as a Valentine's Day present.  Once I get the other ones mounted, I'll post some photos of the full collection.


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