How to Divide a Potted Staghorn Plant

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The Staghorn fern has always been a favorite plant of mine and once you get used to its care it’s easy to grow. My biggest mistake with my first one was over watering it. I called a friend of mine who owns a greenhouse and she helped me set up a good watering and care system for my zone 5 climate. I still have the plant to this day and have removed many new plants from the original.

I have had many questions about the Staghorn fern. I have written two articles before,  Indoor Plants: The Staghorn Fern and its Care, and the other, How to Grow and Ariel Theme Garden.

But recently I had a question on how to divide a Staghorn fern that was bought in a pot. Some people grow the Staghorn ferns this way and they are beautiful.  The question was how to divide a plant that was bought this way and place it on a board.

I also like the look of the Staghorn fern on a piece of wood and to me it adds to my home décor and can be hung anywhere where the growing conditions are correct. In warmer climates many people hang them on fences or trees and leave them out year round.

If you get a Staghorn in a pot and want to divide it and place it on a board you need to check the plant and make sure any division or “pup” as they are referred to has at least two fronds or stems. Division is best done in the spring or summer when the sterile “shield” fronds are brown.

First thoroughly water the Staghorn to be divided. Next, use a sharp knife and cut through the sterile fronds at an equal distance between the parent plant and the pup. I pack wet moss around the new section of the plant immediately and also pack the area with moss where I removed the small plant form the original. This encourages new root growth and keeps the area from drying out.

Make sure the pup is oriented (placed up) the same as it was on the parent plant when placing the plant on a board.

Squeeze most of the water out of the moss and pack it around the pup. Using the fishing line, cross back and forth tightly over the shield on the pup, close to the fronds, hooking the line around the nails. When it is securely fastened tie the end onto one of the nails. Using the technique described above apply a “patch” of moss into the area where you removed the pup from the parent plant.

Your new plant should thrive. And if by change you need to wait for a bit for you plants to develop more fronds before separating they will do well in a hanging pot. Care for them as you would a plant placed on a board

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Denise

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