A staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) is a plant that requires over an normal hanging basket. When grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 12, the epiphytic evergreen can achieve over 100 pounds and requires that the heavy-duty support chains may give. The plant contains upright, cuplike, sterile fronds, which collect moisture and organic matter, and large, flat, fertile fronds resembling antlers that develop from the upright frond, arching over in a cascade. Little staghorn fern offsets, known as pups, are mounted to rough boards or placed inside wooden or heavy wire baskets, where they mature into large, rounded clumps that are often suspended from islands by chains.
Measure the circumference of the tree limb where the plant will likely hang. The limb has to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the developing plant; a few staghorn ferns achieve 300 pounds.
Insert the measurement of the tree limb’s circumference to the distance you want the fern to hang in the base of the limb to the top of the fern’s root ball. The result is the length of 1/4-inch thick, galvanized, steel chain essential to encourage the staghorn fern.
Gauge the diameter of the staghorn fern’s root ball. The measurement establishes the length of 1/2-inch wide, galvanized, male-threaded pipe required to encourage the plant. 1 part of pipe has to be a few inches more than the root ball’s diameter, along with 2 pieces of pipe each should be one-half the origin ball’s diameter. Cut the pipe to the appropriate lengths.
Cut a length of old garden hose equal to the diameter of the tree limb by using a utility knife.
Thread the chain through the piece of old garden hose, leaving a few chain links subjected at one end of the hose. Almost all of the finish of the chain is going to be covered by the hose.
Set the hose across the tree limb. Secure it about the limb by attaching one S-hook to a chain link at one end of the hose and a chain link at the opposite end of the hose. Leave just a few inches of slack in the chain. Attach another S-hook to the dangling end of the chain.
Push the longest length of threaded tube through the center top of the staghorn fern’s root ball to the bottom center of the root ball, causing little harm to the root ball as you can.
Expand a female-threaded eye-bolt on the top end of the pipe where it extends from the surface of the staghorn fern’s root ball.
Expand the two shorter lengths of threaded tube into arms of a female-threaded, T-shaped tube connector. Expand the top opening of the pipe connector in the longest threaded tube where it originates from the base of the plant’s root ball.
Lift the fern, and slip the S-hook at the base of the chain during the eye-bolt at the surface of the longest pipe. The root ball ought to be backed on the 2 pipes that are below the plant.