Orchids forum: Looking for some guidance?

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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jan 10, 2014 2:46 PM CST
I'm looking for opinions here…I acquired what I think is a nice piece of I believe to be a tree stump. I was thinking that this might be a good piece for mounting some orchids. Having never done this before…I could use some guidance here. Should some kind of product be used for preserving the wood? And how does one go about "mounting" the plant? Is it the same principle as mounting the Staghorn fern to the cork? With that I just tied it on using some yarn. Are there some Orchids that take better to mounting, than others?
I appreciate any suggestions that you may have. Lovey dubby
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 10, 2014 3:55 PM CST
That's a really beautiful piece of driftwood, Tara. I wouldn't use any kind of preservative on it. Orchids are sensitive to some chemicals, and like to grow on rotting wood in nature. That piece will take years to break down so there's no imminent danger of it falling apart.

As far as attaching the orchids, I've used zip ties, plastic coated wire, and also strips of bird netting to tie the orchids onto the wood. I like the bird netting the best because you hardly see it. Other people use various glues like Liquid Nails, and things like old nylons. (who has nylons in Florida??) It's important to attach them firmly so they don't wobble around and that way they will get their roots attached to the wood eventually.

I have most of my Brassavola type orchids mounted. They seem to be less prone to black rot disease that way. I also have a small Laeliocatt, my little Sedirea japonica, some Tolumnias and a couple of Renantheras mounted. All seem happy. They do take a little more watering when they are mounted, as they dry out better on a mount. I spray them with water or fert/water nearly every day, and dunk them once a week in warm weather. Less when it's cool.

Sedirea tied to cork with bird netting, Tol. fastened to cork with zip ties, and Bl. Little Lulu on a cedar raft for a couple of years now, see how the roots have attached to the wood? I could remove the netting now, but I don't want to damage any roots.
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jan 10, 2014 3:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Jan 10, 2014 5:06 PM CST
Elaine did a great job of answering the question. Leave the drift wood in its natural state. Do not use pine or other oily woods. I usually wet some moss, lay it on the wood and then tie the orchid on top of the moss. That will give it a little additional moisture to get started. The moss will eventually go away or once the roots attach, you can remove it with tweezers. I have never suffered black rot on a mounted orchid.and almost any orchid can be mounted. My favorite orchids to mount are Brassavolas.

Jim
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Jan 10, 2014 8:31 PM CST
I almost lost my David Sander due to too much moss. It was rotting! Once I picked out all the moss, it is trying to recover. That being said, that's the only one of my mounted plants that was not happy. I would say a thin layer of moss to cushion the roots until they attach to that lovely piece of driftwood.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 10, 2014 9:40 PM CST
I've used coco fiber instead of moss when I mount orchids. It doesn't absorb as much moisture as moss.

Maybe in a less humid environment, moss would work better.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Jan 10, 2014 9:43 PM CST

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Nice driftwood, Tara!
Btw I don't always mount the plant vertically, my Lc Mini Purple runs horizontally along the driftwood, I have mounted a couple smaller windowsill Cattleyas similarly.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 10, 2014 10:16 PM CST
Btw, Tara, Jim and Carol and Ursula and Ted and others taught me all that stuff I wrote up above. Aren't plant forums wonderful.
Thanks guys & gals.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Jan 11, 2014 8:40 AM CST
Wow! Thank you all!
Such wonderful information! Yes, Elaine, plant forums are wonderful! Group hug Great groups of people…I knew I could count on all of you for the guidance!!! Lovey dubby

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! I tip my hat to you.
This is really going to be a fun project! Green Grin!
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Jan 11, 2014 10:24 AM CST
Tara, here is a link to an old thread (Jan, 2012) where we discussed mounting orchids. You may find a gem or two within.
The thread "Mounting Orchids" in Orchids forum

Jim
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Jan 11, 2014 12:39 PM CST
@hawkarica, Jim, thanks so much for that! I tip my hat to you. Really enjoyed it, and it did give me some fresh ideas! Thumbs up
[Last edited by terrafirma - Jan 11, 2014 12:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
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Ted5310
Jan 11, 2014 12:40 PM CST
How successful have you guys been mounting Phals
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Jan 11, 2014 3:01 PM CST
I've mounted a few, no particular problems. I like the idea of mounting Phals because they do not like to be repotted and once mounted, they are pretty much set for life. I would not attempt to mount Bulbos because they like to be kept wet. I always put Stanhopeas and Gongoras in baskets so would not attempt mounting them either. Funny about Catts, the unifoliate types seem to take to mounting while the bifoliate varieties don't. The bifoliates don't like repotting much either. I guess they are just harder to get along with. Hilarious!

Jim
[Last edited by hawkarica - Jan 11, 2014 3:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 12, 2014 5:04 PM CST
Ted, I was just thinking I might mount a couple more Phals this spring. I only have one mounted, but it has done fine. See pic, Phal amabilis var. formosanum variegata with two new growths under the mama plant, one variegated, one not. Every year I think I've lost this one, it's a real diva but it seems to come back well each winter. I don't know if it's attached to the palm boot or not but I'm afraid to disturb it . . . Rolling my eyes. Never mess with success.

The rest in vented clay pots or wood baskets had an up and down year this year. Did great and bloomed like crazy last spring, but come summer and our abundant rain we had the Phal woes. A lot of shriveled leaves and unhappy plants. I lost only one, and it was in a basket. The rest are recovering slowly - I only have one spike so far out of 8 Phals.

So for the ones that need re-potting this spring after bloom season (IF they bloom) I'm going for mounting on cork, I think. Mainly so they will dry out better during the summer rainy season. Shrug! Who knows??
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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