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How-To Guide for Mounting Epiphytes

By drdawg
January 10, 2015

Lots of people grow epiphytic plants, but most of them are grown in pots, simply because that's the way we are used to growing houseplants. However, that is not the way most of these plants grow in nature. Though they might grow on rocky outcrops or even electrical and/or telephone wires, the vast majority will be found growing in trees. Why not mount some of your epiphytes, so that they grow the way they do in nature?

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 16, 2015 1:19 PM CST
Ken,

I'm late to reading the article since we've been out of town for a week but what a great article for novice as well as experienced Staghorn growers. I love the look of those twin staghorns on the cypress mount ... really nice!!

My one and only Staghorn Fern seems pretty happy on the wood mount that I purchased from you not long ago; the shield frond is already beginning to wrap around the edge of the mount! While we were away on vacation last week it apparently rained and the night time temps dipped into the low to mid 40's. I'm worried about fungal infection setting in so I've brought it inside to let it dry out and watch for any signs of fungus; I may sprinkle some cinnamon around as a precaution.


~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 16, 2015 2:25 PM CST
That stag looks great. The twin-stags on cypress you mentioned have really started to pop, and the ones mounted on cork look the same. I only have a handful of stags still in their pots - time to order more "baby" staghorns! Whistling When the fronds get around 6" long, I mount them all, so those potted ones are mostly ready to mount. It has been so doggone cold here, I just haven't been in the mood to do any mounting.

I personally have never had any problems with fungi on or around my staghorns, but that may be only luck, not anything I do special. Cinnamon would certainly be safe enough.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 16, 2015 3:12 PM CST
Ken,

I keep going back and looking at those twin staghorns you've mounted to the cypress and they look so good! Do you find the stags to be popular plants? I'd think something that pretty would sell very quickly!

We've been lucky and haven't had much cold weather yet this winter but I've heard it's supposed to be a chilly and wet winter for Florida. Sad The worst part of winter in my area usually hits anywhere from the end of January to mid to late February so we may end up having frost and freezes before March gets here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping the forecasters are wrong and it stays mild. I hate having to drag out blankets etc. to cover all of my plants and I just don't have room inside for any more than the few that are already taking up space. Smiling

I learned from someone on ATP (but I don't remember who it was) about Cinnamon being a natural anti- fungal and that it was great for use on plants. Last year I spotted signs of fungal infection on one of my orchids and sprinkled some cinnamon on the area ... it worked great so now I keep a little shaker of ground cinnamon in my basket of plant stuff on the back porch! Originally I was concerned about it possibly attracting ants but I haven't had any issues with that so far.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jan 16, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Gee Lin, I never heard that before that before. That's good info! Now I wonder if one could wet ground cinnamon and spray it on plants that got fungal infections?? Wonder if that would work???
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 16, 2015 3:34 PM CST
Donna, That method might be possible as long as the mixture isn't so thick that it wouldn't get through the sprayer but the thing is you don't want a saturated plant that already has a fungal infection to get even wetter. At times I've used a wet Q-tip to dab it on small areas of plants.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 16, 2015 3:39 PM CST
Lin, Staghorns are highly sought after, not only because they are so doggone unusual but also because, since they are true air-plants, they need little attention. That's a win-win situation. Did you know that Staghorns can live well past their 100th birthday? They are truly a "forever" plant.

I keep a bottle of cinnamon in my "Orchid" greenhouse. I generally sprinkle it on the cut ends of orchids that I divide.

Excuse the quality of these pictures. I was in my "Everything Else" greenhouse and you can tell it is pretty much jammed with plants. There are twin-stags on cypress (one vertical and one horizontal mount), twin-stags on cork, large stag growing in a natural-wood birdfeeder, a stag on a cypress knee, and perhaps other stags showing that are on various woods. I plan on doing something with the upper 2/3 of that cypress knee mount. I just haven't decided what.

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 16, 2015 3:41 PM CST
Sprinkle that cinnamon rather than spraying it. It would surely clog up the sprayer. Cinnamon bottles will generally have a "shaker" top.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 16, 2015 4:23 PM CST
Wowsers! That is an amazing amount of Staghorn ferns!!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 16, 2015 4:51 PM CST
Lin, I would not want to count the tropical plants I have, but a conservative estimate would be 750. 500 or so are orchids. I have got to have inventory, you know. Whistling

A tear ago, I really had a lot of staghorns, large ones that were 3-5 years old, all mounted. I sold every single one of them to one person who was opening up a new restaurant in Palm Beach and wanted to mount all of them on a "living" wall. The only thing I asked (well, other than to get paid) was for him to send me pictures of that wall. After a two-month wait, I contacted him (actually I contacted the interior designer in SC who "brokered" the deal) and asked about the pictures. She said: "Sorry, no pictures". She said the guy loved the mounted plants so much he took them all home! She didn't know what he did about the living-wall. Sighing!

Thus, I had to start all over. Now all my stags are 1 to 1 1/2 yr. old. I don't seem to keep many though. I may never have another 3 yr. old one, other than those in my personal collection, which are all rare plants

What can I say. I just love to grow tropical plants. Lovey dubby
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 16, 2015 5:16 PM CST
Wow, a restaurant with a living wall of tropical plants would sure be Awesome! I bet that guy in West Palm Beach has a most beautiful garden and those Stags were probably added to his tropical collection.

Wow, with 750 plants you really do love growing tropicals don't you! Thumbs up I can't imagine taking care of that many plants, it would be too much like having a full time job ... and my attention span is that of a gnat the older i get! Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 16, 2015 5:26 PM CST
IT IS A FULL TIME JOB! A labor of love, for sure. Running a business, even such a tiny business as this, is (hopefully) going to add years to my (useful) life. When I retired 3+ years ago, having worked since I was 15 years old, I was lost. I mean, after all, what does one do for years, doing nothing? My wife will tell one and all that I am a terrible businessman. She says, and its very true, that I would much rather talk about growing/propagating tropical plants than actually sell them. That's just the way I am. Lots of hot air. Whistling I thank God that he allowed me to practice dentistry for 42 years and also thank him for giving me a hobby that I love, and one that I could spend the rest of my life nurturing. I even get to help people, but now its with plant problems rather than mouth problems. Hurray!

You know, almost every single night I still dream about dentistry, usually problems that never get solved. I never dream about my plants. A psychiatrist would probably diagnose something terrible. Sighing!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Jan 16, 2015 9:16 PM CST
Wow, a full time job for sure. Well Ken, the medical field gets in our blood and we cannot get it out. Your dentistry is visiting you in your dreams now because you miss it. You are with your plants every day, guess it's just Gods way of giving you the best of both worlds!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill

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