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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: Chuck Pfeiffer
McKinney, TX (DFW) (Zone 8a)
Mar 22, 2015 9:58 AM CST
Soon to be dividing a very large and heavy one that I have had for ten years. So I am considering devising some type of box type frame of non corrosive material for long term mounting and hanging in trees that I can easily move in and out for winter. Some I'll mount on wood like the article and give away, but since I've enjoyed the outside hanging one and the conversation piece it is, I want two for long term growth.

The one I have grew to be a 80-100 pound monster which encased the original wire basket the past ten years. The wire has now rusted, and the chains attached are in danger of breaking. In winter I have to move it every fall into the garage, so the weight is an issue. I plan on dividing it this year, and the problem will be cutting through the old wire when I divide it.

With the fan cover idea, like my wire basket, the new fronds will grow through and cover the wire frame. If it is not stainless or aluminum, you might face the same rust problem I have in time threatening your hanging support.

For my next outdoor hanging specimen, I am considering some type of heavy duty non rusting hanging box cage type frame. Will fasten some of my divisions inside the frame structure and just let it grow outward. I won't have to worry about rust, hanging chains, etc., and future plant division will be easier. In my experience, it is best to have a 3-4 chain support for balance and leveling since they will tend to grow lopsided over time.

Will post an image of one when I build it later this spring. Thinking about an 8-12 inch wide box frame of aluminum or stainless should suffice since I want the fern to encapsulate the frame in a few years, with eye hooks on the corners to easily adjust and secure the chains.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)

Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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Mar 22, 2015 11:01 AM CST
That sounds like some good plans, Chuck. I bet you can even find some heavy-duty, stainless baskets out there, perhaps on Amazon or eBay. I think I would go that route unless you can find something built with marine aluminum. Good luck and do post pictures/descriptions on what you end up doing.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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