Orchids forum: Orchids on Wood mounts

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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 26, 2016 9:00 AM CST
I saw Ken's orchids mounted on cork on another thread............He suggested I post this on the orchid forum as there might be others that would have some input on my question. Here goes.......

How long have those been on the cork since you don't seem to have any "wrapping" around the root portion? I'd like to put the others I have on a cork slab. I think I'll use some discarded big hay bale net wrap to put around the spaghnum and the root portion. I saw that those in the photos are not phals, so I think I will try it with my non-phals.

I have some phals that have been on the cork for a couple of years............can I safely take off the old nylon stockings I have wrapped on them? I would think that the roots would have had sufficient time to take a good hold on the cork. I think they'd be a little more aesthetically pleasing without all that rigamarole wrapped around the bottom portion of the cork. These aren't really great pix, but I think you get the idea of how mine look.

Thumb of 2016-02-26/AnnaZ/07e021
Thumb of 2016-02-26/AnnaZ/c77868
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Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Feb 26, 2016 10:06 AM CST
Anna, I have great luck mounting orchids on wood, not so much on cork (though others in my same area LOVE cork).

I have tried repeatedly to mount phals, with very little success---one time I put 3 good size, very healthy phals on a slab of wood, 2 died relatively quickly and the third one is still hanging on, but has gotten tiny...to the point where I think if I don't remove it soon and give it a real pot, it will die too.

An idea that struck me...maybe your phal is doing so well BECAUSE of the stocking & sphagnum, which holds more moisture than if it was mounted bare...even if it IS already attached.

When I mount something I usually use spahgnum behind or around the root ball, and so far I've not removed it on anything I've mounted. I will go outside and take some pics of my mounted stuff...maybe it will help or give you some ideas. Although I'm sure my climate is very different from yours...Florida is much more tropical, so maybe what works for me wouldn't work for you...

I hope others chime in here as well!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 26, 2016 10:17 AM CST
Anna, it looks like your plant is trying to get established...maybe you could swap out the nylon stocking for a couple of unobtrusive twists of florist wire around the sphagnum? The plant sure looks happy with all those great blooms!
lindsey
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
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drdawg
Feb 26, 2016 10:24 AM CST
Anna, I don't place a date on them when they are mounted, but none of them have been mounted for more than a year. Some were mounted only this past fall. I use thin, green, florist wire to attach my plants, and after 9-12 months, that wire usually will have rusted through and I just pull what's left away. I would certainly think your Phal. is well-rooted, but without pictures, I am only guessing. I have some really well-rooted Phal. that are mounted, but I don't grow many Phal. and typically will only mount the compact ones. Here are some Phal. Hitomi Watanabe 'No. 15' (I just call her "Number 15"). This is a compact grower.

Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/a8b606 Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/8bdb66 Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/8e4a01


Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/3f5cf8 Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/e08853 Thumb of 2016-02-26/drdawg/607d1f


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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.
[Last edited by drdawg - Nov 25, 2016 12:12 PM (+)]
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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
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drdawg
Feb 26, 2016 10:24 AM CST
I showed you the back of the cypress knee so that you can see how I drill 4 holes, thread the florist wire through those holes, and then twist it to tighten the plant against the sphagnum moss/mount.

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: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Feb 26, 2016 10:48 AM CST
I'm so glad others are speaking up!

I just went outside and took these pictures for you...

This is that poor little phal I mentioned (might be too late to even get it in a real pot)
Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/d3cbf7

All manner of mounting on wood:
Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/f27900 Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/65b3a2 Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/23976a

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Some non-wood mounts:

Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/cb44c6 Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/e34687 Thumb of 2016-02-26/SarasotaPatty/1c2102

(sorry if there are any duplicate photos...I got a little lost posting them! Hilarious! )

Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 26, 2016 10:48 AM CST
I don't have any florist wire, but there is quite an abundance of zip-ties up in the shop. Black ones, even, so they would be rather unobtrusive. LOL
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 26, 2016 10:52 AM CST
Patty, do you prefer the smooth side or rough side when mounting on cork or any other kind of wood where you would have a "choice" of side? And why or why not?
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Feb 26, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Anna, I like the rough side. I feel it gives the roots lots of little nooks & crannies to attach to, grow in and hide in.
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
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drdawg
Feb 26, 2016 11:08 AM CST
You did not ask me the question, but I agree with Patty. Rough-side when it comes to cork, but that's just because I find the rough-side more interesting. I have found that it really doesn't seem to matter about the other woods I use. I have roots growing over the "natural" side as well as the epoxy-sealed side equally well.
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: 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
Feb 26, 2016 12:47 PM CST
I think I would try taking off the panty hose and the ties, so you can get a look at the roots. You'll be able to see very clearly how well the roots are attached. If they really are, you'd have to pry them off with your fingernails, they attach very firmly. Here are a couple of mine, firmly attached to cork, and one to a pot:
Thumb of 2016-02-26/dyzzypyxxy/663aa1 Thumb of 2016-02-26/dyzzypyxxy/e31de9
Thumb of 2016-02-26/dyzzypyxxy/514a31
I use zip ties all the time for extra stability when mounting orchids on cork. They eventually degrade in the sun, but then you probably don't have your Phals in much sun anyway.

That's an absolutely gorgeous show of blooms you've got going there!




Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Feb 26, 2016 7:36 PM CST
Some thoughts here:

1. If your wood or cork mounts are horizontal instead of vertical, the orchid will do much better.

2. Whether you need moss and for how long depends on your watering routine.

3. Telephone wire works for me and it is available at Radio Shack. Split the large gray insulation and you will find 4 smaller insulated wires inside that are ready for use.

4. Whether to mount or not depends on the orchid variety. A little research goes a long way.

Jim
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
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drdawg
Feb 26, 2016 7:52 PM CST
Jim, in your opinion/research, do the majority of orchids that grow on trees, grow on horizontal or vertical surfaces? Regardless of the answer, what's the advantage of growing them on mounts sitting rather than hanging?
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: 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
Feb 26, 2016 8:50 PM CST
Water retention and stability.

Jim
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
Feb 26, 2016 9:03 PM CST
I agree They don't hold a lot more water when they're horizontal but just a little more makes the diff.

My old original B. nodosa mounted on a vertical piece of cork and it sat and pouted for nearly 3 years before I gave it another piece of cork to grab onto, and turned it horizontal instead. Now, it's bigger, happier and blooms twice a year at least.

Since then all my cork mounts have been more or less horizontal. Some are slanted just a bit to show off the plants better, and I must admit I generally use the inside of the cork to fasten the plants to, so that I can see the pretty crenelated bark texture from underneath. Most of my orchids hang up quite high - at least above my eye level - for most of the year.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Feb 26, 2016 9:13 PM CST
I will just have to trust y'all on that theory. As you probably know, I have mounted well over 100 orchids on all kinds of woods and presently have 50 or more at this moment. I have never done anything other than hang those mounted orchids. I just can't imagine that the mounts/plants retain water for any significantly longer time being horizontal. Wall-hung mounts are certainly not "unstable".
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: 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
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Feb 26, 2016 9:22 PM CST
I think the water probably just takes twice as long to run off a horizontal piece of cork, Ken. So it has more time to soak in. Not a lot, but a bit. Think of spraying the piece of cork laying down vs. standing up - all the water runs off the standing one right away. The laying one would take longer to dry. Same reason you stand your shoes up when you wash them.

Here's my latest cork "raft" hanging from my ceiling fan. Everybody's in the house for tonight and tomorrow night. Lows of 43 expected. Sure hope this is winter's last gasp!

Thumb of 2016-02-27/dyzzypyxxy/3eec1e

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Feb 27, 2016 7:22 AM CST
I understand that concept but since the vast majority of the mounts I use are flat or almost so, there won't be enough water standing to make much difference. Many of my plants are mounted on the chemically-cured epoxy side, and there is not a bit of moisture penetrating this epoxy. The roots don't seem to mind a bit. I assume you have seen the dozen or more mounted plants showing extensive roots, that I have recently posted.

I love that cork raft, though I would call this a cork log. This form of cork is sold as a "tube". I use nothing like this for mounting. What you have done is far more similar to a basket than to a cork mount. I can certainly see where you would have moisture held in/on this raft far longer than I would have on any of my mounts.
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: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 27, 2016 11:16 AM CST

Moderator

I started to grow Orchids in the early nineties and one of my favorites then were Vandas and then Cattleyas.
Once I had them in the greenhouse in 2001, my indoor watering practices were already then much geared to watering Vandas, which are grown essentially bare root. So as not to overwater the many other Orchids which followed, I always grew them in anyway possible mounted. Or - let Cattleyas on purpose grow over the edge of the pot where they flowered best. Or place the larger plants into fast draining baskets of any kind I could think of. Most of my smaller mixed species of orchids are mounted in many different ways, vertically, horizontally, any which way they like to grow and seem to do well for me.
I don't have a rule, but sometimes one needs to make correction - Cattleya schilleriana did lousy for me until I mounted it bare root horizontally and placed it into full blast sun. It is a happy camper now. Ditto for others like Mini Purple, Loveknot ( that one actually enclosed a bonsai dish) and similar.
As Jim says, a little research goes a long way and hopefully one learns from observation/killing some/experience.... Smiling
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 27, 2016 11:28 AM CST

Moderator

Btw, trying to think of how Orchid grow in nature?
You will see anything from horizontally growing on tree branches (Iguazu) crawling up trunks of trees, sitting on top of large stone boulders fully exposed, in forks of trees, crawling over the ground, on huge slopes which are constantly washed over by Springs, at the edge of a river, which is many times totally submerged, fully exposed on rocky places and so on!!
If you can imagine a habitat, it surely exists.
Just dig up my Ecuagenera trip ( there were times when I was afraid to walk through the underbrush so I wouldn't crush them with my clumsy feet) or even the Iceland, Greenland trip here on the forum, if you like. I still have prints of Orchids growing in Brazil and Bolivia, perhaps I need to copy them with my IPad....

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