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Did you know that epiphytic plants reside on a host tree, elevating them above gnawing predators and bringing them closer to pollination insects? And yes, Orchids is just one of them. In the world of flowering plants, the Orchid family is one of the largest. The world’s highest concentration of many tropical Orchids can be found in Asia, Central and South America, and other tropical regions.
When you bring home one, you should consider releasing an Orchid from the restrictions of its pot. Grow it in a mount, instead! Why? Because as this would bring closer to its natural habitat in the tropics! Plus, it will not only add visual interest to your home or yard, but it will also be easy to maintain.
But don’t get me wrong, there are also potted Orchids. Some even put them in terra cotta pots. There are also Orchid pots with broad drainage openings all the way around the sides. But mind you, plants bloom the best when they are close to their natural habitat.
Ready to learn more about mounted Orchids? Don’t worry because Plantly is here to tell you all about it! Read more below to find it out.
Best Types of Orchids to Mount
Cattleya is a simple to grow plant that thrives in practically any container and, of course, can be mounted. As a result, it’s ideal for beginners. It can be grown on cork bark, driftwood, or tree fern, among other things.
The colorful “corsage orchid” features ruffled petals with a tinge of vanilla flavor and a deep, heavy scent. It takes 5 to 6 hours of light per day to achieve flowers. In the summer, move it outside and water it frequently.
Beginners and professional Orchid enthusiasts alike enjoy these simple-to-grow Phalaenopsis orchids. This gorgeous plant, also known as the Moth orchid, is native to the Pacific Islands and eastern Asia. It receives year-round rainfall and humidity in warm temperatures.
These Orchid plants produce 3 to 6 week long sprays of white, pink, yellow, red, spotted, or striped blooms. Phalaenopsis is also a Monopodial species. It means that they only have one point of growth from which leaves emerge. Because they’re endemic to rainforests, Phalaenopsis orchids can’t store water for dry seasons, despite their thick and succulent leaves.
Cool-loving Cymbidiums is a true outdoor plant native to many regions of Asia. While in southern California, they make excellent garden plants. Cymbidiums have an extensive root system and are more easily “overpotted” than other orchids.
You may expect complex, arching sprays with double rows of large (3- to 5-inch) striking flowers pastel to primary hues. Cymbidiums, especially ones with green blossoms, are frequently aromatic.
These Orchid plants come from central and tropical South America and have about 20 different varieties. Because it’s an epiphyte, it’s an ideal genus for mounting. It features succulent leaves and a tall pseudobulb that stores water and nourishment. Flowers come in a variety of colors, including yellow with brown dots, white, and green-white.
Brassavola takes to mounting effectively, particularly on fern plaques or baskets. Some species outgrow their mounting pots or baskets. They don’t need to be remounted; instead, divide the plant stock and plant the divisions in a container to multiply.
Vanda is a plant that thrives in various regions of the world, including China, the Philippines, India, and northern Australia, and gets its name from Sanskrit. It likes the heat and hangs from trees, cliff fissures, and rocks in its natural habitat, making it an excellent mounting option.
The blooms come in various hues, and the foliage is dense and spherical, with a glossy sheen. It can reach a height of three feet (one meter), with flowers ranging in size from three to 10 cm (1 to 4 inches).
The fleshy leaves of these lovely Orchid varieties are yellow, white, ochre, or green in hue. The majority of the species bloom in the winter or spring, with flowers that emit a strong perfume at night.
They grow easily mounted on the bark as an epiphytic plant. They don’t develop quickly; therefore, they take two or three years to outgrow the traditional pot. You can replant them when they become tough to handle.
Tolumnia is another species where mounting is preferable as its potting medium. Flowering occurs in the spring, with inflorescences varying in size from 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).
It takes much less time to begin blooming than other species (about two and a half years between pollination and flowering). Plus, it’s very adjustable to a wide range of lighting conditions.
Materials Used For Mounting an Orchid
Long-Lasting Hardwood Mount
Not every chunk of wood is suitable for being a potting medium for your Orchid. Especially that the wood might be wet every now and then. Some wood is even quite porous, which you might believe is a good thing (after all, it absorbs water!!). However, this is not the case. The water absorbed by this wood will not evaporate in time for the next dunking, causing the wood to rot or mold.
Orchids grow best in Oak, hickory, pecan, manzanita, cedar, redwood, and Douglas-fir bark that are rot-resistant woods. And yes, this seems fit as your Orchid’s potting media. It will deteriorate if you use only Douglas fir wood without the peel. The bark is resistant to rot, but the wood is not.
Coco Husk Fiber or Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum moss is used to wrap plants in it before mounting them. This protects the plant’s vulnerable roots and provides a small, damp microclimate, helping it acclimatize faster and less stress. It also conceals the wire or rope used to secure the plant to the mount.
On the other hand, coconut fiber is long-lasting, has good drainage, and has a robust and wiry structure. It is derived from a renewable resource. When using other potting mediums, some utilize it to “top dress” pots. This inhibits weed development, slows water loss, avoids soil erosion from overhead watering, and keeps moss and algae growing on top of particular mediums like sphagnum moss.
Cork Bar Slabs or Cypress Bark Slabs
Cork oak bark is primarily material to mount an Orchid with. Cork is the outer bark of living trees, usually 1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 1.5 cm) thick. This is best suited for your Orchids because cork slabs typically last for at least ten years! Before the cork bark deteriorates, the Orchid usually outgrows the slab. Orchid roots also adhere firmly to the rough surface of cork oak bark slabs, which allows for quick drainage and long life. Cork slabs can be utilized vertically or horizontally.
The ground cork used as potting mix, on the other hand, needs to be replaced every two years. Wine bottle corks can also be used as slabs for tiny orchids and as a potting medium, significantly as wedges to drive rhizomes back into a container.
Tree Fern Plaques and Tree Fern Totems
Tree-fern poles are dense, can retain moisture for several days, and are appropriate for a wide range of epiphytic species. Which makes it an excellent material for mounting Orchid species. Equitant oncidiums benefit from smaller tree fern fragments. These Caribbean species grow on twigs in bright light in the natural.
Fishing Line or Wire Snips or Similar Materials
Materials on how to attach your Orchid to a mount are also necessary. Well, you may use a String, fishing line, wire snips, even torn up pieces of pantyhose, glue, or staples can be used to bind an orchid to its mount. Everything boils down to personal taste in terms of aesthetics and use. Most Orchid enthusiasts enjoy the aesthetic of fishing line, which is a little difficult to tie but worth it in the end. The fishing line can be cut and carefully removed from under and around the roots once the plant has established itself on the mount.
DIY- How to Mount Your Orchid
Now we are down to the most exciting part – mounting our healthy Orchid! Well, healthy Orchids are very essential to increase the possibility of growing! No time to delay; here’s how you will mount your Orchid in a DIY style:
- Choose a piece of bark or driftwood that measures 4 to 6 inches wide by 8 to 10 inches long. If you’re using beach driftwood, soak it in tap water first to get rid of any salt.
- Drill a 1/8- to a 1/4-inch hole in the top center of the wood, about 1 inch away. This makes room for the hanger to be attached to the mount.
- With wire cutters, cut a 4- to a 6-inch segment of wire. Feed the wire through the hole and bend it into an “S” hook with your pliers to complete the orchid hanger.
- Soak the orchid roots in water and carefully cover them in sphagnum moss. This forms a water reservoir that quickly empties.
- To secure the Orchid to the wood, wrap fish line or thin wire around the base. To avoid root system injury, carefully wrap the fish line between the pseudobulbs. Wrap tightly but not so tightly that the roots are cut.
- Until the Orchid is established, hang it in a growing space that receives bright, indirect light. Once the Orchid’s root systems are fixed to the wood and new growth begins, gradually transfer it to more light. Remember that the quantity of light your Orchid requires is determined by the variety.
How to Care For Your Mounted Orchid?
According to experts, poor watering kills more orchids than any other factor. Water orchids as soon as they begin to dry up. Overwatering can cause rot, which is fatal to Orchid’s roots. Pick up the potted Orchid and study it to see when it needs to be watered.
Douse plants with tepid water early in the morning, once a week in the winter, and twice a week in the summer. Water until the water flows freely out of the pot, flushing away any naturally occurring salts. Plus, allowing the water to run for at least a few minutes makes mounted Orchids happy as they enjoy getting wet.
Humidity & Temperature
Your Orchid will thrive if the temperature in your home is kept above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) at night and between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 26 degrees Celsius) during the day. Remember that Orchids are epiphytic, which means they get a lot of moisture and nutrition from the air around them. They will require additional humidity during hot, dry weather or when the heat is turned on during the winter months.
When growing Orchids, they require fresh, circulating air as well. Continuous moderate breezes are essential for living in the wild. Air movement aids in evaporating stagnant water, which serves as a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria trapped during irrigation.
Orchids can also benefit from ventilation because they can resist intense light that would otherwise burn their leaves. Open windows in the summer and use an oscillating fan in the winter to create moderate breezes. Orchids that do not have adequate ventilation may succumb to decay, a lack of carbon dioxide, or illness.
Although these plants thrive in bright light, direct sunlight can cause orchids to burn. An eastern or southern window with bright, indirect light is good. Expect abundant growth but no flowers if you don’t get enough sunlight. The hue of an orchid’s leaves is an excellent indicator of how much light it receives. Feel the leaves of your Orchid if you think it’s been exposed to too much light. Move the plant to a spot with adequate light if they feel noticeably warmer than the surrounding air.
When the stalk begins to yellow or brown, and you know it will no longer flower, it’s time to trim. If you don’t mind losing a few blossoms, you can also cut them when the stalks are green.
Orchids create lovely blossoms, but after the petals fade, they need to be pruned. You may simply improve the overall health of your Orchid by trimming dead stems and roots. Orchids can also be pruned to encourage flowering. If you take good care of your Orchid, it will be able to thrive and bloom for many years.
Before you begin pruning, wash your hands or put on gloves and cut it with a new or sterile cutting blade, cutting it within an inch of the flower stalk. Alternatively, you can cut off the blossom stalk’s end to make it shorter while still leaving enough of a stump for it to flower again.