Putting your epiphytic orchids on a Grow Trunk or other mounting materials - Gathering Moss

Putting your epiphytic orchids on a Grow Trunk or other mounting materials

Mounting orchids is a common and natural way to cultivate certain species, especially epiphytic orchids. This method mimics their natural habitat, allowing for better aeration and drainage. Here's a guide on how to mount orchids:

1. Selecting Suitable Orchids:

  • Epiphytic Species: Choose orchid species that naturally grow on trees or other surfaces in their native habitats. Examples include Dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis, Vandas, and Oncidiums.

2. Choosing a Mounting Material:

  • Tree Fern Plaques or Grow Trunks: These are a popular choice for mounting orchids. They provide a natural appearance and retain moisture.
  • Cork Bark: Offers a durable and lightweight option. It provides a textured surface for orchids to attach their roots.
  • Hardwood Plaques or Boards: Can be used for a more rigid mounting surface.
  • Tree Branches or Slabs: Mimic the natural environment and provide an interesting aesthetic.

3. Preparing the Mount:

  • Soaking: If using tree fern plaques, cork bark, or hardwood, soak the mounting material in water to hydrate it. This helps the orchid roots attach more easily.
  • Securing: Attach the orchid securely to the mount using monofilament line, fishing line, or soft plant ties. Ensure that the orchid is snug against the mount.

4. Attaching the Orchid:

  • Root Attachment: Gently wrap the orchid's roots around the mount or press them against it. Use ties or fishing line to secure the roots without damaging them.
  • Base Attachment: If the orchid has a pseudobulb or base, secure it to the mount. Avoid burying the base in the mounting material.

5. Supporting the Orchid:

  • Ties and Supports: Use soft ties or twine to secure the orchid to the mount, allowing for growth but preventing excessive movement.
  • Positioning: Place the mounted orchid in a position where it receives the appropriate light conditions for its species.

6. Caring for Mounted Orchids:

  • Watering: Water the mounted orchid regularly, ensuring that the mounting material retains some moisture. Mist the orchid if needed.  (I like to look at the roots and if they are gray or off white, it's time to water.  You can also check it by the weight of the mount.  If it's very light, it's time to water!)
  • Fertilizing: Apply a balanced orchid fertilizer regularly, following the recommended dosage.
  • Monitoring: Keep an eye on the orchid's growth and adjust ties or supports as necessary. Check for signs of pests or diseases.

7. Adapting to Growing Conditions:

  • Temperature and Humidity: Consider the specific needs of the orchid species regarding temperature and humidity. Adjust your indoor environment accordingly.
  • Air Circulation: Ensure good air circulation around the mounted orchid to prevent fungal issues.

8. Repotting and Maintenance:

  • Repotting: Periodically check the orchid for overcrowded roots or when it outgrows the mount. Repot onto a larger mount or into a suitable orchid potting mix.

Remember that not all orchids are suitable for mounting, and some may prefer traditional pot culture. Research the specific needs of your orchid species to provide the best care. Mounting orchids can be a rewarding way to display these fascinating plants in a more natural and aesthetically pleasing manner.

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