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  • 1 Post By serama
  • 1 Post By phalspital
  • 1 Post By matheius

Tree fern mounts

This is a discussion on Tree fern mounts within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; hi guys, I have a dead tree fern trunk from a garden I am working ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Tree fern mounts

    hi guys,
    I have a dead tree fern trunk from a garden I am working on (it was dead when I got there, honest!) and I am thinking about cutting it up into hanging pots and mounting one or maybe more of my orchids. I grow indoors so I will have to find some ingenious reservoir/drip water or wicking system to keep them moist. My space is limited (hence starting to grow vertically) and it would be in front of a north west facing window. The humidity at the moment is around 55-60%. Possibly going outdoors if that helps during the summer.

    Does anyone grow on tree fern mounts indoors? And how do you find watering them?

    Are there any orchids from my possible mounting list that may do better mounted than potted?;
    Angraecum viguieri - this is the one I want to mount but I'd hate to lose it.
    Cattleya dowiana
    Cattleya intermedia X R.digbyana
    Cattleya luminosa
    Cyrtochilum ramosissimum
    Dendrobium harveyanum
    Masdevallia caudivolvula
    Phal 'Kung's Green Star' (mini)
    I have lots of Oncidiums, Brassias, Rossio, Psychopsis etc but I think these are going to get too big for what I have in mind.
    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
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    I have a number of treefern mounts and I find them ... unreliable. I think they work fine for plants that would naturally grow on treeferns but are not suitable for most other plants ... at least not under my growing conditions.

    For the first few months they hold very little water and are best suited for orchids that like to dry out quickly, but after 6-12 months they start to absorb a lot of water and stay moist for long periods of time, which means they never dry out with my normal regime of watering. I had an Angraecum didierii on one of these and it grew like mad for the first year, then it quickly declined because the mount never dried out fast enough for it. I also mounted 4 phals on large treefern plaques early this year and even though the mounts are in top condition the phals don't seem to like them. The roots grow straight away from them and even when I tie the roots back onto the mount, they still grow away and never attach to them. I have other phals attached to cork and epiweb and their roots stick to their mounts like glue. The only two plants I have that seem happy with their treefern mounts are a masdevallia and a Zygostates lunata. They're growing on old mounts that always stay moist and they seem to like them for now (they have only been growing on them for about 8 months, so it's early days).

    I think your Masdevallia is the only plant that would like the treefern in the long run, but you would need to weather it first so that it stays moist as this particular plant would die very quickly if it ever dried out completely.

  3. #3
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    Default

    i grow some tree fern mounts, but my growing conditions are different than yours, of all the plants listed, oncidiums seem to take to tree fern nicely, but suggest you start with something you don't mind experimenting with, i.e. losing

  4. #4
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    Random sodden thoughts: I have a gorgeous perfumed species mini catt on a tree fern 3-foot baton...she loves it, but then to echo others, my growing situation is opposite yours--tropical south. I packed sphagnum around the roots until they anchored (quickly). I dump a cup of water on her every other day (it's dry and warm here in winter) and bring her in from under the palm trees on nights of below-60F. In the UK (and for me in Switzerland) lack of humidity indoors is such a challenge, and the porosity of tree fern seems to argue against that medium outside the tropics or a greenhouse. However, having said that, I have often just plunked the baton into the sink and run water over it, so indoor watering can be easy. Drain, rehang...Bob's your uncle. I also like the versatility of vertical growing--I fashioned a hook of copper wire like a clothes hanger at the top, so I can hang the baton from almost anything, from a tree to a shower curtain rod; handy when you have to move things around to suit either climate or space. I do worry about what will happen when the medium breaks down--it is very friable and often sheds bits. Hope you try with a little cattleya or oncicium and tell us what happens...good luck!

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    Thanks for the replies - It's interesting to read your thoughts and trials.
    As is the case with orchid growing - there are no hard and fast rules. The watering is where I am going to fall down, if anything. So in the interest of not losing anything too precious to me I will 'experiment' with a Catt that has just come out of a root rot... ahem, incident! It's throwing out new growths and aerial roots from nothing so I'll see how she goes and take it from there - mounting divisions of others when they come up.
    Thanks again for the advice.

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