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Thread: Mounted plants in the home

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Mounted plants in the home

    I've struggled to keep mounted plants happy as a home grower. I simply can't provide the humidity they enjoy in greenhouse conditions. Yet there are some amazing orchids availble on mounts, and hanging them is handy if you're running short on shelf space.

    Slab mounts are the easiest to acclimate to the home. Simply add a little sphagnum over the roots and secure it in your preferred manner. Stick mounts are a headache, however. Securing moss to a stick requires a dozen hands to hold everything in place as you tie it down, and the stick ends up looking like a fuzzy ewok.

    The best solution I've found for sticks is sheet moss. It's commonly sold in garden supply stores. The moss comes in sheets that are 1/2-3/4" thick. I spent yesterday afternoon playing with it, and snapped some pictures as I went along thinking they might be helpful if others wanted to work with it.

    1. The first step is to soak the moss. As you can see in the first picture, the sheets are of varying sizes. So you can select the size and shape that will best wrap around the stick you're trying to cover.

    2. I ended up wrapping 3 Dends and one Laelia. In the second photo, you can see the before for two of the Dends. Dend. suzuki (a giant cruentum) is on the bottom and Dend. johnsoniae is above it.

    3. Choose a sheet of the approximate size you need, and lay the stick in the middle of it, so that you're wrapping the moss around both sides of the stick towards the front. This allows you to wrap it up to the plant, without actually covering the plant. You can cut away any excess so that the plant is clear of the moss. You can also patch with smaller pieces, should you have large bare spots.

    You don't need to cover the entire stick. Just the main roots. It actually looks more natural and more attractive to have bare stick showing in places. It's all right if you don't cover every last root. Just try and cover the larger root patches. In the third picture I'm holding the moss in place with one hand, and am about to tie it down. In the fourth picture a Laelia pumila, mounted on a tree fern slab, is set on a sheet of moss. I haven't yet wrapped the moss around the slab.

    4. Even though it can be tricky to work with, I prefer fishing line for tying mounts. I think it looks the best and allows max air to the mount. Tying it off is the hard part: both initially and when you're finished. For the initial tie, I create a lasso by tying the line back onto itself with a couple of slip knots. Then I trim the tail off. Note - make the lasso beforehand, so that it's ready to go when you're holding the moss in place on the stick. I slip the lasso around the bottom of the stick and slide the line taut. Then I can start wrapping it around the moss. I work my way upward and when I'm done, I tie the line off on the hanger. It works pretty well.

    5. The final step is to trim away any excess moss. This prevents the fuzzy ewok appearance. Snip the moss carefully! If you snip your fishing line by mistake, you'll have to start over! Cut away to expose bare stick, trim any moss that might be covering the plant itself, and generally cut back any stray moss that's sticking out.

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