Lately, I’ve been mounting some of my epiphytic plants. I love the look so much that I wanted to share my experience with them and what I’ve learned care wise.
First, epiphytic plants are plants that don’t require soil to grow. They would instead, grow inside nooks and crannies of trees or rocks. They don’t harm the plants or trees they tend to grow on, but instead use them more or less for support. A lot of epiphytic plants can be seen in rainforests, scattered amongst the canopy, receiving mostly bright dappled light.
These are the plants I choose to mount or turn into kokedama. I have the best success with these plants, cause this is how they would grow naturally in nature.
Common epiphytes include:
- Phalaenopsis Orchids
- Dendrobium Orchids
- Cattelya Orchids
- Epidendrum Orchids
- Bird’s Nest Ferns
- Stag Horn Ferns
- Elk Horn Fern
- Rabbits Foot Fern
- Ric Rac Cactus
A lot of people ask me if the care is difficult. It can be difficult if you place your mounted plant in an area that is not so easy to get to, or has inadequate lighting. You do need to be mindful that you will have to take it down to water at least twice a week. If they are outdoor, be sure to mount it in an area your hose can get to and doesn’t have too much sun exposure. I like to take mine down and inspect at least 2-3 times a week.
Watering is fairly simple. For small mounts like mine, I simply just place in my sink and water for about a minute or so. You can also fill the sink and let your plants soak in the water for a few minutes. Then I just let it drip dry in the sink before putting it back up. For larger mounts, using a hose or showerhead is the best option. I water my mounts once they feel light and dry, since I like to let mine dry out before watering next. Be mindful that you may need to water more frequently depending on the plant and how quickly they dry out. Air circulation, light, and temperatures all play a role in how quickly they may dry.
Not all epiphytes are the same with light or water requirements. Hoyas are epiphytic, but they tend to like a little more light and drying out than a Stag horn fern would. A little knowledge about the plant you want to mount will go a long way. To be safe, place your mounted plant in an area where it will recieve bright but indirect light. Most epiphytes grow in the shade of other plants and don’t recieve a lot of direct light. If lighting is direct, morning sun to afternoon shade is best. Afternoon heat and sun will burn most of these plants.
Overall, I do love displaying my plants this way. If you’re starting to run out of room on your shelves for plants, this is a great alternative if you don’t have the space.