Crazy idea for planting and hanging orchid outside

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)May 18, 2014

I found a couple of these vine balls at the Goodwill store yesterday - 50 cents each. (Please see photos below.) A light bulb popped on in my head - maybe these would be good for planting a Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) to hang outside from a tree? They are about seven inches in diameter. My idea is to carefully spread the vines open, gently tuck a phal inside, and fill the ball with large pine bark chunks and some sphagnum around the plant. Should I put just the roots inside? Or some of the leaves? I'm thinking just the roots, right? Leaves on the outside?

I would hang it upside down, right? Isn't that how phals should be hung outside?

I was thinking of using some wire or a long S-hook. Easy enough to slide wire through a couple of vines on the ball.

Please give me your advice. Do you think this would work? Suggestions?


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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Plant it on the outside. Use some insulated copper wire to tie the plant on. If you plant it on the inside I think it will struggle. Make a string or wire small loop tied onto the outside of the ball, and thread your s wire end through the loop. Hang the ball before you mount the plant. That way you can decide where to place the plant on the ball.

A phal would work but there are many other choices.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:56AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Monkey, thanks for the help! I really do appreciate that - good ideas. My only choices are phals or terrestrial orchids. That is the extent of my "collection". Yeah, I know the Ts won't work. But I should hang the phal upside down, right?

Thanks again! I love this forum.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:03AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

great question. Hang it sideways. That is how they grow in nature. If they get water in the crown there is a chance the plant will die. It holds water and if it is there long enough it will rot and the center is the grow point. So in nature they've adapted to grow sideways. Maybe one on each side?

Besides wire, strips of pantie hose might be less damaging than wire...

Good luck

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Tie the orchids to the outside of the ball with jute twine. You're going to need a knitting needle to slide the twine through the sides of the ball. The jute will last at the most 2 years outside, but by then the roots of the orchid will have wrapped around the fibers of the ball. You don't need or want to have ANYTHING inside. Orchids are air plants, at least the Phals are. Hang it in dappled sun where it will get rain or even better, some irrigation. And use clear, heavy fishing line that you won't see and that will last forever.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Tie it on with a shoelace or anything else. After a year the roots will have wound around it's mount and then you can remove what ever you used in the beginning. Then it will look natural. The criteria for the initial tie is that it should come off easy after a year. 4 lbs fishing line works real well for me and is almost invisible.

If you are into Phaelies and given that Phaelies go for the price of a burrito at the big box stores, I would buy 4 or 5 and mount them in a 360 degree circle on all sides of this ball. An orchid with a rambling rhizome like a cattleya would probably work better but it's all good.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:10PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

You guys are wonderful! What great information! I am going to tie on the phal today. If I should happen to run into a cattleya, I will use it for the second grapevine ball.

Thanks so much, everyone. I really appreciate it!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:36AM
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