Attaching orchids to trees

emily_phuket(Thailand)July 9, 2008

Hi, I'm in Thailand and I want to attach orchids to big trees. The common practice here is to put the orchids in chunks of Coconut husk which is then wired to the tree trunk. Eventually, as the orchid roots grow on the tree the coconut husk can be removed.

I'm looking for a natural looking alternative to using coconut. Sphagnum moss is available from Bangkok but it is very expensive and I will need a lot.

Has anyone got any ideas of what I can use?



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Hi Emily,

A hammer and nails (1 to 1 1/2") will do for vandas. No need for any medium at all.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:18AM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Provided that you have the right sort of tree, you can tie the orchid on with fishing line or similar. You do not need spag. or similar in a warm humid climate.

Biggest problem is finding a tree where the bark makes the orchid happy and the canopy is not too dense.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:28AM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

There are four photos in the link of mostly Phalaenopsis growing in Vietnam.

I can only dream .

But note the Clay orchid pots and the fairly unobtrusive hanging method.

Click on the Photos for a larger view.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orchids growing in Vietnam

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:00AM
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I'd be inclined to use something more flexible than fishing line, such as nylon pantyhose. For palms it won't be a problem but you risk ring barking the tree as it grows if you use an inflexible tie.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:32AM
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I'm attaching them to the trunks of some big existing trees (30m), big Rain trees (Albixia samam) Millingtonias, Tabebuia Rosea. It won't look natural stuck to the trunks I know but I want orchids in the garden.
Sunlight shouldn't be a problem but I don't know about the tree-orchid compatibility!
Thanks for the advice. Very useful.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:54AM
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Emily, I use a lot of jute to mount orchids. By the time the jute rots away the orchid is well rooted to the mount/tree in most cases. I also use a lot of the natural mosses and lichens found in my area to hold a bit of moisture to the roots as they establish. Phal type dens do really well mounted to smooth barked palms. The roots ramble around and are a glorious sight all by themselves. I have found that phals like a rough barked tree to grow on.
Good LUCK!! I'd love to see pictures!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:26AM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

Use thin 100% cotton twine. About the time the orchids are rooted in, the twine has rotted away. You do not want to use any type of tie that will remain to snag birds or other wildlife, like wire or fishing line.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:56AM
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