Epiphytes Forum?

epiphyte78(9)November 7, 2013

Do you think there should be a forum specifically for epiphytes? If so, then how do we go about requesting one?

Epiphytes are neat because they have representatives in quite a few different groups...

Aroids, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Begonias, Bromeliads, Cactus and Succulents, Ferns, Fuchsias, Gesneriads, Gingers, Hoyas, Impatiens, Orchids...and so on and on.

Even Carnivorous Plants have a few representatives...Utricularia campbelliana growing epiphytically. There's even one epiphytic Cycad...Zamia pseudoparasitica growing epiphytically.

There are even epiphytic raccoons (unfortunately!)...

So let's have a forum where there's a lot of "cross pollination" going on!

This post was edited by epiphyte78 on Wed, Nov 13, 13 at 12:30

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Would guess that since most people don't grow those families with those methods there would be little interest?? Most of these are already covered in forums?? I grow many kinds that way but find there's really not much difference except you can't move them in an emergency!! gary

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 1:51AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I would be interested in a forum like this.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 3:54PM
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garyfla, I don't think that an epiphytes forum should be limited to threads on growing plants epiphytically. People would be able to post photos of epiphytes growing in pots if they wanted to.

Did you see this thread in the Gesneriad forum...Driest Growing Epiphytic Gesneriads?

Epiphytic plants besides Gesneriads were mentioned in the thread...but they were a bit off topic given that the thread was in the Gesneriad forum.

So in an epiphytes forum you would be able to see threads about Hoyas and Cattleyas and Vireyas and Drynarias and Medinillas and so on.

You can see such threads here in this forum...but they get lost in the shuffle among all the threads on terrestrial plants.

Plus, I'm interested in exchanging epiphytes...which means having to go to each forum category that has epiphytes to see what people are offering in the exchange forums. It's not really worth it to do because offerings can be rather infrequent. So it would be more efficient if there was one exchange forum dedicated to all epiphytic plants. Consolidating numerous intermittent offerings into one exchange forum would create a forum with more frequent offerings...which would be worth it to check on a daily basis.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 12:28PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I have a few Medinillas that I keep in pots in loose soil with some orchid bark mixed in. They do pretty well that way but I read in their native environment that they grow as epiphytes on the side of cliffs etc. I think it would be neat to see them that way. If anyone has any photos of theirs growing as epiphytes I would love to see them.

Here is mine.
Medinilla myriantha (?) This was labeled as Medinilla Magnifica but seems quite hardy so not sure...

Medinilla scortechinii

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Nice Medinillas!! The only one I have is Medinilla sedifolia. It survived down to at least 32F but I think it wants more heat and/or humidity than I might be able to provide here in Southern California. Next year I'll try moving it into more direct sun to see if I can coax more growth without burning it.

Here are a few photos of Medinilla cumingii growing epiphytically in its native habitat...


Medinilla cumingii grows really easy from seed. I had over 100 seedlings growing epiphytically...but then I let them dry out just a bit too much and they all went kaput. :(

Rather than stick your entire plant in a tree...you should really consider sowing your seeds. Here's my technique...

1. Pop the berries open
2. Place the "jam" into a glass jar
3. Fill the jar 3/4ths of the way with water
4. Put the lid on and vigorously agitate the jar
5. Pour the berry mixture over a fine strainer into a tupperware
6. Turn the faucet on to run water through the berries in the strainer
7. Slowly pour the water from the tupperware into an empty container.

The seeds should be left in the tupperware. I take the container with the poured off water and pour it into some hanging baskets that I keep fairly moist...just in case some of the floating seeds are viable.

For pots to sow the seeds I use small plastic water bottles. I cut the tops off and cut a couple drainage holes in the bottom. Then I fill them around half way with
a bark and perlite mix. On top I add a half inch layer of New Zealand Sphagnum. Then I thoroughly run water through the bottles to wash away smaller particles. I sow the seeds on top of the moss and place the bottles in ziploc bags which I keep under lights or near a bright window. If the temps are right the seeds germinate within a few days. Once they are large enough...over the course of several days I gradually unzip the bags to acclimate them to go outside.

Then you can attach a bunch of Medinillas to your tree. Lately my technique for adding several plants at once to my tree is to use coconut basket liner to create "pockets". I add the plants to the pocket and fill it with New Zealand Spaghnum. Then I attach the pocket to the tree. To learn more and see an example you can read my post on mounting mediums.

Let me know if you're interested in exchanging seeds. My friend has a bunch of ripe berries on his Medinilla cumingii.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 5:08PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Well i would read the forum for sure lol. Even in 10 florida it's a bit cold/dry /windy/hot for epiphytes My entire canopy was flattened by hurricanes and is just now recovering . so mostly a start over . lol
Think I've planted the right trees this time and the palms are maturing so using those for various types
Recently found an oddball epiphyte, Cochliostemma , but it's 4x4 feet so think it'll remain in a pot lol
Mostly what I'm putting out are left overs from repotting /dividing though I love that "rainforest" look
Going to experiment with using palms and tree ferns as hosts for various types and will probably wait until at least Feb before adding much more . Have always grown various types of orchids /broms but want to venture into the oddballs lol Good luck with getting the forum started you'll have at least a couple of readers?? gary

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 6:09AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Interesting method on the seed germination. I will have to try that next time they have berries! A future trade would be fun next time mine are 'in berry' :) That pic was taken when it was blooming. We are getting our first freeze tonight so everything has to go into the gh here for a while (zn 9a).

We do have good humidity here during the summer/spring. I keep mine in slanted afternoon sun and shaded morning. I moved the pot around several places in the yard before it found the spot that it liked best lol.
I used to live in Phx AZ, I would definitely have kept it in more shade in a desert climate than here. Humidity seems to keep some of the burning rays down.

Gary, I had to google Cochliostemma lol. Pretty cool plant! Has yours made flowers yet and what do they smell like?

Has anyone heard anything about the possible epiphyte forum?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 8:03PM
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garyfla, that Cochliostema is quite interesting! Never heard of it before...I guess it's in the Commelinaceae family.

One Commelinaceae that does quite well on trees here and elsewhere is Tradescantia spathacea. It's nice because the maroon undersides of the leaves are striking on a tree.

I'm definitely interested in the oddballs as well! I recently picked up a Lysionotus pauciflorus. It's an epiphytic Gesneriad from Japan and China. It doesn't look very oddball but it's different in being an epiphytic Gesneriad from Japan.

There's quite a few epiphytic oddballs in the Ericaceae family such as Agapetes.

sultry_jasmine_night, woah...a freeze possibility already? It doesn't usually freeze here at all. But your average temp and humidity is definitely higher.

Do you leave any orchids outside year around?

Here's a recent photo of my tree...

I might post a link to this thread in the other relevant forums to see if that might drum up some more interest in an epiphyte forum.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 3:41AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Have only had the cochliostemma since Aug, so no flowers as yet Was sold to me as C . jacobianum but find there are only two members of the genus . odoratissimum and velutium lol had visions of it growing in a cassia roxburghii tree but it's already over 4 feet tall so will remain in a pot at the base Only common name I've found is "False bromeliad " and it sure looks like one . C. vellutium would have been a MUCH better choice
but feel lucky to have found this one lol
Another I got was an epiphytic vine of the genus Juanulloa., rated at zone 11 so will remain in a pot at least through this winter.
Found and interesting site called "Epiphyte tree" while it's based in N. Zealand had very useful articles on attaching , materials choices I'm trying out the "Pots " made from old palm fronds but will not plant before late Feb. Mostly what I'm using are offsets and divisions from the shadehouse . Do have a Vanda orchid "bed " going between two conjoined queen palms which is entering its 4th winter .Have two strap types pushing 9 feet lol. vandas are probably the worst choice but so far
it's doing very well gary

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 5:59AM
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I've got quite a few epiphytes up in trees, probably mostly orchids (not counting Raphidophora, Epipremnum, Philodendron, etc., which are really semi-epiphytes). The most populated one is a tall African Oil Palm, got a lot of Arachnis, Vanda, Dendrobium orchids and Drynaria fern. Got a Hoya and a couple of small Ficus on it as well. The Arachnis have all gone pretty ballistic, grown right up and then hanging down. Another tall African Oil Palm has a huge cluster of Drynaria fern on it, with a Philodendron growing through it. The rest are mainly orchids scattered around on a number of trees.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 3:20AM
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