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Moving things to treefern?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Chris, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Most of my collection is on spag/cork in an orchidarium, and I'm not really pleased with how some things are growing/faring. I've gotten some suggestions that treefern might be more suited to my conditions. Basically, I feel like the spag keeps things too wet all the time, but the bare cork would be too dry. With treefern, I'm wondering if the surface would dry off quick, while the inside retained moisture, and the roots could find their own happy medium. I grow mostly warm/intermediate bulbos, high airflow, watered daily in the morning. I have also seen the rampant success a lot of bulbo growers have with TF. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. DawnC

    DawnC New Member

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    My vote is sticking with the cork. If they've been recently mounted, they can sulk for a couple of years. I find the TF stays far too wet in the Spa for most things.

    Im by no means a "bulbo" expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Seriously, I just moved the few bulbos I had on TF to cork/sphag. Literally all the roots had rotted on the TF.
     
  3. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    I dont like TF for most things. I prefer cork or wood.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Thanks guys. Forrest, any particular reason?
     
  5. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    it doesnt work well for me in general. That being said there are a few species that I have on it that love it. You do need to watch out though because once it gets water logged it will stay that way for a while.

    I like that with cork and wood I can have better control over how long things stay wet by how much moss is with it and where it is in the airflow.

    With TF it is a little more complicated because it absorbs the moisture.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Thanks Forrest. I guess its pretty dumb for me to be looking for a cure-all.
     
  7. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    If cork doesn't stay wet enough, and sphag stays wet too long, then maybe TF is the answer. I mean, just because it doesn't work well for Forrest doen't mean it won't work well for you. Try a few things out on it. If you're pleased with the results, run with it.

    Don't forget, though, that orchids generally don't grow very quickly. It would probably behoove you to try a few things out and reevaluate in 6+ months. Not in a month. Not in 3 months. But after a decent length of time. Just a thought...
     
  8. Ron-NY

    Ron-NY New Member

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    I use an amazing amount to treefern. It works well for me and my conditions. Be aware that treefern can come in different densities. The denser holds water better than the looser but if it is too dense that can also be an issue. I use it as poles, plaques, pots and fiber as a sole ingredient or in a mix. I have been experimenting with EpiWeb in my conditions

    I agree with Jon...try a few things out first.
     
  9. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Chris, I don't like treefern at all. Mostly because once a plant attaches to it, you can forget about making divisions or remounting it. The roots become so intertwined with the fibers, the orchid is seriously damaged upon removal. (And I don't like the look of one piece of TF stuck on top of another.)

    I have many plants in my Orch, including a few Bulbos, that are mounted on bare cork. My humidity hovers around 90% with daily water, and I haven't seen any problems with those plants.

    Other things about TF that make me cuss are: (1) after the plant has grown large and heavy, the weight of the plant causes the hanger to rip out of the lightweight material; and (2) anything other than very dense TF eventually disintegrates in my humidity. The only good thing about the TF coming apart, is it gives me the perfect opportunity to mount the plant on CORK.
     
  10. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Thanks Alexis! Great post. My ambient conditions sound a lot like yours (90%, daily water). Actually, now that I think of it, the plant with the nicest root system I have is Bulbo arfakianum, and it is mounted on bare cork. I imagine there are species I need to take care that need to be wet at the roots at all times, ie, they need spag.
     
  11. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Ban hammer! No more disagreeing with me, Alexis!
     
  12. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Good advice Jon. Thanks.
     
  13. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    :cool:
     
  14. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Oh Alexis, you're in trou-ble!
     
  15. masdevallia

    masdevallia Member

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    I only use Epiweb and I love it!!
     
  16. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    With 90% humidy and daily water, most plants should be fine without sphagnum. I mostly use hard woods and cork for mounting. Things like masdevallias and pleurothallids I may put a bit (1 strand an inch or two long) at the base of the plant on top of the roots, never underneath the plant. I find that if I use only a bit of moss, the roots will go out to seek out moisture. If I put on a lot of moss, after awhile it goes sour and kills the roots. Since new roots will have to go through a wad of bad moss, they don't get very far.

    I don't use treefern as a general rule because it stays to wet in my conditions. I think many plants like a bit of a wet dry cycle, the question is how long and how frequent. There are a few exceptions (kefersteinias is one) that are doing well mounted on it.
     
  17. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

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    I'm a tree fern guy. Got a piece of Buld cornatum from Forrest and have two flower spikes up. Remember the cookies shot, that's when the plant arrived. Forrest you are correct about blooming it's heart out. But then again I grow in a greenhouse and not a fish tank. Lets me water when I need to and dry it out when I need to.
     
  18. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

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    I use a lot of tree fern and cork. Alexis has some good points that I wouldn't have thought to bring up. Like the hanger breaking through the material etc. I'd have to say my plants have done equally well with both types of mounts, so it's more or less I'll use what I have on hand or can buy at a show. I agree you should try it on a couple of plants that won't sulk and see how you like it. Experimentation is most of the fun.
     
  19. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    Clark, I do what I can with my <400 square foot apartment. A nice backyard with greenhouse is in the plans for the future.
     
  20. Tom_in_PA

    Tom_in_PA I am not an addict

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    I grow on both cork, hardwood, and tree fern. In my conditions even tree fern dries fairly quickly or me so overwatering or becoming water logged for to long is not an issue. I use it if the plants needs to stay moist longer and doesn't need to dry out quickly. The point Alexis brings up about not making divisions is another good point to take into consideration.

    I also use tree fern fiber mix for all my masdies and potted bulbos and they are all thriving very nicely in my care :D