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Stanhopeas on a Stick?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by ldkobzeff, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. I have a Stanhopea jenischiana and a Stanhopea novogaliciana and wanted to try to grot them mounted because in a pot hasn't been working form me, and i was wondering which would be better to try to mount them on a stick or on a piece of cork oak bark. I would like to know if using one over the other has particular benefits or is it just personal preference. And finally i got the gist of cork bark mounting, but i have no idea how to mount one on a stick. So if anyone has experience of insight they would like to share i would defiantly be interested.....
  2. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

    I have a Stanhopea panamensis on a wire basket that has so few wires that the plant is essentially just hanging there. So perhaps they will survive on a stick as long as they get watered appropiately. On the other hand my plant had a sizable root basket that held quite a bit of media deeply enmeshed among the roots when I moved it to the wire basket. So it is not just a mass of bare roots hanging there. From time to time this plant sends roots upwards. I have been adding small bits of media to the top. The greatest challenge might be getting the plant to attach to the stick, my Stanhopeas seem quite idiosincratic on the directions their roots take, they can go all over the place.
    Pappa47 likes this.
  3. I noticed that too so it's stopped me from trying to mount it b4. but the one thing i worry about if they will attach to a piece of bark better or wrap around stick but either way i think that i would mount it in/with peat moss
  4. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    How do they grow in nature? Seen any in-situ pictures?
  5. the problem is i have seen them as both grown on vertical trunk and wrapped around smaller branches.... idk which would be better....
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've seen them growing on horizontal limbs and in a tree crotch with a lot of detritus and leaf litter collected around them. I doubt the problem is finding the perfect mount, but more of providing the conditions for the mount you choose. If your plant is big enough to divide into 2 generous pieces you could try two options. If not pick one.

    Is it really the growing in a pot that isn't working? Would a basket be better? I have grown quite a few stanhopea relatives mounted and none of them did particularly well for me.
  7. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    "... because in a pot hasn't been working form me..."
    Are you growing in a pot or a basket? I don't think anyone would recommend a pot since the inflorescence grows down through the media. Unless you are really wanting to experiment with mounting one (which would be fun) I think most growers would suggest a wire basket. If you do mount one I would be interested in following your progress on this thread. Good luck.
  8. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

    Not only inflorescences can tunnel through the media, growths can too. A few months ago a new new leaf surprised me by popping from the side of the root ball, about two inches under the top of the media.
  9. i have them in baskets (well to be honest for the first year i had them i did have them in pots...:oops: ) but i do think i will try to grow one mounted, but do you thing it would be better to mount on a stick or cork bark?
  10. my main problem with them in baskets is that some of the new growth would get soggy turn brown then fall off. not i've tried changing the amount i water, and even how i water but it seems to have no effect. I lose about 1/2 of the new shoots it makes and idk how to stop it. so i thought that if i had it mounted it would be easier to control the amount of moisture the plant got.....
  11. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Don't know which would work best. It will get big so weight will eventually be an issue. A stout stick would carry the weight better. If you use cork you might need to have at least 2 attachment points so the wire doesn't tear through the cork from the weight. Just a thought ... really don't have an answer.
  12. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    " my main problem with them in baskets is that some of the new growth would get soggy turn brown then fall off "

    What medium is it growing in? Perhaps you need an airier mixture. Maybe not enough air circulation(?) I only have 2 Stanhopeas so I am not an expert.
    Another thought on the mounting ... perhaps a cedar or cypress shingle. The shingle would hold the weight better than cork and give the plant more space to spread than a stick.
  13. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

    Stanhopeas losing growth due to excess water? My plants remain wet all the time for months on end during the rainy season, and I have never lost a growth to rot. In fact during the peak of the rainy season the media can stay sopping wet for weeks at a time. If you are consistently losing new growths to rot I would advice that you explore other possible causes. Perhaps temperature is a factor, are these plants grown in the low end of their preffered temperature range?
  14. Watering the Stanhopea is a matter of giving the plant and growing media a total flush when done in the early morning. In the wild they are found growing well on transverse mossy live branches in areas where there is abundant rainfall that we classify as 'leaf wash' and in my greenhouse I try to duplicate this by watering with rainwater in abundance at least twice a week. With respect to the growing medium and container, I use green latex painted 8 inch wire baskets with good spaces between the horizontal wires. Then I carefully fill with large rough 2 inch pieces of hard styrofoam lightly interspersed with some whole red wine corks, topped with a thin layer of live sphagnum moss and below this, a couple of used tea bags filled with about a half teaspoon of Nutricote 13-13-13 at opposite sides of the basket. It is also important to have the plant firmly planted and for this I use a loop of 30 lb. fishing mono line that is transversed between the plant bulbs, taking in any remaining roots, tied firmly down to the growing media and knotted at the bottom of the wire basket. Before all the planting, I give the plant a thorough water jet washing and subsegsoaking in Physan
    Marni likes this.
  15. epiphyte

    epiphyte Member

    The most valuable lesson is not to keep all your epiphytes on the same tree. In other words, don't keep all your eggs in the same basket. When possible...hedge your bets by dividing your orchids and placing the divisions in a range of hopefully suitable conditions. Usually 3 pseudobulbs is the standard division size for orchids. Many orchids can be grown from just a single pseudobulb...but it will take a while for it to reach blooming size. I think Stanhopeas might be somewhat more difficult with single pseudobulbs.

    Another lesson I've learned is that cork is excellent for wine bottles for the same reason it is horrible for mounted orchids...it retains absolutely no moisture. You can submerge it in water for a day and it won't weigh any more than before you submerged it. It's a popular mounting choice though because moisture retention isn't an issue in humid greenhouses. Plus it's very light, it doesn't break down...and it's relatively easy to cut.

    Most fruit trees can work for mounts but lately wooden pallets are my mount of choice. There's an electrical supply store near where I live and they regularly have broken wooden pallets by their dumpster. After hours I just back my truck in, quickly throw the pallet in the bed and speed away like I stole the thing. I think I've got 3 or 4 pallets in my backyard right now. They should hopefully provide enough mounts for springtime dividing. The wood might be chemically treated but all my orchids have attached to the mounts no problem.

    Ok, regarding Stanhopeas...of the half dozen or so species I've tried...Stanhopea jenischiana is by far the best grower. My sample size hasn't been large enough to say for sure why this is though. Maybe I just ended up with an exceptional clone...but they've all done really well. One division was mounted on a horizontal Avocado branch that I brought from my previous house. Another was attached to a tree fern plaque. That division seemed to do the best.

    Last year my Avocado branch started breaking down so I divided the jenischiana and attached one of the divisions on my Cedar tree where it's doubled in size...

    Stanhopea jenischiana On A Tree
    by epiphyte78, on Flickr

    Here's the larger sized version of the photo

    Jenischiana is really starting to crowd the Encyclia cochleata! Hahaha. They are having a shoving match and the Stanhopea is winning. That's ok because the Encyclia cochleata, which is about to bloom, can run away...I think. Also seen in the picture is Oncidium maculatum...which is also about to bloom. All three orchids are quite fragrant...so I kinda messed up placing them so high up in the tree.

    These three orchids are on the "shady" side of the tree. As you can tell from the color of the leaves it's not really that shaded. Lots of direct late morning sun. Maybe somewhat filtered.

    Water wise...during the coldest days...first thing in the morning once every 10 days and during the hottest days...every night. Stanhopeas will definitely appreciate a good couple handfuls of quality New Zealand Spaghnum when you mount them.

    When I mount orchids I use 10lb to 40lb fishing line depending on the size of the orchid (perhaps 20lb for a Stanhopea). The trick is ensuring that the orchid is attached to the mount as tightly as possible. First I cut an appropriate sized length of fishing line. Then I tie a slip knot loop on one end. I wrap the fishing line around the orchid and its mount, go through the loop and cinch the fishing line tightly. Next I tightly wrap the fishing line around the orchid/mount 3 or 4 more times. Lastly is the hardest part that none of my friends have really managed to master! I use the "leftover" line from the first knot to create a slipknot which allows me to cinch down and tie off the rest of the fishing line without losing any tension. Without this slipknot it's extremely difficult to tie off the finishing line without losing some tension.

    If the orchid has any room to shift when it gets hit from water from the hose or a strong gust of wind...then the new roots won't be able to attach and the orchid will start to gradually decline. Same thing happens when snails/slugs eat off all the new root tips. The lower an orchid is on a tree...the more accessible it is to slugs/snails.

    In my conditions, and with perfect drainage, I've never had any problem with rotting Stanhopeas...even when I've carelessly placed medium on top of them! CAM orchids are a different story so I use absolutely no moss when I mount them.

    If you haven't already seen them...check out the groups for orchid enthusiasts in Southern California...

    OSSC on Flickr
    OSSC on Facebook

    You're certainly welcome to come over for a tour!