This is a story I started last year, when I was gifted some Orchids.
One of the joys of living in South Florida is growing things outside that are houseplants almost anywhere else in North America. My neighbor showed up with a box of Cattleya Orchids yesterday. She grows these in her trees mounted on the branches; it is a beautiful sight when the clouds of purple orchids are blooming in the summer. Some are fragrant and cast sweet scents through the garden.
These Orchids were declared unkillable. If this is true these will be the first Orchids I have ever not killed. I think of Orchids more as a floral arrangement; not something that actually is perennial. So, I followed directions:
Cleared a slightly sunny spot in the base of a big Strangler Fig tree in my side yard. There are unfortunately some very poorly trained arborists (?!) around here who left this bad pruning job on my tree. A few orchids will spice things up here and cover the bald spot..
I added some dampened Sphagnum Moss; trying to place the moss so it would drain and not cause any rot on the bark of the tree.
Then I hoisted the Orchids into the trunk and tied them to the tree with sisal twine. This takes a bit of jiggling and looping to make things secure, but I think they will stay in place.
Here are the Orchids in place. The idea is you water them (not too much) until establishment in the tree. Then maybe water every week during the dry season. Voila! Hopefully, I will get some of these next year; if these are truly unkillable!
The update here is the Orchids are alive and well and are teasing me with new shoots – hopefully I get some flowers like the ones below. The good news is they do appear to be unkillable!
They look great – I love the idea of having orchids in a tree. I could do that in Sydney, but I think it’s a little more difficult here. Fingers crossed that they thrive for you!
I am waiting for flowers! the ones next door are blooming…..
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How exciting! I can’ t imagine being able to grow Cattleyas outside in trees. Wonderful. I look forward to seeing the blooms.
Another plus is I can sit in my house, on the sofa, glass of wine in hand and the orchids are right outside the window so I can keep an eye on them!. I have some native Bromeliads in the tree as well.
Please keep us updated.
I will, am waiting for flowers with baited breath.
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