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Need advice on growing epiphytic plants on tree fern panels

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by Risky, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Risky

    Risky Arachnosquire

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    So I've been looking at live plants that I can incorporate into my new 55gal tank. I'm interested in epiphytic plants that can grow on tree fern panels such as these: Exo Terra Tree Fern Panels I'm looking for an epiphytic plant that is exotic and colorful if possible. Any suggestions? I haven't decided yet on which animals I will be putting into the tank, but I am going to focus on the plants before the pets.
     
  2. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    There are tons of plants to meet those criteria, provided that you keep lighting needs in mind. I collect epiphytic tropical cacti in the genus Rhipsalis, Lepismium, Selenicereus, Epiphyllum and Hylocereus, which all do well in a filtered light situation and moderate humidity. There are also numerous epiphytic ferns and club mosses which are very interesting and unusual plants, and of course, countless Bromeliads and Tillandsias and Orchids, which can be mounted on those panels. Most Rhipsalis species are pendant and trailing, so they'd look really good trailing down from the top of a tree fern panel, and they are easy to find at most Lowe's Home Improvement stores. Their relatives, the Schlumbergeras, or "Christmas Cacti", can grow in a similar situation and are known for their colorful fall/winter blooms.

    pitbulllady
     
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  3. Risky

    Risky Arachnosquire

    Thank you pitbulllady! I ended up going to Home Depot and Lowe's tonight to check things out. Hope Depot didn't have much, but Lowe's had a better selection of what I was looking for. They even had carnivorous plants (not just Venus flytraps) which was somewhat surprising. Any suggestions as to where I might find some sandblasted Manzanita or grapewood? I was thinking about wrapping some in moss and growing plants off of it.
     
  4. Tarac

    Tarac Arachnolord

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    You can buy the wood in pet stores for reptiles or birds. I would recommend using cork though, neither of those other two woods are ideal for epiphyte culture. They tend to mold (grape) and are not very acceptable substrates for most epiphytes root systems either (manzanita). The tree fern plaques are useful and raw cork bark is also ideal. You can buy tubes or flats at a very good price from Maryland Cork Inc. Smaller lots can be purchase from Jelenik but they are more expensive. I grow almost all of my epiphytes on cork and a few on tree fern. Cork is the best IMO if you have sufficient humidity, as you would in a terrarium.

    I would check out Tropiflora and Glasshouse works for smaller, interesting and unusual terrarium plants. Lots of small ferns, cacti such as those mentioned by PitBullLady, tons and tons of diminutive orchids, smaller Aeroids and Bromeliads will all be suitable choices if, and this is a big 'if,' you have quality lighting. Lighting is paramount to the success of all these with very few exceptions. If you invest in good lights it will really pay off in the long run in the form of lush, compact growth and flowers.
     
  5. arachnofab

    arachnofab Arachnosquire

    Tillandsia! Plantoddities.com has a wonderful selection of air plants :)