Care and feeding of an epiphyte

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In summary: The plant does not need a lot of water, it can live without being watered. It can live without being watered.It's a bromeliad, so it's used to not needing water. I would just lightly water it when it feels dry.
  • #1

DaveC426913

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I've had epiphytes before. Supposedly they don't need watering, but then when I read the instructions, it says I'm supposed to drown it and then let it dry out. Tried that once, and killed it off.

So now I've got an epiphyte as a Christmas ornament. It's in a 4" glass ball with open sides, sitting on a little bit of driftwood.

Do I water it? Soak it?
I guess I don't put it away with the ornaments.
How much light/warmth does it need?
Do I hang it in the (full shade) window?
If it wants warmth, will the window be too cold in the winter?
Do I leave it in our (dim) living room?
409318_330871713611827_2029721452_n.jpg
 
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  • #2
Dave, I don't have a clue about your question, but I find the whole concept of epiphytes interesting. I don't recall having heard the word before but I immediately recognized the main characteristic that it is on something but doesn't feed from it, just uses it as a platform. I have a question for you though; is the driftwood that it's on pretty much devoid of moisture? For some reason, I though these things needed a platform that had some inherent moisture, but it listed moss as an example, and since that grows on rocks, I was clearly mistaken.

That's a nifty looking little plant.
 
  • #3
I was in fact mistaken. It is not on driftwood, but moss.
 
  • #4
I used to raise the whole range of these, a lot of bromeliads. Just lightly water them when they feel dry. You might want to lightly mist them, the ends of yours are drying out and dying.

The best-known epiphytic plants include mosses, orchids, and bromeliads such as Spanish moss (of the genus Tillandsia), but epiphytes may be found in every major group of the plant kingdom. 89% of epiphyte species (about 24,000) are flowering plants. The second largest group are the leptosporangiate ferns, with about 2800 species (10% of epiphytes). In fact, about one third of all ferns are epiphytes.[4] The third largest group is clubmosses, with 190 species, followed by a handful of species in each of the spikemosses, other ferns, Gnetales, and cycads.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte
 
  • #5
Evo said:
I used to raise the whole range of these, a lot of bromeliads. Just lightly water them when they feel dry. You might want to lightly mist them, the ends of yours are drying out and dying.
Thx. I got a little spray bottle.

BTW, that's not mine. It's a Googled pic of the same type.
 
  • #6
DaveC426913 said:
Thx. I got a little spray bottle.

BTW, that's not mine. It's a Googled pic of the same type.
Oh good!
 
  • #7
DaveC426913 said:
...
409318_330871713611827_2029721452_n.jpg
Plants like this tend to be environment-friendly. I would leave them inside the living room to keep the room air fresher.
 
  • #8
Medicol said:
Plants like this tend to be environment-friendly. I would leave them inside the living room to keep the room air fresher.
Well, it's teeny - barely one cubic inch.

I'm more concerned about what's best for the plant.
 
  • #9
DaveC426913 said:
Well, it's teeny - barely one cubic inch.
I'm more concerned about what's best for the plant.
Look at its leaves, it tells you that it may not need a lot of water, the tiny hairs on their leaves are to catch and keep moisture and water in the air, that also means it doesn't need a lot of sunlight. For decoration, I would hang it in the kitchen near the windows where it can see the natural light from the outside and get itself activated on pollutant filtering purpose.
 
  • #10
My wife (the plant guru) has 3 of these things, in glass globes with holes in them. The plants are on/in some kind of rocky material. They live in our kitchen hanging above the sink and out of direct sunlight. She mists them about once a week in the winter and maybe every other week in the summer. Hope this helps.
 
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1. What is an epiphyte?

An epiphyte is a type of plant that grows on the surface of another plant, usually a tree, but does not derive any nutrients from it. It uses the host plant for support and access to sunlight, but obtains water and nutrients from the air or rain.

2. How do I care for an epiphyte?

Epiphytes require minimal care, as they are adapted to survive in their unique environment. However, they do need regular watering and misting to maintain moisture levels. It is also important to provide them with adequate sunlight and air circulation.

3. What should I feed an epiphyte?

Epiphytes do not need to be fed in the traditional sense, as they do not obtain nutrients from soil. However, you can mist them with a diluted fertilizer solution once a month to provide them with essential minerals and nutrients.

4. How often should I water an epiphyte?

The frequency of watering an epiphyte depends on the specific plant and its environment. Generally, they should be watered once or twice a week, but it is important to check the moisture level of the plant's roots regularly to determine the correct watering schedule.

5. Can I keep an epiphyte indoors?

Yes, many epiphytes can thrive indoors as long as they receive adequate sunlight and moisture. However, it is important to choose a species that is suitable for indoor conditions and to provide them with proper care according to their individual needs.

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