Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Growing orchids in live moss

I visited my family in Michigan over the weekend, and noticed some really prolific moss growing all over their backyard.  I harvested some to bring back with me for my orchids (thankfully TSA didn't question why I had plastic bags of green herbs in my baggage).  If dried sphagnum moss works well as a potting and mounting medium, then live moss should work even better, right?  I guess I'll soon see the answer.  My hope is that living moss will be better able to keep a good humidity around the roots.

slight wrinkling of the cane shows dehydration from my lack of watering over the weekend.  The wrinkling disappeared soon after I came back and watered 
     As seen in the above picture, I decided to try mounting my dendrobium victoria reginae.  I'm hoping that this way I'll be able to water the orchid daily and thus provide more moisture, without risking root rot.  Also, by hanging the orchid mount off the side of the shelf, I save space, and can place the orchid directly next to the humidifier for maximal moisture.    

     I also placed some leftover moss at the top of some of my pots.  Even if there is no benefit to the plant, I think a green layer of moss is aesthetically pleasing.

     My one difficulty is that in attempting to keep the moss alive, I may end up overwatering my plants.  For now I'm going to keep my watering regimen the same as before, but spray the top of the moss daily to keep some surface moisture.  Hopefully some of this moss will establish sufficiently to survive my conditions.

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