Epidendrums growing in the street in soil!
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:46 PM
chris_rex chris_rex is offline
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Epidendrums growing in the street in soil!
Default Epidendrums growing in the street in soil!

With over 1000 species, sure enough there is a species that grows really well in soil in the street under part shade at 39 degrees south in a temperate oceanic climate.

This came as a shock to me really. I had long seen couple of Epidendrum around our suburb growing in forks of trees, so several years ago, I bought some reed stem cuttings on EBay. Alas, these cuttings have been very difficult to grow, even indoors and do not even thrive in my greenhouse. I suppose that's not surprising as the cuttings came from Queensland !

Up to that point I had just grown Bletilla and Cymbidium outdoors, but the thing about these Epidendrums is the long flowering period. We are talking 3+ months.

So I guess the moral of this story is, source cuttings from your local area, in situ, if you want to successfully grow these plants outdoors.

The plants which are doing well have very thick leaves and clearly have succulent characteristics. The ones that did not do well had far thinner leaves.

As to general condition, when grown outdoors, in the open the leaves will inevitably show bruising from hail.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:11 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Epidendrums growing in the street in soil! Female

Reed-stem Epidendrums do grow in soil if it is reasonably well-drained. They are used extensively in the landscaping of the San Diego Zoo, not far from where I live. This is a similar climate to yours - coastal and temperate, with frost pretty rare and never for more than a few hours. And heat also not particularly a problem with some shading from the mid-day sun to keep leaf temperatures from reaching the burning point.

I have found Bletilla striata actually grows better for me in the ground than in a pot - even in very poor clay soil. Cymbidiums will grow in well-drained soil, not happy with clay. (I grow mine in pots, the soil is too dense to even dig a hole with any reasonable effort)

I grow lots and lots of other orchids outdoors (temperatures from near-freezing in winter to 95 deg F 35 deg C in summer) but in pots, baskets, or mounted rather than in the ground. A friend who is a superb outdoor grower summarizes it for our area - just subtract light and add water.
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