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  #1  
Old 10-08-2013, 08:06 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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The world would be a far better place if there was an orchid on every tree. With that in mind, I recently created a community on reddit for orchids on trees.

For those not familiar with reddit...it's a website where people can submit links and rate them up or down. It also makes it really easy to discuss each link. Reddit is an excellent resource for aggregating information.

I've already submitted a few of my favorite links. Please feel free to rate/discuss them and submit any other links that you feel are relevant to growing orchids on trees. As Linus's law states..."given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow". In this case, given enough eyeballs, we'll find all the easter eggs.

I also created a community for epiphytes if anybody is interested.

In order for there to be an orchid on every tree...we need epiphytic orchids to be more cold/drought tolerant than they already are. The problem is...most of you really don't want to know how cold/drought tolerant your orchids really are.

But if you really enjoy seeing orchids on trees...if you'd love to walk around your neighborhood and see orchids blooming on your neighbor's trees...if you'd love for orchid seeds to germinate on your trees...then I highly recommend selecting your orchids for drought/cold tolerance.

If everybody replaces their less tolerant orchids with more tolerant orchids...then the rate at which orchids become more tolerant will greatly increase. This will greatly decrease the amount of time before orchids can be grown on trees in Canada.

If you live in say Chicago, selecting for tolerance doesn't mean right off the bat leaving all your orchids outside year around...it simply means trying to trade for the epiphytic orchids that you can leave outside the longest. Invariably there will be casualties...but you can mitigate the damage simply by ensuring that you don't keep all your eggs in one basket. If an orchid is large enough...divide it and experiment with a division. If the division is less tolerant than most of your collection...then trade the surviving divisions for orchids that are more tolerant than most of your collection.

If you live in an area that requires orchids to be more eurythermal...then trade with people who live in areas that require orchids to be less eurythermal.

With that in mind...I have a few extra divisions of Cleisostoma scolopendrifolium. According to the Baker culture sheets...it's one of the most eurythermal epiphytic orchids. It might even be more eurythermal than Epidendrum conopseum. Not only is C. scolopendrifolium very eurythermal...but it might be the smallest monopodial orchid. I've never seen a smaller one.

Let me know if anybody is interested in trading. Initially I was primarily interested in cold tolerant orchids...but it just doesn't get cold enough here to really weed out the less cold tolerant orchids. Out of the 100s of epiphytic species of orchids I grow outside year around...I only lost one species when it finally got down to at least 32F. So now I'm primarily interested in acquiring drought tolerant epiphytic orchids.

I'm looking forward to seeing which photos of outstanding orchids on trees are your favorites!
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2013, 08:46 PM
IncurablePlantHead IncurablePlantHead is offline
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I grow all my orchids in the garden. I truly appreciate observing orchids in the trees. My favorite things on earth are trees, and to see an epiphytic orchid tenaciously attached is an awesome sight to me. My eyes continuously scan the trees here in South Florida for orchids. I have them on every kind of tree in my garden from palm trees to tropical fruit trees to native trees. They are especially stunning in the big Live Oaks....I think some of the really big Catts look so natural draping over the near horizontal limbs.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2013, 09:09 PM
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:55 PM
vjo vjo is offline
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Very interesting project. A couple of my Dendrobiums made it through a couple nights down at 29 deg. last year, will be trying it again this year with a couple more. I am quite sure they probably wouldn't withstand that for very long but it was a surprise to me that they lived at all. We get temps down in the single digits here in MO. so it will probably not be in my lifetime that there will be orchids growing in every tree. Keep trying tho you never know until you try....Jean
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:00 AM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Very interesting project. A couple of my Dendrobiums made it through a couple nights down at 29 deg. last year, will be trying it again this year with a couple more. I am quite sure they probably wouldn't withstand that for very long but it was a surprise to me that they lived at all. We get temps down in the single digits here in MO. so it will probably not be in my lifetime that there will be orchids growing in every tree. Keep trying tho you never know until you try....Jean
Thanks for sharing! How many days can you leave your orchids outside? Which orchid can you leave outside the longest?
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:10 AM
Orchidsoutdoors Orchidsoutdoors is offline
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I'm in a similar position, I don't really have to deal with cold, but we do suffer from drought. I've several hundred mostly Cattleya species growing on trees in the garden, but it's very early days after 2 years of heavy rain so it's hard to gauge, but we're now in a really dry period so it's putting my plants to the test. We generally have decent humidity which is a huge benefit, but recently we've been getting some very low readings.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:13 AM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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Originally Posted by Orchidsoutdoors View Post
I'm in a similar position, I don't really have to deal with cold, but we do suffer from drought. I've several hundred mostly Cattleya species growing on trees in the garden, but it's very early days after 2 years of heavy rain so it's hard to gauge, but we're now in a really dry period so it's putting my plants to the test. We generally have decent humidity which is a huge benefit, but recently we've been getting some very low readings.
Here's a very partial listing of some relatively drought tolerant epiphytic orchids...

Ansellia africana
Barkeria (all)
Brassavola (all)
Cattleya maxima
Cattleya nobilior
Cattleya walkeriana
Dendrobium canaliculatum
Dendrobium compactum
Dendrobium speciosum
Dockrillia linguiforme
Dockrillia teretifolium
Encyclia (all)
Laelia (Mexican... albida, anceps, autumnalis, furfuracea, gouldiana, speciosa)
Laelia sincorana
Myrmecophila (all)
Mystacidium capense
Oncidium cebolleta
Oncidium onustum
Psychilis krugii
Rhyncholaelia digbyana
Rhyncholaelia glauca
Schomburgkia splendida v cauca
Schomburgkia superbiens
Sobennikoffia robusta

Right now I've got D. canaliculatum x D. discolor doing really well with relatively infrequent water. I'd really love to try other crosses with D. canaliculatum.

If you get a chance you should track down Dendrobium trilamellatum. It grows in areas with a fairly long dry season.

Have you tried sowing orchid seeds directly on your trees? I think that would be the best long term approach to try and select for individuals that were especially drought tolerant. Plus, it's easy enough to do!
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:37 PM
Orchidsoutdoors Orchidsoutdoors is offline
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Here's a very partial listing of some relatively drought tolerant epiphytic orchids...
Thanks for that. I have a large number of the species you've mentioned. A couple of them have some cultural particularities which make them harder to grow for me. I'd add to that list Oncidium sphacelatum, it's like a weed. I have a very large clump which is about to have its largest number of spikes so far (last year's blooms are in my gallery).

In relation to seed, it's something I'm going to try but as we're heading into an El Niņo pattern, I'm unlikely to have much success with non-natives. I have some Brassia and Oncidium hybrids that could work.

Our climate can be tough though, even in the wild D. Speciosum can die in massive numbers during a drought.
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