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about epiphytes

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19452
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19452
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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My neighbor knows I garden, and brought me a bag saying "I don't know what this is, but I figured you might be able to use it."

It's potting mix intended for epiphytes. Mostly coarse bark, a tiny amount of pearlite, and nothing else.  Those plants sure are self-reliant, even if they do tend to stand on the shoulders (or crotches?) of giants.
 
                    
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Can you cultivate epiphytes, is it difficult & what would you use them for?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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You can.

Many of your instincts/habits built up around soil-dwelling plants will not be appropriate from them, but with the right information they can be exceptionally easy to care for.

They're mostly ornamental. I hear there was a craze for a particular variety back in the 70s (the sort that needs no liquid water), so I could imagine using them for financial shenanigans, cf. the tulip mania. They tend to grow too slowly to be very useful as food, fuel, or fiber.
 
                    
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Thanks Joel,

I think I remember that fad for "air plants".

I was thinking it would be neat to have a few pic of them in here, I think I'll do a search & post a few. 
 
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