How to hang an orchid on a tree

How To Grow Orchids On Trees – Orchideria

Growing orchids on trees is an exotic way to showcase your orchids year-round. If you live in a hardiness zone that permits growing orchids outside, (generally USDA Zone 11, which includes: Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean and southern California) then you definitely will want to try this method. It’s where orchids grow naturally.

If you don’t live in a zone that provides the environment to properly acclimate orchids outside (you can check the hardiness zone on this website) don’t despair. We’ll teach you how to mount them on tree bark and hang them inside in another article.

Steps to Mounting Orchids on Trees

  1. Find the right Tree
  2. Locate the fixation place for the Orchid
  3. Choose an Appropriate Orchid
  4. Gather Material: moss and Cotton Ties
  5. Place your Orchid on the Mount and Tie

What benefits does the orchid get from the tree?

Being attached to a tree, your orchid will already have the light/shade requirements that it needs without supplemental lighting. If you are mounting an orchid on a wall mount, you’ll probably nee artificial light. You can read more about indoor lighting here.

The rain is free of chemicals that city reservoirs add to treat consumption water, like chlorine. You won’t have to used distilled water or let your water soak for 24 hours before watering.

The temperature of the water is perfect, not being too hot, and certainly not cold, like ice cubes.

Rain quickly drenches the orchid, and freely runs down the rest of the tree, not allowing for root rot. Drainage, drainage, drainage…
Image Credit: “Branch orchids” by Greg Lee is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .With adequate wind circulation, it’s hard for fungus and bacteria to accumulate in the crown of the orchid.

Wind will also favor pollinators, which is one of the orchid’s main functions.Being high up in the nook of a tree, an orchid is free from ground dwellers who munch on the leaves. They also are less likely to be infested with pests and insects, compared to dwelling on the ground.

Orchids don’t get their nutrients from the tree, so they aren’t parasitic. It won’t hurt a tree trunk to attach an orchid to it. Nothing is being robbed from the tree, in aid of the orchid. The only reason orchids attach themselves to tree trunks is to firmly hold on.

“Catasetum napoense (Orchidaceae) – male raceme” by Dr. Alexey Yakovlev is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Choosing the Right Tree for Your Orchid

Before you choose an orchid to mount, you need to find the perfect tree to mount it on. The overhead canopy needs to let some sunlight through, so don’t pick a spot on the tree that is 100% in the shade.

The bark needs to be rougher, with craggy nicks and uneven crannies, so the roots have something to attach to. Smooth bark doesn’t offer the enough difference in texture that the roots need.

Avoid trees where the bark will chip off in hunks. It’s easy for the orchid to completely break off the tree during a hard rain.

Good candidates for this are: oaks, palm, avocado, citrus, schefflera and any tree that has jagged, coarse bark.

Once you have chosen the perfect tree, find the best spot for your orchid. Make sure to observe the darker side of the tree, since no orchid like to be in the sun all day long.

Also, the darker side is usually where water trickles down the bark when it rains. If you attach the orchid to the driest side of the tree, the roots will dry out.

A good idea is to search for lichen.

Moss on tress signify that the airflow (and quality) is ideal and the sun isn’t too hot or direct.Verify to see how cold the northern winds are in your area, and if your orchid can tolerate them. Even if they do, don’t attach the orchid to the north side—if possible.

If you can, and all the items listed before match up, attach your orchid in the south-facing position. This gives the leaves adequate sun and bright light, without exposing your orchid to much direct sunlight or cold wind.

If the tree branches off, take a look at where the bifurcations occurs. If there is a crevice that accumulates water, then this isn’t going to be ideal.

Find crevices or nooks that can drain properly.

Choosing the Right Orchid for Your Tree

The second part of mounting an orchid in trees is choosing the right orchid. Not all orchids will live well in your climate, or adapt well to your temperatures outside.

Do your research to see if your orchid is a cooler climate or enjoys hotter temperatures. Does your orchid like sun or prefer shade?

High-light orchids are Vandas, some kinds of Cattleyas, and Dendrobiums. Orchids that prefer bright shade, or medium light, are: Miltonias and the majority of Cattleyas. Orchids that prefer bright light but totally in the shade are the Phalaenopsis, Oncidiums, and Paphiopedilums.

My suggestion would be to start with miniature Cattleyas (medium to high light) and Phalaenopsis (low-light), since these are some of the easiest orchid to grow.

If you have success, then try a Brassavola with a larger mount.

Image Credit: “Phalaenopsis Hybrid”
by o0o Dylan o0o is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Whatever orchid you choose, make sure it is drought resistant, since orchids outside will dry out faster. Wall-mounted orchids will dry out faster, too.

If your orchid thrives in a more humid climate, don’t try to attach it to a mount or a tree.

Once you match an orchid with light, humidity, and temperature preferences to your tree, then you’re set to go.

When is the Best Time to Attach the Orchid to A Tree?

Watch for new growth of roots. When an orchid has finished blossoming, and all the buds have fallen off, your orchid might go dormant. Some do, others don’t. After the dormancy period, which might be from a few weeks to a couple months, new roots start to appear.

This is the best time to attach the orchid to a tree, since the roots will be looking for firmness and sturdy bark. It’s harder to attach older roots that have already grown in potting medium to become accustomed to tree bark.

How do I attach the orchid to the tree?

1. Make a visual layout or preview before starting.

Spread the roots of the orchid outward, so none are overlapping each other. Arrange them on the tree bark as if they are giving the tree a small hug. The roots need to spread out, like a clock in all directions.

2. Don’t use any type of potting mix now.

The temptation will be to make a “chair” or “pillow” for the orchid, but resist this idea. The orchid needs to be directly in touch with the bark. Many new orchid growers attach sphagnum moss as an in between layer, but it doesn’t provide any advantages.

In fact, this layer in-between the roots  will only rot quickly.As for the plant, make sure you are holding it the right way, which would probably mean “sideways.” If it rains, will water be collected in the crown of the plant?

Phalaenopsis orchids grow naturally “sideways,” which to us, seems like it’s the wrong way. This isn’t how they are normally displayed in supermarkets and grocery stores. The main reason for this is so the rain will drain properly from the plant and not accumulate.

When attaching orchids in trees, make sure you are attaching them the way they’d grow in nature.

3. With cotton string, loosely wrap the orchid onto the tree.

Avoid the urge to securely fasten it, squeezing all the juice and life of its roots. If the orchid doesn’t wobble with the wind, or move when tugged on, then it is firmly attached.

If you wrap the cotton string too tight, you risk looking the roots and harming the stem. Wrap a couple times around the tree, making sure the orchid is attached.

In time, the cotton string will disintegrate into the environment. This might take one or two years, but by then, your orchid will have successfully attached to the bark and don’t need extra support.

If you’d like, you can use other material to securely fasten your orchid to the bark. Plastic ties or eve hot glue guns, but we don’t recommend them as much.

 4. Now is the time to add sphagnum moss.

Cover the roots with moss until they are well packed. This is important for the first few months for orchids in trees, as the sphagnum will eventually fall off or decay. But the initial humidity is important, since the roots will be more exposed to wind than before.

The aim is for the moss to fall off, so don’t wrap it too tightly either.

Leave out a few aerial roots so the orchid gets its nutrients from the dust and wind. If they are buried in sphagnum, they won’t function properly.

Don’t Stop Learning!

If you want to be included in a more information and get a 14-page fertilization guide, please sign up for my newsletter. I don’t spam, but send emails out bi-monthly with some curious topics of interest. If you want more information, click here to go to a specific page on this website where I explain it more in detail.

Also, if you are looking for an orchid journal to keep your notes specifically about orchid care, check out my 2 solutions for that on this page. If note-keeping isn’t your thing, then there is a free excel spreadsheet that you can download. Click here for more information on how to do that.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, I will send you a 14-page guide on the main tips of orchid fertilizer. It is downloadable and you can print it out on your computer. I designed the guide to double up as a coloring book, just to make it fun.

How do I care for an orchid attached to a tree?

During the first few months, your orchid will need additional care. Mist or spray your orchid daily, to ensure that the roots are getting adequate humidity and water.

Check often to see how the cotton ties are holding up and if the sun is directly shinning on the orchid leaves.

Masdevallia orchid

 Looking for Inspiration?

If you need inspiration, this article in the Miami Herald talks about a social project that involved attaching orchids on trees around the city. The Million Orchid Project, done in 2013, was conceived to teach students about biology and botany.

With the help of the city, 750 orchids were donated and attached to trees, including “butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis), cowhorn orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum), cockleshell orchid (Prosthechea cochleata), and night fragrant epidendrum (Epidendrum nocturnum).”

If you want more inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest Board, with images that I collect from viewers. The link takes you directly to the board about Orchids mounted on Trees, but there are tons of other boards on my Pinterest page to inspire you.
Now that you know all about mounting orchids in trees, what to look for when selecting a tree and the right orchid, and how to attach it, it’s time to get your hands dirty. LOL Check out some of our tutorials on how to design a great floral design or build a terrarium with orchids.

If this information was of any help, and clarified any doubts you had, please mention so in the comments. I love to interact with other orchid enthusiasts, and can share from our experiences.

Share this page with a friend who has an orchid, comment, or just give me a thumbs up 😊 in the comments below.

Happy cultivating!

How do I Hang an Orchid Plant Onto a Tree? | Home Guides

By Michelle Z. Donahue

Warm-area gardeners may not be able to grow a nice head of lettuce, but they can free their orchids from their pots and let them ramble on a tree as nature intended. Although only the very warmest areas of the country are suitable for mounting orchids on trees to leave outdoors year-round, it is a relatively straightforward procedure for those living in an appropriate climate.

  1. Ensure the local growing area will not threaten tree-mounted orchids in winter. If the local area experiences near-freezing or freezing temperatures in the winter, a tree-mounted orchid is not likely to survive. Generally speaking, only areas rated as U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 11 or warmer are safe for growing orchids mounted on trees year round.

  2. Assess the tree in question for its suitability for orchid growing. Trees that cast heavy shade or have very smooth bark are typically poor candidates for orchid mounting. Instead, choose a tree that has textured or furrowed bark, which provides myriad nooks and crevices for wandering orchid roots, and a light, open canopy that provides light shade while also admitting bright light.

  3. Match the orchid to the space. Light requirements vary by orchid species. For bright areas with several hours of direct sunlight, Oncidium and Dendrobiums are good choices, many of which are hardy from U. S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. Cattleyas also appreciate bright light, but are less cold tolerant, growing well only from USDA zones 10 through 12. Orchids for shadier sites include Phalaenopsis, hardy from USDA zones 10 to 12, and Paphiopedilum, hardy from USDA zones 9 to 12.

  4. Remove the orchid from its pot after watering it thoroughly. Moistened growing medium separates from orchid roots much more easily than dry material.

  5. Brush away and discard the old growing medium.

  6. Inspect the roots for evidence of decay. Use scissors to clip away any rotted roots, which will generally be brown, soft or even hollow. Healthy, active roots are firm and often pale green to white in color.

  7. Situate the orchid on the tree where it is to be grown. South-facing exposures are often preferable, as they provide more light and protection from cooler northern winds. Many orchids grow directly against vertical portions of the trunk, although an intersection of branches may also be suitable.

  8. Wrap a length of string or fishing wire around the orchid and the tree, wrapping the string as many times around the tree and orchid together as necessary until the orchid does not wobble in place. Concentrate the loops of each pass of string near the base of the orchid. Do not wrap the string too tightly, because this risks cutting into the plant’s rhizomes and roots.

  9. Water thoroughly once a day, or as needed if rainfall is lacking, until the plant is well established and new roots are actively clinging to the host tree. This may take several months. Within a year, the orchid should be holding itself to the tree with its aerial roots.

  10. Remove the string after the orchid is supporting itself on the tree. This may take a year or so. Gently clip away the string and pull it to remove it from around the plant and tree.


  • American Orchid Society: Growing Orchids on a Tree
  • Pinecrest Gardens: Orchid Mounting Techniques
  • RepotMe: Mounted Orchid Care
  • About Orchids: Light


  • A natural material like cotton string will naturally decompose in the time it takes the orchid to establish itself on a tree host. Stretchy materials, such as strips of nylon pantyhose, will stretch with the plant and require less maintenance.
  • Marginally hardy orchids like Phalaenopsis and Cattleyas should probably be mounted on slabs of cork or a section of tree limb, using the same techniques described to mount the plant directly on a tree. This allows the grower the flexibility to move USDA zone 10 orchids in and out of doors during dicey winter weather. Temporarily hanging these orchids in a tree gives a similar effect as a permanent tree-grown orchid, but also the ability to take the orchid indoors.


  • While fishing line is often recommended for aesthetic purposes, it may need to be periodically adjusted or loosened to accommodate growth of the plant.
  • Never use bare metal wire, which is likely to damage the orchid plant as well as the tree.
  • Do not use a pad of moss or other growing medium between the tree and the orchid. This can encourage rotting from too much moisture at the plant's base, and inhibit the orchid from rooting properly onto the tree.

Writer Bio

Michelle Z. Donahue has worked as a journalist in the Washington, D.C., region since 2001. After several years as a government and economic reporter, she now specializes in gardening and science topics. Donahue holds a bachelor's degree in English from Vanderbilt University.

features of care without soil and without substrate, can a flower grow

Many flower growers hesitate to grow their orchids without soil . But, as experts say, this is not difficult, the main thing is to know how to properly care for such plants so that they grow leaves and roots, and subsequently bloom.


  • 1 The practice of growing orchids without soil at home
    • 1.1 Features
    • 1.2 What is nutrition in this way?
    • 1.3 Proceedings and disadvantages
  • 2 methods
    • 2.1 in water
    • 2.2 on blocks
  • 3 Features of caring
    • 3. 1 Watering
  • 4 Potential Problems
  • 5 Which orchids can be grown without soil?
    • 5.1 Suspended
  • 6 Useful video
  • 7 Conclusion

The practice of growing orchids without soil at home

Next, consider growing orchids without soil: care features, how and in what to grow a flower. For example, some growers grow their plants in claydite and water . For this:

IMPORTANT! If the roots have reached the bottom of the container, then the water must be drained completely or the plant should be transplanted into a larger container.


Can orchids grow without soil? A feature of this method can be considered that the roots of the plant need bark only to keep it in a pot. But in order to transfer a flower to maintenance completely without land, it will be necessary to accustom to a drier content . With this method of growing, plants are fixed in containers using various devices.

What is nutrition in this way?

Is it possible to grow plants without substrate? A growing orchid without soil receives nutrition from the added water during irrigation. The water must be soft .

Some people think that melt water or rain water will do, but if the grower does not live in the countryside, then the water collected after the rain, which washed away all the urban smog, will simply kill the plant.

Therefore, it is best to pour with warm boiled water. It is also possible to spray fertilizers on the leaf, but at the same time, top dressing is diluted with , increasing the amount of water by 3 times. This is done so that the leaves do not burn.

Advantages and disadvantages

This method has many positive qualities :

  • Flower roots do not rot from improper watering and improperly selected substrate;
  • No repotting is required, which means that the roots are not injured;
  • It is convenient to feed and monitor the condition of the root system;
  • Being in a glass flask, the roots do not dry out and receive enough light for photosynthesis.

Disadvantages :


There are various conditions for growing a flower without a substrate in a container. Since this is an epiphytic plant, the orchid began to grow in alternative ways .

In water

Such cultivation has a name - hydroponics . Through the water, a nutrient medium enters the roots, as top dressing is added to the water. The water is changed weekly and must be:

  • Soft;
  • And with the addition of a small amount of fertilizer.

Method for planting in water :

  1. Rinse soil off roots;
  2. Take a transparent plastic container and make holes at the level of 3 cm from the bottom, with the help of which the aeration of the roots will improve and the liquid level will be regulated;
  3. Expanded clay is poured up to the holes and liquid is poured;
  4. A flower is placed on top of all this and filled to the top with expanded clay;
  5. Such a flower must be fed with fertilizer, diluted three times from the usual dose of .

IMPORTANT! The flower is not damaged by pests and does not require transplantation for a long time.

On blocks

An orchid grows without soil on a balcony. This method is good because the flower looks natural, like at home in natural conditions. But for such cultivation of flowers needs high humidity , so you need to have a built-in greenhouse where all this can be done. Otherwise, in the summer, when the heat sets in, the roots will dry out greatly and the plant will die from drying out.

On the balcony for an orchid without soil, moist conditions must be created.

The block is taken from bark that does not decompose and does not contain resin. Sphagnum moss is wound onto the block, and an orchid and moss covering the roots are carefully tied to this structure. If the apartment has poor humidity, then will need frequent root moistening .

IMPORTANT! A plant can only be transferred to the block in the spring, provided that it is completely healthy.

Care instructions

Many experienced flower growers grow their flowers without soil. This gives them the convenience of inspecting the root system and determining the timeliness of watering. They think the orchid only needs the bark to keep it in its pot .

Comfort conditions for orchids without soil:

  • A plastic or glass container in which the entire root system is placed;
  • Roots are not damaged by fungal diseases;
  • No rot;
  • Constant humidity in the container without sudden temperature changes.


Plant is watered in the following way :

  • Water is poured into half of the container, but so that it does not reach the stem of the plant. And the orchid stands in the water for 2 days;
  • After which the water is drained from a glass or plastic vase;
  • The next 3-5 days the flower stands, dries its root system.

At the time of watering , fertilizer occurs, which is produced 2 times a month at the time of plant growth.


Fertilizer is necessary , since the plant has nowhere to take nutrients from. Aqueous solutions have proven themselves well, which are easy to dilute to the desired concentration. But we must remember that any top dressing should be applied only after watering on wet roots.

The frequency of top dressing does not differ from the main care for a plant planted in bark. That is:

  • In summer, 2 times a month;
  • In winter 1 time (if at this moment they do not bloom).


Transplantation is practically not needed with this cultivation of the plant. If after 2-4 years the root mass does not fit in the container, they simply pick up a new one - higher and wider, and rearrange the orchid there.

Most often, transplanting an orchid without soil is not required.

Therefore the roots are not injured during transplantation.

In transparent containers

Usually this method is used for growing mini orchids :

  • To do this, select a transparent container of such a height that the leaf plates of the plant fit into it;
  • If these are standard plants, then the leaves go out, and then they get wide, but still transparent pots.

The transparency of the walls will guarantee photosynthesis of the root system.

Possible problems

Some problems may occur when transferring a plant from ordinary soil to an open system :

  • Flower stalk will dry out;
  • Leaves will lose turgor.

But all problems will go away as soon as new roots begin to grow on the plant, fully adapted to the new conditions. It's just that the old roots are used to living in humid conditions, and when transferred to a drier content, the plant falls into stress.

What types of Orchids can be grown without soil?

Only those types of orchids which are considered epiphytic can be grown without soil. Because they have such content due to their very nature. Therefore, varieties can be grown without soil:

  • Phalaenopsis;
  • Dendrobium;
  • Cattleya (some of its species).

Actually, if you wish, you can try and decide to grow other types of plants, this already depends on your desire and grower's capabilities.


These plants are grown on blocks or baskets if they have grown large enough to be grown on a block. When choosing a material for a block, you need to take one that does not decompose and, at the same time, is a natural piece of wood.

Hanging orchids without soil require constant moisture.

When growing in this way, it is necessary to carefully monitor the humidity of the air . It should not fall below 60%.

Useful video


When cultivating an orchid without soil, it is necessary to carefully monitor the humidity . Because it is a tropical plant that prefers good humidity in the range of 60-80%, and if the humidity is lower, then the flower will dry out its root system.

what is it, which one is suitable for planting, what are the features of growing in this way? Russian farmer

Orchids have become so popular that many flower growers are not limited to one flower and create entire collections. The desire to have all sorts of species often limits the volume of plants when they take up all the free space.

Hanging blocks for orchids become a way out of the situation, in which both space is saved and the conditions are closer to nature.

Show content

  • What is it?
  • The importance of choosing the right planting method
  • Comparison with other methods
  • Which species is this method suitable for?
  • Which one is suitable for cultivation?
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to plant a plant with your own hands
  • How to care for a plant?
  • Possible problems and difficulties
  • Related videos
  • What is it?

    Block - the material to which the orchid is attached is a good alternative to conventional pots and flowerpots. The design is mounted on a wall, furniture, ceiling or simply placed on a shelf.

    The importance of choosing the right planting method

    The development and condition of the orchid will necessarily depend on the method of planting on a support or in a pot and on the permanent place in the room.

    The choice is influenced by:

    • the type of flower and its characteristics;
    • room climate;
    • the possibility of strict compliance with the rules of care.

    Comparison with other methods

    Most orchids are epiphytes, which in the wild are attached to tree trunks and do not require any soil. Advantages of soilless cultivation:

    • perfect aeration and access to the roots;
    • avoid frequent transfers;
    • reduced risk of root diseases;
    • an exotic species that highlights the features of development.

    An orchid growing on a decorative driftwood will attract 's attention and become a spectacular interior accent.

    The block method makes orchids more dependent on proper care.

    Which species is suitable for this method?

    Landing on a block requires stable conditions and is more suitable for several species:

    • aerangis;
    • ascocentrum;
    • oncidium;
    • cattleya;
    • sofrontis;
    • erangis;
    • phalaenopsis.

    Which one is suitable for cultivation?

    Orchid block - a piece of suitable material, strong enough and resistant to decay and deterioration.

    Traditionally used:

    • cork, locust, oak, pine, in extreme cases spruce;
    • tree fern roots, vine;
    • foam.

    The size of the block is selected taking into account the volume, the growth rate of the orchid and root mass, the distance between the shoots.

    • A large base is required for specimens from dense families, where there will be many peduncles.
    • Small pieces of bark are great for young orchids.

    The block is chosen whole, stable, without fragile parts and cracks , the minimum thickness is 4 cm. Be sure to evaluate the risk of a possible shortage of material for the plant or the complexity of development. The soilless method assumes that the orchid will remain growing on a support for many years.

    We offer you to watch a video about the types of blocks for orchids:

    Step-by-step instructions on how to plant a plant with your own hands

    After determining the permanent location of the block, holes are made in its upper part for attaching a hook or wire. Next:

    1. Sphagnum is first placed on the block.
    2. An orchid is placed on top. The roots are very carefully straightened so that they are freely located on the surface, covered with another layer of moss. If the flower is placed with the leaves down, then water drops will not collect at the point of growth.
    3. Fasten with insulated soft wire, fishing line, synthetic thread. It is impossible to crush or wind a lot of wire. The orchid itself will gradually firmly grasp the support, and the mount serves as a general support and maintaining a given direction.
    4. For added moisture retention, cover with coconut fibre, pieces of tree bark or ferns.
    5. Water well.

    Before planting, it is recommended to dry the orchid a little for plasticity of the roots.

    How to take care of the plant?

    The block planting method, although as close as possible to the conditions of the wild, brings even more trouble than the traditional one. Care instructions:

    • air humidity of at least 80% is required;
    • room temperature and illumination are the same for each species, regardless of the type of planting;
    • during the growing season try to increase the influx of light, but protect from direct sunlight;
    • sprayed and watered every two days, but always guided by the state of the plant, the roots do not overmoisten.

    The orchid block cannot be moved from place to place . This will negatively affect growth and flowering.

    Possible problems and difficulties

    The plant is very dependent on the experience of the grower, as well as on the individual's ability to adapt. Possible difficulties:

    1. If the orchid used to grow in a pot, it will experience stress from the air flow. A sharp change from a cramped, humid space to a drier climate often leads to the death of some of the roots. This should not be feared, as soon there will be new ones that are well adapted to the open environment.
    2. Maintaining a constant high humidity is the main problem of block planting. Roots will dry out much faster and require frequent spraying.
    3. It is difficult to find a place in the room that meets all the parameters of a comfortable environment for a flower: constant temperature without drafts, diffused lighting.

    Experienced flower growers recommend making an impromptu mini-greenhouse. It is covered with a flower during the day to maintain stable humidity and heat.

    Orchid on a block is a good idea for decorating the interior and saving space on window sills and coasters. The material for the base is chosen to be durable and large enough so that a transplant is not required for many years.

    Learn more