How to Take Care of Epiphytic Plants


Epiphytic plants are also known as air plants and staghorn ferns, orchids and bromeliads are the most well known. These plants grow without dirt and can be a fun addition to your garden. Read on to learn how to take care of your epiphytic plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • In the wild most epiphytic plants are attached to the bark of a tree. Although the plant looks as though it is feeding off the tree it is not. The plant is not a parasite, it is merely using the tree as support. An epiphytic plant can do just as well in a wire basket with only moss.

  • Air plants are tropical plants and they need, partial shade, indirect sunlight and wind protection. West side is best. Keep this in mind when you are hanging your plant. You may want to create a aerial garden for your plant. See my article on How to Grown an Aerial Garden to find out how.

  • Air plants need warmth and humidity and water. A weekly regiment of a warm bath where you allow its roots to soak for about 15 minutes, will keep it happy. As the plant grows it may get more difficult to move, so soaking it down slowly with a bottle of room temperature water will work. There is always an exception to the rule. I knew a woman that had a staghorn fern attached to a piece of board in her patio for 40 years that had grown to a huge size and all she did was hit it with hose water once a week.

  • If you live in a cold climate you will need to bring your epiphytic plants inside when the temperature drops or have a greenhouse.

  • Fish fertilizer is the closest type of fertilizer for the air plants. You can also use any other liquid fertilizer about twice a month.

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