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Thread: Mounting epiphytic utricularia

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    Mounting epiphytic utricularia

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to this forum and to Utricularia, I have been keeping miniature orchids for a while and stumble upon epiphytic utricularia while looking for some new plants to add to my vivarium. I see that most people keep these guys potted but my question is since I am growing them in a vivarium is it possible to grow them mounted on a piece or wood/cork bark with some LFS like I do with my Orchids? I am most likely going to start with U.Alpina since I heard that is the most forgiving.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Plant Heathen's Avatar
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    I don't think you could keep it wet enough. Most people keep them in pots with no drainage or use the tray method.
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    https://www.terraforums.com/forums/g...ml#post1210879

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    Last edited by schmiggle; 12-14-2017 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Repetitive
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    The thing to remember with so-called epiphytic utricularia is that many are not actually epiphytic in the wild (e.g., U. quelchii often grows in bromeliad urns). However, other species (U. campbelliana comes to mind) are often grown most successfully mounted. Alpina I would probably grow in a pot, just because it clearly works, but if it's growing for you I've had good luck with large clumps of mounted sphagnum.
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    It's a great idea and I support your efforts but one thing you could do first is grow out a good sized container full of the epiphytic Utrics you plan to mount and then use divisions from the container. This way you'll have some backup if anything goes awry in the vivarium setup. Especially since the epiphytic species tend to be rare and rather pricey.

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    Thank you everyone for your suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Plant Heathen View Post
    I don't think you could keep it wet enough. Most people keep them in pots with no drainage or use the tray method.
    The reason I was going to mount was because I was actually worry it would be too wet if I planted them lower in the vivarium since I have an automated misting system.

    Quote Originally Posted by schmiggle View Post
    The thing to remember with so-called epiphytic utricularia is that many are not actually epiphytic in the wild (e.g., U. quelchii often grows in bromeliad urns). However, other species (U. campbelliana comes to mind) are often grown most successfully mounted. Alpina I would probably grow in a pot, just because it clearly works, but if it's growing for you I've had good luck with large clumps of mounted sphagnum.
    So if I plant the Alpina directly in the tank do you think it would work? The substrate is my own ABG mix (peat moss/fir bar/charcoal/perlite). I could also make an area for just fresh sphagnum for grow it in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    It's a great idea and I support your efforts but one thing you could do first is grow out a good sized container full of the epiphytic Utrics you plan to mount and then use divisions from the container. This way you'll have some backup if anything goes awry in the vivarium setup. Especially since the epiphytic species tend to be rare and rather pricey.
    This actually might not be a bad idea, I was going to have a spare tank ready for them anyways just incase this plan didn't work so if I get some smaller Utrics I can grow them out before I experiment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charoozz520 View Post
    So if I plant the Alpina directly in the tank do you think it would work? The substrate is my own ABG mix (peat moss/fir bar/charcoal/perlite). I could also make an area for just fresh sphagnum for grow it in there.
    I don't really know. I admit my statement was misleading--I haven't grown U. alpina, but U. quelchii responds well to live sphagnum with some perlite to make the substrate a bit lighter. U. alpina is overall a much easier-growing plant, so you'll probably be fine. But I like the suggestion of having a reserve pot to draw stolons from.
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    U. alpina is said to enjoy drier conditions in winter due to it's tuber forming habit so mounting it might not be a bad idea but I have seen plenty of people growing it in a shallow tray (not submerged like many others) so it might be ok with wet feet all year long too.

    I actually just got a nice little U. alpina in the mail today after melting my first one down with a pyrethium based pesticide way back around 2002-2004. I've got it in a 3" net pot with LFS and perlite following the same mix that the seller sent it in. I don't have it in a tray but the terrarium it's in collects a very shallow film of water when I take out the plants to flush their pots and put them back in, maybe 1/4" deep maximum which usually dries up in a few days - we'll see how it does.

    I don't know if it's actually possible but it looks to me like the leaf tips have already started turning yellow under the lights of my terrarium since I unpacked it about 10 hours ago. It's about 18 inches under two T5 High Output florescent lamps (I measured the light levels and it says only a bit over 200 foot candles) I've had the same experience with low light orchids like Masdevallias and Draculas. It's hard to find someplace dark enough to grow them...

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