Epiphytic Wall Plaque Care: How to Grow Mounted Hoya and Dischidia February 19 2015
An epiphytic plant grows on another plant, and yet is not parasitic. There are loads of epiphytes and they come in all shapes, sizes and colors; ferns, bromeliads, orchids, tillandsias. And still other plants can grow epiphytically when specially propagated and given a specific growing environment.
This is where our epiphytic wall plaques come in. Like tiny swatches of flora cut from the jungle, cuttings of hoya and dischidia species are rooted to a touch of moss and adhered to a cork mount that can hang on a wall.
Since there is no soil, care for these epiphytic plants is a bit different than their potted counterparts.
Hoya and Dischidia plaques need bright, indirect light in order to thrive. They should be protected from the rays of the direct sun. How bright is right? Be honest with yourself; if you’d describe your space as dim or “kinda bright,” you don’t have enough light for these species to thrive. A room with south and/or east facing windows will be best here in Portland.
How to Water an Epiphytic Plaque
Our epiphytic wall plaques need to be kept moist in order to thrive, but are susceptible to over-watering, just like any potted plant. The trick is to pay attention to the moss. When the moss on the plaque feels dry to the touch but not yet crispy, it’s time to mist or soak. Also keep in mind that during fall and winter, these plants will enter a semi-dormant state and require less water during this time.
Using a spray bottle that casts a fine mist (such as the brass mister), thoroughly mist the plaque and foliage of the plant, until the moss is moist to the touch. Morning is the best time to mist. Do this approximately 2x weekly, keeping in mind that in the heat of summer, you’ll have to mist more often.
Approximately once weekly, take your plaque down from the wall, and submerge the entire plant (cork and all) in a bowl or sink full of room temperature water. Allow the plant to drink up for about 20 minutes, and then allow it to drip dry before replacing it on the wall. You can gently squeeze excess water from the moss if necessary.
Puckering leaves mean watering is needed. These puckered leaves will eventually brown around the edges or crisp and fall off. If your leaves are getting yellow and brown at the base (near where it connects to the stem) and seem mushy to the touch, your plant is getting too much water.
These plaques create a lush vertical tapestry of greenery, but they do require care and patience. Although they’re slow growing, we think they’re worth the wait!