AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO MOUNTING TILLANDSIAS

By: Margaret & Derek Butcher

A) Normal offsets and B) Adventitious offsets

Mallee roots Dried bamboo root Wing Plastic netting

A) Normal offsets:

Equipment required:

Comments:

  1. We suggest a Sealant (P1) rather than a glue because it stays gooey for ages and does not set hard like glue. This allows the plant to expand and roots to penetrate should they so desire. It is easy to use if put on with a piece of stout wire.(P2)
    Sealant (P1)
    P1
    Applying sealant (P2)
    P2
  2. The wire is only to suspend the base and plant so it does not need to be heavy duty. 18 gauge is the thickest you'll need.

  3. The base can be anything but here are some suggestions.
    Remember you are looking for material that will compliment the plant, and the more holes, knots, and "character" the better. More holes means a lighter base!
    Soft rock (P3) can be used for standing displays. Wood can be anything but remember that the harder it is the longer it will last. Natural cork (P4) is a favourite and long lasting but generally difficult to obtain. Tree fern slabs or even bones. Grape-vine lasts 4 - 5 years as do pinus offcuts. A Saw Mill close-by can be handy because they sometimes don't know what to do with the inevitable bark pieces on the outside. These are called "Wings" and are best used without the bark. The bark has a bad habit of often falling off because of the wood part drying faster than the bark ! Recent experience shows that many sawmills now convert these to wood chips. But keep looking. Even flotsam found on the seashore can be used but remember to wash out the salt.
    We are lucky in Adelaide because we have access to Mallee Roots (P5) normally used in wood burning stoves. Both are in decline but there are still Wood yards around. Mallee roots come from Eucalyptus trees removed in land clearance in the drier parts of South Australia and is also a dwindling resource. These woodyards are places of discovery and wonder as to what shapes may be found.

Soft rock (P3)
P3
Natural cork (P4)
P4
Mallee roots (P5)
P5


METHOD

  1. Using the plant to be mounted as a guide select your mounting material. Decide which is the best angle to hang it and drill two small holes at the top. Wire can be attached.(P6)
    Attach wire (P6)
    P6
    T. fuchsii (P7)
    P7
  2. Does your plant have a stem or is it small enough, like T. fuchsii,(P7) to be attached without its weight pulling itself off the mount?

  3. Let us say that it needs no extra help.
    Attach sealant  (P8)
    P8
    bamboo root (P9)
    P9
  4. If a hole in the mount will help the attachment to stay on then drill one that is slightly larger than the bottom of the plant. Bevel the edges by holding the drill at an angle. The hole should be all the way through to aid air flow and root development should it occur.
    Attach sealant to plant (P10)
    P10
    Attach to mount (P11)
    P11
  5. Another example is shown with a segment of a "wing" with bark removed where the plant fits snuggly in the drilled hole (P12). The reverse side shows how the wire has been attached and how the drilled hole emerges at the back (P13)
    plant in drilled hole (P12)
    P12
    backside (P13)
    P13

B) Adventitious offsets:


Some plants only produce adventitious offsets well before flowering of the parent plant. For example Tillandsia viridiflora. If they are not removed before the plant dies they will die at the same time. So their removal is essential if you wish to keep a plant in your collection. These should be treated like seedlings and one way is to attach them to plastic netting so they can be hung up with your Tillandsia usneoides. Why do this? Well, a clump of Spanish Moss holds moisture for a long while and sets up its own micro-climate. This helps your small offsets to survive.
attaching adventitious offsets (P14)
P14

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