Growing Gorgeous Orchids on Palm Trees

Orchids are stunning tropical epiphytes that grow on trees in their natural rainforest habitat. By mounting orchids on palm trees, we can recreate a bit of that tropical magic at home. The sight of graceful orchids clinging to the trunks of palm trees is eye-catching and exotic. In this article, we’ll look at how to successfully grow orchids on palms for a beautiful indoor or outdoor display.

Why Grow Orchids on Palms?

Orchids and palm trees both hail from tropical regions and are accustom to growing together Palms make an excellent host tree for orchids for a few key reasons

  • Their trunks are relatively smooth, giving orchid roots something easy to cling to.

  • Palms thrive in bright, warm, humid conditions that orchids love.

  • The height of palms gives orchids the air circulation they need.

  • Palms don’t shed their leaves rapidly, allowing orchid roots time to establish.

By providing support, the ideal environment, and longevity in one package, palm trees create the perfect habitat for mounted orchids to flourish.

Best Orchids for Growing on Palms

Many epiphytic orchid varieties are well-suited for growing on palm trees Here are some top choices

  • Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) – These classic orchids come in a rainbow of colors and adapt readily to palms, Look for compact varieties,

  • Vandas – With their cascading sprays of blooms, vandas look beautiful on palms. Try compact hybrids.

  • Oncidiums – Known as “dancing lady” orchids, oncidiums thrive mounted on palms. Go for miniature varieties.

  • Bulbophyllums – These orchids bloom heavily and tolerate warm, humid conditions. Miniature types are best for palms.

  • Cattleyas – Select compact cattleya hybrids that will flourish on palms without getting too heavy.

No matter which orchid you choose, look for miniature or compact varieties that won’t overwhelm your palm tree as they mature.

Best Palms for Supporting Orchids

You’ll have the most success growing orchids on these palms:

  • Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) – A small palm perfect for orchid mounting. Tolerates low light well.

  • Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Compact and adaptable to indoor culture. One of the best choices.

  • Pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) – Graceful look. Stays under 10 feet tall, so easy to reach orchids.

  • Triangle palm (Dypsis decaryi) – Naturally sheds lower leaves, exposing trunk for orchids.

  • Spindle palm (Hyophorbe verschaffeltii) – Slender trunk and moderate height for orchid mounting.

Select smaller palms so you can easily access the orchids for care. Focus on varieties suitable for your climate and growing conditions.

Mounting Orchids on Palm Trunks

Mounting orchids on palms is not difficult, but does require some specialized supplies and techniques:

  • Choose a mature, sturdy palm tree for mounting orchids. Young, thin palms may not support mature orchids.

  • Select a place on the trunk that is smoother, has some texture, and receives bright indirect light. South or west sides are often best.

  • Gather orchid mounting supplies – fishing line or twist ties, sphagnum moss, scissors, fertilizer, etc.

  • Prepare a pocket for the orchid roots by wrapping the trunk with damp sphagnum moss.

  • Carefully tie the orchid onto the trunk by the base. The roots should sit against the moss pocket.

  • Use fishing line or twist ties to secure the orchid in place. Don’t tie too tightly.

  • Mist the roots and moss with orchid fertilizer to encourage root growth and attachment.

  • Orchids may take 3-6 months to fully attach. Add more ties as needed while roots establish.

With good contact between the roots and moss, proper humidity, and time, the orchid will anchor itself to the palm trunk.

Caring for Mounted Orchids on Palms

To keep your mounted orchids healthy, be sure to provide:

  • Bright Light – Palm trees often do not provide enough light alone. Supplement with grow lights or fluorescent shop lights.

  • Warmth – Ideal temperatures are 65-80°F during the day and 60-70°F at night.

  • Humidity – Maintain 50-70% humidity around the orchids. Set pots on pebble trays or use a humidifier.

  • Air Circulation – Use small fans to keep air moving around the palm and prevent rot.

  • Water – Water whenever moss dries out. Flush the roots occasionally with water to prevent salt buildup.

  • Fertilizer – Feed weakly weekly with a balanced orchid fertilizer to nourish plants.

With orchids, observation and attentive care is key! Monitor mounting status and water, light, and humidity needs closely as these will differ in each unique environment.

Enjoying Orchids and Palms Together

Adding mounted orchids takes palm trees to a whole new level of beauty! Cascades of elegant blooms and intricate air roots adorn the trunks for a tropical showstopper. Though it takes some effort to get started, the end result is well worth it. The companionable culture of orchids and palms creates a mini-rainforest indoors or out for your enjoyment.

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How to attach or hang Orchids to a Tree

How do you put orchids on a palm tree?

To put orchids on palm trees, you will need to find a way to secure them in place. You can use a string or wire to tie the orchid to the branches of the palm tree, or you can use a potting soil and potting mix to attach the orchid to the trunk of the palm tree.

Can orchids grow on trees?

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.

How do tropical orchids grow?

In nature, many tropical orchids are epiphytic and grow on trees or branches with long, plump roots extending far from the plant. A pot confines a naturally meandering root system. Many orchid flowers grow pendulously and the stalks are staked for easy viewing.

Are orchids good for palm trees?

Furthermore, orchids are relatively easy to install on palm trees, making them a great addition for any gardener or landscaper. With proper care and maintenance, your orchids will thrive and provide a beautiful, vibrant addition to your landscape.

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