Tips and Tricks to help you in your Epi Garden

This section provides tips on lots of things related to growing Epis. If you have something you would like to share with others send it to the webmaster@sdepis.org and he will guide your suggestion through the steps required to get it posted.

Hanging Pot Extenders

I have seen a package of five 12-inch extenders for as little as $14.00 ($2.80ea) and a package of three 18-in extenders for $15 ($5.00ea). These prices are ok if you just need a few. If you need twenty-five or more and do not mind making them, there is a really simple way to do it.

You need to use 9-gage galvanized wire when making them. It is available from any place that sells chain-link fencing. I hand to purchase a 170-foot roll as it is used in making chain link fences. You cannot use stainless steel which is available in smaller rolls because it is vary hard to work with.

In June 2022 a 170-foot roll of 9-gage steel galvanized wire cost me $45 from a big box store. This is enough to make eighty-five 18-inch hanger extenders. The cost for each hanger comes out to $0.54.

You will also need a small lock cutter (for cutting the wire), wire cutters will not be large enough unless you have strong hands. I used wire cutters for the first batch I made. If I was  younger I could have gotten away with using them. Now I used a small lock cutters. You will also need pliers for bending the wire. Just cut the wire into 22-inch lengths and bend each end.


Easy way to improve your Soil Acidity 

Soil preferences of acid preferring plants

  • Ph 5.5 – 6....... Orchids
  • Ph 6.2 – 7....... Epiphyllums
  • Ph 4.5 – 6 ...... Azaleas & Rhododendrons
  • Ph 5 – 6.5....... Camellias

Epiphyllums like acid soil but most city water are neutral to alkaline.

An easy way to adjust your PH without overdoing it is use Orchid fertilizers or the less expensive and easy to find Miracle-Gro fertilizer for Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons.

Miracle-Gro for Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons is water soluble, easy to use plant food. This product can be absorbed by the stems but if not wash off Epiphyllum the stems may stain them. However this will not harm them.

Do not forget to apply at half the strength stated on the box

Miracle-Gro fertilizer formula 30 10 10 is correct for promotion of foliage growth and should be used after the blooming season.  It is designed especially for acid-loving plants.  It is rich in iron and other essential nutrients.



Simple way to improve your flower photography

Which to you prefer the first or the second Epi picture?  There was no photoshopping involved. All you need to do is placing a black back drop behind the bloom. Most recommend black paper or card stock.  I have found these to be difficult to manage or just too small to be of any real use.  Then I remembered the sun shades I used in my cars windows.

Tools required:

  • Something to take the picture (Camera or your phone. I prefer a camera simply because the format is basically 3 by 4 while a phone is 3 by 6)
  • You will want to trim the excess space out of the picture after you have taken them.
    • Microsoft Photo that comes with Windows will let you do that.
    • Another free tool is GIMP but there is a learning curve you will need to go through to figure out how to do crop your photographs.
  • A wooden clothespin (Old fashion ones with a spring to hold them close) is a good clamp for holding the window shades in place. The clothespin will not damage the epi branch either.
  • Automobile Sunshades (get the ones with silver on one side and black on the other) from your auto parts store or Amazon.

 Clothespin

Available in Amazon for about $15.00

These shades weigh almost nothing and can be clothes pinned easily too anything including a neighboring epi branch. If the sun is to bright use one to block the sun or just for shade.

The best time for taking pictures is the morning or the a few hours before sunset.  The light does not cause as much glare.  Happy Photography. None of the bloom pictures were photoshopped and you can see the difference removing the background can have when you take pictures of your epis.


Views: 34