Hanging Plants

Hanging plants have their own charm. Trailing plants, ferns, orchids and small creepers are best suited for this purpose. Hanging planters, wire baskets, moss sticks and coconut husk shells are mainly used for growing hanging plants. If one uses a wire basket, a layer of sphagnum moss should be laid on the inner surface of the basket. This prevents the soil in the baskets from washing away. Also certain plants like ferns grow through the moss and thus enhance the beauty of the basket. Certain ferns, orchids, bromeliads, hoya creeper, money plant etc. could be grown only on hanging moss sticks, without the use of soil. One problem of hanging baskets is that they drain out dirty water, which stains the walls and balconies with muddy patches. Growing plants without soil on moss sticks prevents this. Coconut husk shells also are very useful for growing orchids and ferns. Using nylon threads and ropes, beautiful hangers can be made to hang ordinary pots. Advantage of these hangers is that the same hanger could be used to display different plants on different occasions. It is very easy to make hanging baskets out of nylon ropes by crochet or by macrame (knotting). This way various shaped baskets and hangers can be made at home only. These baskets and hangers last much longer than wire baskets available in nurseries. They are also very light in weight but are much stronger than wire baskets.

Following foliage plants are suitable for use as hanging plants. Helxine (baby’s tears), Pellionia, Tangled hearts Coleus, Tradescantia (Wandering Jew), Chlorophytum (Spider Plant). Fittonia, Peperomia, Pilea Ferns, Plectranthus, Selaginella, Cryptanthus, Bergonia Rex, Asparagus, Syngonium.

Following flowering plants are suitable as hanging plants. Episcia, Impatience, Hoya, Portulaca and seasonal flowers like Petunia, Flox, Pansy, Pinks etc.

ORCHIDS

Most of the orchid plants are epiphytic i.e. they perch upon trunks and branches of some host trees. However, orchids are not parasites; as they produce their own food and do no harm to their host. There are some varieties of orchids, which grow in soil like many other plants. Such plants are called as terrestrial orchids. Orchids love diffused bright light, humid atmosphere. Epiphytic orchids take their nutrition through decaying leaves and bark. Many epiphytic orchids have fleshy, spongy thick roots. These roots are capable of absorbing moisture from the air.

Ground orchids can be grown in pots like any other plants. Epiphytic orchids can be grown on tree trunks or on dead wood with help of some sphagnum moss, or in coconut husk shells and in pots filled with brickbats and charcoal. Fern blocks too are very ideal for mounting these orchids. The pots used for planting orchids must have large holes all around, for good ventilation and drainage of water. Most orchids are resistant to diseases and insect pests.
Some epiphytic orchids : Aerides, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Rhynchostylis, Vanda.

Some terrestrial orchids : Arundina graminifolia, Haemaria discolor, Calanthe,Cypripedium,paphiopedilum, Phaius.