I saw my friend in KL using PVC pipes to mount his orchids and I thought it was an ingenious way to grow orchids. It is simple to construct and it will replace the use of fern roots which is classified as Appendix 1 under CITES. I saw how he constructed the pipes and I improved on it, making it more effective.
I use different diameter PVC pipes ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches depending on what type of orchids you want to mount. For miniature orchids I normally use a 1 inch PVC pipe, whereas for larger plants like phalaenopsis i will use a bigger diameter.
The length of the pipe also depends on the type of orchids you want to mount. For bulbophyllum, I will use longer pipes as the plant tend to overgrow the pipe if its too short. For non-climbers I use shorter lengths. This range from 10 inches to 2 feet long. After some experience you will know what lengths to use. A longer pipe might not harm the orchid but will take up additional space and increase the cost.
I drill a small hole half an inch from the top so that a 6 inch length wire can be fixed to it with the other end bent as a hook as show in photograph
I use a drill with a special bit to make some holes in the pipe opposite the wire hanger. 1/4 to 1/2 inch holes are drilled into the pipe to allow the roots to enter or moisture to evaporate. 10 to 15 holes are made depending on the length of the ppe.
Black nettings is cut in lengths of 1 and a half times longer than the pipe. I then use a screw to fasten the top and base of the pipe. STEP 4
The net is then wound tightly round the pipe 5 to 7 times and the bottom end with the excess netting is tucked into the end of the pipe.The netting is then secured with a wire at both ends
I recycle my moss and pack it tightly into the pipe from the top. Make sure that the moss reaches the base without pushing the excess netting out from the base.. I leave about 2 inch space above the pipe and do not fill it with moss to the top
Once this final step is done, you will be able to mount your orchid on it . I have tried it and the result is really satisfying. The whole pipe is soaked into a solution of fertilizer and the wet moss in the pipe will provide adequate moisture for your plant. As the roots from your plant will seek out damp areas it will eventually go into the holes and the wet moss will provide it with additional water and nutrients.
Stop- using fern roots and start making your PVC pipe for mounting your orchids. It will be cheaper than fern roots.and more satisfying..