Epiphytes 101 The Best Options To Grow As Houseplants

Hi there! I’m Monty Don and I’m here to tell you all about the wonderful world of epiphytes. If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant that not only adds a touch of greenery but also some unique flair, then you should definitely consider getting yourself one or two epiphytes. Epiphytes are special plants that derive their moisture from air and other sources in nature instead of soil, so they make ideal houseplants. In this article, we’ll explore what epiphytes are and look at some of the best options out there for growing as houseplants.

Epiphytic plants have captivated people for centuries with their beauty and ease of care. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures making them perfect accent pieces to any room or garden space. It’s no wonder why these resilient little plants have become such popular additions to home décor. So if you’re ready to start your journey into the exciting world of epiphyte gardening, let’s get started by exploring what exactly an epiphyte is and which varieties would be best suited for your needs.

What Are Epiphytes?

I’m Monty Don, and I want to help you understand epiphytes – the best plants to grow as houseplants. Growing an epiphyte in your home is easy, low-maintenance, and a great way to add life and beauty to any room.

Epiphytes are unique among other types of plants because they don’t need soil for their roots. Instead, their root systems latch onto rocks or tree bark for support, but don’t draw nutrients from them. In terms of anatomy, epiphytes have specialized aerial root systems that absorb moisture and nutrients from the air around them. They often also come with beautiful foliage that adds texture and color to any space!

Light requirements depend on the type of epiphyte you choose to grow; some prefer bright light while others thrive in indirect sunlight. Generally speaking, however, most will do well with lots of natural light without being exposed directly to it. With that said, be sure to research the specific needs of your plant before introducing it into its new home so it can really flourish!

Benefits Of Growing Epiphytes In Your Home

Epiphytes are some of the most unique and interesting houseplants you can grow in your home. There’s something about their airy, vibrant green foliage that adds a special touch to any room. And not only do they look beautiful, but there are several great benefits to growing epiphytes indoors! From minimal watering techniques to simple light requirements, these plants really make it easy to bring a bit of nature into your space.

The best part is that epiphytes require very little maintenance when grown indoors. The soil should be kept lightly moist and you only need to water them every few weeks. As for lighting needs, bright indirect sunlight or fluorescent lights work just fine for many species. This makes them ideal for those who don’t have much time on their hands or access to natural light sources like windowsills during the day.

Growing epiphytes inside also helps purify the air in your home by absorbing pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene from furniture finishes and paints. Plus, they add texture, color and life to an otherwise dull interior landscape – making them a perfect option if you want to create a more inviting environment without having to spend too much effort caring for them!

Types Of Epiphytes

Epiphytes are a great addition to any home and have many benefits that make them ideal houseplants. Now let’s take a look at the types of epiphytes available for you to grow in your own space.

The first type is mosses. Mosses don’t require much attention, making them an easy option if you’re just starting out with growing plants indoors. They need little water and can thrive without soil – their shallow root systems help them cling onto whatever planting medium they’re attached too, giving them support while also helping to keep moisture levels high.

Next up we have ferns. Ferns like higher humidity than mosses do but still only need minimal watering requirements due to their ability to store moisture in their fronds (aka leaves). You’ll want to provide your fern with plenty of indirect light as well as the right kind of potting mix – one that will retain some moisture and drain quickly when it gets too wet.

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Epiphytic cacti are another popular choice among indoor plant growers looking for something different from the traditional succulents or desert-style plants often found on shelves. These plants love bright light so position yours near a sunny window or use artificial lighting if necessary – they also prefer drier conditions than other epiphytes, which means less frequent watering!

Popular Epiphyte Varieties

When it comes to epiphytes, there are many varieties out there that can be grown as houseplants. But before you buy one, make sure you do your research on the plant and its specific requirements when it comes to light and humidity levels. Let’s look at some popular epiphyte varieties!

The first variety is the fern-like Tillandsia. It has long, thin leaves which curl inwards from the tips of the stem. These plants require bright indirect sunlight, so they should not be placed near windows or direct sun exposure. They also need plenty of moisture in order to thrive – mist them regularly with water to keep them hydrated. You can find these beautiful plants at garden centers or online stores.

Another type of epiphyte is the Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum). This plant looks like antlers growing from a tree trunk and thrives in low light environments such as bathrooms or dimly lit corners of rooms. Keep this fern slightly moist by spraying it down with water every few days; too much moisture may cause root rot so take care not to overwater it. You can find this unique looking plant online or in certain specialty nursery shops.

These two types of epiphytes both make excellent additions to any home, providing an interesting accent piece while still being easy enough for novice gardeners to maintain. With their delicate foliage and air purifying abilities, they can help bring life into any indoor space!

Selecting The Best Place For Your Epiphyte

Now that you know some of the best epiphyte varieties, it’s time to figure out where in your home is best for them to thrive. Firstly, when selecting a spot for your plant baby, think about sunlight and light requirements. Epiphytes love bright indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels as well. When placing them around windows or other areas with direct sunlight, be sure to filter the sun’s rays or position far enough away from the window so they don’t get burned.

Next up: watering techniques. Different species have different water needs, so make sure you do your research on each individual variety before deciding how much and how often to irrigate them. As a general rule, most epiphytes prefer moist soil at all times (but not overly wet!), while others might need longer gaps between waterings or even require misting instead of full-on watering sessions. It’s also important to keep an eye on humidity levels; if possible try getting yourself a humidifier which will help maintain the ideal atmosphere for your plants!

The last thing to consider is air circulation – it’ll depend on what kind of environment your house provides but doing things like rotating their pots every now and then can help provide good airflow and stop any fungal diseases developing due to bad ventilation. All these little details are key when caring for epiphytes – just remember that patience is key! If you take care of them properly and give them lots of TLC, they’ll soon become part of the family looking gorgeous in no time!

Preparing The Container For Your Epiphyte

It’s like planting the perfect garden. You need to craft a container that will meet your epiphyte’s needs, just as a gardener would pick the right soil for their plants. Here are some tips for selecting and preparing an appropriate place for your new houseplant.

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Firstly, it is important to remember when choosing a pot or hanging basket you should always opt for something with plenty of drainage holes so that any excess water can escape from the soil. Secondly, consider what type of material you want to use in the bottom of the container: using moss is a popular choice but small stones or gravel also work well as long as they have good drainage capabilities. Thirdly, try to select substrates such as composted bark which contain elements essential for healthy growth.

Bullet Point List

  • Choose a container with plenty of drainage holes
  • Consider using moss at the bottom of the container
  • Small stones or gravel can be used if they drain well
  • Select substrates that provide essential elements
  • Composted bark works particularly well

Creating this little environment takes time and patience but ultimately provides a home where your epiphyte can thrive. Make sure each element you include in its habitat has been thoughtfully considered – it could make all the difference between success or failure!

Caring For Your Epiphyte

It’s time to start taking care of your epiphyte! Caring for an epiphyte can be daunting at first, but with the right techniques and a bit of TLC you’ll soon find it rewarding.

Watering is arguably one of the most important parts of caring for an epiphyte. The best method is to water from below and allow the potting mix to absorb moisture until fully saturated before discarding excess water. This will help ensure that the roots are kept moist without them becoming over-watered or soggy. When it comes to choosing a potting mix, look for something light and airy such as sphagnum moss, bark chips, coconut husk fiber or other organic matter. You may also want to add some perlite or vermiculite in order to improve drainage and aeration which helps keep root rot at bay.

No matter what type of epiphyte you have chosen, make sure that you provide adequate humidity levels by misting regularly and keeping out of direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day – usually between 11am & 2pm. By following these simple steps you should have no trouble creating a healthy environment for your plants so they can thrive indoors!

Troubleshooting Common Epiphyte Problems

Caring for your epiphyte is a rewarding but sometimes challenging experience. It’s estimated that up to 80% of houseplant owners have encountered problems with their plants at some point, so don’t worry if you find yourself facing the same predicament. Now that we’ve talked about how to take proper care of them, let’s go into troubleshooting common epiphyte problems.

We’ll start off by discussing water and humidity levels – two very important factors when it comes to keeping our epiphytes happy. If your plant looks wilted or dry around the edges, chances are it needs more water as soon as possible. Check the soil first; if it feels dry then give your plant a good soak and make sure any excess water drains away from its roots to prevent root rot. On the other hand, too much water can cause similar issues such as yellowing leaves and mushy stems – in this case, reduce watering frequency and allow plenty of time between each session for soil to dry out before adding more moisture. With regards to humidity levels, try misting regularly or setting aside an area in the home where conditions remain consistent throughout the year like near radiators or windowsills (just be careful not to put them directly on window sills!).

It’s also worth noting that pests can become problematic both indoors and outdoors! Signs include sticky residue on leaves (honeydew) or webs spun amongst foliage which indicate spider mites are present; these should be dealt with quickly using organic insecticides such as neem oil or horticultural soap sprays. Even though they may seem intimidating, pest infestations can usually be managed without risk of permanent damage – just stay vigilant and seek advice from experienced gardeners if unsure!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Sunlight Does An Epiphyte Need?

If you’re looking to make epiphytes part of your home, it’s important to know how much light they need. Generally speaking, the more sun an epiphyte receives the better – though too much can be detrimental so start slowly and increase gradually as needed. A good rule of thumb is 4-6 hours a day in direct sunlight or 6-8 hours of bright indirect light. You’ll also want to consider things like fertilizer types that are appropriate for this type of plant (usually something with less nitrogen) and monitor soil moisture levels closely. If you keep these factors in mind, you’ll have beautiful epiphytes thriving in no time!

Are Epiphytes Difficult To Care For?

No, epiphytes are not particularly difficult to care for! With some basic knowledge and a few simple considerations, you can easily keep your epiphyte healthy. First of all, it’s important to understand that these plants thrive in humid environments – so misting the leaves regularly will help prevent disease. Secondly, pay attention to the amount of light they get; too much direct sunlight can be damaging, while indirect or filtered light is ideal. All in all, with just a little bit of effort and know-how, you’ll soon have an impressive collection of epiphytes thriving at home!

What Kind Of Soil Is Best For Epiphytes?

Growing epiphytes isn’t as hard as you might think – with the right soil, fertilizer needs and container choice, you’ll be in for a treat. To give your plants just what they need to thrive indoors, I recommend using a potting mix that has good drainage properties such as orchid bark mixed with perlite or horticultural charcoal. This helps prevent root rot while also giving them access to the nutrients they require. When it comes to fertilizing, use an organic liquid fertilizer at half-strength once every two weeks during their growing season. Lastly, make sure you choose containers that have holes in the bottom so excess water can escape! With these tips in mind, there’s nothing stopping you from cultivating beautiful houseplants that will bring life into any space.

How Often Should I Water My Epiphyte?

Watering your epiphyte is an important part of keeping it healthy. You should water it every five to seven days, and make sure the temperature of the water you use isn’t too cold or hot; room temperature is best. During summer months, you may need to increase watering frequency slightly due to increased temperatures but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. When fertilizing, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer like fish emulsion once a month in order for your epiphytes to thrive.

Are There Any Epiphytes That Are Safe For Pets?

Epiphytes can be a great addition to any home, but it’s essential that pet owners consider their furry friends when choosing which epiphyte varieties are suitable. Just like searching for a needle in a haystack, finding the perfect pet-friendly option may seem daunting – but with careful consideration and research, you’ll soon find your way. Many types of epiphytes are safe for pets as long as they’re placed securely indoors and away from curious noses and paws. A few popular pet friendly varieties include staghorn ferns, orchids and bromeliads – all of which have lush foliage that will add life to your living space just like a breath of fresh air!


Epiphytes can be a great addition to any indoor living space, and with the right amount of light, soil and water they are relatively easy to care for. For instance, I recently added an epiphyte called Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis spp.) to my home office; it’s perched in a south-facing window, where it gets plenty of bright indirect sunlight. With good drainage and regular watering every 10 days or so, my mistletoe cactus is thriving! Epiphytes offer something special that other houseplants don’t – their unique shapes and textures add dimension to your home décor. So if you’re looking for something different than traditional plants, why not give epiphytes a try? You won’t regret it!