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  High elevation plants
From: Brian Williams <pugturd at windstream.net> on 2012.02.22 at 00:57:59(22566)
I have seen an new very odd way to grow high elevation plants. I have
had really good luck on a living wall I made in the greenhouse that had
a somewhat nice cool micro-climate from the evaporating water. Recently
I ran into a photo of a guy growing cool growing orchids in a very
ingenious way. The idea is to take a old stove pipe flu or clay
drainage pipe. Glue the bottom to a tray or bowl and then fill the pipe
with water. The clay naturally tends to stay cooler than most surfaces
and the added water tends to help to this effect. The water penetrates
the clay and keeps it moist as well as producing condensation. I am
trying the technique now on a few fussy Anthuriums.

Here is a link to the blog of the guy that started using this. It maybe
a new way for some of us to grow those impossible plants. Plus it is
cheep and easy to do.

From: Steve Marak <samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2012.02.22 at 05:43:15(22569)

I've seen this technique described before (in the orchid world) and have
wanted to try it - but I can't find the drain tiles! Where did you get

I've called or visited at least two dozen places here in NW Arkansas that
sell brick, tile, etc. etc. and no one carries clay drain tiles any more.
They have flue tiles but they're huge and are not nearly as porous as the
ones on that blog look.


From: Brian Williams <pugturd at windstream.net> on 2012.02.22 at 06:07:25(22571)
They have several pipes and flues locally here at wholesale company near
out nursery. I may go in a few weeks and pick up another one.


From: mjkolaffhbc at sbcglobal.net on 2012.02.22 at 08:56:33(22573)
Greetings Steve,
Here in Illinois, clay pipe,like the type you have described,
and as I saw on the link Brian provided, might be available at a plumbing
supply company. Today of course, PVC has replaced the traditional
From: "Ertelt, Jonathan B" <jonathan.ertelt at Vanderbilt.Edu> on 2012.02.22 at 16:34:46(22583)

In addition to finding the drain tiles, I am also very curious about the
polycarbonate tubes. Once one can find the drain tiles, they might be cheap,
but polycarbonate tubing with a 14" diameter is between $6-800.00/foot.
There may be cheaper alternatives, but all is relative - that's not cheap
that's a serious bundle! Obviously the clear tubing isn't necessary if
you've got a greenhouse - but I'm just curious about possible alternatives
without 2nd mortgages! Any ideas?


From: Adam Black <epiphyte1 at earthlink.net> on 1970.01.01 at 00:00:00(22592)

In the comments under one of the photos, someone asked where the clear tubes were obtained from. The response was simply that "he makes them out of macrolon". I see in the photos a vertical strip of metal with screws/bolts, perhaps he uses a flat sheet thin enough to bend and secure the opposing edges with bolts through the edges, sandwiched between the metal strips?

Now to expand on this idea and figure out how to make semi-realistic branching terracotta "trees", hollow and filled with water, covered with a diverse array of high elevation epiphytes. Thanks for sharing this intriguing idea, Brian.


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