Thank you for the suggestion! That is probably a better option aesthetically than what I ended up substituting out Dendrobium kingianum
for: Ficus Benjamina
branches. My reasons were 1) they will grow quickly enough that I won't have to wait 10 years for a nice-looking forest, and 2) they are free, because I had a Ficus benjamina
tree that I needed to trim anyway. It is
a tree, however, that would need to be frequently cut to size.
Your suggested Norfolk Island Pine is nearer aesthetically to the forest I am going for. I would be somewhat worried, though, that without aerial roots, it might not create a complex network that sort of hides the driftwood head. (Although I may be able to achieve that with undergrowth-like bushy plants.) If it can stand not-quite-as-powerful-as-the-sun Spectral Design lights, I think it would create a nice canopy, and produce a dappled-light effect perhaps.
I'll post some update photos while I'm at it:
^I took out the Dendrobium kingianum
stalks and caked the ground in NZ tree fern fiber. It looks like pine straw, and it would also help the kind of plants I wanted to put in the substrate.
^A bunch of Ficus benjamina
branches, probably too many, but we'll see.
^Put down some "grass" in the form of various gathered mosses.
Some of these decisions are questionable, and I understand, and I welcome criticism. Note that I am not completely going for the typical terrarium look. It is also very possible I will replace the Ficus benjamina
branches before they root.
A sidenote: I am definitely going with the background decal plan now, and it is possible I will even rip up the tree fern fiber plaques. The plaques seem to be causing water to drip on Pyrrosia christii
and turning its leaves brown.