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Ok, I have two questions that I have searched for and really haven't found an answer.

a) What is a bromeliad stolon? (when I google search in images it comes up with either the flower, or a whole brom)

b) How do I know if I need sphanum on my broms or not, any hard rule?
 

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Ok, I have two questions that I have searched for and really haven't found an answer.

a) What is a bromeliad stolon? (when I google search in images it comes up with either the flower, or a whole brom)

b) How do I know if I need sphanum on my broms or not, any hard rule?
a. It's that little stub you see on the bottom of your brom. It is usually long as it is the connection between the mother plant and pup. For our purposes it is usually cut short when the pup is cut off from the mother plant. That's my very un-scientific explanation

b. I don't think Spagnum could ever really hurt but I use it to get the broms rooted.
 

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good question I did the same google search with the same results. Honestly I still don't understand the brom mounting thing. I see people mount them with the stolon wrapped in sphag but wouldn't that cause rot? I've honestly been so very unscientifically toothpicking them to the walls of my vivs. They live, grow, and get color but they never root to hold themselves up. You can search db all day and find hundreds of how to mount broms posts but nothing with pictures or any solid instructions. Do Y'all actually put the stolon in a hole in the background? I thought this was the part of the plant you wanted to keep dry.
 

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I've done both of the above mentioned techniques with success. Odd that your broms dont root with the toothpicks.
 

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The stolon doesn't want to be dry all the time or most of the time (see the pictures here http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/55550-clay-background-vert-8.html#post484793 ).. it wants to have good drainage so it doesn't sit soaked all of the time.

When I root bromeliads to the background I pack some sphagnum around the stolen (which is the stem like structure at the base of the pup) and then toothpick the bromeliad to the background. If light and other conditions are good, rooting should start within a couple of weeks.

One of the things that can help your bromeliads is to soak them for at least a couple of hours before you mount them to make sure they are fully hydrated.
 

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interesting thread. I think I may go ahead and just try mounting them in the clay. I thought sphag moss retained moister though? Would n't wrapping it in sphag keep it more moist than just pushing it in the clay?
 

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Sphagum will retain some moisture but if you don't mist it a couple time a day or pack it too tightly it will dry slightly and let air penetrate it.

Ed
 

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interesting thread. I think I may go ahead and just try mounting them in the clay. I thought sphag moss retained moister though? Would n't wrapping it in sphag keep it more moist than just pushing it in the clay?
sphag provides drainage and airflow. Shoving a stolon into clay provides neither. However. Since the roots don't form from the cut end of the stolon, its still possible to promote root growth from the pup this way. Just remember, the properties of clay that make it so malleable make it very unsuitable for root penetration, especially for epiphytes. Root growth will occur on the surface only. Very few plant roots relish a solid clay substrate
 

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sphag provides drainage and airflow. Shoving a stolon into clay provides neither. However. Since the roots don't form from the cut end of the stolon, its still possible to promote root growth from the pup this way. Just remember, the properties of clay that make it so malleable make it very unsuitable for root penetration, especially for epiphytes. Root growth will occur on the surface only. Very few plant roots relish a solid clay substrate
Do you have an explination why the bromeliad in the link I provided above grew through the clay into the drainage area?

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/at...kground-vert-bromeliad-roots-through-clay.jpg

Ed
 

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That does suprise me Ed. Most plant roots are choked out by compacted clay. Maybe because brom roots are specialized mostly for securing the plant and not nutrient absorbtion they are more resilient than I expected. In all other cases of clay backgrounds Ive seen, the roots of all the plants were only growing on the surface, and none were penetrating the clay at all. Ficus pumilia , peperomia prostrata, Neoregalia ampullacea lemon bbutton fern, Davallia parvula and Vresia ospinae were the plants whose root systems I observed as tanks were broken down to be redone. All plants had been in viv for almost a year, plenty of time to have promoted substantial root growth. The broms had extensive surface growth on the clay, but no root system internally of the clay
 

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That does suprise me Ed. Most plant roots are choked out by compacted clay. Maybe because brom roots are specialized mostly for securing the plant and not nutrient absorbtion they are more resilient than I expected. In all other cases of clay backgrounds Ive seen, the roots of all the plants were only growing on the surface, and none were penetrating the clay at all. Ficus pumilia , peperomia prostrata, Neoregalia ampullacea lemon bbutton fern, Davallia parvula and Vresia ospinae were the plants whose root systems I observed as tanks were broken down to be redone. All plants had been in viv for almost a year, plenty of time to have promoted substantial root growth. The broms had extensive surface growth on the clay, but no root system internally of the clay
I've actually ended up with a lot more penetration into the clay then others are reporting. I'm not sure what I am doing differently other than I'm not use kitty litter...

Ed
 

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My brom roots grow into the clay. However, my clay is not solid clay. It is mixed with sphagnum and cocofiber. Still pretty clayish though.

That said, if the base of the plant is in contact with the clay, my broms tend to rot.
 

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In the trials I've run to date, there is a thin upper layer containing organics mixed with the clay (and some plain clay spots), but I get roots growing through this into the clay itself and then through into the false bottoms in a number of tanks.

Ed
 

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Ill bet the consistency of your clay mix vs. kitty litter has a lot to do with it Ed. Thats really good to know actually as I have resisted clay for a long time because of the poor root penetration Ive seen.
Im sure youve posted your recipe before, maybe Ill give it a try on my new 27 hex
 

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If I get a chance I'll take some pictures of a fern in another ten gallon verticle that grew through the clay as well. One of the things I do different beside the mixture is I keep an air gap between the surface of the water and the bottom of the false bottom so that the clay doesn't hold too much water. The other thing is that I use a shallow surface layer mixed organics (peat moss, cypress mulch fines, and coco fiber) over a layer of the plain clay mix. I find that the plants root into the clay/organics and then later the roots penetrate the clay.

Ed
 

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Good observations as well! Preventing the clay from becoming waterlogged is likely CRUCIAL to your success. Clay wants to hold so damn much water, its insane. the air space is providing some semblance of vertical drainage as well, also crucial.
Good things to know for sure.
 
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