I have been keeping dart frogs for about 2.5 years as of this initial post on orchids. Over that time I have kept a variety of plants, but never orchids. After being moderately successful with other types of plants, I figured I would experiment with some orchids in my largest vivarium. This page will serve as a log to my efforts to prepare some inexpensive Home Depot orchids for use in a dart frog vivarium.
Selecting the orchids for the dart frog vivarium
I just went with the family to Home Depot to pick out our favorite orchids. There were a lot to choose from, and we mostly went with $17 plants that were the smallest in stock. These prices seemed reasonable to me, and the color variety was nice:
We’re not orchid experts, so we were ok with hybrids that were simply pretty.
Cleaning the orchids for a dart frog vivarium
The first step in preparing the orchids for use in a dart frog vivarium was to remove the potting media from the plant. In this case it was a very simple process as the orchids were placed in sphagnum moss. I picked the moss from the roots, and washed the roots and leaves with regular tap water. Here is what two of the bare rooted plants looked like:
Now we wait. We received great advice on DartDen.com that we should wait about 6 weeks before placing the orchids in the dart frog vivarium. Some growers use systemic insecticides that can be cleared by the plant through normal respiration after 4 to 6 weeks. We’ll let the four plants grow outside the viv for 6 weeks before cleaning them again prior to mounting in the vivarium.
I placed the four plants in a temporary sterilite bin containing fresh sphagnum moss. I’ll rinse them again in 6 weeks when we begin prepping the plants for the vivarium.
Mounting orchids in the dart frog vivarium…coming in May 2014!