Mounting on Cork
Mounting plants on cork wood give your room a new, interesting aesthetic, allowing your plants to not only live in pots on the floor and shelves but also on your wall! It’s the perfect way to complete your urban jungle look.
There are some specific plants that really shine when mounted, including most aroids like philodendron, monstera and syngonium. Also orchids, peperomia and epiphytic cactus do well on mounts. This is due to their growth habits in nature: they prefer to climb up or live on tree bark or rocks and gather nutrients from the rain, fallen debris and animals that inhabit the rainforest.
Cork bark is a great choice for a base because of its rough texture and natural resistance to rot. When your plant outgrows its base, it can be reused for another project. Cork has been sustainably harvested in Portugal since the 1700s, and trees are ready for harvest after only 9-10 years.
The first step to creating a beautiful, mounted piece is to carefully break away the substrate from the plant or plants of your choosing. If you are mounting an orchid, it’s likely potted in some sphagnum moss. We’ll be using sphagnum moss as the substrate on the mount, but we want to start with fresh moss, so it’s important to clear away as much of the old substrate as possible without damaging any roots. If you’re mounting a plant that has delicate roots and is in another substrate like soil, do your best to clear off as much off as possible. Remember, damaged roots will take time and care to regrow, so be gentle! Plants that trail and root easily can be used on the mount by taking cuttings and rooting them directly in the sphagnum.
Next, take a handful of moss and place it on top of your cork mount. You’ll want a layer about one half to one inch thick, and enough to cover most of the face of the mount. Carefully lay your plant onto the moss and gently spread its roots out. Place some extra sphagnum moss on top of the root zone, avoiding the crown of the plant. Make sure all the roots are neatly tucked in under the sphagnum moss, and if you’re adding any extra plants or cuttings, be sure to place them all at the same time. You want to avoid having a very thick layer of sphagnum moss.
We use nylon twine in lieu of fishing line as we find it more transparent. Take the twine and wrap it around the mount, making sure to avoid wrapping any leaves or stems. Focus on wrapping the root ball and securing the sphagnum moss in place. When it’s wrapped to your liking, be sure to secure it by tying it in the back. If you’re placing any cuttings in the arrangement, now is the time to add those. Gently poke a hole in the moss and tuck the cutting in.
We like to use a piece of leather cord to create a hanger for our mounts. To attach the cord, gently drill a hole in the top center of your mount, being careful to avoid the plants. Cut the cord to the length of your liking and loop it through the hole in the cork. Tie the ends together and you’re done!