A couple of words on this growing medium as I do get many questions about it since older blog posts talk about it a lot. I used to grow exclusively on EpiWeb in the cool vivarium, but after about two years evaluation I have chosen to phase it out completely. I no longer use this product and you can read a more thorough explanation why I no longer recommend orchid culture on EpiWeb, and my reasoning behind this here.

Stelis gelida on EpiWeb

EpiWeb is a synthetic substrate made from recycled PET-material, similar to EcoWeb in the USA, both promoted as a substitute for the use of tree fern (Xaxim), but I personally don’t see many similarities when it comes to growing characteristics.

Problems with EpiWeb

INABILITY TO DIVIDE PLANTS WITHOUT MASSIVE ROOT DAMAGE — Because the medium is not porous like most natural materials you cannot just break apart a mount to divide a plant mounted on EpiWeb. You need sharp industrial scissors or a metal saw to do it, and the fibres would easily slice through the roots long before breaking.

PENDANT FLOWERS GET STUCK! Orchids who produce pendant flowers, like Dracula for example, tend to get stuck in the material before piercing the basket resulting to failed flowering attempts. Frustrating!

IMMOVABLE MOUNTS — Because the roots grow straight through the mounting blocks, instead of wrapping around it, they would get stuck to the back wall since it was made of the same material, moving the mounts cause massive root damage.

CLEANLINESS — Walls clad with a fibrous material, like EpiWeb, is hard to disinfect and keep clean opening for problems with various pathogens like fungi.