A long-term review of the BiOrbAir (part six)

Welcome to the sixth instalment of my long-term review of the BiOrbAir.  I planted up my BiOrbAir, a specialised, automated terrarium, designed by Barry Reynolds, from Reef One, on 25th September 2014.  As this was the first time I had planted a BiOrbAir terrarium, I chose a variety of different plants and ferns to trial, looking at how they would grow inside the controlled environment of this terrarium, and the constant conditions the BiOrbAir provides.  I have changed the planting over time – this terrarium now features ferns, mosses and miniature, epiphytic orchids.

If you’d like to start from the beginning, you can read the first part of my long-term review of the BiOrbAir here.  I started writing this first instalment after planting my BiOrbAir in September 2014, I updated my review every month, until April 2015.  The second part of my review, then continues from May 2015, until October 2015.  The third part of my review, features updates from November 2015, through to April 2016, and the fourth instalment features updates from from April and May 2016.  The fifth instalment, continues with updates from June and July 2016.  The sixth instalment continues right here in this review, where you can read updates and see how the plants in this terrarium are growing from July 2016 until September 2016.  I hope that by breaking my review into sections it will be easier for readers to digest and use, whether you’re considering planting up your own terrarium, or choosing suitable plants to create your own indoor garden.

Irrigation

Naturally, I will regularly top up the base reservoir of my BiOrbAir with rain water as required.  The water in the base reservoir will be absorbed by the capillary matting, which is fitted to the support tray that’s fitted above the base reservoir, which in turn will moisten the compost above.  The absorption of water through the capillary matting will keep the coir compost moist, and as a result, the ferns will be watered automatically.

I will regularly top up the ultrasonic misting unit with Humidimist, a pure bottled water, low in electrolytes, available from Reef One, and included as part of the package when you purchase a BiOrbAir.  The Humidimist is the only type of water recommended for use in the ultrasonic misting unit of the BiOrbAir, and it is the only product I will use.

Fertiliser

Since September 2014, when I planted my BiOrbAir, apart from the feed I have given to the miniature orchids, which are mounted onto cork, (the orchids also receive extra misting) I haven’t added any other plant feed or fertiliser to the plants inside this terrarium.  I used the peat-free coir compost that came with my BiOrbAir for planting, I didn’t add any additional compost, fertiliser or growing media to the mix – I just used the BiOrbAir coir compost as it was, nothing extra was added.

I have used rainwater to fill my BiOrbAir’s base water reservoir – this rainwater, together with the capillary matting keeps the coir compost moist.  Naturally, I have only used the specially designed Humidimist to fill up reservoir for the ultrasonic misting unit.  I have replaced the BiOrbAir terrarium carbon filter as required, following the recommendations on the BiOrbAir website.  I have documented any problems I have experienced, and any indoor gardening that I have carried out in my previous reviews.  I will continue to update this review in the same manner.

I mist my miniature orchids when I think they would benefit from some additional moisture, I don’t have a set pattern or set days to mist the orchids.  To feed my miniature orchids, I use Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom, I purchased both of these fertilisers from the shop at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  I feed my orchids only sparingly, following the instructions on the pack; these miniature orchids wouldn’t naturally receive an abundance of nutrients in their natural environment, over feeding can be detrimental to your plants, causing further problems.  These are the only fertilisers I have ever used inside this terrarium.

Rearranging the planting inside my terrarium

I had been looking to improve the planting and overall appearance of this terrarium for a while, but I simply hadn’t had the time to make any changes.  I have now taken the time to have a bit of a rearrange of the plants inside this terrarium.  I am now much happier with how this BiOrbAir terrarium and its planting looks.

Here’s a look at my terrarium in June 2016, before I rearranged my planting:

My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 11th June 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 11th June 2016.

During my reorganisation, I remounted my Restrepia sanguinea onto a new piece of cork that fitted in better with my planting.  I also removed the Ornithophora radicans, Barbosella australis, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ from the single piece of cork they were all mounted onto, and re-mounted these orchids onto their own pieces of cork.  The Barbosella australis had looked rather strangled, and so I ensured that the material holding it was secured less tightly in place.

I have also changed the position of my other miniature orchids inside this terrarium, I hope that the miniature orchids will be happy where I have placed them, I will keep an eye on each of the plants and move them to a different position if necessary.

I have now given the Restrepia sanguinea keiki to a friend.

I have left the ferns in place.  I will enjoy seeing more of the ferns with my new arrangement of the terrarium.  Although all of the orchids have been moved around, none of my ferns have been moved during this rearrangement.

Here’s my BiOrbAir terrarium now, after I had rearranged the planting, and added three new miniature orchids to the terrarium.

My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all flowering.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all flowering.

New miniature orchids

I so enjoyed meeting Simon Pugh-Jones and Jacob Coles from the Writhlington School at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016, you can read about the Writhlington Orchid Project’s exhibit at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016, and find out more about their work here.  Simon Pugh-Jones is a teacher who established the Writhlington Orchid Project for the benefit of the students at the school where he teaches.  I have always been interested in the Writhlington Orchid Project, I have been really impressed with their work.  I was keen to support this great initiative, so I purchased the following new orchids at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016, from the Writhlington Orchid Project:

  • Restrepia antennifera
  • Restrepia trichoglossa
  • Stelis muscifera
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia trichoglossa, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

The method I use to mount my epiphytic orchids onto cork bark

When I first included miniature orchids in this terrarium, I chose to mount the miniature orchids onto the cork using fishing line to secure the orchids in place.  I was thinking purely aesthetically when I chose to use fishing line to secure the orchids – as it’s clear material, and so not as visible – I felt it wouldn’t detract from the beauty of the orchids.  I did have real concerns that the fishing line could act as a cheese wire, and slice into the roots of the orchids, but I went ahead and used it regardless – all of the orchids were mounted onto the cork bark and secured in place with the fishing line.  When I added the first two Restrepias to this terrarium, again, I secured them in place using fishing line.

At the end of March 2016, during a visit to the The Botanic Gardens at Kew, I spoke to the orchid experts in the tropical nurseries, where I found out that Kew use strips cut from stockings to secure all of their epiphytic orchids.  Although I hadn’t noticed any problems from using the fishing line to secure my orchids so far, I immediately took the decision to remove the fishing line securing all of my epiphytic orchids.  Where necessary, I re-mounted my orchids, using small strips of material, cut from stockings, to secure the orchids in place.

For many years now, I have used stockings as ties for trees and other garden plants, with great success.  I hadn’t previously used stockings to secure my epiphytic orchids, this was purely for aesthetic reasons – the strips of stockings, even when cut thinly, are very visible, and this does detract somewhat from the beauty of the orchids and the terrarium when viewed as a display.  However, I am certain that securing the orchids using soft, flexible strips of material cut from stockings is better for the orchids, and that is my priority.  With this method, using strips of material cut from stockings, there isn’t any risk of slicing through any of the orchid roots, as there was when using the fishing line.

I removed all of the fishing line from this terrarium on the 9th April 2016, all of the orchids were then secured in place using strips cut from stockings.  Since April 2016, any miniature orchids that I have added to my terrariums have been secured using strips cut from stockings.  I am very happy using this method, I will continue to use strips cut from stockings to secure and mount my orchids going forward.

BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting list

You can see the full planting list which includes of all the plants that I have trialled growing inside the BiOrbAir featured in this review here, where you’ll also find the full details of all the nurseries and garden centres I used to purchase the plants, ferns, miniature orchids, mosses and cork for this terrarium.

Currently the following plants are growing inside this BiOrbAir terrarium:

  • Aerangis fastuosa*
  • Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ (PBR)
  • Barbosella australis
  • Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
  • Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
  • Ornithophora radicans
  • Polystichum tsussimense
  • Restrepia antennifera
  • Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’
  • Restrepia sanguinea
  • Restrepia seketii
  • Restrepia trichoglossa
  • Stelis muscifera

Of the plants growing inside this terrarium, the following plants were included in my original, first planting of this terrarium, back in September 2014.  After numerous changes and re-plantings, these ferns are still growing inside the terrarium today – in July 2016:

  • Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ (PBR)
  • Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
  • Polystichum tsussimense

* I received a question from a reader in January 2016, who asked if my Aerangis fastuosa, might in fact be an Aerangis fuscata – a rarer miniature orchid, which is also from Madagascar.  When the Aerangis fastuosa arrived in the post, I had a question mark in my mind as to whether I had been sent the orchid that I had requested when I placed my order.  I referred to a number of library books on orchids and searched online for photographs of different Aerangis cultivars.  Currently I cannot say with any certainty which variety of Aerangis I have received – I have shown photographs of this orchid to a number of orchid experts from around the world, so far no one has been able to identify the specimen.  The best and easiest way to identify this orchid will be if it flowers.  I will continue to refer to this orchid as Aerangis fastuosa for ease of reference – as that’s how I have always referred to this plant, but I do hope to make a definite identification, if and when, the orchid flowers.

A look at my BiOrbAir terrarium

My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
A closer look at my BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
A closer look at my BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.

Miniature orchids currently flowering

Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured in flower, on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured in flower, on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', pictured in flower, on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, pictured in flower, on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
A closer look at the teeny, tiny flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky'. Pictured on the 10th July 2016.
A closer look at the teeny, tiny flowers of Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’. Pictured on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016. You can just make out Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' and it's tiny purple flowers in the background of this photograph.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016. You can just make out Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ and it’s tiny purple flowers in the background of this photograph.
Restrepia antennifera.
Restrepia antennifera as pictured on the 12th July 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia sanguinea flower has positioned itself at rather a jaunty angle. Pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia sanguinea flower has positioned itself at rather a jaunty angle. Pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia sanguinea flower has just finished flowering, Restrepia flowers fold themselves up rather neatly as the flower finishes. After a couple of days of being neatly folded the faded flowers fall. Pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
This Restrepia sanguinea flower has just finished flowering, Restrepia flowers fold themselves up rather neatly as the flower finishes. After a couple of days of being neatly folded the faded flowers fall. Pictured on the 12th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

A closer look at the other miniature orchids growing inside this terrarium

Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Aerangis fastuosa, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Ornithophora radicans, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Ornithophora radicans, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Barbosella australis, pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Barbosella australis, pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

Terrarium ferns

I didn’t move any of the ferns during my latest rearrangement of this terrarium – the ferns have remained in their previous positions, where they received the minimum of disturbance.  Happily my three ferns – Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, and Polystichum tsussimense, are now far more visible inside my terrarium, after my latest rearrangement of the miniature orchids.

My Polystichum tsussimense fern, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
My Polystichum tsussimense fern, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave', as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’, as pictured on the 10th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.
Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 10th July 2016.

My BiOrbAir terrarium after my latest rearrange

My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all currently in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all currently in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all currently in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all currently in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' and Restrepia antennifera are all flowering.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 10th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera are all flowering.

Restrepia flowers

There are so many flowers inside my BiOrbAir terrarium – I am so enjoying seeing my Restrepias bloom.  Currently Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia sanguinea are flowering.  Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ is also in flower – I just love this dear little miniature orchid – I have it growing in this BiOrbAir terrarium, and in my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Restrepia antennifera

Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. Currently there are two open flowers on this miniature orchid.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. Currently there are two open flowers on this miniature orchid.
A closer look at Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. Apologies for the white line across the photograph - it's the strip of material I have cut from a stocking, which I have used to secure the orchid in place on its cork mount.
A closer look at Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. Apologies for the white line across the photograph – it’s the strip of material I have cut from a stocking, which I have used to secure the orchid in place on its cork mount.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. I had just misted this orchid before I took these photographs, as you can see, there are droplets of water all over the flowers. If you avoid getting water on the flowers of your orchids, the flowers may last longer on the plant. This is something I never manage to do!
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016. I had just misted this orchid before I took these photographs, as you can see, there are droplets of water all over the flowers. If you avoid getting water on the flowers of your orchids, the flowers may last longer on the plant. This is something I never manage to do!
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016.
A closer look at Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016.
A closer look at Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 19th July 2016.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’

So far, of the Restrepias I have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, this Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' has proved to be the most floriferous - this miniature orchid is very rarely without an open flower. I do have varieties of Restrepia that are newer to me, I hope in time, these newer specimens will also flower as readily as this Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto'.
So far, of the Restrepias I have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ has proved to be the most floriferous – this miniature orchid is very rarely without an open flower. I do have varieties of Restrepia that are newer to me, I hope in time, these newer specimens will also flower as readily as this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' pictured in flower on the 19th July 2016. This miniature orchid has thrived inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' enjoys regular misting, I have found that it prefers damp, humid conditions.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ pictured in flower on the 19th July 2016. This miniature orchid has thrived inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ enjoys regular misting, I have found that it prefers damp, humid conditions.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' pictured on the 19th July 2016. This Restrepia currently has a number of open flowers and flower buds in varying stages of production. I really enjoy growing Restrepias.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ pictured on the 19th July 2016. This Restrepia currently has a number of open flowers and flower buds in varying stages of production. I really enjoy growing Restrepias.

Restrepia sanguinea

Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 19th July 2016. This miniature orchid has larger flowers than Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', though in the time I have been growing these two orchids, I have found Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' to be far more floriferous.
Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 19th July 2016. This miniature orchid has larger flowers than Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, though in the time I have been growing these two orchids, I have found Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ to be far more floriferous.
The beautiful flowers of Restrepia sanguinea, in flower inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 19th July 2016.
The beautiful flowers of Restrepia sanguinea, in flower inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 19th July 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 19th July 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 19th July 2016.

My BiOrbAir terrarium

My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 19th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', Restrepia sanguinea, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky' are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 19th July 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ are all in flower.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 19th July 2016. Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', Restrepia sanguinea, and Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', are all in flower inside this terrarium.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 19th July 2016. Restrepia antennifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, and Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, are all in flower inside this terrarium.

More Restrepia flowers!

I have two Restrepias that aren’t currently blooming – Restrepia seketii – which is growing well and has produced a number of new leaves, it’s pictured below, and one of my newest purchases – Restrepia trichoglossa.

Currently I have three Restrepias in flower, I am so enjoying the flowers of Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia antennifera.

Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 26th July 2016.
Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 26th July 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured on the 26th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. This miniature orchid is very floriferous and has many open flowers.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured on the 26th July 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium. This miniature orchid is very floriferous and has many open flowers.
Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 26th July 2016 inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia sanguinea, in flower on the 26th July 2016 inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 26th July 2016 inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured on the 26th July 2016 inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.

13th August 2016

My Restrepia antennifera has now finished flowering for the time being.  Restrepia sanguinea, and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, are both still in full bloom.

Here’s a look at my BiOrbAir terrarium:

My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are both currently flowering.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are both currently flowering.

Take a tour around my BiOrbAir terrarium…..

My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are both currently flowering.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are both currently flowering.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. This BiOrbAir terrarium is planted with a variety of miniature orchids, ferns and moss. On the left hand side of the globe in this photograph, you can see Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles', a beautiful, fresh green coloured fern, which has grown rapidly over the past couple of months inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. This BiOrbAir terrarium is planted with a variety of miniature orchids, ferns and moss. On the left hand side of the globe in this photograph, you can see Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’, a beautiful, fresh green coloured fern, which has grown rapidly over the past couple of months inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are both currently flowering.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are both currently flowering.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. This BiOrbAir terrarium is planted with a variety of miniature orchids, ferns and moss.
My BiOrbAir Terrarium is pictured here on the 13th August 2016. This BiOrbAir terrarium is planted with a variety of miniature orchids, ferns and moss.

Restrepia flowers

A closer look at the planting inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' are both flowering.
A closer look at the planting inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium on the 13th August 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ are both flowering.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium, on the 13th August 2016. This is such a floriferous miniature orchid. Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' seems to always be in flower, making it a super addition to your terrarium or orchid collection.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium, on the 13th August 2016. This is such a floriferous miniature orchid. Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ seems to always be in flower, making it a super addition to your terrarium or orchid collection.

Restrepia sanguinea flowers

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium, on the 13th August 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium, on the 13th August 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 27th August 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 27th August 2016.
Restrepia sanguinea in bloom on the 27th August 2016. This Restrepia produces the largest flowers out of the Restrepias I currently have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrariums.
Restrepia sanguinea in bloom on the 27th August 2016. This Restrepia produces the largest flowers out of the Restrepias I currently have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrariums.
A closer look at the raspberry coloured, Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence.
A closer look at the raspberry coloured, Restrepia sanguinea inflorescence.

Restrepia antennifera flowers

Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower on the 27th August 2016.
Restrepia antennifera, pictured in flower on the 27th August 2016.
Restrepia antennifera has beautiful, vibrant, striped flowers. Pictured on the 27th August 2016.
Restrepia antennifera has beautiful, vibrant, striped flowers. Pictured on the 27th August 2016.
I really enjoy growing Restrepias, this is Restrepia antennifera, pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 27th August 2016.
I really enjoy growing Restrepias, this is Restrepia antennifera, pictured in bloom, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 27th August 2016.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowers

Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' has flowered so prolifically, this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. So far, this Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' specimen has been the most floriferous of all of the Restrepias I have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrariums. Pictured on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ has flowered so prolifically, this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. So far, this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen has been the most floriferous of all of the Restrepias I have growing inside my BiOrbAir terrariums. Pictured on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', pictured in flower, on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in flower, on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, it has been almost continually in flower since the 8th February 2016 . Pictured on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, it has been almost continually in flower since the 8th February 2016 . Pictured on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, it has been almost continually in flower since the 8th February 2016 . Pictured on the 29th August 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, this miniature orchid has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, it has been almost continually in flower since the 8th February 2016 . Pictured on the 29th August 2016.

On Monday 29th August 2016, I noticed that my BiOrbAir terrarium had completely turned off.  I am not sure what happened.  I tried power-cycling the terrarium but to no avail.  I also tried the power supply from my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, but this didn’t work either, so I was pretty sure that there was a fault within the lid of my terrarium, as my other terrarium was, and still is, working perfectly.

I emailed Reef One on Tuesday 30th August 2016 to tel them of my experience, Reef One then posted a new BiOrbAir lid to me, which arrived on Thursday 1st September 2016.  I have posted the faulty lid to Reef One for investigation.  I am very happy to say that with its new lid, this BiOrbAir is now working perfectly again, as you can see in my photographs below.

My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering. At the back of the terrarium, on the right hand side, Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles' has grown considerably over the past couple of months. This fern now forms a decorative curved arch shape, mirroring the shape of the terrarium globe.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering. At the back of the terrarium, on the right hand side, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ has grown considerably over the past couple of months. This fern now forms a decorative curved arch shape, mirroring the shape of the terrarium globe.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering.
My BiOrbAir terrarium as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering.

Terrarium ferns

My terrarium ferns are growing well.  The Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ is growing so well, that it won’t be long until I need to cut back this pretty fern.

I have been growing these three ferns inside this BiOrbAir terrarium for two years this month.  During this time the ferns have been moved around the terrarium.  They have coped with being planted, and then being moved again – just as they were establishing themselves.  The Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’ was eaten by woodlice, whereby it endured significant damage.  Then to neaten up this chewed fern,  I gave it an almighty haircut.  Despite all of this, this beautiful fern re-grew and is now thriving.

A closer look at the beautiful Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles'. This is a very pretty fern, that has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, where it has been growing for the past two years. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’. This is a very pretty fern, that has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, where it has been growing for the past two years. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful Nephrolepis exaltata 'Fluffy Ruffles'. This is a very pretty fern, that has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at the beautiful Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’. This is a very pretty fern, that has thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' as pictured on the 3rd September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’ as pictured on the 3rd September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
A closer look at Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave', on the right hand side of the picture you can see a frond that was recently produced, and is yet to exhibit the wavy character that older fronds of this cultivar exhibit. This is demonstrated in the frond on the left hand side of the photograph, which has a wavy appearance. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’, on the right hand side of the picture you can see a frond that was recently produced, and is yet to exhibit the wavy character that older fronds of this cultivar exhibit. This is demonstrated in the frond on the left hand side of the photograph, which has a wavy appearance. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
Here's a look at the Polystichum tsussimense. This fern has been growing happily inside this BiOrbAir terrarium for nearly two years. This is an ideal fern for terrariums, it doesn't grow too tall and nor does it grow too rapidly. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
Here’s a look at the Polystichum tsussimense. This fern has been growing happily inside this BiOrbAir terrarium for nearly two years. This is an ideal fern for terrariums, it doesn’t grow too tall and nor does it grow too rapidly. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.

Miniature orchids

A view of my BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto', and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering.
A view of my BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 3rd September 2016. Inside this terrarium, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Restrepia sanguinea are both flowering.

Restrepia purpurea flowers

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ continues flowering….

Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea 'Rayas Vino Tinto' in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.

Restrepia sanguinea

Restrepia sanguinea has a new flower bud, which will open in a day or two.

A Restrepia sanguinea flower bud, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.
A Restrepia sanguinea flower bud, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 3rd September 2016.

Miniature orchids

Restrepia antennifera has for the time being, stopped flowering. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia antennifera has for the time being, stopped flowering. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia antennifera has for the time being, stopped flowering. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia antennifera has for the time being, stopped flowering. Pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia trichoglossa as pictured on the 3rd September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia trichoglossa as pictured on the 3rd September 2016, inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.
Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Restrepia seketii, pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Stelis muscifera, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
Ornithophora radicans has lent over to one side, but that's ok. This miniature orchid usually flowers in autumn, it will be interesting to see whether this orchid will flower this autumn. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
Ornithophora radicans has lent over to one side, but that’s ok. This miniature orchid usually flowers in autumn, it will be interesting to see whether this orchid will flower this autumn. Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at Barbosella australis, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
A closer look at Barbosella australis, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium on the 3rd September 2016.
I hope this Aerangis fastuosa will grow to a larger size and flower, so I can confirm with certainty which Aerangis it is. Though as long as this orchid stays alive, I am happy! Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
I hope this Aerangis fastuosa will grow to a larger size and flower, so I can confirm with certainty which Aerangis it is. Though as long as this orchid stays alive, I am happy! Pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora 'Stalky', as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 2nd September 2016.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, as pictured inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, on the 2nd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.
My BiOrbAir terrarium, as pictured on the 3rd September 2016.

To continue reading this review and go straight to the next instalment, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you…………………

To see a planting list of miniature orchids suitable for growing in terrariums, please click here.

To read my review of the features of the BiOrbAir, please click here.

To find out more about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.

I have two BiOrbAir terrariums, to read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial review, please click here.

To read the second part of my Miniature Orchid Trial review, please click here.

To read the third part of my Miniature Orchid Trial review, please click here.

To read the fourth part of my Miniature Orchid Trial review, please click here.

To read about using decorative features in your terrarium, please click here.

To read about the long-handled terrarium tools I use to tend my terrarium plants, please click here.

To read about Grammatophyllum speciosum and see photographs of this orchid flowering at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please click here.

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