General Terrarium Maintenance and Plant Care for the BiOrbAir Terrarium

Apart from your plants, everything else you need to plant up your BiOrbAir terrarium is included when you buy your BiOrbAir – it all arrives together in one wonderful, ginormous box!

I find my BiOrbAir terrariums easy to look after and care for.  I love growing miniature orchids, ferns, and other terrarium plants inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.  Here is a guide to the regular, general terrarium maintenance, and plant care that I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums.

BiOrbAir Terrarium maintenance

Terrarium compost

I used the peat-free coir compost sold by Reef One for planting in all of my BiOrbAir terrariums.  This compost was included as part of the package when I purchased my BiOrbAir terrarium.  I didn’t add any additional compost, fertiliser, or any other growing media to the mix – I just used the BiOrbAir coir compost as it was, nothing extra was added.

If you wish to replace your compost at any time, new packs of compressed BiOrbAir terrarium compost are available online.  The compost is dried and compressed, so compost needs to be soaked in water prior to use, the small block of compost will expand to six litres in volume after being soaked in water.

This BiOrbAir peat-free coir compost block comes as part of the package when you purchase a BiOrbAir terrarium, you can also purchase additional coir compost blocks on the BiOrbAir website.
Here’s the BiOrbAir peat-free coir compost being soaked in water prior to planting.
The BiOrbAir peat-free coir compost after soaking in a bucket of water.

BiOrbAir filter cartridges

I replace the activated carbon filters of my BiOrbAir terrariums every six months, following the recommendations on the BiOrbAir website.

Irrigation

I regularly top up the base reservoir of my BiOrbAir terrariums with rain water as required.  The rain water in the base reservoir is absorbed by the capillary matting.  The capillary matting fits onto the support tray, the support tray sits above the base reservoir.  The strips of capillary matting hang down into the base reservoir, where they make contact with the rainwater in the base reservoir below.  The rainwater is absorbed by the capillary matting, which in turn moistens the coir compost above.  The absorption of rain water through the capillary matting will keep the coir compost moist, and as a result, the ferns, and any terrarium plants planted into the coir compost, will be watered automatically.

The BiOrbAir’s capillary matting, shown here fitted to the support tray, which will in a moment be fitted inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, above the base water reservoir.
Here you can see the BiOrbAir’s green capillary matting in position, over the support tray, which in turn fits over the base reservoir. The rain water from the base reservoir is absorbed and taken up through the capillary matting, thereby moistening the coir compost above, a process known as capillary watering. The blue wrap is a protective covering, which is ideally left in place until the BiOrbAir is planted.

Humidimist

I 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 use.

Additional misting

The BiOrbAir terrarium’s ultrasonic misting unit automatically sends out a pretty swirl of mist should the humidity within the terrarium drop below 75 RH (relative humidity).

Terrarium plants, ferns, and mosses can grow happily inside the BiOrbAir terrarium with no requirement for any additional misting, as the environment inside the BiOrbAir terrarium has been perfectly designed for these plants which thrive in a humid environment.

My miniature orchids being misted by the BiOrbAir’s ultra sonic misting unit.

I mist my miniature orchids using a separate hand held mister when I think they would benefit from some additional moisture, I don’t have a set pattern, or set days to mist the orchids, though I try to mist the orchids a number of times a week.  I have never misted these orchid more than once in a day, and I haven’t misted the orchids that are growing inside this terrarium, as often as seven times in a week.

I have never misted any of the terrarium plants or ferns that I have planted inside my BiOrbAir terrariums.  The ferns and terrarium plants are planted directly into the compost and so are watered automatically by the capillary matting and the rain water from the base reservoir below.  Terrarium plants and ferns require much less time and care than miniature epiphytic orchids.  If you were to plant a BiOrbAir terrarium with ferns and other terrarium plants then you would only need to top up the base reservoir with rain water every month, and top up the humidimist every two to three weeks, these plants would not require any additional fertiliser.  You can find out more about how often the humidimist needs to be topped up in the ultra sonic misting unit and how often to top up the base reservoir with rain water here.

My BiOrbAIR terrarium, planted with terrarium plants, miniature orchids, ferns, and mosses.
My Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir this terrarium is planted with epiphytic orchids which have been mounted onto cork bark and moss.

Fertiliser

Since I planted my first BiOrbAir terrarium in September 2014, apart from the specially designed orchid 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.

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 sparingly, following the instructions on the pack.  These miniature epiphytic 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.

Other articles that may interest you……………

To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir, please click here.

To read the first part of my White Flowered Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read the first part of my Madagascan Orchids BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To find out how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark or other wood mounts, please click here.

To read about the new features that the new 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium offers, please click here.

To read a planting list of a wide variety of suitable terrarium plants, please click here.

To read about the special features of the BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

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

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

To read about the Orchid Extravaganza 2017 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please click here.

To read about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.

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