The simplicity and beauty of white flowers are enjoyed and appreciated by many of us. I have received many requests to plant up a terrarium with white flowered, miniature, epiphytic orchids, so I have now emptied and re-planted my specialised, automated, BiOrbAir terrarium, which was designed by Barry Reynolds and is available from BiOrb, with a variety of white-flowering orchids, to showcase how beautiful a single colour planting scheme for terrariums, vivariums, orchidariums, or bottle gardens can be.
I have had this particular BiOrbAir terrarium since September 2014. This BiOrbAir Terrarium had previously been planted with a mixture of terrarium plants, ferns, orchids, and mosses for my long-term review of the BiOrbAir, these plants have now been moved into my other terrariums. I will continue to review this BiOrbAir terrarium. I will also be reviewing how well these white flowered orchids fare inside the White Orchid BiOrbAir terrarium. I hope this will help you, if you’re looking to grow miniature orchids and create your own indoor garden.
The White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium resides in the same room, in the very same position, as this terrarium was in when I used it for my long-term review of the BiOrbAir.
The room that this terrarium resides in is very dark, it receives very little natural daylight. The natural light that this room does receive is of very low quality – to read a book or undertake work of any kind in this room, you would need to turn a light on. Consequently, the plants growing inside this BiOrbAir terrarium are very much relying on the BiOrbAir’s LED lights, which provide light at the same colour temperature as daylight, for photosynthesis.
White flowered, epiphytic miniature orchids
All of the orchids that I have chosen for this trial are epiphytic – they grow naturally on other plants, often trees. These host plants provide support, and offer a better position or environment for the epiphytic orchid to grow in.
Epiphytic plants are not the same as parasitic plants like mistletoe, they don’t take any sustenance from their host plant – epiphytic orchids don’t usually cause any harm to the host plant they are growing on. Epiphytic plants simply use another plant as a support to raise them up, where they can gain a better position, receiving more light and better air circulation. Epiphytic plants take all their water and nutrients from the air, the rain, and any accumulated debris that has collected in the branches of their host tree.
The method I use to mount my epiphytic orchids onto cork bark
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 discovered that Kew use strips of material cut from stockings to secure all of their epiphytic orchids. From this moment onwards, I have secured all of my orchids using strips of material cut from stockings, so consequently this is how all of the white flowered miniature epiphytic orchids in my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium have been mounted.
The stocking material does age and colour over time – making the material blend into the background somewhat. The mosses inside my other terrariums have also managed to grow over the stocking material, which has disguised and softened the appearance of the stocking material a little. You can find out more about how to mount epiphytic orchids here.
Misting and feeding miniature orchids
I will regularly mist my miniature orchids. I don’t have set days to mist the orchids, but I will endeavour to mist the plants several times a week.
To feed my miniature orchids, I will 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. Epiphytic miniature orchids wouldn’t receive an abundance of nutrients in their natural environment, here the only nutrients they receive arrive on the moisture in the air, rainfall, and any debris that has accumulated over time where they are growing. Over feeding can be detrimental to your plants, causing further problems.
I decided to plant this new terrarium with miniature orchids, mounted onto cork bark, and surrounded by a bed of pillow moss. I will continue to review this BiOrbAir terrarium and update this trial and review with information of how the miniature orchids are growing inside my BiOrbAir. I will detail any maintenance or indoor gardening work I undertake to either my BiOrbAir terrarium, and any of the plants inside.
I hope this review will help you if you’re looking to start up a bottle garden, terrarium, orchidarium, vivarium, or indoor garden of your own, or if you would like to learn more about growing miniature orchids. Through this trial and review, I hope to identify beautiful, white flowered, miniature orchids that will thrive inside the BiOrbAir .
Terrarium compost – peat free coir compost
I used the peat-free, coir compost that is included in the package when you purchase a BiOrbAir terrarium, and is also available to purchase separately online, as the growing media for this terrarium. I followed the straight-forward instructions to pre-soak the compost before adding it to my terrarium. This was the only compost I used when planting this terrarium, I didn’t add any other growing media or fertiliser, I used only the coir compost from BiOrb.
If you would like to try the same peat free coir compost in your terrarium, vivarium, bottle garden, orchidarium, or indoor garden, this compost is available to purchase separately from BiOrb.
White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting List
- Aerangis biloba
- Amesiella minor
- Amesiella monticola
- Angraecum distichum
- Brachypeza semiteretifolia
- Ceratochilus biglandulosus
- Holcoglossum flavescens
- Masdevallia tovarensis
- Neofinetia falcata
- Phalaenopsis gibbosa
- Phalaenopsis micholitzii
- Podangis dactyloceras
You can see the full planting list for this terrarium here, where you’ll find more details about each of these orchids, together with the details of all of the nurseries and suppliers where I purchased my orchids, mosses, and cork for this terrarium.
White flowered miniature epiphytic orchids
All of the orchids that are growing inside this terrarium are white flowered, miniature epiphytic orchids.
This Aerangis biloba specimen has been mounted onto a piece of cork that will allow room for this orchid specimen’s growth and development, I have ensured that there is sufficient room for this orchid’s pendent flowers when it blooms. This is a lovely species of Aerangis, I hope it will grow well inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
I have two Amesiella minor specimens, both of which are mounted onto the same piece of cork and are growing together inside this terrarium. I love all species of Amesiella. I hope these Amesiella minor specimens will grow well inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Amesiella monticola is a larger species of Amesiella from the Philippines, this miniature orchid produces very large, white flowers.
I just love the leaves of Angraecum distichum! Angraecum distichum is a joy to look at, even when its not in flower, this is a truly beautiful miniature orchid, which is a joy to look at and admire. Angraecum distichum grows well in shade.
I just love Brachypeza semiteretifolia! It’s such a cute orchid with beautiful flowers. I hope this specimen will grow well inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
I have wanted to trial growing Ceratochilus biglandulosus inside my BiOrbAir terrarium for a couple of years now, so I am very happy to have included this specimen inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Ceratochilus biglandulosus is endemic to Java, this tiny orchid produces beautiful flowers which are bigger than the plant itself.
I didn’t think that Holcoglossum flavescens produced white flowers, but I’ve been assured that the flowers that this Holcoglossum flavescens produces are white! Holcoglossum flavescens is an endearing little plant, I hope this specimen grows well inside my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Masdevallia tovarensis grows in cloud forests. This small Masdevallia produces a number of large, white flowers on each flowering stem. After the Masdevallia tovarensis flowers have faded, the flowering stems re-bloom in the following months or years. So if you’re growing this miniature orchid, it’s important to remember to only remove flower spikes which have faded and have turned brown, this way you’ll be absolutely certain that you won’t miss out on seeing any of this Masdevallia’s showy, and rather glamorous flowers.
Neofinetia falcata is a beautiful and deservedly popular orchid, it’s sometimes referred to as the Samurai Orchid. Neofinetia falcata produces beautiful, white, fragrant flowers, although I must say that Neofinetia falcata remains a very beautiful orchid even when it’s not in bloom, as the leaves form a rather attractive shape and have a beauty and charm all of their own.
Phalaenopsis gibbosa is a charming little orchid, it really is a darling. I am so happy to have included this miniature orchid in my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, I hope Phalaenopsis gibbosa will grow well inside this terrarium.
Phalaenopsis micholitzii is a much larger species of Phalaenopsis, I hope this orchid specimen will grow well inside my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.
This Podangis dactyloceras specimen was very kindly given to me by a friend. Podangis dactyloceras is a very special orchid, which produces amazing, translucent white flowers.
Phalaenopsis gibbosa is such a dear little orchid, its flowers are so charming. I have added these two photographs, which include a British five pence piece next to one of this Phalaenopsis gibbosa specimen’s flowers, to enable you to see the diminutive size of this lovely miniature orchid’s blooms.
Other articles that may interest you…………….
To read about the new features that the new 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium offers, please click here.
To read the first part of my Madagascar 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 general terrarium maintenance and plant care I give to my plants growing in my BiOrbair terrariums, please click here.
To read about the great features of the BiOrbAir, please click here.
To see a planting list of suitable plants to grow inside a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden, please click here.
To see a list of miniature orchids suitable for growing inside a terrarium, vivarium, orchidarium, or bottle garden, please click here.
To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial, please click here.
To find out about the Queen of Orchids, Grammatophyllum speciosum, and see photographs of this huge orchid in flower at Kew in 2015, please click here.
To find out about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.
To read about using decorative features in your bottle garden or terrarium, please click here.