BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir (part thirteen)

Welcome to the thirteenth part of my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir.  The BiOrbAir is a specialised, automated terrarium, designed by Barry Reynolds from BiOrb.  I first planted this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in August 2015, so at the time of writing – in May 2017, this BiOrbAir terrarium is 21 months old.  Some, though not all, of the miniature orchids that are currently growing inside this terrarium were featured in the original planting of this terrarium, which took place in August 2015.

If you would like to start at the very beginning, and read the first part of this Miniature Orchid Trial and BiOrbAir review, please click here.

The Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, as pictured on the 8th May 2017. Inside this terrarium Dryadella simula, Masdevallia decumana, Masdevallia rechingeriana, Phalaenopsis parishii, and Phalaenopsis lobbii are all flowering.

Miniature Orchid Terrarium Planting List:

I currently have the following orchids growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:

  • Aerangis hyaloides
  • Aerangis macrocentra
  • Amesiella philippinensis
  • Angraecum equitans
  • Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’
  • Diplocaulobium abbreviatum
  • Dryadella simula
  • Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
  • Masdevallia decumana
  • Masdevallia rechingeriana
  • Mediocalcar decoratum
  • Phalaenopsis lobbii
  • Phalaenopsis parishii

Three of these miniature orchids – Angraecum equitans, Diplocaulobium abbreviatum, and Masdevallia decumana, were included in my original planting of this terrarium in August 2015.

Over time I have added to the planting inside this BiOrbAir terrarium – the Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen was added in January 2016.  On the 9th April 2016, I added Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, Dryadella simula, and Masdevallia rechingeriana.  Then in May 2016, I added a Phalaenopsis parishii specimen – which had been previously been growing in another of my terrariums.  On the 26th May 2016, I added Mediocalcar decoratum to this terrarium.  Then on the 16th October 2016, I added  Aerangis hyaloidesAerangis macrocentra, and Amesiella philippinensis.  Lastly, on the 21st April 2017, I added a Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen to this terrarium.

You can see the full planting list for this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium here, where you’ll also find the full details of where I have purchased all of my miniature orchids, the moss, and the cork I have used inside this terrarium.

For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.

BiOrbAir Review and Miniature Orchid Trial

The Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, as pictured on the 8th May 2017. Inside this terrarium Dryadella simula, Masdevallia decumana, Masdevallia rechingeriana, Phalaenopsis parishii, and Phalaenopsis lobbii are all flowering.

Miniature Orchids

Let’s have a look at how the miniature orchids are growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:

The Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, as pictured on the 8th May 2017. Inside this terrarium Dryadella simula, Masdevallia decumana, Masdevallia rechingeriana, Phalaenopsis parishii, and Phalaenopsis lobbii are all flowering.

Aerangis hyaloides

Aerangis hyaloides is one of my favourite miniature orchids.  This miniature orchid is endemic to Madagascar.  I was sorry not able to include another Aerangis hyaloides specimen inside my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, but I am so very grateful indeed to have this wonderful little plant growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

This Aerangis hyaloides specimen has suffered some damage to its roots and to the tip of one of its leaves, but despite this I am pleased to say that this Aerangis hyaloides specimen is growing well inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Aerangis hyaloides, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Aerangis macrocentra

Aerangis macrocentra is also from Madagascar.  This Aerangis macrocentra specimen has thrived since I included it inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in October 2016, I have been so happy to see how well this miniature orchid has adjusted to its new home.

Aerangis macrocentra, as pictured on the 6th May 2017.
Aerangis macrocentra, as pictured on the 6th May 2017.
Aerangis macrocentra, as pictured on the 6th May 2017.

Amesiella philippinensis

Amesiella philippinensis is another of my favourite miniature orchids.  This Amesiella philippinensis specimen was also introduced to this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in October 2016.

Amesiella philippinensis, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Amesiella philippinensis, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Angraecum equitans

This Angraecum equitans specimen was included in the original planting for this terrarium back in August 2015, it’s a species of miniature orchid I am particularly fond of.

This miniature orchid was growing well until recently, but over the past couple of weeks this plant has shown a marked decline.  As you can see in the photograph below, this Angraecum equitans specimen has very recently lost three of its leaves.

Angraecum equitans, as pictured inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, on the 3rd May 2017.

After I took the photograph above, I removed this Angraecum’s dead leaves.  I added some fresh moss, which I placed around this Angraecum equitans specimen, and secured in place with a strip of material cut from a stocking.

I recently moved this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.  The Terrarium is still in the same room as it was previously, so it hasn’t moved far, but the conditions have changed – as this terrarium is now away from any windows and any source of natural daylight.  To try to compensate somewhat for the change in growing conditions, I have moved this Angraecum equitans specimen to a brighter location within the terrarium, where it will receive more direct light from this BiOrbAir terrarium’s LED lights.  The BiOrbAir terrarium’s LED lights produce light at the same colour temperature as natural daylight, which is ideal for plants.

I hope with all my heart that this miniature orchid will be happier, will recover, and will grow well.

Angraecum equitans, as pictured inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, after the removal of its dead leaves, and the addition of some new moss, on the 3rd May 2017.

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’

It’s now over a year since this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen was first introduced to this Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.  This Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen has grown well, the plant has significantly increased in size during the year that it has been in my care.

Although this miniature orchid produced a flower spike back in January 2016, this spike was aborted, so consequently this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen has not flowered for just over a year.  Happily I can report that this specimen is now producing another flower spike!  Fingers crossed that this flower spike develops and  blooms successfully.

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Diplocaulobium abbreviatum

This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen was included in the original planting for this terrarium back in August 2015.  This miniature orchid has grown new leaves and roots and the plant has grown a little in size, but it has yet to flower in my care.

Diplocaulobium abbreviatum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Diplocaulobium abbreviatum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Dryadella simula

This Dryadella simula specimen is growing well inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Some months ago now, many of the leaves produced by this Dryadella simula specimen had turned quite a bright shade of yellow, the orchid then seemed to have a rest period where it didn’t produce any flowers.  Following its rest period, this Dryadella simula specimen recovered, its leaves have greened up, and I am happy to report that this miniature orchid has been in flower continually since March 2017.  Prior to March 2017, this Dryadella simula was still producing flowers but the blooms appeared intermittently.

Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

I have found Dryadella simula to be a very floriferous miniature orchid.  However, the small size and the colour tone of the blooms, together with the low position that the flowers are held on this miniature orchid, has the effect that it’s not immediately apparent when this Dryadella simula is in bloom.  Consequently, you could miss seeing Dryadella simula‘s flowers, unless you take the time to regularly take a closer look at the plant, which I am very happy to do!

Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

The Dryadella simula flower that’s pictured above is a relatively new bloom, hence its colouration.  The Dryadella simula flower with a stronger reddish pink overall colouration, that’s pictured below, is a much older bloom, this flower will soon fade.

Drydella simula, as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’

This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen is growing well.  This is a delightful miniature orchid to include if you’re looking to plant a terrarium, bottle garden, vivarium, or other indoor garden.

This miniature orchid is not currently in flower, but the plant still has a charm all of its own.

Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Masdevallia decumana

Recently I noticed that this Masdevallia decumana specimen had a number of leaves that were yellowing.   A month later and this Masdevallia decumana specimen still has a number of yellowing leaves, the remainder of the plant’s leaves might not be so obviously yellow, but they are without the lovely verdant, fresh green colouration that this plant’s leaves boasted six months ago.

This Masdevallia decumana specimen has been producing a large number of flowers over the past month or so, the plant is in bud as I write this update.

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Masdevallia rechingeriana

This Masdevallia rechingeriana specimen started its current flowering period in January 2016.  During this time, this miniature orchid has produced a number of flowers, including one flowering stem that produced two open flowers, both flowers were flowering in unison as twins, which was rather lovely.

Masdevallia rechingeriana, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

As you can see in the photographs, this Masdevallia rechingeriana specimen is still flowering.  It’s important to note if you’re growing this species, (and some of the other species of Masdevallia too) don’t remove the flowering stem until it has very obviously faded and turned brown, as many of the individual flower stems will produce multiple flowers over an extended flowering period.  If you remove the flowering stem after the first flower fades you’ll be missing out on a number of later blooms.

The Masdevallia rechingeriana flower bud you see below, has been produced by a flowering stem, which has already flowered this year.

Masdevallia rechingeriana, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Masdevallia rechingeriana, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Mediocalcar decoratum

This Mediocalcar decoratum specimen has grown well inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

As you can see in the photograph below, this miniature orchid specimen has competition from a couple of weeds which are growing entwined with this miniature orchid and the mosses on this piece of cork bark.  I very quickly and easily removed these weeds after I took this photograph.

Mediocalcar decoratum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Mediocalcar decoratum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
A closer look at the moss surrounding the Mediocalcar decoratum. Pictured on the 3rd May 2017.
Mediocalcar decoratum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Mediocalcar decoratum, as pictured on the 3rd May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Phalaenopsis lobbii

This dear little Phalaenopsis lobbi specimen is the newest addition to this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrBAir Terrarium, I hope this miniature orchid will grow well inside this terrarium.

Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured on the 1st May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii as pictured on the 6th May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Phalaenopsis parishii

This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen has been producing the most wonderful floral display!  The first Phalaenopsis parishii flower that this specimen produced this year, opened on the 20th March 2017.  Last month I enjoyed the four open blooms that this miniature orchid had produced, all flowering in unison.  Two of the Phalaenopsis parishii flowers have now faded, but the remaining two flowers continue to delight me, these are such cheery little flowers.

It has been such a joy to see the beautiful flowers that this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen has produced.  I have always believed that this particular miniature orchid produced fragrant flowers, but I am sorry to say that although I have inspected this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen many times in the daytime, during the evening, and at night, I have never detected any fragrance.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured on the 1st May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured on the 1st May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured on the 1st May 2017, inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

To head straight to the next instalment of this Miniature Orchid Trial and BiOrbAir Review, please click here.

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

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

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

To read about the great new features of the updated 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

To read about the general maintenance of the BiOrbAir terrarium, and the general care I give to my terrarium plants, please click here.

For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.

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

To see a planting list for terrariums and bottle gardens featuring a variety of beautiful, terrarium plants, please click here.

To see a planting list of miniature orchids to grow in terrariums, please click here.

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

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

To read about using long handled terrarium tools, please click here.

Other articles you might like:

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