Welcome to the fifteenth 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 August 2017, this BiOrbAir terrarium is two years 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.
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 hyaloides, Aerangis 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 more information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
A look back over the past two years of this terrarium’s life
I have so enjoyed growing miniature orchids in this BiOrbAir terrarium. I just love this BiOrbAir terrarium! Here is a rather quick reminisce over the last two years of my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium:
BiOrbAir Review and Miniature Orchid Trial Update
This Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium has been rather too dry of late – my fault for not misting the plants as often as they would have liked. The miniature orchids which reside in the upper storeys of this terrarium, being closer to the BiOrbAir’s fan, dry out at a faster rate, so these plants have suffered the most during this drier period, while the miniature orchids that occupy the lower levels of the globe, have received sufficient water for their requirements, and are consequently in fine fettle.
Let’s have a closer look at how each of these miniature orchids are growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:
Hooray for this Aerangis hyaloides specimen, which is in the earliest stages of producing three new flowering stems! I love this miniature Aerangis. I am so looking forward to seeing its magnificent, shimmering, crystalline flowers again!
Aerangis hyaloides grows well in lower light levels. This is a fantastically beautiful miniature orchid, it’s one of my favourites!
The roots of this Aerangis macrocentra specimen are now smothered in a rather dense thicket of moss. This moss has somewhat pinned down this young miniature orchid, it is holding the plant firmly in place. This moss and miniature orchid are growing in unison, so I am happy to leave the moss undisturbed. I will continue to enjoy this moss’s texture, and the zing of fresh green that this bryophyte brings to the terrarium.
Owing to the drier conditions inside this terrarium over the past few months, many of the mosses are looking somewhat lack lustre to say the least, so I am grateful for this resplendent moss which is rather fabulously full of life and energy.
This Amesiella philippinensis specimen has coped during this drier period of late. I know that this miniature orchid would have preferred to have received more moisture, more often, so it’s remarkable to see the plant in such good shape.
I have a lot of love in my heart for miniature orchids: this is another of my favourites!
This Angraecum equitans specimen was included in the original planting of this terrarium, back in August 2015. The plant has not changed very much over the two years that it has been in my care. This miniature orchid is yet to flower, but I am glad to see that the plant is producing new leaf.
Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’
I added this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen to this terrarium at the start of April 2016. This miniature orchid was flowering at the time when I introduced the plant to this terrarium, but it hasn’t bloomed since!
As you can see in the photograph above, this miniature orchid had acquired some self sown ferns, which were growing in the moss around the plant. After this picture was taken I removed all of the ferns that were growing around this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen.
I quite admire the way in which this miniature orchid almost marches forwards as it grows.
This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen was also included in the original planting of this terrarium back in August 2015. This miniature orchid has grown somewhat in size over the past two years, but this is another miniature orchid which is yet to flower.
This Dryadella simula specimen has absolutely thrived inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. This miniature orchid is nearly always in flower, the plant has proved to be a very successful introduction.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
As you can see in the photograph above, this Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen had also acquired some self sown ferns. I removed these ferns after taking the first photograph.
This Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen has produced a number of flower spikes, their stems are so fine, almost like a strand of hair. I am looking forward to seeing this dear little orchid’s blooms over the coming months.
To demonstrate just how delicate Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’s flowering stems are, in the pictures above and below, I have photographed a flower spike together with a British five-pence-piece to give a more visible sense of scale.
This Masdevallia decumana specimen was also included in the original planting of this terrarium back in August 2015. The plant flowered just a short while after its inclusion in this terrarium, blooming just six months later, in February 2016.
Over the past six months, the conditions inside this Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium have been too dry for this Masdevallia decumana, and the plant has consequently failed to thrive. However, this is a resilient miniature orchid, I am sure that the plant will recover if it is treated to more frequent watering.
This Masdevallia rechingeriana specimen has also been joined by some uninvited self-sown ferns, which were removed after these photographs were taken.
This Masdevallia rechingeriana specimen has been almost continually in bloom since January 2017. The plant currently displays two main flowering stems, which have been blooming in succession since they matured, as well as a further flowering stem, which is in a much earlier stage of production.
This Mediocalcar decoratum specimen was a kind gift from a friend. This young plant is yet to flower, but has grown well since its introduction to this terrarium in May 2016.
I introduced this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen to the Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir terrarium in April 2017. One of this miniature orchid specimen’s leaves has arranged itself so that the underside of the leaf is facing the BiOrbAir’s LED lights, I am unsure how this came about! One of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s leaves is displaying snail damage, which is not enhancing the plant’s appearance.
This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen opened its first flowers of the year in March 2017. The last of this miniature orchid’s blooms recently faded. This miniature orchid has quite exhausted itself after putting on a fabulous floral show over the past few months, the plant will certainly benefit from a rest from flowering until next spring.
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.