Welcome to the sixteenth 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 November 2017, this BiOrbAir terrarium is 27 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.
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, which includes all of the miniature orchids that have been trialled inside this Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium. Here 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.
BiOrbAir Review and Miniature Orchid Trial
Let’s have a look at how these miniature orchids are growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:
Aerangis hyaloides is one of my favourite miniature orchids! It is wonderful to see this specimen’s flower spikes developing. This particular Aerangis hyaloides specimen has been growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium since October 2016, which is just over a year ago. This will be the second time that this particular Aerangis hyaloides specimen has flowered inside this terrarium; currently this plant has three flower spikes developing. I am so looking forward to seeing this darling orchid’s shimmering flowers again! Aerangis hyaloides absolutely thrives inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
It was a truly delightful surprise to discover what looks to be the very first beginning of a flower spike developing on this Aerangis macrocentra specimen! I introduced this miniature orchid to this terrarium just over a year ago – in October 2017, this will be the first time of flowering for this Aerangis macrocentra specimen. I am so looking forward to seeing this orchid in bloom!
Amesiella philippinensis is yet another of my favourite miniature orchids, I am absolutely thrilled that this specimen is also producing a flower bud! It’s fantastic news! This Amesiella philippinensis specimen was also introduced to this terrarium back in October 2016 – so just over a year ago.
This Angraecum equitans specimen was introduced to this terrarium when I first set up this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in August 2015, which was just over two years ago now. This miniature orchid has yet to flower, the plant has not changed much at all over the two years that it has been growing inside this terrarium. Despite this I have a definite soft spot for this miniature orchid. I hope that this Angraecum equitans specimen will surprise me one day by producing a flower spike!
Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’
This Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen has grown steadily since its introduction to this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium at the end of March 2016 – over a year and a half ago now.
Having noted this plant’s steady growth, I have to say that this miniature orchid has yet to re-flower – the plant was flowering at the time of its introduction to this terrarium, but this specimen has not flowered during the year and a half that followed. I am unsure if this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen requires a greater degree of light, increased water, fertiliser, temperature, or all four to encourage it to bloom. Certainly this specimen will be able to produce a more dramatic display when it does flower, as the plant is now more than four times the size of the plant as it was introduced to the terrarium.
This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen was also included in the very first planting of this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium back in August 2015, which is over two years ago now. This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen has yet to flower, but from the looks of things I won’t have to wait too much longer before the plant produces its first flowers.
My instincts tell me that this orchid would favour a brighter intensity of light. The room that this terrarium currently resides in, receives no direct sunlight – it is rather a dimly lit room. Certainly without the benefit of the BiOrbAir’s LED lights this orchid, and the other miniature orchids, together with the moss that is growing inside this terrarium, would not be able to grow. I am so grateful for my BiOrbAir terrarium! I love growing my miniature orchids inside this terrarium.
Dryadella simula is such a floriferous miniature orchid. This specimen seems to almost always be in bloom, this plant has flourished inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
I love Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’! What a charming little orchid this is! I find this darling orchid to be so agreeable, never minding if it endures a longer period without water, or complaining if it receives too much water, just growing away the best it can. At times this Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ specimen seems almost stationary, resting, waiting, and hoping that it will receive some rainwater sometime soon, and then growing away again when it has what it needs.
This Masdevallia decumana specimen flowered its socks off from January 2016, until the summer of 2017. Since then the plant has sulked a little, and quite understandably I am afraid, as it didn’t receive the water it needed to continue flowering and growing as healthy as it would have done.
This Masdevallia rechingeriana specimen has flourished inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. This year this miniature orchid has been in flower from January 2017, right through until July 2017. Although this plant has not flowered for a few months, I am leaving the flowering stems intact, just in case they flower again, as they are still green and healthy.
This Mediocalcar decoratum specimen also suffered after not receiving the quantity of rainwater required for healthy growth earlier this year. It seems that the centre of this plant has died back, leaving the plant almost cut into two. With plants such as this Mediocalcar decoratum specimen, that can be propagated by division, it is always the outer sections of the plant that are most vigorous. These are the plant sections that you want to propagate from; as can be clearly shown by the photograph above, which demonstrates how the centre of the plant has faded, but the younger, more vigorous plant stems that are growing from the outer edges of the plant’s circle have endured.
This Phalaenopsis lobbii is a bit of a tatty specimen! For some reason the plant has almost upturned itself, lifting the underside of the plant’s leaf to the light! The plant is peppered with damage across its leaves, however this specimen’s newest leaf is in good form, which gives me hope that in future the plant will gain a healthier and more handsome demeanour.
This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen is also looking somewhat worse for wear. This is a floriferous specimen, this year this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen bloomed from March 2017, until the end of July 2017. So it was somewhat of a surprise to see the first signs of a new flower spike appearing in October 2017.
To head straight to the next instalment of this Miniature Orchid Trial and BiOrbAir Terrarium 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.