Happy new year! I have had a rearrangement of this special Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, which I can now unveil for you in this trial update! So, welcome to the seventh part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial – growing epiphytic orchids, which are endemic to Madagascar, inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
My reason for planting this very special terrarium with orchids that are endemic to Madagascar, was to highlight and raise awareness of the fragility of Madagascar. I wanted showcase the beauty of some of Madagascar’s plants, with the hope that by sharing these images I would encourage more love, protection, and support for Madagascar. Many of the orchids that are found growing in Madagascar are not found anywhere else on Earth, so it really is a special and unique place.
To learn more about Madagascar and the vital work in conservation and research that is being undertaken by the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC), a non-profit, non governmental organisation (NGO), please click here. To read the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC) blog, please click here.
I am a huge fan of the people that work at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The team representing this amazing organisation, work to discover more about plants and fungi all across our planet: working to protect all manner of plants and fungi, to safeguard important habitats for plants, and to inform us with the knowledge they have discovered about plants and fungi. We are so fortunate to have Kew, we need to give Kew our support and protection. The work undertaken at Kew benefits the entire planet. If you’re able to donate and contribute to Kew’s vital plant science and conservation work, please click here.
The BiOrbAir terrarium that I have used to plant up these rare orchids, was designed by Barry Reynolds and is available from BiOrb. The orchid plants that are featured inside this terrarium were grown in cultivation, they weren’t taken from the wild.
The Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting List
- Aerangis citrata
- Aerangis hyaloides
- Aerangis fastuosa
- Aerangis macrocentra
- Aerangis punctata
- Aerangis sp.
- Aeranthes arachnites
- Angraecum dollii
- Angraecum equitans
- Angraecum ochraceum
- Angraecum rutenbergianum
I conducted a big re-arrange of nearly all of my terrariums on the 12th November 2017, many of my orchids were moved from one terrarium to another, where I hoped the plants would be happier or be better suited to the planting theme. The Aerangis modesta specimen that was previously growing happily inside this terrarium has now been moved into another of my terrariums, where there was more room to accommodate this lovely plant.
I moved my Aerangis hyaloides and Angraecum equitans specimens from my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, into this terrarium, as both of these miniature orchid species are from Madagascar, so they’re perfectly suited to this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Following on from my reorganisation, I have also introduced Angraecum dollii, Angraecum ochraceum, and Angraecum rutenbergianum into this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. I am hoping with all of my heart that these miniature orchids will be happy inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium.
You can see the full planting list for this terrarium here, where you’ll find more details about each of the orchids that are currently featured in this terrarium, together with the details of any orchids that have previously be grown inside this terrarium, together with the details of all of the nurseries and suppliers where I purchased my orchids, mosses, and cork for this terrarium.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
To read more about the basic routine care I give my miniature orchids that are growing inside my BiOrbAir Terrariums and the maintenance I undertake to run these terrariums, please click here.
Miniature epiphytic orchids from Madagascar
This Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium looks so beautiful with Aerangis citrata and Aerangis hyaloides in full bloom. Both of these orchids produce beautiful white flowers that glisten in the light. The crystalline quality is more prominent in the flowers of Aerangis hyaloides, but Aerangis citrata‘s blooms also shimmer as the light catches them, which is simply delightful to see.
This Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium has undergone a period of change, with plants dying and new plants being introduced. I have been experiencing guilt, sadness and hope. I sincerely hope that all of the orchids growing inside this special terrarium will now thrive and flourish inside my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. Here is a closer look at this terrarium and the orchids that are growing inside:
Despite looking really rather dehydrated, this Aerangis citrata specimen is delighting me with its drive and ability to flower. This Aerangis citrata specimen, like many orchids has produced something of an extended tangle of fine roots all around, below, and even above the plant. When you’re misting plants such as this one, it’s important to take time to mist all of the plant’s roots, and not to just spray the centre of the plant. The orchid’s roots have evolved to grow in this manner to support the plant and to enable the roots to make use of all of the moisture and nutrients available in the area the plant is growing in.
I favour misting my orchids with rainwater in the early morning. I like for the moss growing around my plants’ roots to dry out to varying degrees, (the dryness I wish for depends on the orchid species in question) before nightfall. During 2017, some of the orchids that were growing inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium did not receive sufficient moisture, this dehydration has resulted in the sad loss of two plants, which I feel so very sorry about. I am keen and anxious not to repeat this mistake.
It is quite amazing that this Aerangis citrata specimen has flowered twice during the eight months that this miniature orchid has been growing inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, the plant produced both flowering stems entirely inside this terrarium – at the time of this plant’s introduction the plant had yet to produce the first sign of a flower spike.
Aerangis citrata does not flower for very long. The first Aerangis citrata flowers that open will be fading fast, by the time the last flowers open their petals.
This is the second time that this Aerangis citrata specimen has bloomed inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. Sadly I have been unable to detect any fragrance from this Aerangis citrata specimen’s flowers, either during the day or evening.
Sadly the mature, full sized Aerangis fastuosa specimen that was residing inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium is no more. This plant succumbed, following the lasting effects of under watering and died in December 2017.
I am so sorry for this lovely orchid. I feel really guilty about losing this plant, I really feel so bad about it, but you can learn a lot from killing an orchid, or indeed from killing any plant. I feel like perhaps I should whisper this, but I do have another Aerangis fastuosa specimen, it is currently growing inside another of my terrariums at the moment. I can introduce this other Aerangis fastuosa specimen into this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, but currently I don’t have the right moss to use to mount the orchid, so there will be a short delay and interval before this plant’s introduction.
12th November 2017
It feels wonderful to have moved this Aerangis hyaloides specimen into this magical Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium! I must confess that I just adore this particular orchid species. Whilst Aerangis hyaloides‘ crystalline flowers are captivating, even when the plant is not in flower I find Aerangis hyaloides to be utterly charming; the plant displays a certain attractive beauty at all times, with its glossy green leaves and handsome stature. That said, I am looking forward with great anticipation of this Aerangis hyaloides specimen’s flowering! This specimen is in the process of producing three flower spikes; I cannot wait to see Aerangis hyaloides‘s glistening, twinkling flowers again!
20th December 2017
As I said earlier, I moved this Aerangis hyaloides specimen from my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, into this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. I have set up each of my BiOrbAir terrariums to offer different conditions; the Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium that this orchid previously resided in, provides the wettest environment of my three BiOrbAir terrariums, while this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium is the driest of these three terrariums.
When I was planning my large scale orchid reorganisation, I was wary of changing the environment around this lovely orchid while it was producing new flower buds. After some consideration of my Aerangis hyaloides plants, and the other plants that were in bud, I went ahead with my plans, with the firm intention of checking on this Aerangis hyaloides specimen at frequent, regular intervals. I had planned to give this plant some extra water or misting and to carefully monitor the plant’s transition, but with my Christmas decorations up and the view of, and access to many of my terrariums obstructed by ribbons, baubles, and my other Christmas fanfare and paraphernalia, I could not see my plants as easily or in as much detail as usual. When I glanced in the direction of this Madagascar Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium the dark green colour of this orchid’s leaves helped to disguise and conceal the plant’s distress.
When I closely examined this Aerangis hyaloides specimen this morning (20th December 2017) it was looking shrivelled. This dehydration did not happen over night, it has happened over the past three weeks, but I have unfortunately only spotted the plant’s distress at this late stage. I took the photograph that you can see above after thoroughly misting the plant, so the poor condition of this Aerangis hyaloides specimen’s leaves is somewhat disguised by the water droplets, this was not intentional, I just instinctively watered the plant as soon as I noticed that it needed water!
I hope with all my heart that I have not caused this darling plant irreparable damage. I am feeling very sorry indeed, and incredibly guilty for my lack of care and attention. I have a large collection of Christmas decorations. To accommodate these decorations, everything inside my home moves around at the end of November each year, and so consequently my orchids are a little more difficult to see, more difficult to access, and tend. Due to the dark green colouration of the Aerangis hyaloides leaves, the plant’s condition was somewhat concealed, as I could not see the wrinkling on the leaves until I was very close to the plant. I absolutely love Aerangis hyaloides, it is one of my favourite miniature orchids, I hope that this plant will survive this sorry experience. I certainly am feeling very sorry.
In the photograph that you can see above, which was taken a couple of days later when this miniature orchid’s leaves had dried out, you can more clearly see the wrinkled texture of this dehydrated Aerangis hyaloides specimen’s leaves. They are quite unlike the glossy, smooth, and shiny leaves that are a notable characteristic of this particular miniature orchid species’ appearance. I have added a photograph taken a month previously to show the marked contrast.
There are two Aerangis macrocentra plants growing inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, both specimens are young plants of the same age. I am very happy to report that both specimens are growing well, they’re producing new leaves and roots, and are now happily established inside this lovely terrarium.
This Aerangis punctata specimen finished blooming at the beginning of October 2017; it was such a thrill to see this plant in bloom! After its flower faded, this Aerangis punctata specimen lost its previous good condition. The plant dropped two of its leaves in quick succession, the leaves turned a vivid yellow-orange colour, before falling at the end of December 2017, which left this plant with just two leaves remaining, both of which were growing on the same side of this plant, one leaf somewhat concealing the other. I am hoping that this plant will spring into life and will produce new leaves and roots very soon. Fingers crossed!
This Aerangis species specimen, which is most probably Aerangis fuscata, seems to take one step forward and then two steps backwards in regard to its growing. Currently we are on a positive forward reaching step, a wonderful growing stage, with delightful new roots and leaves being produced, but just a month ago, as you can see in the photographs above and below, this plant did not appear to be in as good health – two of the plant’s leaves were dying, the rest of the leaves looked rather dull and lacklustre, and the plant’s overall health and demeanour was not as strong or inspiring as I would have liked.
Happily as I write this update now, just a month later, at the end of December 2017, I can report a transformation in this plant’s appearance: the dying, vibrant orange coloured leaves have now been dropped, and the rest of this plant’s appearance appears to be full of vitality- this plant’s leaves have regained some of their gloss, and beautiful new roots are pushing outwards, which is simply wonderful to see! I am so relieved to see this little Aerangis in better health. I may be asking too much, but I hope that this Aerangis specimen will flower in 2018. I have had this plant since August 2015, I should simply love to see this miniature orchid in flower!
This Aeranthes arachnites specimen last bloomed from June 2017, until October 2017, which as I write this update on the 1st January 2018, was three months ago now. This small sized orchid is much larger in size than the other miniature orchids inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, but I am so happy to have been able to include this orchid species, as its quite remarkable flowers are so different and are really rather captivating! I feel that this plant is quite indicative and representative of how precious Madagascar is. This is why I chose this Aeranthes arachnites specimen for this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, despite this orchid’s large size. Here’s a reminder of this orchid’s flowers:
Now, back to my 1st January 2018, update! Over the past few months, this Aeranthes arachnites specimen has grown and performed well inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. This Aeranthes arachnites specimen flowered for a little longer than I anticipated, which is always a lovely surprise. This Aeranthes arachnites specimen has produced some lovely new roots and growth, which you can see in the photographs that follow:
This Aeranthes arachnites specimen has attempted to seek out and avail itself of the moisture from the moss and compost around the base of the planting of this Madagascar BiOrbAir terrarium. This Aeranthes arachnites specimen had pushed its roots so firmly into this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium’s compost that the plant had almost chosen to grow as a terrestrial orchid. When I was conducting this latest reshuffle and the reorganisation of this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, this Aeranthes arachnites specimen’s roots really had to be dug out from this terrarium’s moss and compost to be able to move and reorganise these Madagascan plants as necessary.
20th December 2017
Eek! What can I say about this Angraecum didieri specimen? This plant is in terrible shape, which is horrible to see! I hope for a miracle, but I am pretty certain that there is no chance for this orchid! I have not misted this Angraecum didieri specimen as often as the plant would have liked me to. I have caused the plant’s downfall by under watering, of which I feel so very sorry for. I feel really rather guilty and ashamed about the poor quality care I gave my plants. My new year’s resolution is to manage to mist my orchids more frequently!
Here are a few pictures taken a few months ago showing this Angraecum when it was in better condition:
Sadly this Angraecum didieri specimen died on the 1st January 2017.
Up until I recently moved this orchid into this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, this Angraecum dollii specimen was growing inside another of my terrariums. I hope with all of my heart that this miniature orchid will flourish inside this terrarium. I could almost chant this, as I wish it so fervently for this Angraecum dollii specimen, indeed I wish and hope the same for all of these miniature orchids!
I purchased this Angraecum equitans specimen back in August 2015; this orchid is mini miniature in size and has yet to flower. I am hoping that this miniature orchid will prosper inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Angraecum ochraceum is another new introduction that I am hoping will grow well inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium! This miniature orchid species favours bright light, so accordingly, it has been positioned where it will not be shaded by the other plants that are growing inside this terrarium.
I am hoping that this Angraecum rutenbergianum specimen will flourish inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. The plant grows in deep shade in its native environment, so I hope that the BiOrbAir’s LED lights will not be too intense for this miniature orchid. I will endeavour to achieve a shaded location for this plant.
To head straight to the next update for this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, please click here.
Other articles that may interest you…………
To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read about the general care I give to my orchids and terrarium plants, and the general maintenance I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums, please click here.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
To read about the great new features of the 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.
To read a Planting List of a wide range and variety of beautiful plants which are suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To see a Planting List of beautiful, miniature orchids, suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To read about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.
To read about the Queen of Orchids, the largest known orchid, and this plant’s flowering at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please click here.