Orchidarium Update (part two)

Contents

In March 2017, I created an Orchidarium, complete with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care.  In this update you can see how these automated features have performed over the past year, you can also discover how the plants inside this Orchidarium have grown and developed.  I am just so excited to be able to show you the deliciously scented flowers of Phalaenopsis honghenensis!  I am thrilled to be able to share with you the cute, characterful inflorescences produced by Phalaenopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis lobbii, and Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia!  I’d also love to show you the prolific flowering of Stelis muscifera and Masdevallia decumana.  I also want to let you know about a wonderfully floriferous terrarium and vivarium plant: Chirita tamiana.  I have some elegant Restrepia flowers and more Phalaenopsis flowers I’d love you to see too!

Firstly, I will explain how the equipment I purchased has performed over the past year, I’ll also tell you about the insects that are living  inside this Orchidarium, then I will take you on a tour of this Orchidarium, when I’ll show you every one of the plants that are currently growing inside this Orchidarium!

Orchidarium Update

My Orchidarium, as pictured on the 22nd March 2018. Inside this Orchidarium Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Phalaenopsis parishii, Masdevallia decumana, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Stelis muscifera, are all in flower.

How was this Orchidarium created?

If you’re wondering how this Orchidarium was created, you can read my step by step guide, which details how my Orchidarium was created.  This guide also gives the details of all of the products I have installed inside my Orchidarium.

If you would rather start at the beginning and read the first update I wrote for this Orchidarium, here’s a link to the first installment.

Automated Plant Care

Advanced LED Lighting System problems

During January and February 2018, I experienced problems with the Advanced LED Lighting System by Jungle Hobbies, which was installed inside this Orchidarium during its creation, in March 2017.  The fan that cools these lights became increasingly noisy, making rattling, whirring, grumbling, and other disturbing noises – the fan for these lights often sounded like a didgeridoo, other times the sound the light’s fan made seemed to have something of an echo!  The noises the fan from these LED lights made could also be reminiscent of the sound Darth Vader makes when breathing!  As the problems with the fan worsened the lights would randomly turn off, as these LED lights soon over heated without their fan working effectively to keep them cool.  After a short interval the lights would usually turn back on again, but sometimes there was a considerable delay before hand.  I contacted Jungle Hobbies, who gave me instructions on how to clean the fan.  As the problems persisted after the fan was cleaned, Jungle Hobbies have now posted me a replacement fan, which I hope will arrive soon – the company have posted the fan from Canada, which I am told accounts for the long delay in its arrival, as it’s not unusual for packages to take over a month to arrive in the post when they are travelling such a long distance.

The Advanced LED lighting System has a built-in timer, these lights are programmable with 5 light stages (dawn, sunrise, daylight, dusk, sunset) this gives a good range of light levels and colour temperatures throughout the day.

Orchidarium automated plant care settings

I have set this Orchidarium up to mist the plants automatically.  This Orchidarium’s misting unit delivers a fine mist of water over the entire Orchidarium, every morning at 8.30am, when the misting system pumps out a fine mist of water around the orchidarium, which operates continually, misting the plants for one minute, five seconds once every morning, every day.

I have two fans within this Orchidarium, both are similar to the type of fans that operate inside computers.  One fan has been set up to draw fresh air into the Orchidarium (which will have the effect of reducing humidity) this external fan is connected to a hygrometer, so it only kicks in and operates when humidity levels inside this Orchidarium are high.  This works effectively to maintain a constant humidity level between 85% and 95% RH inside this Orchidarium.  The other fan runs constantly, circulating the air, providing constant air movement within this Orchidarium.

My Orchidarium, as pictured on the 1st March 2018. Phalaenopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Leptotes bicolor, Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Stelis muscifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, Masdevallia decumana are all in flower inside this Orchidarium.

Orchidarium light levels

This chart shows the average light levels in the Orchidarium over the last 30 days. The peak light level is actually about 7,000lux but the average is lower due to the evening periods where the light dims/turns off. However, you can see that the light levels inside my Orchidarium are significantly stronger than the ambient light levels in the rest of my home, which usually reach no more than 90-100lux in my brightest room!

Orchidarium temperature levels

This chart shows the average temperature levels over the last 30 days. You can see that the temperature inside this Orchidarium is slightly lower than the temperature inside my home.

Orchidarium humidity levels

This chart shows the average humidity levels within this Orchidarium over the last 30 days. You can see that the humidity inside my home fluctuates quite a lot, but the Orchidarium maintains a humidity level close to 90% consistently.

Growing plants inside terrariums is a great way to easily provide terrarium plants that are happiest growing in humid environments with their optimum growing conditions.  Just enclosing your plants in a simple, clear glass bottle will enable you to create a more humid environment, which will allow you to grow a range of plants that you could not otherwise expect to succeed with in the dry, desert like conditions inside our homes.

As you can see in the charts above, this Orchidarium, with its automated misting unit, fans, and LED lights provides my plants with consistent growing conditions, good air circulation and movement, and a high level of humidity.  The humidity levels inside my home are naturally much lower, as are the light levels inside my home, so I would not be able to grow these plants successfully outside of this Orchidarium.

How do I record the humidity, temperature, and light levels inside my Orchidarium?

After I posted my previous update for this Orchidarium at the end of December 2017, a number of readers asked how I monitor the growing conditions inside this Orchidarium, and inside my other terrariums, with many readers asking what equipment I use to track and record this data.  So to answer their questions fully, I wrote this article about how I track temperature, humidity and light conditions.  I hope this article will help you, if you’re looking for ways to monitor the growing conditions that you provide for your own plants, if you’re interested in tracking the conditions inside your home, your terrariums, your greenhouse, or your garden, I hope that my tips and advice will be of assistance.

My Orchidarium as pictured on the 15th March 2018. Phalaenopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Leptotes bicolor, Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Stelis muscifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, Masdevallia decumana, and Chirita tamiana, are all in flower inside this Orchidarium.

Orchidarium planting list

As of April 2018, I currently have the following plants growing inside this Orchidarium:

  • Aerangis biloba
  • Begonia
  • Bulbophyllum ambrosia
  • Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’
  • Bulbophyllum sessile
  • Chiloschista parishii
  • Chirita tamiana
  • Dinema polybulbon
  • Humata heterophylla
  • Humata repens
  • Leptotes bicolor
  • Masdevallia decumana
  • Oncidium hians
  • Ornithophora radicans
  • Pellaea rotundifolia
  • Phalaenopsis appendiculata
  • Phalaenopsis braceana
  • Phalaenopsis celebensis
  • Phalaenopsis deliciosa
  • Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba
  • Phalaenopsis finleyi
  • Phalaenopsis gibossa
  • Phalaenopsis honghenensis
  • Phalaenopsis lobbii
  • Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia
  • Phalaenopsis lowii
  • Phalaenopsis malipoensis
  • Phalaenopsis micholitzii
  • Phalaenopsis parishii
  • Phalaenopsis parishii alba
  • Phalaenopsis stobartiana
  • Phalaenopsis thailandica
  • Phalaenopsis wilsonii
  • Pinguicula hybrid
  • Pyrrosia serpens
  • Restrepia citrina
  • Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’
  • Restrepia sanguinea
  • Restrepia seketii
  • Schoenorchis fragrans
  • Schoenorchis scolopendria
  • Schoenorchis seidenfadenii
  • Schoenorchis tixieri 
  • Stelis muscifera

The Orchidarium Planting List includes information on each of the plants that have been grown inside this Orchidarium – I have given each plant its own page!  You can click on any of the plant pages, where you’ll discover more information about each individual plant species.  On each plant page you’ll also find links to every single article I have written about that particular plant species on www.pumpkinbeth.com.  I have listed all of the nurseries and suppliers that I used to purchase all of my plants, mosses, and cork for this Orchidarium, at the bottom of this planting list.  You can see the full planting list complete with suppliers for this Orchidarium here.

My Orchidarium, as pictured on the 22nd March 2018. Inside this Orchidarium Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Phalaenopsis parishii, Masdevallia decumana, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Stelis muscifera, are all in flower.

When I set up a terrarium of any kind, I am always tempted to create a beautiful, very natural looking terrarium planting scene, one that looks as if it is a snapshot of a tiny section of a rainforest or some other enchanting, awe inspiring natural scene.  As I set up this Orchidarium, I initially mounted a number of plants onto the same large pieces of cork branch, but following my rearrangement of this terrarium on the 12th November 2017, all of the orchids that are growing inside this Orchidarium are now mounted on their own individual pieces of cork bark and hung on the back and side walls of this Orchidarium, or mounted onto pieces of cork which have been positioned onto the floor of the Orchidarium.  The overall effect is not as visually pleasing as it could be, but this arrangement allows me the opportunity of housing a greater number of plants inside this Orchidarium and enables me to easily move the plants around as often as I wish to.

The plants inside this Orchidarium are all mounted on their own mounts, which makes the plants very easy to move.  This allows me the opportunity to group different orchid species from the same genus together as I wish, to change that arrangement as often as I choose, to examine or to photograph any, or indeed all of the plants however best suits me, or to easily change a particular orchid’s growing conditions by giving the plant a winter rest inside another terrarium.  It was this freedom and versatility, together with a greater capacity to house a larger number of plants, and to provide these plants with automated care that were my requirements on this occasion, these were my reasons for designing and creating this Orchidarium, hence the design of my Orchidarium and the style of its planting scheme.

Fertilisers

All of the orchids inside this Orchidarium receive the same fertilisers, namely Orchid Focus Grow whilst the orchids are growing, and Orchid Focus Bloom, whilst the plants are flowering.  When the plants are not actively growing they do not receive any fertiliser.  My plants are fed every week with the appropriate fertiliser for their needs, but once a month, every month, all of the plants receive rainwater instead of fertiliser.

It’s important to follow the manufacturers recommendations for any fertilisers or products you use, over feeding your plants will not be beneficial to them, in fact over feeding is likely to be detrimental to your plants, so do make sure that you follow the instructions on the pack.  Products and plants have many differences, so do please check that the fertiliser you have has been especially created and is designed to fertilise orchids.

I purchased both of my fertilisers from the shop at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  I feed my orchids sparingly, following the instructions on the pack.  These miniature epiphytic orchids wouldn’t naturally receive an abundance of nutrients in their natural environment.

Insects

Unfortunately, I now have a large number of insects living inside this Orchidarium!  I believe that these insects were brought in on one (or more) of the Phalaenopsis specimens that I purchased in 2017.  These insects have now reproduced, and as a consequence they are now much more numerous, and therefore more noticeable inside this Orchidarium.  These insects’ droppings adorn many of my orchids’ roots, which is not a look I favour!  I believe that these insects are Psocids, which are also known as barklice, but I may be mistaken, they may be Psyllids, or they could be an entirely different insect!  Even if these insects will not harm my plants, I really don’t want to have any insects inside any of my terrariums, but I also don’t wish to kill any creatures!

This photograph shows a Psocid (which are more commonly known as ‘bark lice’), which I spotted near the newly-formed bud on my Phalaenopsis stobartiana. These are tiny insects – around 0.5mm long – are hard to photograph.
Psocids are in the same suborder as thrips, but are not really a pest – in fact, as they feed on algae and fungi, they can act as a beneficial insect in cleaning up various detritus. Some species spin silk webbing.

I am hoping with all of my heart that these insects will not harm any of my plants!  All of my plants are sprayed weekly with SB Plant Invigorator, which offers some protection from pests; although I am unsure if this control has any effect on these insects, I certainly have only seen these insects increase in numbers.  Even if these insects are not harmful to my plants, I do not wish to keep any creatures inside my terrariums, so I am looking for ways to solve this issue!

Another photograph showing these insects, which I believe to be bark lice or Psocids. In this picture I have photographed these insects on the leaf of my of my Phalaenopsis stobartiana orchid. You can see in this picture that this insect’s wings have formed, and the insect on the left is giving birth to new, live young young!

Orchids and other plants

Here’s a look inside my Orchidarium, where you can see an overview of the orchids, ferns, and other plants that are growing inside this Orchidarium:

My Orchidarium as pictured on the 1st March 2018. Phalaenopsis lobbii, Leptotes bicolor, Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Stelis muscifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, Masdevallia decumana, are all in flower inside this Orchidarium.
My Orchidarium, as pictured on the 15th March 2018. Phalaenopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Leptotes bicolor, Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Stelis muscifera, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, Restrepia sanguinea, Masdevallia decumana, and Chirita tamiana, are all in flower inside this Orchidarium.
My Orchidarium, as pictured on the 22nd March 2018. Inside this Orchidarium Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Phalaenopsis lobbii, Phalaenopsis parishii, Masdevallia decumana, Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Stelis muscifera, are all in flower.

Aerangis biloba

Aerangis biloba, pictured on the 24th February 2018.
Aerangis biloba, as pictured on the 24th February 2018.

This Aerangis biloba specimen was previously growing inside my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium.  Following my rearrangement of many of my terrariums in November 2017, I moved this plant into a glass terrarium.  Sadly this glass terrarium broke when it was moved during routine household cleaning in January 2018.  I never intended to introduce this Aerangis biloba specimen into my Orchidarium, as I considered the lights to be too bright, I felt that the growing conditions inside this Orchidarium were not suited to this orchid species’ preferences, but I had no where else that I could put the plant at the time, so I used this Orchidarium as a temporary, short term home.  After a week of this orchid not showing any signs of distress, I then decided to leave this Aerangis biloba specimen in place inside this Orchidarium, and to move the plant immediately as it showed any signs of distress.  Since then, this Aerangis biloba plant has surprised me, it has not made any distress calls!  I have been pleasantly surprised at how well this Aerangis has grown inside this Orchidarium, the plant’s leaves have grown thicker and the plant looks so well, it is producing new leaves and roots.  However, despite this plant’s initial success inside this Orchidarium, I am all set to move this plant to another terrarium in due course.

Aerangis biloba, pictured on the 25th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

Begonia (self seeded)

This self seeded Begonia grew rapidly, the plant’s large green leaves are attractive and very shiny.

This Begonia specimen was not intentionally planted inside this Orchidarium – the plant must have self seeded – this Begonia seed could have come in on the moss, or on one of the other plants.  This Begonia grew up through the moss, growing so rapidly that it was flowering within a month or two of springing up.  This is not a plant that I would have chosen to include in this Orchidarium, but for the moment this plant will stay where it is, as I have a friend who would like to have this Begonia, but they aren’t quite ready for it yet.

After I took these photographs, I removed this Begonia’s flowers so as to prevent any seed production and in doing so, I have avoided giving myself any more self seeded Begonias inside this Orchidarium, unless of course there are other Begonia seeds just waiting for the right conditions to arise so they can grow and develop!

This Masdevallia decuma specimen has produced a flower, which is resting on a self seeded Begonia, as pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.
A closer look at the flowers produced by this self seeded Begonia. Pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 30th March 2018.

Bulbophyllum ambrosia

Bulbophyllum ambrosia, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.
Bulbophyllum ambrosia, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

I introduced this Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen to this Orchidarium in March 2017, so as I write to you this plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium for just over a year now.  During this time, this Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen has grown much larger in size – this plant has produced new leaves and many new roots, as this Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen has successfully extended its range within this Orchidarium.  Each new shoot and new leaf that the plant produces then goes on to develop their own new roots, as this orchid spreads out, increasing its circumference.

This Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen seems happy enough where it is, but the plant has yet to flower, despite the fact that this specimen is of flowering size.  In the next few days I will try moving this Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen’s position within this Orchidarium, I will raise the plant up to a higher position, so that the plant is closer to the LED lights, to see whether this will induce the plant to flower.

Bulbophyllum ambrosia, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium since November 2017.  During this time this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen has grown a little larger in size. In the photograph above, you can see that a couple of this plant’s leaves have turned a shade more yellow over the past few months since this plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium.  This Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ plant has yet to flower inside this Orchidarium.

Prior to its time inside this Orchidarium, this same Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen was grown inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums, where it grew from April 2016 until November 2017.  Although this plant was in flower at the time of its introduction to the BiOrbAir in April 2016, the plant has not flowered during the two years that have passed since.

Bulbophyllum sessile

Bulbophyllum sessile as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Bulbophyllum sessile specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium for just over a year now.  The plant has increased in size during the year that it has been growing inside this Orchidarium; this Bulbophyllum sessile specimen looks healthy and happy, but it too has yet to flower inside this Orchidarium.

Chiloschista parishii

Chiloschista parishii, as pictured on the 6th January 2018.
A closer look at Chiloschista parishii, as pictured on the 6th January 2018.
A closer look at Chiloschista parishii. I have photographed this orchid with a British five pence piece to more clearly show the size of this orchid’s new growth, as pictured on the 2nd February 2018.
Chiloschista parishii, as pictured on the 2nd February 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

 

This Chiloschista parishii specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium since the 12th November 2017.

This plant was temporarily moved to a much drier terrarium in December 2017, to provide this Chiloschista parishii specimen with a drier winter rest, so as to replicate the conditions that this orchid experiences in its natural environment.

This orchid is now back inside this Orchidarium, and as you can see in my photographs, this plant is now producing new flowering stems and flower buds!  I can’t wait to share this Chiloschista parishii specimen’s flowering with you in my next update!

Chiloschista parishii, as pictured on the 28th March 2018.
A closer look at this Chiloschista parishii specimen’s developing flower buds, as pictured on the 28th March 2018.

Chirita tamiana

Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 5th January 2018.

Chirita tamiana is a superb terrarium plant!  This Chirita tamiana specimen was planted in the compost at the base of this Orchidarium, on the 12th November 2017.  I am happy to say that so far this plant has flourished, the plant has been continuously flowering since December 2017.

Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 5th January 2018.

The peat free, coir compost that’s planted at the base of this Orchidarium is continually moist, whereas I have usually found that my Chirita tamiana plants prefer to dry out a little between waterings.  I would say that the moisture levels within this Orchidarium’s compost are at the maximum level for this plant; I would not expect this plant to fare well if it received a greater quantity of water.

I would highly recommend that you try growing this fabulous Gesneriad!  If you’re considering growing Chirita tamiana inside your orchidarium, terrarium, or vivarium, I would advise you to ensure that you allow your plant’s compost to dry out just a little between waterings – don’t let your plant’s compost dry out entirely, just allow it to become a bit drier before you water your plant again.

Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 5th January 2018.

Chirita tamiana looks very pretty indeed, even when it’s not flowering this is an attractive plant, having said this, I have found Chirita tamiana to be a very floriferous plant.  For optimum flower production, ensure that you deadhead your plants regularly.  I wait for all of the individual flowers to fade on a flowering stem, then I just simply cut the flowering them off at the base.  It only takes a second, but this simple act will ensure that your plant continues its flower production, instead of moving onto seed production at the expense of more flowers!

Chirita tamiana flowering

Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 4th January 2018.
Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 6th January 2018.
Chirita tamiana pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 6th January 2018.
Chirita tamiana, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.

Dinema polybulbon

Dinema polybulbon as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Dinema polybon specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in July 2017.  Over the past eight months, this plant has grown and developed, producing new leaves and roots, and establishing itself onto the new piece of cork that it was mounted on in July 2017.  This Dinema polybon plant has yet to flower inside this Orchidarium.

Doryopteris cordata

Doryopteris cordata as pictured on the 6th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

I moved this Doryopteris cordata specimen into another of my terrariums in January 2018.  This fern had grown well inside this Orchidarium, Doyopteris cordata was very happy growing in the conditions provided by the automated misting units and the LED lights that operate inside this Orchidarium, I just wanted to use the plant inside another terrarium.

Humata heterophylla

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 30th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

I love Humata heterophylla!  It’s such a delightful fern, I just cannot help but to smile each time I look at it!  I have two Humata heterophylla specimens growing inside this Orchidarium, they are a little tatty!  One plant is mounted onto a piece of cork bark, where it is growing as an epiphyte closer to this Orchidarium’s LED lights, while the other specimen is growing in a much more shaded location: it is planted into the compost at the base of this Orchidarium.  This Humata heterophylla specimen is planted into the compost, which is shaded by the self-seeded Begonia and Masdevallia decumana.  Both Humata heterophylla plants are in a similar condition, despite their different planting locations.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

I have two Humata heterophylla ferns growing inside this Orchidarium, here’s a closer look at one of this exquisite fern’s fronds.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.
Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 6th April 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

Humata repens

Humata repens, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 30th March 2018.

I planted this Humata repens specimen into this Orchidarium in April 2017.  This fern established itself quickly after it was planted into the peat free compost at the base of this Orchidarium, this Humata repens specimen has showed no sign of any distress since its introduction to this Orchidarium.

Humata repens really is a super choice of fern to plant inside Orchidariums, terrariums, bottle gardens, or vivariums.  It’s not always easy to find genuinely small ferns, ferns that will not out grow a terrarium, unless of course your terrarium, vivarium, or Orchidarium, is large in size, so truly miniature ferns are a wonderful addition to any of these environments, I would highly recommend this fern species!

I have another Humata repens specimen, which is currently growing inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, if you’re interested, you can follow the link to see how this second Humata repens specimen grew inside a another enclosed environment.

Humata repens, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 30th March 2018.

Leptotes bicolor

Leptotes bicolor in bud on the 27th February 2018.

This Leptotes bicolor specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium for just over a year now.  This plant has flourished in the growing conditions provided by this Orchidarium.  This Leptotes bicolor specimen established itself quickly following its introduction inside this Orchidarium in April 2017.

Leptotes bicolor in bud on the 27th February 2018.

Following my last update, this Leptotes bicolor specimen has continued to thrive over the past few months, the plant has produced a great many new leaves and roots, as well as a stunningly beautiful flower!  This Leptotes bicolour specimen is continually sending out new roots, this plant has made determined efforts to attach itself to its neighbouring plants!  As a side note: this orchid would have definitely been happy to have been mounted onto a larger piece of cork!  If you’re considering growing Leptotes bicolor, this may be something you might wish to bear in mind – you may wish to provide your plant with a larger piece of cork to grow upon, and you may want to avoid positioning your plant too close to any plants that you aren’t happy for your Leptotes bicolor to colonise!  You may just want to make a note to separate your plant from other plants nearby at regular intervals.

This Leptotes bicolor specimen began producing a flower bud in January 2018, this flower opened on the 8th March 2018.  As I write the update for this plant on the 4th April 2018, this Leptotes bicolor flower is now fading fast.

Leptotes bicolor is described as being a fragrant orchid, but sadly I was unable to detect any fragrance from this Leptotes bicolor specimen’s flower, despite numerous close encounters with the plant in both the daytime and evening, during this plant’s first flowering.

Leptotes bicolor flowering

Leptotes bicolor pictured as its flower opened on the 8th March 2018.
Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 12th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 12th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 12th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor, pictured in flower on the 22nd March 2018. This orchid is growing inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor, pictured in flower on the 22nd March 2018. This orchid is growing inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor, pictured in flower on the 22nd March 2018. This orchid is growing inside my Orchidarium. I have included a British five pence piece, to more clearly demonstrate the size of this orchid’s flowers.
Leptotes bicolor, pictured in flower on the 22nd March 2018. This orchid is growing inside my Orchidarium.
Leptotes bicolor, pictured in flower on the 3rd April 2018.

Masdevallia decumana

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium, on the 1st January 2018.

This Masdevallia decumana specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium on the 12th November 2017.  Prior to growing inside my Orchidarium, this plant was growing inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAIr Terrarium.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium, on the 1st January 2018.

Masdevallia decumana is an orchid species that can be found growing naturally in cloud forests in Peru and Ecuador.  If you’re interested in growing this orchid species, it’s important to remember that your plant will require similar growing conditions to those the orchid experiences in its natural environment: very high humidity, regular, thorough misting with rainwater to ensure that the plant’s roots have access to moisture, and regular applications of a specially designed orchid fertiliser at the recommended dose.  My Masdevallia decumana specimen appreciates the daily mist of rainwater, which is delivered without fail each morning to all of the plants inside this Orchidarium, this orchid also appreciates the very humid environment inside this Orchidarium.

As you can see in the photographs above and below, this Masdevallia decumana specimen has a a number of leaves that have become more yellow in their colour and tone.  This plant already displayed a number of yellowing leaves when it was introduced to this Orchidarium, the colouration of the plant’s leaves has not changed dramatically, the leaves are possibly a little more yellow in colour than they were at the time of this plant’s introduction to this Orchidarium in November 2017.

Masdevallia decumana flowering

This Masdevallia decumana specimen has been almost continually in flower since the end of December 2017.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium, on the 1st January 2018.
Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower, on the 27th February 2018.
Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium, on the 5th March 2018.
This Masdevallia decuma specimen has produced a flower, which is resting on a self seeded Begonia, as pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.
Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

Moss

This moss has been growing inside this Orchidarium for a year. Pictured on the 30th March 2018.
This moss has been growing inside this Orchidarium for a year. Pictured on the 30th March 2018.

I have not replaced any of the moss inside this Orchidarium, the moss you see pictured above is the same moss that I used when I first planted up this Orchidarium in March 2017.  These mosses are growing on a peat free coir compost, at the base of this Orchidarium.

If you’re interested, you can find the details of the suppliers and nurseries I used to purchase this moss, and indeed all of the plants that are growing inside this Orchidarium, in my Orchidarium Planting List.

Oncidium hians

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.
Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Oncidium hians specimen has continued its healthy growth and development, producing new leaves and roots since my last update at the end of December 2017 (which was three months ago now – for these of you reading at later date in the future).  This Oncidium hians specimen has yet to flower.

Ornithophora radicans

Ornithophora radicans, as pictured on the 5th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Ornithophora radicans, as pictured on the 29th March 2018

This Ornithophora radicans specimen, (you may also know Ornithophora radicans as Sigmatostalix radicans or Gomesa radicans) has quite simply flourished inside this Orchidarium!  This Ornithophira radicans specimen, the plant that you see here, is a division taken from a larger specimen.  The larger sized specimen was previously grown inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums, where it grew from August 2015 until March 2017.  This miniature orchid did not thrive inside the BiOrbAir, and although this larger Ornithophora radicans specimen flowered soon after it’s introduction to my BiOrbAir, in October 2015, this orchid had not flowered since.

This smaller sized Ornithophora radicans specimen was just a tiny plant when it was introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017, which is just over a year ago now.  Since then, this Ornithophora radicans specimen has dramatically increased in size – although it’s still not a huge specimen, this plant is now six times as large a plant as the tiny specimen that was introduced to this Orchidarium a year ago!

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia, as pictured inside my Orchidarium on the 30th March 2018.  This Pellaea rotundifolia specimen was placed in the best of the three positions, where this fern received a greater quality of light, more air circulation and higher humidity than the other divisions.

I have grown Pellaea roundifolia inside this Orchidarium since April 2017, which at this moment, as I am writing to you in April 2018, is a year ago now.  Initially I planted one Pellaea roundifoliia specimen inside this Orchidarium in April 2017, but as this fern had grown so well, the fern had produced many new fronds, growing larger in size, and really establishing itself successfully, that when I carried out the replanting of this Orchidarium, in November 2017, I decided to separate this fern into three.  These three divisions were then planted into the compost in the more inhospitable areas of this Orchidarium, namely the corners, where just to test this fern’s vigour and durability, I compounded the situation by cramming other orchids in front of these ferns, thereby restricting the light, the humidity, and the overall environment that these ferns would be growing in.

Happily I can tell you that two of the three of these Pellaea roundifolia specimens have survived!  The division that was placed in the worst position, with the least amount of light and most enclosed environment has died.  The specimen that was planted in a position where it received the next level up of light quality, receiving a slightly better quality of light and slightly improved growing conditions is alive and still growing, while the specimen which received a greater quality of light and closer to optimum growing conditions is thriving and has produced many new fronds.

Pellaea rotundifolia, as pictured inside my Orchidarium on the 30th March 2018.  This Pellaea rotundifolia specimen was placed in the best of the three positions, where this fern received a greater quality of light, more air circulation and higher humidity than the other divisions.
This Pellaea rotundifolia specimen was planted in a similarly dreary location, this fern receives a fraction more light in this position. Pictured on the 6th April 2018.
This Pellaea rotundifolia specimen was planted in the most inhospitable area of my Orchidarium, as you can see this fern did not survive long after it was planted in this area, where it received very low quality light levels and no direct misting.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, as pictured on the 2nd March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen has grown and developed nicely inside this Orchidarium.  This Phalaenopsis plant was introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, which at the time of writing was a year ago now.  During the year, this Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen has more than doubled in size, producing new leaves and new roots.  This Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen is a young plant, which has yet to flower.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis braceana

Phalaenopsis braceana, as pictured inside my Orchidarium on the 28th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis braceana, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Phalaenopsis braceana specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in September 2017.  Since my last update at the end of December 2017, (which was four months ago as I write to you in April 2018) this orchid has produced strong new growth, with lovely healthy new leaves and new strong roots.  This Phalaenopsis braceana specimen is now a much healthier and more robust plant.

I sometimes rearrange my plants when I take a photograph of my Orchidarium as a whole so as to show more plants that might otherwise not been seen.  This Phalaenopsis braceana specimen is positioned at a lower level, within this Orchidarium – other plants grow above this plant, they help to shade this orchid.  This Phalaenopsis braceana specimen is a young plant, which has yet to flower.

Phalaenopsis braceana, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis celebensis

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

This Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in September 2017, which as I write to you today, in April 2018, was just over six months ago now.  I have been thrilled to see how well this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen has grown and developed inside this Orchidarium.  This orchid has produced new, rather beautifully mottled leaves and some delightful new roots.  This Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen has grown considerably larger in size, but the plant has yet to flower.

A closer look at one of this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s roots, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Recently I placed this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen in too light a position within this Orchidarium, I have now moved this plant to a more shaded position, which is further away from this Orchidarium’s LED lights, so I hope that this will be a more contented plant in the near future.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in October 2017, which at the time of writing was six months ago now.  Apart from being in a position where this orchid received too much light, this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen has been developing well.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var alba, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis deliciosa var alba, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in September 2017, which as I write to you today, in April 2018, was over six months ago.  This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen last flowered in August 2017.  As I moved this plant into this Orchidarium in September 2017, this orchid’s flowers had just faded.  This plant has not produced any new flowers over the past six months since it has been growing inside this Orchidarium.

This orchid is the white form of Phalaenopsis deliciosa, this plant has produced a number of new leaves and roots over the past six months, since this specimen was first introduced inside this Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis finleyi

Phalaenopsis finleyi as pictured on the 28th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in January 2018.  This orchid specimen had no leaves when I first introduced this plant to this Orchidarium.  Happily I can now report that just three months later, this orchid now has produced both a new leaf, and a new root!  Hooray!

Phalaenopsis gibbosa

Phalaenopsis gibbosa, as pictured on the 21st January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis gibbosa specimen was grown from a keiki, it was first introduced to this Orchidarium in August 2017.  At a cursory glance, this Phalaenopsis gibbosa plant may not appear to have changed much over the past seven or eight months, but to safely establish and safeguard itself for the future, this plant has produced a number of healthy roots.  I have my fingers crossed that this Phalaenopsis gibbosa specimen will continue producing more healthy new roots.  I hope that it won’t be too long before this orchid will soon produce some lovely new leaves too!

Phalaenopsis gibbosa, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis

This Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen has brought so much joy to this Orchidarium!  I introduced this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen to this Orchidarium in September 2017.  Over the past seven months this orchid has produced new flowering stems and has flowered successfully, this plant has absolutely delighted me with its fragrant flowers!  This Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen produced its first flowering spike in November 2017. At the beginning of February 2018, the first flower of this new flowering stem opened.  This Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen currently has two flowering stems in bloom.

I believe that I currently have this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen growing in too bright a location within this Orchidarium, I will move this orchid to a slightly lower position, further from this Orchidarium’s LED lights after it has finished flowering.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis flowering

This Phalaenopsis orchid, which I believe to be Phalaenopsis honghenensis, has produced this 18cm (7.1 inches) long flowering stem.
A closer look at my Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant’s flowers.
A closer look at my Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant’s flowers.
A closer look at my Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant’s flower bud as it prepares to open.
A closer look at my Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant’s new roots. This young, newly developed root is silvery in colour: young roots are very shiny, they look as if they have been polished! This particular root has a green and maroon coloured root cap.
A closer look at one of my Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant’s older roots. The older roots produced by this Phalaenopsis plant remind me of very long, old, greying and discarded shoelaces.
One of the older Phalaenopsis honghenensis flowers, which first opened at the start of February 2018, as pictured on the 18th March 2018.
A newly opened Phalaenopsis honghenensis flower, as pictured on the 18th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis honghenensis pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis honghenensis and Leptotes bicolor flowering inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 25th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis honghenensis in flower, as pictured on the 28th March 2018.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Phalaenopsis honghenensis here.

Phalaenopsis lobbii

Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured on the 1st March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

I love Phalaenopsis lobbii!  This cheerful little orchid flower’s smiling face makes me smile too, I can’t help it, this dainty orchid is just so undeniably cute!  This Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium on the 12th November 2017, which at the moment as I write to you was almost five months ago now.  When this plant was moved into this Orchidarium I noticed that this specimen was in the early stages of producing a flower spike.  This flowering stem has matured and has gone on to produce two flowers, this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen has also produced a second flower spike, which also holds two flowers, so currently as I write there are four open flowers displayed by this orchid.

This Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen has always been rather scrappy and untidy in its appearance!  At least three of this little orchid’s leaves have been damaged or eaten, one leaf is in a ridiculous state, having grown the wrong way up, so the underside of the plant’s leaf was facing up towards the light, instead of the top side of the leaf facing the light!  I hope that by 2019, that this plant will have produced new leaves and this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen will then have a tidier appearance, fingers crossed!

This particular Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen was previously growing inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbair.  If you’re interested, this link takes you to more information about Phalaenopsis lobbii – there’s information about this orchid species, as well as links to every article I have written on PumpkinBeth.com that features this orchid, each of the photographs you see on this website are of this same Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen.

Naturally the intensity of the orange colour that’s imbued in these Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers has faded a little, this is just due to these flowers having been produced over a month ago now, so these blooms have naturally lost some of their more vivid tones and colourings.  During this flowering period these flowers have been held by the plant in a brightly lit environment.  As well as fading the colour of this orchid’s flowers, the LED lights also affect how the colour of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s flowers appear in photographs, with photographs taken at different times during the day having a slightly different colouration, due to the change in sequence of the colour temperature of this Orchidarium’s LED lights, which changes at different times of the day.  I have taken the photographs below on a variety of different dates and different times during the day, as well as removing this plant from the Orchidarium to photograph it, to give you as clear a view as is possible of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s flowers.

Phalaenopsis lobbii flowering

Phalaenopsis lobbii in flower on the 5th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii in flower on the 7th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured on the 12th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 2nd April 2018.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia flowering

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia pictured as this plant’s first flower of the year opened on the 2nd January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia is another orchid cutie!  This plant was introduced to this Orchidarium in May 2017, which at the time of writing in April 2018, was eleven months ago now.  Over these past eleven months, I have patiently watched this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen as it grew and developed.  When I received this orchid, the plant had been caught up in long delays in the postal system, and as a consequence and result of this trauma the plant had lost all of its leaves, bar one, very poor quality leaf.  Happily this plant has been building up its strength since it has been grown inside this Orchidarium, this dear little plant has now dropped its old, poor quality leaf, this orchid has now produced a beautiful new leaf and some rather lovely new roots too!  This Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen has already flowered this year (as you can see in the photographs, which I have dated for you above and below).  As I write to you today, in April 2018, this Phalaenopsis flavilabia specimen is currently in bud.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia pictured on the 3rd January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia pictured on the 5th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
This is the second flower that this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen has produced this year, pictured on the 24th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia pictured on the 24th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis lowii

Phalaenopsis lowii, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis lowii, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

I love the leaves of Phalaenopsis lowii!  They have such an unusual appearance, which is seemingly impossible to capture in a photograph, although I can assure you I really have tried!  It’s almost as if this orchid species’ leaves have a holographic quality, yet without the hologram – which probably makes no sense at all – I realise that – sorry!  It’s just to describe these leaves as glossy, for me doesn’t quite cut it, they are much more than glossy.  Phalaenopsis lowii‘s leaves display an iridescent and pearlescent quality which most leaves do not carry.

This Phalaenopsis lowii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, which as I am writing to you was a year ago now.  I increased the amount of moss around this Phalaenopsis lowii specimen’s leaves, adding new moss during January 2018, in an attempt to ensure that this Phalaenopsis was as happy as possible.  This Phalaenopsis lowii specimen did produce a flower spike, but sadly the flowering stem aborted before the flower opened.  I am awaiting this Phalaenopsis lowii specimen’s next flowering spike, with anticipation!

Phalaenopsis malipoensis

Phalaenopsis malipoensis pictured on the 11th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, so this plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium for exactly a year now as I am writing to you.  During the past year, this Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen has produced a number of new leaves and new roots, the plant has increased in size considerably.  This Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen is now more than twice as large a plant as the plant that I originally introduced to this Orchidarium.

In November 2017, this plant produced a flower bud, but sadly this flower bud aborted a month later in December 2017.  Following the loss of this flower I increased the duration of the daily misting which all of the plants growing inside this Orchidarium receive at 8.30am.  This Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen has continued to grow and develop, but this plant still has yet to flower.

Phalaenopsis malipoensis, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis malipoensis, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.
A closer look at this Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen’s root, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis micholitzii

Phalaenopsis micholitzii, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

This Phalaenopsis micholitzii specimen was first introduced into this Orchidarium on the 12th November 2017.  Prior to the plant’s move into my Orchidarium, this orchid was growing inside my White Orchid trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, where this orchid had absolutely thrived, being almost always in flower, and if not in flower then certainly in bud.  However during the five months that this Phalaenopsis micholitzii specimen has resided inside this Orchidarium, this orchid has not managed to produce a single new leaf, let alone a single flower or flower bud!  This Phalaenopsis micholitzii specimen was so very happy growing inside the BiOrbAir, it absolutely flourished in the environment that the BiOrbAir terrarium provided.  I miss this orchid’s flowers, so much and I really care for this orchid, so I will have to have another rearrange, so that I can move this Phalaenopsis micholitzii specimen back inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums.

Phalaenopsis parishii

Phalaenopsis parishii in bud, as pictured on the 5th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen was first introduced to my one of my BiOrbAir terrariums in April 2016.  This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen flourished inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, the plant increased in size, producing new leaves and roots, and flowering for a prolonged period.

On the 12th November 2017, (which as I write to you today in April 2018 was six months ago now) I moved this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen into this Orchidarium.  At the time that I moved this plant it was in the earliest stages of producing its first flowering stem of the season.  Over the past six months this plant has produced three flowering stems, two of which are currently in bloom, the third flowering stem is currently in an earlier stage of development.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 12th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phalaenopsis parishii flowering

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 25th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 3rd April 2018,

Phalaenopsis lobbii and Phalaenopsis parishii comparison

Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured in flower inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd March 2018. I’ve included a British five pence piece to show the size of the plants and their flowers.

It’s always nice to see plants from different species in flower together, with this in mind I took these photographs of Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii in bloom, so that you could see the plants alongside each other.  In the photograph above I have included a British five pence piece, to help you to be more able to clearly see the diminutive size of these plants and the large size of their flowers, when viewed in comparison to the small size of the plants themselves.

I wanted to show you the similarities and differences between these two delightful Phalaenopsis species.  I absolutely love these two dear little Phalaenopsis species with their characterful flowers, which to me look like little faces!  It’s such a joy to be able to share these orchids’ charming and endearing flowers with you!

Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 25th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis lobbii in the foreground, with Phalaenopsis honghenensis and Leptotes bicolor in the background – pictured inside my Orchidarium on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, is the white flowered form of Phalaenopsis parishii, the plants are the same in all other regards.  This Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, which at this present moment in time as I am writing to you, this orchid has been growing inside this Orchidarium for exactly a year.

This plant was in a very poor condition when I received it more than a year ago, this plant had been lost in the post on its way to me and so had endured a prolonged period in transit with no light or moisture for more than a month.  As a consequence of its traumatic journey and extended time without light or water, the plant had dropped all of its leaves.  Happily I can share with you that although it’s not in perfect condition, this Phalaenopsis parishii alba plant is now in a much healthier state.  This specimen has produced a number of new roots and leaves, and this plant is in the process of producing another new leaf at the moment, as I write to you in April 2018.  Naturally, as this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen has been building up its strength, this plant has yet to flower.

A closer look at the new leaf this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen is producing, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 30th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

This Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, so at the time of writing, this orchid has been growing inside this Orchidarium for a year.  In my last update, in December 2017, I shared with you my excitement that this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen had started to produce a flowering stem, I am sorry to say that sadly this flowering stem was aborted.  As this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen aborted its flowering stem at around the same time that my Phalaenopsis lowii specimen, which is also growing inside this Orchidarium, aborted its flowering stem, I decided to increase the time that the daily morning misting lasts for, in order to provide each of the plants inside this Orchidarium with sufficient moisture.

This Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen has not produced any more flowering stems as yet, but this specimen has produced a lovely new leaf and some new roots too.  I hope this plant will soon flower successfully inside this Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis thailandica

Phalaenopsis thailandica as pictured on the 2nd March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, so as I write to you now in April 2018, this orchid has been growing inside this Orchidarium for a year exactly.  During the past year, this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen has produced a number of delightful new leaves and roots.  In fact a couple of this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen’s roots have now grown over the top of their cork mount!

I have this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen positioned near the top of this Orchidarium, quite close to this Orchidarium’s LED lights, where this miniature orchid seems to be happy.  This Phalaenopsis thailandica plant has established itself quickly inside this Orchidarium, this specimen has doubled in size from the size this plant was at its first introduction to this Orchidarium, but this Phalaenopsis thailandica plant has yet to flower.

Phalaenopsis thailandica as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Phalaenopsis wilsonii

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, pictured in bud on the 29th March 2018.
Phalaenopsis wilsonii, pictured as this plant’s first flower bud opened on the 2nd January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, so as I write this update today, this orchid has been growing inside this Orchidarium for a year exactly.  I had intended to provide this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen with a winter rest – I planned to move the plant into another terrarium, one which did not have any automatic watering or misting to achieve a drier, winter rest for the plant.  However I was not quick enough off the mark, and so as this plant commenced flowering in January 2018 I have left the plant in place inside this Orchidarium.  This Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen is now in bud again.

As well as flowering, this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen is in the process of producing a new leaf, the plant has extended its root system, which is now even more extensive than before!

Phalaenopsis wilsonii flowering

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, pictured as the plant’s first flower bud opened on the 2nd January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Phalaenopsis wilsonii in flower with a British five pence piece to show the diminutive size of the plant, as pictured on the 3rd January 2018.
The side profile of a Phalaenopsis wilsonii flower, as pictured on the 6th January 2018.
A closer look at a Phalaenopsis wilsonii flower, as pictured on the 6th January 2018.
Phalaenopsis wilsonii in flower on the 11th January 2018.
Phalaenopsis wilsonii in flower on the 2nd February 2018.
Phalaenopsis wilsonii, pictured in bud on the 31st March 2018.

Pinguicula hybrid

This Pinguicula hybrid plant is still growing inside its pot, which although I have planted it inside my Orchidarium, it is easily removed. Pictured on the 2nd April 2018.

This Pinguicula hybrid is very closely covered by the plants surrounding it, so much so that the other Orchidarium plants have undoubtedly limited and restricted the light that this plant has received.  A few months ago there were a number of small Pinguicula plants growing in this same pot, in this update, as you can see in the photograph above, there are just two plants remaining, well one and a half – as the second plant isn’t in great shape!

Platystele examen-culicum

Platystele examen-culicum, as pictured in bud inside my Orchidarium, on the 23rd December 2017.

In February 2018, I gave the Platystele examen-culicum plant that was growing inside this Orchidarium to a friend.  This plant was healthy, the orchid was in good condition and had been flowering well, this specimen grew happily inside this orchidarium, I just simply wanted to give this plant to my friend.

Pyrrosia serpens

Pyrrosia serpens, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Pyrrosia serpens specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium since April 2017, which as I write to you today, was just over a year ago now.  This diminutive little fern has not spread widely, it’s quite contained, this fern is growing in the same position where I planted it, which is now sheltered under the canopy of other plants, which is making it difficult for me to obtain a photograph of any kind, as this fern is planted in the compost at the base of the terrarium, so I cannot take it out to get a good photograph!

Restrepia citrina

Restrepia citrina, pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia citrina specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017, so as I write to you now in April 2018, this Restrepia citrina plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium for just over a year.  Over the past year, this orchid has flowered regularly inside my Orchidarium.  This Restrepia citrina plant is not continually in flower, this plant does not flower every week, but most months this Restrepia citrina specimen will produce a flower on average, sometimes more.

Restrepia citrina keikis

A closer look at this Restrepia citrina specimen and its keikis. Pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia citrina specimen began producing its first keiki, or baby plant, in late February 2018.  In March 2018, this same plant began producing its second keiki.  These keikis will be a clone of their mother plant, they will be identical in the appearance of their leaves and the flowers they produce, these plants will share the same genetics.  Producing baby plants in this way is a method that Restrepias, and many other orchids, use to propagate themselves and ensure the survival of their species.

Restrepia citrina flowering

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 29th January 2018.
Restrepia citrina, pictured on the 31st March 2018.

If you’re interested you can discover more information about Restrepia citrina here.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

I now have just four Restrepia species growing inside my Orchidarium.  The other Restrepia species that were previously growing inside this Orchidarium just did not enjoy growing inside this environment, so after these failing Restrepia species had all experienced a sufficient trial period, when I was absolutely certain that these plants could not grow to become accustomed to the growing conditions inside my Orchidarium, as the Restrepias you see here have done, I then moved these plants out of my Orchidarium into some of my other terrariums.  Of the four Restrepia species that remain inside this Orchidarium, I would describe this Restrepia – Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, to be the species which is best suited to growing under a brighter light, and with the conditions provided inside this Orchidarium.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower, as pictured on the 25th March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017, so as I am writing to you in April 2017, this orchid has been growing inside this Orchidarium for just over a year.  In September 2017, six months after the plant’s initial introduction to this Orchidarium, this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen produced its first flower!  There was then a pause of a few months, whilst this plant continued producing new leaves.  These new leaves were specially adapted to growing under the light levels inside this Orchidarium, having been produced inside this Orchidarium.  Then this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen commenced flowering at full speed in late December 2017, which was nine months after this plant’s introduction to this Orchidarium.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen has been flowering continuously, well almost continuously – between continuously and regularly, since the end of December 2017, which as I write to you at this moment (in April 2018), was just over three months ago now.  I would say that so far this particular Restrepia species is a little less floriferous than it was when it was whilst growing inside the BiOrbAir terrarium, but this Restrepia is now accustomed to growing inside the Orchidarium, this plant has adapted to the conditions inside this Orchidarium and is healthy, happy, and flowering!  Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tnto’ is such a versatile, easy to grow orchid!

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowering

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower on the 1st January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.
Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

Restrepia sanguinea

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia sanguinea specimen was first introduced into this Orchidarium in March 2017, which as I write to you in April 2018, was just over a year ago now.  This Restrepia species is very resilient, this particular orchid is tolerant of a variety of different growing conditions: this orchid species can maintain its growth and development whilst growing under a wide range of temperatures and in various intensities of light.  Seemingly, as long as this Restrepia species receives sufficient water it will be happy in most environments, or the plant can learn to be happy, as is the case here.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia sanguinea specimen flowered prolifically while it was growing inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, however as soon as this plant was moved into this Orchidarium, the plant’s flowering halted almost instantaneously.  Even this Restrepia sanguinea specimen’s newly open flowers rapidly faded, and no flower buds were produced for a considerable amount of time.  This Restrepia sanguinea specimen then spent the following nine or ten months acclimatising to the new conditions inside this Orchidarium, producing a large number of new leaves, which the plant had naturally adapted to cope with and make the most of the brighter intensity of light inside this Orchidarium.  By late December 2017, this plant had fully acclimatised to the new conditions inside this Orchidarium, so this Restrepia sanguinea specimen then began producing new flower buds, hooray!  This Restrepia sanguinea specimen produced its first flowers inside this Orchidarium in January 2018, ten months after it was first introduced to this new environment.  Since January 2018, this Restrepia sanguinea has flowered almost regularly, however this plant does not produce quite as many flowers as it did whilst it was growing inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.

Restrepia sanguinea flowering

Restrepia sanguinea in bud on the 1st January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Restrepia sanguinea in flower on the 2nd January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2018.
Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2018.

Restrepia citrina, Restrepia sanguinea, and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ comparison

I think it’s utterly magical to have the chance to get up close to see the flowers produced by different orchid species, which are all from the same genus together!  Putting plants which are from the same genus, but are all different species together is a simple, but rather special and lovely way of demonstrating the similarities and differences between these species.  I am fortunate enough to be growing these different Restrepia species, I love these plants!  It’s a pleasure indeed to be able to share them with you in this way.

If you’ve only got room for one more orchid inside your terrarium, orchidarium, bottle garden, or vivarium, seeing the plants and their flowers alongside each other can help you to make a decision on which species is your favourite.  I hope that these photographs will provide you with a greater insight into each of these Restrepia species.

Restrepia citrina and Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower inside my Orchidarium, on the 29th January 2018.
Restrepia sanguinea and Restrepia citrina both in flower on the 29th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Restrepia sanguinea, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Restrepia citrina in flower on the 29th January 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

Restrepia seketii

Restrepia seketii, as pictured on the 31st March 2018.

This Restrepia seketii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017, which at the present moment that I am writing to you, was just over a year ago now.  Prior to its introduction to this Orchidarium, this very same Restrepia seketii specimen was grown for a year (from March 2016 to March 2017) inside my BiOrbAir terrarium.  Although I didn’t find this particular orchid species to be the most floriferous of orchids inside my BiOrbAir, certainly this Restrepia seketii specimen flowered far less frequently when compared to the some of the other Restrepia species which grew alongside this plant inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, namely Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia sanguinea.  However, this Restrepia seketii specimen regularly flowered while this specimen was growing inside the BiOrbAir.  If you’d like to see this Restrepia seketii specimen in flower inside my BiOrbAir, you can click here to see this stunning little orchid in bloom.

Naturally, at the time when I introduced this Restrepia seketii specimen to my BiOrbAir terrarium in March 2016, this was then a much smaller plant than the Restrepia seketii specimen that I introduced to this Orchidarium a year later, in March 2017.  This Orchidarium features too great an intensity of light for this Restrepia species, creating a brighter environment than this Restrepia seketii species prefers.  This miniature orchid is much more suited to growing in a BiOrbAir terrarium or in an environment which enjoys a filtered, diffused light.

This Restrepia seketii specimen has increased in size, this plant has produced new leaves and new roots, but it has not flowered once during the year that it has been growing inside this Orchidarium.  I have taken this Restrepia seketii specimen out of my Orchidarium to photograph it for this update, as inside this Orchidarium this plant is shaded by some of the overhanging plants above, so this Restrepia seketii specimen is not in such an exposed position within this orchidarium as appears in this photograph, this was just necessary to provide a clear photograph for this update – the plant is positioned on the floor of this orchidarium, so it is furthest from the LED lights, the plants growing above it provide additional shade.

Schoenorchis fragrans

Schoenorchis fragrans as pictured on the 21st March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

This Schoenorchis fragrans specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in April 2017, which as I am writing to you was exactly a year ago now.  Since I wrote my last update in December 2017, this plant has dropped some of its older leaves, these older leaves were somewhat discoloured, they were less visually appealing than the lovely, green, healthy, new leaves that this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen has been producing over the past three months.  This Schoenorchis fragrans plant now looks to be in a much improved condition, this specimen has also produced some new roots, which is wonderful to see!

Schoenorchis scolopendria

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 21st March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

There are two Schoenorchis scolopendria specimens growing inside this Orchidarium, both of these plants were introduced at the same time, on the 12th November 2017, which as I write to you was five months ago now.  Both of these plants have been growing well, they have increased in side, producing new roots and leaves, as well as some exciting new shoots!

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 21st March 2018, inside my Orchidarium.
Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 29th March 2018.

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii as pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 21st March 2018.

This Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in November 2017, which as I am writing to you at this very moment in time in April 2018, was five months ago now.  When I wrote my last update for this Orchidarium in December 2017, I could see no discernible differences in this Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen’s appearance, as this plant had not been growing inside this Orchidarium for long.  Today, which is now over three months later, and I now can see a much more noticeable change in this miniature orchid’s appearance, this plant has produced a number of new roots and leaves.  This Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen has visibly grown in size and stature since it has been growing inside this Orchidarium.

Schoenorchis tixieri 

Schoenorchis tixieri, as pictured inside my Orchidarium on the 21st March 2018.

This Schoenorchis tixieri specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in August 2017, which as I am writing to you today, was eight months ago now.  Since my last update at the end of December 2017, this miniature orchid has produced a new leaf, the plant’s roots have also been developing well.  In fact, all of the Schoenorchis plants that are residing inside this Orchidarium seem happy, which in turn makes me happy!

Stelis muscifera

This Stelis muscifera specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017, which as I write this update today during April 2018 was just over a year ago.  This Stelis muscifera specimen has absolutely flourished inside this Orchidarium!  This miniature orchid has produced new leaves and roots, increasing in size, but the real joy has been that this plant has flowered continuously over the past few months.  Stelis muscifera is an orchid species that makes a truly superb terrarium plant!

If you’re growing Stelis muscifera, or if you’re considering growing this orchid species, once your plant reaches flowering size I would advise you to regularly check over your plants, when you spot a spent flowering stem simply cut it off at the base of the stem, using sterile scissors.  This simple act only takes a moment, yet it will dramatically improve the appearance of your plant, and will boost your plant’s flower potential.

In case you’re wondering how to spot the spent flowering stems, don’t worry, they are very easy to spot.  Faded Stelis muscifera flowering stems are usually taller than the younger flowering stems, as these spent flowering stems have already flowered, so they have reached their absolute maximum height.  Spent flowering stems are often tinged with brown, or they may display a reddish brown tone in colour, these older flowering stems look rather untidy.  The most important difference to note is that spent flowering stems don’t feature any flower buds or flowers.  Where new Stelis muscifera flowering stems grow up and begin their lives as short flowering stems that grow up from amongst the leaves at the base of the plants.  New flowering stems feature immature buds which are still developing, these new flowering stems also tend to be green in colour, having a younger, fresher appearance, whereas faded flowering stems, particularly those that have been left on the plant for a while, are definitely more of a browner tone or colouration, with a drier, more faded look.

Hopefully you’ll be able to spot the faded flowering stem in this photograph of Stelis muscifera below (it’s leaning over to the left, whereas the new flowering stem, which is shorter in size can be seen at the bottom right hand side of this photograph).  In the middle of the picture you may be able to identify a Stelis muscifera flowering stem that is middle aged!  This middle aged flowering stem has a number of flower buds at the very tip of the flowering stem, while the lower part of this flowering stem is bare where the flowers have faded – this flowering stem is growing up from the back of the plant, at the middle of the very back of the plant, this flowering stem is bowing over to the left hand side.

Removing these spent flowering stems is the only maintenance work that this Stelis muscifera plant requires, apart from regular misting and feeding of course!

Stelis muscifera in flower on the 27th February 2018.
This Stelis muscifera flowering stem has just a few flower buds remaining, the older flowers have now finished.

Stelis muscifera flowering

Stelis muscifera in flower on the 27th February 2018.
Stelis muscifera in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 21st March 2018.
Stelis muscifera in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 26th March 2018.

Orchidarium Planting list

The Orchidarium Planting List displays every plant that has been grown inside this terrarium so far, even plants that are no longer growing inside this Orchidarium and have now been moved to other terrariums are shown on this list.  Any plants that I decide to grow inside this Orchidarium in future will be added to this planting list.  The Orchidarium Planting List includes information on each of the plants – you can click on a plant to see links to every article I have written about that particular plant species.  I have also listed all of the nurseries and suppliers that I used to purchase all of my plants, mosses, and cork for this Orchidarium, at the bottom of this planting list.  You can see the full planting list for this Orchidarium here.

Further Trials

You may be interested in some of the other trials I have conducted.

Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials

To see a planting list of a variety of plants, including orchids, terns and other plants that are ideally suited to growing in terrariums, vivariums, orchidariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To see how my Orchidarium was created, 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 Madagascar 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.

To read how I track the temperature, humidity, and light conditions inside my terrariums, please click here.

Compost Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Compost Trial Report: Growing Carrots, please click here.

To read the results of my 2017 Compost Trial Report: Growing Broad Beans, please click here.

To read the results of my 2016 Compost Trial Report: Growing French Beans , please click here.

To read advice on planting up containers, please click here.

Sweet Pea Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2016 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

Scented Daffodil Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you………….

To see how this Orchidarium was built, please click here.

To read a planting list of plants ideally suited to growing in a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden, please click here.

To read about Phalaenopsis honghenensis, please click here.

To read about Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, please click here.

To read about Restrepia citrinaplease click here.

To read about Haraella retrocallaplease click here.

To read about the new features of the updated, 2017 model of the BiOrbAir Terrarium, please click here.

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

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

Other articles you might like:

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