Welcome to the nineteenth part of my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir! In this update, I share with you updates on how the miniature orchids are growing inside this terrarium – some plants are flourishing, while other plants have declined and so have now been moved to other terrariums.
Miniature Orchid Trial
The BiOrbAir Terrarium
The BiOrbAir is a specialised, automated terrarium, designed by Barry Reynolds from BiOrb. I first planted this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in August 2015, so at the time of writing – in June 2018, this BiOrbAir terrarium is over two and a half years old.
If you would like to start at the very beginning, and read the first part of this Miniature Orchid Trial and BiOrbAir review, please click here.
BiOrbAir Review and Miniature Orchid Trial
On the 12th November 2017, I conducted a big rearrangement of the orchids that were growing inside many of my terrariums, including this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. I removed most of the miniature orchids that were growing inside this terrarium and at the same time I introduced new miniature orchids to this Miniature Orchid Trial.
My motive in re-arranging my orchids was to allow me to trial more plants inside the BiOrbAir, to enable me to group orchid species, so that wherever possible, orchid species from the same genus were growing inside the same terrarium. I also moved plants into other terrariums according to their performance in the terrarium that they had been residing in, after contemplating the different growing conditions I had available.
On the 12th November 2017, as well as rearranging my plants, many of my terrariums were also moved to new positions. This Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium moved to a brighter position, this terrarium and the plants growing inside will now receive a low level of indirect natural daylight, in addition to the light provided by the BiOrbAir’s LED lights.
With room to trial more miniature orchids inside this BiOrbAir terrarium, I am now trialling the following plants….
Miniature Orchid Terrarium Planting List:
I currently have the following orchids growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:
- Aerangis mystacidii
- Ceratochilus biglandulosus
- Ceratostylis philippinensis
- Constantia cipoensis
- Diplocaulobium abbreviatum
- Diplocaulobium chrysotropis
- Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
- Macroclinium manabinum
- Masdevallia rechingeriana
- Mediocalcar decoratum
- Trichoglottis pusilla
Diplocaulobium abbreviatum is the only miniature orchid that was included in my original planting of this terrarium in August 2015. Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ was introduced to this terrarium in January 2016, Masdevallia rechingeriana was added in April 2016, and Mediocalcar decoratum was added in May 2016. The other miniature orchids that you see listed above were all introduced to this Miniature Orchid trial BiOrbAir Terrarium on the 12th November 2017.
This is a Miniature Orchid Trial – a Trial to discover which miniature orchids will grow and flower successfully inside the BiOrbAir Terrarium. Over time I have changed and added to the planting inside this BiOrbAir terrarium – the planting list of miniature orchids above relates to the current orchids that are growing inside this terrarium.
You can see the full planting list for this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium here. This Planting List shows the full list of all of the miniature orchids that have been trialled inside this terrarium, this includes all of the plants that were trialled in the past, all of the plants that are being trialled at present, as well as any future plants that I trial! This planting list provides more information about each of the plants, together with links to every article that I have written about each plant. At the bottom of this planting list you’ll also find the full details of where I have purchased all of my miniature orchids, the moss, and the cork I have used inside this terrarium.
For more information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
Taken from my previous update for this terrarium: On the 24th February 2018, I spotted the first aphid I have seen on any of my terrarium plants for many years, this aphid was feeding on a Masdevallia rechingeriana flower bud, inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. Within a second of seeing the first aphid, I had spotted the second aphid close by, both of these aphids were promptly removed. On the 3rd March 2018, I spotted a third aphid, this time on a Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ flower bud. Again the aphid was promptly removed, and of the plants that were growing inside this terrarium were thoroughly examined, no other aphids were discovered.
Update: When I was photographing the Macroclinium manabinum specimen for this current update on the 15th May 2018, I spotted an aphid, the aphid was promptly removed and all of the plants were inspected, no other aphids were seen.
In January 2018, I noticed some spider mite damage to one of the orchids that was growing inside my White Orchid Trial Terrarium, so I sprayed the plants inside my White Orchid Trial Terrarium with SB Plant Invigorator, an organic pesticide and mildewcide. At the same time, I also sprayed the plants that were growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, my Madagascar Terrarium, my Orchidarium, my Rainforest Terrarium, (and all of my other terrariums) with SB Plant Invigorator, so that I could be sure that I was controlling any pests inside this terrarium and was protecting all of my plants from an outbreak of pests. I have continued using SB Plant Invigorator, which controls aphids, whitefly, spider mite, mealybug, and scale insects, alongside my regular fertiliser Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom. If you’re interested, you can read about the general care I give to my plants here.
Let’s have a closer look at these plants and find out how these miniature orchids are growing, inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium:
Well this Aerangis mystacidii specimen is in a sorry state, this plant is a goner! This particular plant was one of a number of Aerangis mystacidii seedlings that I grew on in a flask and then decanted, mounted, and grew on inside various terrariums, including this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, over the past year. This Aerangis mystacidii specimen is doomed, it’s not going to make it, this plant is rotting from the central crown of the plant.
Although this plant’s current complaint is a recent one, for some reason, this particular Aerangis mystacidii specimen has never been in fantastic health, thankfully the other Aerangis mystacidii plants from the same flask are all looking strong and healthy. Here’s a look back at this Aerangis mystacidii specimen over the past seven months:
Here’s another sorry looking miniature orchid! This Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen has not enjoyed growing inside the BiOrbAir. This specimen surprised me with how well it coped initially after I introduced this plant to this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, but that’s a distant memory now, this specimen has clearly declined since my last update – the plant has lost so much of its volume!
I have another Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen, this plant was trialled inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, with poor results – the plant did not grow well in the conditions provided by my White Orchid Trial Terrarium. Each of my BiOrbAir terrariums provide slightly different conditions. I mist the plants that are growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium more often than I mist the plants that are growing inside my White Orchid Trial Terrarium, so it is interesting to see that both the plant that was grown inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium and the plant that was grown inside my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium have not grown well inside the BiOrbAir. I have decided to move this Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen out of my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium and into my Orchidarium.
This Ceratostylis philippinensis specimen has lost some of its leaves too – you can probably see in my photographs – that there is a section of this plant that has died completely, just a patch of brown, dead leaves remain in this area. Happily this miniature orchid is producing new leaves and the older leaves that the plant is displaying are in good health.
This Constantia cipoensis specimen doesn’t look quite as green as it did in my last update, however this plant has produced a considerable amount of lovely new root growth since I last wrote, which is wonderful to see! Thanks to this new root growth, this Constantia cipoensis specimen is now anchored a little more securely in place on this piece of cork bark that I mounted this plant onto last year. Constantia cipoensis are known for their disdain of being moved or interfered with, these miniature orchids resent being divided or remounted, so I am always very mindful of this when I am moving or re-mounting my plants.
This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen is the only plant that was a part of the original planting of this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, in August 2015, that is still growing inside this terrarium today! As I write, in June 2018, this particular plant has been growing inside this terrarium for over two and a half years. During this time, this Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen has grown slowly, but surely, the plant is now just over twice as large as the plant that I initially placed inside this terrarium. This Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen was a very small and young plant when I purchased it, this miniature orchid has yet to flower.
Since my last update, this Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen has continued producing a number of rather lovely new roots, some of which are growing horizontally, and some absolutely fabulous new growth, which is somewhat jaunty, but is just so wonderful to see!
Some of this Diplocaulobium abbreviatum specimen’s roots have anchored themselves into the moss that is growing below the plant!
When I wrote my last update for this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, I became quite excited, as I hoped that as this Diplocaulobium chrysotropis specimen was in bud, I thought that in this update I would be sharing with you this specimen’s first flowering! Instead I am now sharing with you the frazzled, dried out patch of brown, that has now replaced my anticipated flower bud! This Diplocaulobium chrysotropis specimen was in really in poor shape when I purchased it and the plant’s condition has improved, this plant has not improved as much as I would like, this plant is most certainly not flowering any time soon!
In the photographs above and below, you may be able to spot an area of new, green growth, similar to the green bud that I hoped would open up as a flower in my last update. A few months ago, I would have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of a flower, but although I shall follow this new growth, I do not have my hopes up – I am not expecting this Diplocaulobium chrysotropsis specimen to flower any time soon!
Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’
Oh my goodness, I love Lepanthospsis astrophora ‘Stalky’! This endearing little plant is one of the loveliest miniature orchids you can buy. Over the past few months, the Lepanthospsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ plant that is growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium has been flowering, with at least a couple of sprays of flowers each time I have looked at the plant. I haven’t always had time to stop and photograph this miniature orchid, but I have always appreciated the plant’s beauty. I am fortunate to have this miniature orchid in my collection, Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’ thrives when grown inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
I love the contrast of the old, rather gnarled, warty textured leaves held by this Macroclinium manabinum specimen, against the fresh, verdant green new leaves that this plant is producing! It’s a delight to watch these leaves as they change and develop, forming new fans of leaves as they grow!
This Masdevallia recingeriana specimen has been growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium since the beginning of April 2016. This orchid has flourished inside this terrarium! This is a floriferous orchid, which is a great choice of orchid, if you’re looking for plants to grow inside your BiOrbAir terrarium.
This entire Mediocalcar decoratum specimen is currently sporting an absolutely delightful shade of leaf green! This particular plant is in the best health that I have ever seen it in – this miniature orchid has been growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium since May 2016. I have added a photograph that I took of this same miniature orchid, in June 2016, below.
This Mediocalcar decoratum specimen has grown in size but this plant has yet to flower.
This Trichoglottis pusilla specimen has been growing inside this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium since November 2018. Over the past seven months, this orchid’s appearance hasn’t changed very dramatically from one update to the next. In my photographs that you can see above and below – the pictures I have used to illustrate this update, I can see that one of this plant’s leaves has died, but I can also see that a new leaf is being produced. When I look back at a photograph of this same Trichoglottis pusilla specimen that I took in September 2017, before I moved this plant into my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, I can see that this miniature orchid has grown a little larger in size, there just haven’t been any dramatic changes. This Trichoglottis pusilla specimen has yet to flower.
To head straight to the next update for this Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, please click here.
Other articles that may interest you…………………..
To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read about the great new features of the updated 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.
To read about the general maintenance of the BiOrbAir terrarium, and the general care I give to my terrarium plants, please click here.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
To read about using decorative features inside your terrarium or bottle garden, please click here.
To see a planting list for terrariums and bottle gardens featuring a variety of beautiful, terrarium plants, please click here.
To see a planting list of miniature orchids to grow in terrariums, please click here.
To read about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.
To read about the 2017 Orchid Extravaganza at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, please click here.
To read about using long handled terrarium tools, please click here.