Welcome to the eleventh part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial! In this update I will share with you the catastrophic results of over watering epiphytic miniature orchids, with advice as to how to avoid making this mistake yourself, and how to rectify this problem if you over water your own plants! First though, here’s an update on why I decided to run this White Orchid Trial:
Reasons for this White Orchid Trial
I decided to plant up this White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium in April 2017, after receiving many requests from readers asking about white flowered, miniature, epiphytic orchids to grow in terrariums. I didn’t have a spare terrarium available to plant at the time, so I decided to empty, and then re-plant my long-term review BiOrbAir terrarium with a variety of species of white-flowering orchids, to showcase how beautiful a single colour planting scheme for terrariums, vivariums, orchidariums, or bottle gardens, can be.
I have a few BiOrbAir Terrariums, I love them! The BiOrbAir is a specialised, automated, terrarium, which was designed by Barry Reynolds, and is available from BiOrb. If you would like to see this White Orchid Trial from the very beginning after this BiOrbAir terrarium was first planted, please click here. If you’re interested in the BiOrbAir terrarium’s special features, you can read about the latest features of the updated 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium here.
White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting List:
- Aerangis hyaloides
- Amesiella minor
- Amesiella monticola
- Amesiella philippinensis
- Brachypeza semiteretifolia
- Ceratostylis pristina
- Constantia cipoensis
- Holcoglossum flavescens
- Holcoglossum weixiense
- Hymenorchis javanica
- Neofinetia falcata
- Podangis dactyloceras
Since I set up this terrarium in April 2017, I have made a number of changes. I have introduced new plants to this terrarium: on the 28th May 2017, I added a young Aerangis mystacidii specimen, which had been previously growing inside a flask, and at the same time I added an attractive fern, Humata repens, which was previously growing inside another of my terrariums, to this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Then on the 12th November 2017, I rearranged this White Orchid Trial Terrarium, this re-arrangement was part of a large reorganisation of many of my terrariums. On the 12th November 2017, I removed some of the orchids that were growing inside this White Orchid Trial Terrarium, relocating these plants to other terrariums, at the same time, I introduced some new miniature orchids to this terrarium. The planting list that you can see above is the current list (which is correct as of June 2018) of all of the miniature orchids that are currently residing inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
In May 2018, I re-arranged the plants inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir terrarium, the results of this reshuffle you can see in this trial update. During this reshuffle, I removed my Humata repens specimen and transferred this fern to another of my terrariums. Humata repens absolutely flourished inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir, this is a super fern for terrariums! The reason that I moved this fern was that I had another terrarium which was planted more sparsely and I knew that this Humata repens specimen was just what the more minimal terrarium needed, as I had already proven that Humata repens was ideally suited to growing inside a BiOrbAir terrarium, I was happy to move the fern to this terrarium.
Since my last update, I have also moved my Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen into another of my terrariums. Ceratochilus biglandulosus is a beautiful miniature orchid, however I found that this orchid wasn’t the easiest plant to grow inside a BiOrbAir terrarium, this orchid was happier in the conditions provided by my Orchidarium.
In May 2018, I also moved the Masdevallia tovarensis specimen and the Aerangis mystacidii specimens that were residing inside this terrarium into other terrariums. These plants both grew very well inside the BiOrbAir, but as they were rapidly increasing in size, this closely planted terrarium became over crowded, hence the reason for their move.
You can see the full planting list for this terrarium here. This full planting list provides more details about each of the orchids that are currently growing inside this terrarium, as well as the details of any other orchids that have previously been trialled inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. If I introduce ay new plants to this terrarium in the future, the details of all future plants that are trialled inside this terrarium will also be added to this planting list. If you’re interested, you’ll find the details of all of the nurseries and suppliers where I purchased all of my orchids, the mosses, and cork used inside this terrarium at the bottom of the planting list.
If you’re wondering how I mounted my orchids onto the cork wood, you’ll find more information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark here.
To try to speed up the time needed to hand mist all of my orchids, this year I invested in a new hand held mister. My new mist sprayer has a greater capacity – the bottle is huge! So, this new sprayer can hold much more liquid than my older mist sprayers (saving time to stop and re-fill the bottle, something that was much more time consuming with my old mist sprayers), this mister also sprays a much heavier mist of water or fertiliser, more rapidly, saving a great deal of time. This is fantastic, all of my orchids can be sprayed in a fraction of the time! However, for some of the orchids that reside inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium the arrival of my new misting unit has been problematic, as I have massively over watered these orchids!
This new misting spray has worked well for some of the plants, such as the Masdevallias, Restrepias, the Amesiellas, and other orchids that enjoy being really soaked and want to be wet almost of the time, but for the majority of the orchids that are growing inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir, the arrival of my new misting sprayer has been detrimental, as these orchids have been given much more water than they would have liked. The new misting unit sprays water so quickly that the plants are either dry – when they are not sprayed, or utterly soaked – when they are – there’s no in between! To counteract the overwatering, on a number of occasions I have taken all of the plants out of the terrarium for a few hours to allow them to dry out a little, before replacing the orchids back inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Advice following overwatering of orchids
Advice for the care of overwatered terrarium plants and orchids
If you overwater your orchids, the first thing to do is to stop watering your plants to allow the plants to be able to dry out sufficiently before you mist your plants again. If you have overwatered your orchids and the plants are growing inside a terrarium, if you remove your overwatered plants from the terrarium, they will be able to dry out more easily and the water will evaporate at a faster rate – this is such an important step if your terrarium doesn’t have a fan. My BiOrbAir terrarium has a fan, so the air inside this terrarium can circulate and water evaporates, though the BiOrbAir’s own misting unit maintains a constantly humid environment, which is ideal for terrarium plants. If your terrarium doesn’t have a fan, then it’s even more important that you remove your plants from your terrarium or vivarium and place them somewhere where they can dry out.
The roots of many orchids turn green when they are wet, as they dry out the roots return to their original colour. Observing each of your orchid plants as a whole, including making time to look at your plant’s roots will help you to identify when your plants need watering and when to hold off from watering your plants.
In January 2018, I noticed some spider mite damage to the Amesiella minor specimen that was growing inside this White Orchid Trial Terrarium, to counteract this problem, all of the plants that were growing inside my White Orchid Trial Terrarium were sprayed with SB Plant Invigorator – an organic pesticide and mildewcide At the same time, all of the plants that were growing inside my Madagascar Terrarium, my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, my Orchidarium, my Rainforest Terrarium, and all of my other terrariums, were sprayed with SB Plant Invigorator, so that I could be sure that I was controlling any pests inside my terrariums. I wanted to be sure that I was protecting all of my plants from an outbreak of pests. I have continued using SB Plant Invigorator, alongside my regular fertiliser Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom, for all of my miniature orchids. If you’re interested, you can read about the general care I give to my plants here.
White flowered miniature epiphytic orchids
Let me take you on a tour of the white flowered epiphytic orchids that I am currently growing for this White Orchid Trial!
I absolutely love this little Aerangis hyaloides specimen! I love this miniature orchid species – it’s one of my favourite orchids, but this plant is my favourite specimen of all of my Aerangis hyaloides plants. With this being such a special plant, I am always thrilled to see this plant’s new growth. Since my last update, I have enjoyed watching the development of a delightful new Aerangis hyaloides leaf, and I am thrilled to now see the first signs that another new leaf is now beginning to emerge!
As well as new leaves, this Aerangis hyaloides specimen is also in the process of producing five new flowering stems! It will be a little while before the flowers are ready to open, but it looks as if this Aerangis hyaloides specimen will be flower ahead of schedule. This plant usually flowers here in time for Christmas, but I would guess that the flowering stems that this specimen is currently producing may flower in August – September this year. Occasionally I have had Aerangis hyaloides specimens that have flowered twice in a year, but usually the plants flower once, for a few weeks from December-January.
Here are some photographs I have taken of this Aerangis hyaloides specimen over the past few months:
This Aerangis mystacidii specimen has grown well inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, but with the plant growing and increasing in size and there becoming less room available inside this terrarium, I made the decision to move this plant into another of my terrariums.
The cork around this Amesiella minor specimen has been absolutely saturated with water by my mister! This pressed cork has surprised me in being more absorbent than I expected. This Amesiella minor specimen has also surprised me in that the plant seems to have enjoyed being so wet. There have been some adverse reactions though, I wasn’t delighted to see the white fungus that has formed around this Amesiella minor. After I took these photographs I applied a fungicide to this plant.
I love Amesiellas! This Amesiella monticola specimen has been growing inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium for 14 months. This Amesiella monticola specimen was introduced in April 2017, when this White Orchid Trial Terrarium was first set up. This orchid is a young plant, it has not flowered yet, but this Amesiella monticola specimen has grown well, the plant is surprisingly resilient – there was originally a mature, healthy leaf in the position where the newer, younger, lighter green coloured leaf is now. This leaf was damaged by a snail, a snail who neatly ate through the leaf, cutting it off near the base of the plant. (The snail left the rest of the leaf uneaten – it just neatly and cleanly cut through the leaf, to cut it off from the plant!). The new leaf that you see here grew out from where this older leaf was cut off and damaged – you may just be able to see the cut part of the old leaf in the photograph below.
The photograph above shows this Amesiella philippinensis specimen after its flowers had faded. The plant has since produced a new leaf and has enjoy the extra moisture that my new water mister has provided, this orchid has been very happy to have been kept so moist.
I have two Brachypeza semiteretifolia specimens growing inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. This orchid species doesn’t need, or want an excessive amount of water. The watering regime and moisture levels that I had set before I bought this new water mister were just perfect for this orchid – my plants were happy and healthy, both plants had flowered and were in optimum health. Sadly, following on from the plants having been over watered on a number of consecutive occasions, both of these plants have now naturally declined and deteriorated. I just hope that I can help both of these Brachypeza semiteretifolia specimens to recover.
Happily, I can share with you that the healthiest of the two specimens is now producing a new leaf, which is so good to see – such a relief!
In April 2017, when I first introduced this Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen to this White Orchid Terrarium this small plant soon suffered from the effects of being too dry and under watered. This small orchid was positioned near this White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium’s fan, at this time there wasn’t any moss around the orchid’s roots, so there wasn’t anything there to hold on to the moisture, meaning that this plant’s roots dried out too quickly – before the orchid could use the moisture it had evaporated, so the plant declined. I then moved this Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen into my Orchidarium, where with regular, daily misting, in conjunction with good air circulation the plant rapidly recovered and was placed back inside this White Orchid Trial Terrarium in June 2017. Fast forward a year, and this same specimen has now suffered from being over watered, after my new hand held mist sprayer deposited a heavier mist over all of the plants! I have now moved this Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen into another of my terrariums to recover from being overwatered! The poor plant has experienced every time of water related problem!
I do have another Ceratochilus biglandulosus specimen growing inside my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, so I can watch to see whether this specimen fares any better.
This Ceratostylis pristina specimen has also suffered from the effects of being over watered, but already this orchid seems to be making a good recovery. Some of this plant’s older leaves have died, but this same plant is producing a large number of new leaves, these new leaves look to be very strong, healthy leaves – it’s wonderful to see them developing!
A few months ago, I was excitedly hoping that this Constantia cipoensis specimen was about to flower, sadly all hopes were dashed when the bud aborted. Since then the lovely Constantia cipoensis roots that you can see in the picture above and below have suffered following the overwatering. I hope that now that the conditions have been improved for the plants, that this Constantia cipoensis specimen, and the other orchids growing inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium will flourish.
This Holcoglossum flavescens specimen is making a great recovery! During December 2017 and January 2018, the plant was in decline this orchid was dropping its leaves in quick succession. In December 2017, I removed as much as I could of the moss that surrounded this Holcoglossum flavescens‘s roots, to allow the plant’s roots to dry out more rapidly.
This orchid’s suffering was my mistake, I had mounted this orchid myself, I had carefully covered this Holcoglossum flavescens‘ roots with moss when I mounted this miniature orchid onto the branch. To resolve the problem, I removed the moss covering the Holcoglossum flavescens specimen’s roots and removed the orchid from the branch, mounting it onto a fresh, new piece of cork. I hope that this miniature orchid will continue growing and developing, I hope that in time this Holcoglossum flavescens specimen will thrive inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
This poor Holcoglossum weixiense specimen has endured an arduous time, suffering terribly from being so overwatered. Many of this miniature orchid’s roots have rotted and the plant has been in decline for some time. I can only hope that with a return to the orchid’s preferred moisture levels and misting schedule that this plant will recover.
The Humata repens specimen that resided inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium absolutely flourished inside this terrarium! This fern thrived growing in the conditions provided by the BiOrbAir terrarium. So much so, that although I have moved this Humata repens specimen from my trial, having proven that this fern is a great choice to grow inside a BiOrbAir, I have actually moved this specimen into another of my BiOrbAir terrariums, where I have divided the fern to enhance the orchids growing inside this terrarium.
Humata repens is a true miniature fern, it will not grow to be too tall for the BiOrbAir, or for most terrariums, due to its naturally diminutive size.
This Hymenorchis javanica specimen last flowered in January 2018, so it is wonderful to see that the plant is already in the process of producing a new flowering stem!
This Masdevallia tovarensis specimen thrived inside this BiOrbAir Terrarium, this orchid loved the extra moisture that the new water sprayer provided and the plant, which was a division I made from a larger specimen, flourished. I moved this orchid into another of my terrariums as this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium was become rather full.
This Neofinetia falcata specimen last flowered in June 2018. I hope that this deliciously fragrant orchid will produce a flower spike sometime very soon, although overwatering this plant won’t have encouraged it to flower!
This Podangis dactyloceras specimen is in a sorry state, I feel so overwhelmingly sorry just looking at this plant!
To head straight to the next update and see which of these orchids lived and which plants were not so fortunate, 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 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 about the great new features of the 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
To read a Planting List of a wide range and variety of beautiful plants which are suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To see a Planting List of beautiful, miniature orchids, suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To read about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.