- 1 Madagascar Terrarium
- 2 The Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting List
- 3 Conditions inside this Madagascar Terrarium
- 4 Miniature epiphytic orchids from Madagascar
Welcome to the twelfth part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial – growing epiphytic orchids, which are endemic to Madagascar, inside the BiOrbAir terrarium. In this update, I am excited to share the delight of the snowy white, newly opened flowers of Aerangis citrata with you! Since my last update, I’ve introduced a few new orchids to this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium and I’ve recently replaced the moss, to add a verdant green carpet to enhance the plants inside this special terrarium.
My reason for planting this very special terrarium with orchids that are endemic to Madagascar, was to highlight and raise awareness of the fragility of Madagascar. I wanted showcase the beauty of some of Madagascar’s plants, with the hope that by sharing these images I would encourage more love, protection, and support for Madagascar. Many of the orchids that are found growing in Madagascar are not found anywhere else on Earth, so it really is a special and unique place!
To learn more about Madagascar and the vital work in conservation and research that is being undertaken by the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC), a non-profit, non governmental organisation (NGO), please click here. To read the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre (KMCC) blog, please click here.
I am a huge fan of the people that work at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The team representing this amazing organisation, work to discover more about plants and fungi wherever they originate, all across our planet. Kew work to safeguard and protect species, safeguard important areas for plants, and inform people with the knowledge they have learnt about plants and fungi. We are so fortunate to have Kew. The work undertaken at Kew benefits the entire planet. If you’d like to donate and contribute to Kew’s vital plant science and conservation work, please click here.
The BiOrbAir terrarium that I have used to plant up these rare orchids, was designed by Barry Reynolds and is available from BiOrb. The orchid plants that are featured inside this terrarium were grown in cultivation and not taken from the wild.
The Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Planting List
- Aerangis citrata
- Aerangis fuscata
- Aerangis hyaloides
- Aerangis macrocentra
- Aerangis punctata
- Aeranthes arachnites
- Angraecum dollii
- Angraecum equitans
- Angraecum mooreana
- Angraecum ochraceum
You can see the full planting list for this terrarium here, where you’ll find more details about each of these orchids, links to every article about each orchid species, together with the details of all of the nurseries and suppliers where I purchased my orchids, mosses, and the cork for this terrarium.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
I was previously using Orchid Focus Grow as a fertiliser for my orchids that were actively growing and Orchid Focus Bloom as a fertiliser for the orchids that were in bud and flowering. However, I have recently switched to a new fertiliser – Rain Mix from Akerne Orchids. I was happy using Orchid Focus, but I decided to change fertiliser, as I was intrigued to see what Rain Mix was like. Another factor that influenced my decision was to save time. It might not take long to mix up two lots of fertiliser and use one type for the orchids that are blooming, saving the other form of fertiliser for the plants that are growing, but I have a lot of activities to fit into each day, so the time saving factor also had an influence on my decision to give this feed a try. I will write a separate article about Rain Mix in due course.
On the 29th November 2018, I replaced all of the moss inside this Madagascar Terrarium. This is the first time that I’ve added any new moss to this terrarium, the old moss had darkened and was looking rather dull and dreary, so was a good time to change it.
Conditions inside this Madagascar Terrarium
These charts show the conditions inside my Madagascar Terrarium from September 2018 to December 2018.
Miniature epiphytic orchids from Madagascar
Let me take you on a tour inside my Madagascar Terrarium! You can see the BiOrbAir’s misting unit in operation!
When I published my last update for this Madagascar Terrarium, this Aerangis citrata specimen was developing two flowering spikes. On the 9th October 2018, the oldest of this Aerangis citrata specimen’s two flower spikes measured 34cm (13.3″) and featured 36 nodes, while the newer of these two flower spikes measured 20cm (7.8″) and featured 22 nodes. At the beginning of October 2018, this Aerangis citrata specimen was well invested in the process of developing these two older flower spikes, this orchid then began producing its third flower spike.
It is the second oldest Aerangis citrata flowering spike that you can see in the following photographs as it produces its flower buds. The older of the three flowering spikes has not progressed and has since been overtaken by the plant’s more recently developed flowering spikes.
It has been so wonderful to see this Aerangis citrata specimen in bloom again! On the 6th December 2018, I counted 25 individual flowers along this Aerangis citrata specimen’s flowering spike.
Aerangis citrata is always listed as a fragrant orchid species. Although sadly, I have again been unable to detect any perfume from this orchid’s blooms during the plant’s latest flowering during either the daytime, evening, or at night, as was also the case during this Aerangis citrata specimen’s previous flowerings.
In November 2018, I also introduced a younger Aerangis citrata plant to this BiOrbAir terrarium, you can see a photograph of this plant below.
Aerangis hyaloides is such a wonderful plant! This Aerangis hyaloides specimen has been producing a flower every now and then for a little while now. Each bloom has so far been held shyly, hidden behind the leaves that now protect the blooms. I am looking forward to seeing this plant again, once its main flowering gets underway!
I recently added a second Aerangis hyaloides specimen to this Madagascar Terrarium. You can see this new addition below.
Aerangis macrocentra is an absolutely fabulous orchid! I have two Aerangis macrocentra specimen’s residing inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium, both of these plants were introduced as young seedlings, both plants have grown well inside this terrarium.
This Aerangis punctata specimen’s newest leaf has been damaged by a tiny snail, making the plant look a little ragged! I hope that in time this plant can regain the good form it displayed about six months ago, although I have left the damaged leaves in place for now.
I hope that the next time this Aerangis punctata specimen produces some new growth, that it will not be decimated by the tiny snails that are living inside this terrarium! I use slices of cucumber to tempt the snails, I then remove the cucumber slice once a snail has travelled onto it. I’ve found my ‘cucumber method’ to be very effective at controlling snail numbers in terrariums – I’d highly recommend this strategy, if you’re struggling with snails or slugs inside your own terrarium.
This Aerangis fuscata specimen has greatly declined in recent months – in my last update, this same plant had two growing points and seven leaves, while a few months later, this same plant now has just three leaves. As you can see in these photographs, at times this specimen has been too dry, this plant became dehydrated after I reduced the amount of water this plant received, as the plant previously looked to have received too much water. Will this Aerangis fuscata specimen’s fortunates change? Will this orchid’s health improve? I do hope so!
Aeranthes arachnites is the largest orchid that resides in this Madagascar Terrarium. I introduced this particular orchid to this Madagascar Terrarium in April 2017, when I first set up this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. This Aeranthes arachnites specimen has flowered many times, it is by far the most floriferous orchid species that has been grown inside this Madagascar Terrarium to date.
When the old moss was removed at the end of November 2018, so that new moss could be added, (you can see the new moss in the photograph of this Madagascar Terrarium that I have listed above) some of this Aeranthes arachnites specimen’s roots had to be uprooted from the old moss in order to make this change. Aeranthes arachnites is an epiphytic orchid, but I am sure that this plant grows terrestrially too – the uprooting will have impacted this plant – this specimen looks rather disgruntled and less comfortable than the plant did before I made these changes. Hopefully this Aeranthes arachnites specimen will be back to its former glory in not too long a time.
This Angraecum dollii specimen isn’t looking quite as happy or healthy as I would like. I have been keeping a close eye on this plant, trying to provide this Angraecum dollii specimen with the optimum conditions for growth, but I’ve not seen any noticeable improvement since my last update. I am particularly fond of this orchid species, so I am keen to ensure its happiness and safeguard the plant’s future.
This Angraecum equitans specimen was first introduced to my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium in August 2015. This specimen then moved into this Madagascar Terrarium when I set it up, in April 2017. This orchid is another species whose health and vitality seems to ebb and flow – this Angraecum equitans specimen can look in great shape and good health one minute and then fall into a decline the next. It’s lovely to see that this Angraecum equitans specimen is producing a new leaf.
I introduced this Angraecum mooreana specimen to this Madagascar Terrarium in November 2018. I am interested to see how this orchid species responds to the conditions found inside my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium. I hope that this miniature orchid species will flourish inside its new home!
This Angraecum ochraceum specimen has been grown inside this Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium since December 2017. This miniature orchid species favours bright light, I have been contemplating moving this orchid to a higher position within this terrarium to move the plant closer to the BiOrbAir’s LED lights, but I have yet to make a change.
This Angraecum ochraceum specimen was previously shrouded in moss, but I have been gently removing three quarters of the moss around the plant’s leaves, to allow this orchid to receive the maximum amount of light.
Other articles that may interest you…………
To see my Rainforest Terrarium set up, please click here.
To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.
To read about the general care I give to my orchids and terrarium plants, and the general maintenance I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums, please click here.
For information on how to mount epiphytic orchids onto cork bark, please click here.
To read about the great new features of the 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.
To read a Planting List of a wide range and variety of beautiful plants which are suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To see a Planting List of beautiful, miniature orchids, suitable for growing in terrariums, vivariums, bottle gardens, and indoor gardens, please click here.
To read about the Writhlington Orchid Project, please click here.
To read about the Queen of Orchids and this special plant’s flowering at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, please click here.