Floriferous epiphytic orchid species!

Floriferous orchid species

If you’re looking to purchase an orchid, it’s always good to buy an orchid species, or a hybrid, that has a predisposition and willingness to flower.  So, with this in mind, today I want to share the joy of two floriferous orchid species with you!

Dryadella simula

Dryadella simula flowers aren’t as showy as many orchids, the blooms are held very close to the base of the plant.

I trialled this Dryadella simula specimen very successfully inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.  This orchid quite simply flourished inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, from April 2016 until November 2017.  I moved this Dryadella simula specimen out of my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in November 2017, (which as I write to you today was a year and five months ago), as I had proven that Dryadella simula was an absolutely superb orchid species to grow inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.  By moving this orchid out into another of my enclosures, it allowed me to trial more plants inside my BiOrbAir Terrarium.

Dryadella simula is an epiphytic orchid species, which originates from Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, and Colombia, where this miniature orchid can be found growing upon trees in cloud forests.
A closer look at a Dryadella simula inflorescence. These tiny orchid flowers are held low down, very close to the base of the plant, making their flowers less visible.

I grow this Dryadella simula specimen mounted onto a piece of cork bark, but some growers choose to grow this orchid species as potted specimens, using a speciality orchid compost mix, which is largely comprised of large to medium sized pieces of bark.  If you decide to grow your plant in a container, you won’t need to water your orchid as often, as the container will protect your plant’s roots from drying out as rapidly as those of mounted specimens.

Dryadella simula flourishes when grown under filtered light – avoid harsh, bright, direct light – look instead for a slightly more shaded position within your terrarium, where your plant can bask in a softer, diffused light.

My cat takes a keen interest in Dryadella simula’s flowers!

My cat takes a particular interest in my Dryadella simula plants.  The cat’s interest piques whenever this orchid is in bloom, which it often is.  Dryadella simula is a floriferous orchid species; this plant seems to almost always be in flower.  My feline friend loves to get up close to this orchid species when it’s in bloom.  This cat takes such delight in Dryadella simula‘s inflorescences, he becomes very silly, it’s as if my cat has been frolicking in catmint!  He quite simply relishes the scent of this miniature orchid’s flowers!

I’ve never noticed this orchid flower’s fragrance.  When I get up very close to my plant, to take in the scent of Dryadella simula‘s flowers, I can tell you that for me at least, Dryadella simula produces a very light, delicate but earthy fragrance, which is not at all enticing or exciting.  My cat however, disagrees!

In its native environment, Dryadella simula can be found growing from 2000 to 3000 meters above sea level, in humid cloud forests.

In its native environment, Dryadella simula experiences drier conditions during the summer time.  I don’t make any effort whatsoever to try to replicate this miniature orchid’s natural growing conditions.  Instead, I provide my plants with a regular supply of water by misting this plant a few times a week, throughout the year.

I fertilise my plants regularly during the growing season.  If you’re interested, you can find out more about the general plant care I provide my plants with here.

Dryadella simula is a floriferous orchid species, my plant is almost always in bloom.

Gastrochilus retrocallus

Gastrochilus retrocallus is a floriferous orchid species.

Gastrochilus retrocallus (this orchid species is often referred to by this plant’s older and now relegated name of Haraella retrocalla) is another floriferous orchid species.  I find this miniature orchid to be easy to care for and very willing to bloom. Gastrochilus retrocallus produces large flowers, which are quite striking with their yellow and maroon colouring.  I particularly like how the larger part of this orchid’s flower looks rather woollen, like a cosy, woollen sock or a fluffy jumper!

A closer look at a Gastrochilus retrocallus inflorescence, these are furry, cosy looking flowers!

Gastrochilus retrocallus flowers are often described as being highly scented, but I don’t find them so.  My experience of this orchid is that the blooms do indeed produce a citrus fragrance, but the flower’s perfume is very light indeed, you need a close encounter to have any chance of detecting a scent from Gastrochilus retrocallus inflorescences.  Many of my visitors are unable to detect any scent at all.

This Gastrochilus retrocallus specimen is growing inside my Orchidarium, where this plant grows alongside Phalaenopsis, Restrepias, Bulbophyllums, Masdevallias, Oncidiums, and other miniature orchid species.

If you’re interested in Gastrochilus retrocallus, you can learn more about this orchid species here.

For information on how to grow and flower Phalaenopsis orchids, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you……………

To read about the Queen of Orchids – the largest orchid in the world, please click here.

For information about rather glamorous orchids that are easy to grow and flower, please click here.

To read about the design of my Rainforest Terrarium and see how I’ve set this terrarium up, please click here.

For a list of lovely terrarium plants, including orchids, ferns, and other terrarium plants, please click here.

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