An Update on the Orchids growing inside my Orchidarium (part four)

Contents

An Update on the Orchids growing inside my Orchidarium (part four)

In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to create an Orchidarium with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care.  This wasn’t about creating a beautiful enclosure; I built this Orchidarium to house as many orchids from my collection as possible inside this enclosure and to provide these plants with automated care.  In this update, you can see how the ferns, terrarium plants, and orchids, inside this Orchidarium have grown and developed over the past year – from August 2018 to September 2019.

This update is part of a series of updates I’ve written that show how the plants inside this Orchidarium have grown inside this enclosure.  If you’re interested in this terrarium, you’ll find all of my Orchidarium updates, here.

All of my Orchidarium Updates that cover this same period – from August 2018 to September 2019 – are titled as part four.  I have written one update for the Phalaenopsis species that are grown inside this Orchidarium.  While, this update – the one you’re reading now – shows the growth and development of all of the other terrarium plants, miniature ferns, and miniature epiphytic orchids, that are growing inside this Orchidarium.  These two updates listed below cover the same period as this update, they show how the equipment inside this Orchidarium performed and how the Phalaenopsis species inside this Orchidarium grew and developed, from August 2018 to September 2019:

Orchidarium Set Up

If you’re interested, you can see my step by step guide as to how my Orchidarium was created, here.

Orchid care

Water

All of the orchids inside my Orchidarium are watered with reverse osmosis water.

Orchid fertiliser

I was previously using Rain Mix from Akerne Orchids, as a fertiliser for all of my orchids.  On the 22nd March 2019, I stopped using Rain Mix and switched back to using Orchid Focus.

To feed my miniature orchids, I use Orchid Focus Grow – for plants that are actively growing, and Orchid Focus Bloom– for orchids that are in bud or flowering.  Every four weeks, I skip using any fertiliser and I just mist my plants with water.  I purchased both of these 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.

I only give fertiliser to orchids that are actively growing; the plants that are resting receive only water.

Pest Control

I use SB Plant Invigorator as a pest control for aphids, mealybug, scale insect, spider mites, and whitefly.  SB Plant Invigorator is also said to control powdery mildew; this organic treatment acts as a mild plant stimulant and foliar feed.

Orchid Pests

Aphids

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, pictured in bud, inside my Orchidarium, on the 10th December 2018. Can you spot the pesky aphids in this photograph?

On the 10th December 2018, while I was photographing the Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen that lives inside this Orchidarium, I spotted a colony of aphids on this Aerangis.  I use SB Plant Invigorator on a regular basis, on all of the plants that reside inside this Orchidarium, in an attempt to control these aphids, and any other pests that might be lurking inside this enclosure.  This is a minute aphid, it’s so tiny that I can usually only spot it when I am examining a close up photograph.

I have been pretty vigilant in my attempts at controlling these aphids, spraying my plants each week, but despite this, the aphid colonies ebb and flow, inside this Orchidarium.

Sciarid Flies

In February and March 2019, I noticed that I had sciarid flies inside many of my terrariums.  I also had these tiny flies flitting around my houseplants, which was where they were really bugging me!  On 9th March 2019, I treated the compost inside my Orchidarium with a drench of Nemasys® Biological Fruit and Veg Protection, a biological control – an organic, natural method of controlling sciarid flies, also known as fungus gnats, using the natural predator to control this pest.

This is my Orchidarium. In this photograph, you can see the compost in my Orchidarium being treated with Nemasys® Biological Fruit and Veg Protection, a natural method of controlling sciarid flies, also known as fungus gnats.

You can read all about Nemasys® Biological Fruit and Veg Protection in this article I wrote about this treatment, showing the step-by-step application process, here.

Spider mites

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower, on the 4th May 2019.  The tiny specks in this photograph are spider mites

I was aware of an increasing number of spider mites feeding on the orchids and the other plants that are growing inside this Orchidarium.  So, to remedy this, I purchased some biological controls from Defenders.  I chose to purchase Phytoseiulus, a mite: a natural predator of spider mites.  My small parcel of Phytoseiulus biological controls, arrived via Royal Mail, on 9th May 2019.  I added these Phytoseiulus persimilis mites to my Orchidarium, the same day that they arrived in the post.

After the introduction of the Phytoseiulus persimilis mites, I stopped using the aforementioned SB Plant Invigorator, as I wanted to avoid killing off my newly purchased biological controls.

As in previous years, I was pleased at how effective the biological controls were at reducing the spider mite numbers.  I have a recurring problem with a tiny aphid inside this enclosure.  The predatory mites that control spider mites do not control aphids.  Aphids can be controlled by ladybirds and ladybird larvae.  But, I do not wish to try and contain any ladybirds within this enclosure, as these aphids are so tiny that there wouldn’t be sufficient prey to sustain a ladybird larvae for long, which would be cruel.  There’s also the fact that the ladybirds would be able to escape within a few minutes of being introduced to this enclosure.  Consequently, my longest running treatment is the SB Plant Invigorator, which controls all pests.

If you’re interested in finding tips and information on controlling spider mites on orchids, terrarium plants, and houseplants, I’ve written an article about spider mites, where I’ve given lots of tips and information.

Snails

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I regularly use my cucumber method – placing slices of fresh cucumber inside the Orchidarium, as bait for the snails.  An hour or two later, the cucumber slices are collected – complete with snails – when I repeat the steps again and add more cucumber chunks to my terrarium.  This is the easiest and most effective method I have found to control slugs and snails inside terrariums and bottle gardens.  I’ve written about using biological controls – one of the slugs and snails natural predators as a control for slugs and snails, but this treatment is only effective on terrestrial, soil grown plants; as these orchids are epiphytes, this would not work.

Other insects

I also have colonies of bark lice, millipedes, oribatid mites, and spiders, residing inside this Orchidarium.  I would rather not have any insects inside my terrariums.  I never intended to create an indoor insect hotel, but with water, light, and plants, there is always life.

A bark lice insect, photographed on a Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flower, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

To be honest, I don’t wish to ever kill or harm any of the insects that live inside my terrariums and bottle gardens, just the idea of hurting these creatures makes me feel uneasy.  I try to avoid introducing pests in the first place.  I do this by having a quarantine terrarium, where my plants go and live for anything from six months to several years, until I am confident enough that the plant is pest free, when I then introduce the plant to one of my terrariums.

Orchidarium Planting list

I’ve got other a number of Phalaenopsis species growing inside this Orchidarium, alongside the miniature orchids you can see in this update.  If you’re interested in seeing what other plants I’m growing inside this enclosure, you might be interested to see The Orchidarium Planting List.  This planting list displays every plant that has been grown inside this terrarium so far.  Plants that are no longer growing inside this Orchidarium and have now been moved to other terrariums and plants that have died are also shown on this list.  Any plants that I decide to grow inside this Orchidarium in future will be also 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.

Orchids and other Orchidarium Plants

This photograph shows my Orchidarium on the 22nd July 2018, at this time I was enjoying the flowers of Chirita tamiana, Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, and Stelis muscifera.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta

A look inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd August 2019. Chirita tamiana, Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, Oncidium hians, and Phalaenopsis celebensis flowers can be seen in this photograph.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta is a miniature epiphytic orchid from Africa.  My plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium, (apart from one brief move into another enclosure and then swiftly back into my Orchidarium) since April 2017.

This Aerangis grows happily inside this Orchidarium, without any special care or attention.  When my Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen is in bud, I try to provide this plant with some extra hand misting, perhaps once or twice a week, but when this plant isn’t in bud – for the rest of the year, this plant needs no additional misting or specialised plant care.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta flowering

This Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen is now very well established inside this Orchidarium.  As I write to you today, (in mid September 2019), this plant has so far flowered four times (the plant’s third flowering being the measly few flower buds below and the plant’s fourth flowering being the blooming period shown in the pictures that follow on from these), over the past two and a half years that this Aerangis has been growing inside this Orchidarium.

You can see the plant’s flower buds for this Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen’s third flowering, in the two pictures that follow:

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, pictured in bud, inside my Orchidarium, on the 10th December 2018.

In the weeks and months prior to taking these two photographs, I was unaware that this Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen was producing a flowering stem, as the stem was hidden from view.  Consequently, as I was unaware of this plant preparing to flower, I didn’t provide this Aerangis with any additional moisture or misting.  Had I realised that this Aerangis was in the process of developing a flowering stem, I would definitely have provided this plant with additional misting.

As well as extra watering, I would have used Orchid Focus Bloom, as a fertiliser (instead of Orchid Focus Grow), but as it was, I was unaware that my plant was in bud and so I did none of these things.  Consequently, as you can see, my plant produced only a couple of flower buds.  This plant’s flowering display was so poor that I didn’t think to take a photograph of the plant during the short time, while these two flowers were out.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, pictured in bud, inside my Orchidarium, on the 10th December 2018.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

These photographs show this Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen’s fourth flowering.  This time, the plant received some supplementary misting, perhaps a couple of times a week; as you can see, the extra moisture has dramatically improved the quality of this plant’s flowering stem and the number of flower buds that this plant was able to produce.

A closer look at this Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen’s flower spike, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

A closer look at this Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta specimen’s developing flower buds, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

This Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen’s first flower, (from this, the plant’s fourth flowering), opened on the 12th August 2019.  I was excited to see this orchid’s blooms again.  These vivid orange-red coloured centres really stand out – they’re such a delightfully picturesque detail of this orchid’s blooms.  The intensity of the colouring of this orchid’s berry-like columns, really enhances the appearance of this Aerangis species’ snow white flowers.

Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

This miniature orchid species features delicately perfumed flowers, they produce a light, sweet floral scent.  The perfume is not strong or intense; these Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta flowers wouldn’t fill even the smallest of rooms with their perfume.  Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta flowers produce a gentle, uplifting scent that I encounter every now and then, when I open the doors to my Orchidarium.

A closer look at this Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

A closer look at this Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

A closer look at this Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta blooms have a crystalline quality.  When I examine these flowers closely, the petals and sepal twinkle and sparkle in the sunshine.  I have a particular fondness for crystalline flowers, they’re mesmerisingly beautiful.  It’s amazing to think that a flower can twinkle in the light, but they do – rather like frost or snow sparkles in the moonlight.

A closer look at one of this Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta specimen’s flower buds, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, Phalaenopsis braceana, and Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers grow amongst Restrepias, inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

These Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta flowers began to fade on the 10th September 2019.

Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, you might be interested to read this article I wrote about this particular orchid species.

Barbosella dusenii

Barbosella dusenii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

This Barbosella dusenii specimen is a very recent introduction to this Orchidarium; as I write to you in September 2019, this plant is still adjusting to the conditions within this enclosure.  I hope that this miniature orchid will be very happy growing inside my Orchidarium.

Barbosella dusenii is pictured with a finger tip, to more accurately convey just how miniature this orchid species really is; as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

As you can see in my photographs, Barbosella dusenii is a teeny, tiny, mini-miniature orchid species.  This orchid species hails from the cloud forests of Brazil and South America; Barbosella dusenii thrives in warm and very humid growing conditions.

Barbosella dusenii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Bulbophyllum ambrosia

Bulbophyllum ambrosia, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

I have just a small Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen growing inside my Orchidarium now.  The larger Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen that was growing inside this Orchidarium, which you can see pictured above, was sold at the Orchid Society of Great Britain, January 2019 auction.  I never managed to induce this Bulbophyllum ambrosia specimen to bloom inside my Orchidarium.

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

I also sold this Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ plant at the Orchid Society of Great Britain, January 2019 Auction.  This Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ specimen didn’t flower inside my Orchidarium.  Following this sale, I don’t have any other Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’ plants growing inside this Orchidarium.

Bulbophyllum falcatum ‘Minor’, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

Bulbophyllum sessile

Bulbophyllum sessile, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

As I was having a sort out of my plants, I decided to give this Bulbophyllum sessile plant to a friend.  I grew this Bulbophyllum sessile specimen inside my Orchidarium for two and a half years – this plant did not bloom during this time.

Bulbophyllum sessile, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

Ceratocentron fesselii

Ceratocentron fesselii, as pictured on the 7th January 2019.

This Ceratocentron fesselii specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium on the 1st March 2018; after this miniature orchid failed to thrive inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.

I had hoped that my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit and this terrarium’s fan would provide more favourable growing conditions and help to ensure my Ceratocentron fesselii plant’s survival.  Sadly, it was not to be.  I am very sorry to say, that this Ceratocentron fesselii specimen died a few months ago.  This is a rare orchid that’s difficult to keep – it’s not a plant that I’d recommend.

Ceratocentron fesselii, as pictured on the 7th January 2019.

Chiloschista lunifera

Chiloschista lunifera, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Usually I move my Chiloschista plants out of their regular terrarium homes, to give the plants a dry winter rest.  I do this to mimic the conditions the plants experience in the wild and to trigger the plants to flower.

Over the past few years, I’ve answered many questions from concerned readers – who have asked why their Chiloschista plants haven’t flowered.  So, to demonstrate what happens if you leave your plants in place inside a terrarium with an automated misting unit, where the plants go without a drier season or a distinct change in moisture, and experience very similar growing conditions, all year long.  This year, I didn’t move this Chiloschista lunifera specimen into a dry area.  So, although I didn’t hand mist this orchid over autumn or winter, the plant remained in place inside this Orchidarium and this Chiloschista went without its winter rest period.  Consequently, as I expected, this Chiloschista lunifera specimen did not flower this spring.  But, I must say that although I had no expectation that this plant would flower, my Chiloschista lunifera specimen has been looking in an incredibly poor condition this spring and summer – this orchid looks to be in a far worse state than I anticipated.  I have missed seeing this Chiloschista specimen’s flowers and I now shudder with guilt and regret when I look at this plant!  I am doubtful that a winter rest will be able to revive this plant, but I will give it a try!

If you’re interested, you can see this Chiloschista lunifera specimen in bloom, in this earlier update for this Orchiarium.

Chirita tamiana

Chirita tamiana is such a super terrarium plant!  This is an incredibly floriferous plant – Chirita tamiana is always in bloom.  Since my Chirita tamiana plant reached flowering size, I would guess that my Chirita tamiana specimen has experienced fewer than twenty days without any flowers, over the past two years or so.

My plant has become more elevated in height and it has also spread out.  Chirita tamiana has taken over more of the floor of this Orchidarium, producing a clump of plants, which have also flowered.  But the older sections of this plant have now become very leggy and look rather ragged and untidy.  Had it not been for this review and my wish to share as much information as possible with you about growing these plants, I would have already replaced these Chirita tamiana plants with younger specimens or swapped these plants out, for something entirely different.

Chirita tamiana flowering

Here are just a few photographs of Chirita tamiana in flower.  This plant has flowered almost every day, for the past two and a half years.

Chirita tamiana in flower, inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

Chirita tamiana flowers are not scented, but these plants produce an abundance of blooms!

Chirita tamiana in flower, inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

A look inside my Orchidarium, showing Chirita tamiana in flower, as pictured on the 7th March 2019.

Chirita tamiana, pictured in flower, on the 15th April 2019.

Chirita tamiana, pictured in flower, on the 15th April 2019.

Chirita tamiana, pictured in flower, on the 15th April 2019.

A look inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd August 2019. Chirita tamiana, Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, and Phalaenopsis celebensis flowers can be seen in this photograph.

A look inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd August 2019. Chirita tamiana, Oncidium hians, Phalaenopsis celebensis flowers can be seen in this photograph.

Here you can see a new Chirita tamiana plant mingling with ferns and Restrepias inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

Dinema polybulbon

Dinema polybulbon, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here is my Dinema polybulbon plant; this is an interesting orchid species.  These orchids grow as lithophytic plants – that grow over rocks, as well as growing as epiphytes – when this Dinema grows upon other plants.

I mounted my Dinema polybulbon plant onto a piece of cork bark, in November 2017.  This plant is growing very happily on the same piece of cork.  Some orchids grow best when they’re mounted onto a piece or cork with moss wrapped around the plant’s roots, to hold onto or retain water.  However, other orchids decline when they’re mounted in this way and favour growing without moss.  I prefer to grow Dinema polybulbon without any moss, as I find that this orchid is happiest grown on bare cork.

Dinema polybulbon, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

This Dinema polybulbon specimen is growing in a shaded position.  It’s positioned low down within this Orchidarium.  My Dinema polybulbon specimen is grown on this cork mount, which is attached to the Orchidarium’s glass side panel.  This plant is raised just above the moss and the plants that are planted in the compost, at the base of this enclosure.

Dinema polybulbon, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

This Dinema polybulbon specimen last flowered (If you’re interested, you can see pictures of this Dinema polybulbon plant in flower via this link) in August and September 2018.  I suspect that this plant will bloom a little later this year.  Since this plant’s last blooming, this Dinema has now become more sheltered by the plants growing above it – as these plants have aged and have grown larger in size.  Consequently, this Dinema polybulbon plant now receives less light and far less water than it enjoyed a year ago.

Dinema polybulbon, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I confess, that despite being really rather fond of this orchid; I can’t think of a time that I have remembered to mist this plant by hand.  I guess that because this Dinema is so shaded by the other plants around it, I don’t usually see it while I am rushing around.  Also, had this Dinema polybulbon specimen received more water from the automatic misting, then this plant would not have required any more moisture.  I am certain that if this plant had enjoyed more waterings, that this Dinema polybulbon specimen would be in bloom now.

I will make more of an effort to remember to hand mist this orchid, but more importantly, I will also move this Dinema polybulbon specimen, so that this plant will be less protected by the plants growing above.  I will find a position where this orchid will receive more moisture when this Orchidarium’s automated misting system operates, as currently this plant receives a little less water than it would like.

Dinema polybulbon, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Gastrochilus retrocallus

Gastrochilus retrocallus, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

If one of my friends asks me if I have any orchids in flower, I’ll sometimes tell them that I have nothing really in bloom at the moment – when actually, if I really thought about it, I usually have at least a few plants in bloom – it’s just that they tend to be the plants that flower often.  I sometimes look through my floriferous orchids, at plants from other less floriferous orchid species’ that bloom once a year, or once every few years, at best.

Gastrochilus retrocallus, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Gastrochilus retrocallus (previously known as Haraella retrocalla) is a fabulous orchid species that is both beautiful and very easy to grow and to bloom.

I never provide my Gastrochilus retrocallus plants with any specialist care.  This orchid enjoys no extra misting, the plant isn’t moved into drier climates or different environments or cooler temperature zones, to try to coax it into flower.  Yet this plant never complains and despite all of this, my Gastrochilus retrocallus plant flowers beautifully.

Gastrochilus retrocallus, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

The Gastrochilus retrocallus specimen that’s growing inside my Orchidarium is in bud at the moment, so I’ll have some new flowers to enjoy, very soon.

Gastrochilus retrocallus, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Gastrochilus retrocallus is an incredibly floriferous orchid species, my plants are often in flower.

Gastrochilus retrocallus flowering

Gastrochilus retrocallus pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 5th September 2018.

This Gastrochilus retrocallus specimen is rather dehydrated, the plant’s leaves have a visible wrinkling which is a clear indicator that this orchid would have preferred to have received more waterings.

Gastrochilus retrocallus pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium, on the 5th September 2018.

Gastrochilus retrocallus in flower, as pictured on the 11th October 2018.

At times, my Gastrochilis retrocallus specimen can be rather dehydrated.  Yet remarkably, despite being short of water, this plant still flowers!  I am quite a fan of Gastrochilus retrocallus, this is a superb orchid to grow!  This is definitely an orchid species that I’d suggest you try – it’s a plant that I would recommend.  If you’re looking to purchase this plant, you might find it listed as Haraella retrocalla – which is the old name for this orchid species.

A closer look at this Gastrochilus retrocallus flower, as pictured on the 11th October 2018.

I love Gastrochilus retrocallus blooms.  These large inflorescences have such a distinct character; the flower’s lip looks soft and cosy – like a favourite wooly jumper.

Gastrochilus retrocallus in bloom, as pictured, on the 2nd December 2018.

Although this orchid is often described as having very fragrant flowers.  I’ve grown many Gastrochilus retrocallus plants, yet I would only describe their flowers as being very lightly perfumed.

A closer look at this Gastrochilus retrocallus specimen’s bloom, as pictured, on the 2nd December 2018.

Gastrochilus retrocallus is a fun and easy to grow orchid.  I love having this plant in my collection.

A closer look at this Gastrochilus retrocallus specimen’s bloom, as pictured, on the 2nd December 2018.

If you’re interested in Gastrochils retrocallus, here’s a link to some more information about this orchid.

My first Humata heterophylla fern

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 13th August 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

As part of an experiment, on the 13th August 2018, I moved this Humata heterophylla specimen from its position at the top of this Orchidarium.  I placed some live moss over this Humata heterophylla specimen’s brown and dried out roots and then I placed this fern and its cork mount on top of the moss, at the base of this Orchidarium.

Prior to the 13th August 2018, I had intentionally stressed this fern out, growing it very close to this Orchidarium’s LED lights.  Where this fern become utterly frazzled and scorched by the intensity of the light; its fronds brown from too much light and too little water.  In addition to the harsher lighting conditions, this fern was also grown in much drier conditions than were healthy.  I basically pushed this Humata heterophylla specimen to its limits, with the aim of testing whether the fern could come back from such poor condition.

Humata heterophylla, pictured on the 30th September 2018. You might not be able to see it in this picture, but this fern is harbouring a colony of aphids.

This Humata heterophylla specimen has never received any additional misting or any other attention.  As you can see in my photograph above, this fern has produced two new fronds, from a brown stem that was covered by the moss, just six weeks after this fern was moved to the base of the orchidarium.

Humata heterophylla, pictured on the 30th September 2018. This fern is harbouring a colony of aphids.

I think even at the base of this Orchidarium, the light is a touch brighter than this fern would wish for, but compared to this fern’s previous growing conditions at the top of this Orchidarium, it probably feels sublime!

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here you can see this Humata heterophylla specimen now – 13 months after this fern was moved to more favourable growing conditions.  As you can see, this Humata heterophylla specimen is now looking much healthier and happier.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I find that Humata heterophylla is a magnet for aphids.  I have a continuing problem with a tiny little aphid that can only be spotted in close up photographs.  I’ve often noticed dark patches on new Humata heterophylla fronds or new stems, which when I have examined my photographs, have turned out to be colonies of minute black coloured aphids.  I regularly use S.B. Plant Invigorator to control aphids and other pests.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I love Humata heterophylla.  This is a beautiful fern, with very handsome fronds.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

My second Humata heterophylla fern

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 13th August 2018, inside my Orchidarium.

I have two Humata Heterophylla specimens growing inside my Orchidarium.  The photograph above and the two pictures below show this second Humata heterophylla specimen from August 2018 to September 2019.  In a bid to further test this Humata species, this fern has been planted in the coir compost, at the base of this Orchidarium.

Humata heterophylla, pictured on the 15th April 2019.

These aren’t ideal growing conditions for this fern, as the compost is much wetter than this Humata heterophylla specimen would prefer.  The light is also harsher than I would choose for Humata heterophylla, although there are more favourable, shaded conditions, at the edge of the planting.  This area is shaded by the plants that are mounted onto pieces of cork bark and hooked on the Orchidarium’s glass sides, using rubber suckers.

In my other trials, I have also found that Humata heterophylla grows best as an epiphyte.  This fern can easily be mounted onto a piece of cork bark, but I wanted to find out whether this fern would adjust to these terrestrial growing conditions over time.  I’d say that this second terrestrially grown Humata heterophylla specimen has declined significantly, since my last update.

If you’re looking to grow Humata heterophylla, I’d recommend growing this fern as an epiphyte.  Mount your fern onto a piece of cork bark or a branch – choose a large piece, so you’ll have room for your fern as it grows into a larger specimen.  Provide your fern with very humid growing conditions.  This is a tender fern, so you’ll need to ensure that you provide warm, frost free growing conditions.

Humata heterophylla, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

Humata repens

Yellowing Humata repens fern fronds, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 7th September 2019.

This Humata repens specimen was planted inside this Orchidarium in April 2017.  Since my last update, this fern has visibly declined; many of its larger and older fronds have yellowed and faded and the fern has an altogether jaded appearance.

You can see a slightly greener coloured frond in the picture below – there are some younger Humata repens fronds, which have a similar colouring to the frond you see pictured below.

As yet, I’ve not cut back the yellowing fronds – mainly because I wanted to show you an honest picture of how this fern is faring inside this Orchidarium.

Ferns, mosses, Restrepia citrina, and Chirita tamiana, mingling inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

Leptotes bicolor

Leptotes bicolor, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

Leptotes bicolor is an easy to grow orchid species.  My plant receives no specialist care – there’s no additional hand misting required and no need to move your plant into an enclosure with different climatic zones, to provide hotter or colder temperatures.  Yet my Leptotes bicolor specimen has flourished inside this Orchidarium.  It really is a joy to grow orchid species that are naturally keen to grow and bloom, in the regular temperatures found inside my home – some of the Phalaenopsis species that I grow inside this Orchidarium are much more difficult to please.

A closer look at this Leptotes bicolor specimen’s first sign of a flower bud, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

If you’re interested in the growing conditions inside this Orchidarium, you’ll find all the information about the equipment I use, in this article I wrote about how my Orchidarium equipment has performed over the past year – from August 2018 to September 2019, via this link, here.

A closer look at the side of this Leptotes bicolor specimen’s mount, showing the intricate web of the plant’s roots, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

It’s always so interesting to see a plant’s roots; this Leptotes bicolor plant’s roots are hugging its wood mount.  I love to see healthy roots – I very feel fortunate that my Leptotes bicolor specimen is thriving and this plant has produced a mass of healthy roots.  As well as securing itself to its mount, this miniature orchid’s roots are often found reaching out, exploring the mounts of neighbouring plants.  It’s almost like an over friendly person, keen to put their arms around another and unwilling to take no for an answer.  However I move this Leptotes bicolor specimen, the plant will not be deterred, it still continues to send out new roots, to attempt to attach itself to another plant and cover one of its near neighbours, with its roots.

Leptotes bicolor, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I’ve noticed that the moss has formed a larger, thicker clump around my Leptotes bicolor specimen.  For the moment, I’ve left this moss untouched, but I’m keeping an eye on it – I might need to remove some of the moss – if it begins to swamp or cover the plant, or if my Leptotes bicolor specimen starts to decline.

Leptotes bicolour flowering

Leptotes bicolor, pictured in bud, on the 17th February 2019.

This Leptotes bicolor specimen flowered for the first time last year (If you’re interested, you can see this same Leptons bicolor specimen’s first ever flowering in March 2018, via this link here.)

A closer look at Leptotes bicolor in bud, on the 17th February 2019.

I’m excited to show you my photographs of this Leptotes bicolor specimen’s second flowering.  This plant started blooming on the 18th February 2019, which was three weeks earlier than this plant flowered last year.

Leptotes bicolor, pictured as its first flower of the year opened, on the 18th February 2019.

Here’s a photograph I took of this Leptotes bicolor specimen, just as its first flower of the year opened, during this plant’s second flowering.

Leptotes bicolor, pictured as its first flower of the year opened, on the 18th February 2019.

Newly opened Leptotes bicolor flowers display a slight green-cream coloured tinge to their petals; as the blooms age, the outer petals whiten and brighten in colour.

Leptotes bicolor, pictured as its first flower of the year opened, on the 18th February 2019.

Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

When this orchid bloomed last year, this plant produced a single flower.  So, I was so happy to see that this year, my Leptotes bicolor specimen produced two blooms.  I am always impressed by Leptotes bicolor flowers, they’re huge!  The flowers are especially impressive when you consider the overall size of Leptotes bicolor as a plant – this plant fits in the palm of my hand.

Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

Leptotes bicolor in flower, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

Leptotes bicolor flowers are very beautiful.  They’re pure white, with a shocking pink coloured centre – I love them!

Leptotes bicolor, as pictured on 3rd March 2019.

Leptotes bicolor, as pictured on 3rd March 2019.

I love the bright pink coloured lip of Leptotes bicolor flowers.  When this miniature epiphytic orchid is in bloom, this is such an exotic and exuberant looking orchid species.

Leptotes bicolour in flower, as pictured on the 7th March 2019.

Leptotes bicolor has such an exuberant look while it’s in bloom.  This miniature orchid has a very glamorous appearance.  I am hoping that next year, this Leptotes bicolor specimen will produce three flowers!

Leptotes bicolour flowers, pictured on the 7th March 2019.

Leptotes bicolor is described as being a fragrant orchid, with a scent similar to vanilla.  I love the scent of vanilla, so I was excited at the thought of enjoying the scent from my plant’s flowers.  But sadly, I was unable to detect any fragrance from this Leptotes bicolor specimen’s flowers, despite numerous close encounters with this plant and its flowers, in both the daytime and evening, during this plant’s second flowering.  Perhaps my Leptotes bicolor specimen is not fragrant, as last year’s flower had no scent either.  Many factors can induce a flower to release fragrance – the time of day or night – the lighting, the temperature, the plant’s health, moisture levels and the plant’s growing conditions.

Leptotes bicolour flowers, pictured on the 7th March 2019.

This Leptotes bicolor specimen bloomed for just over four weeks during this specimen’s second ever flowering.  Last year, this plant flowered for four weeks, too.

Leptotes bicolor, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

Leptotes unicolor

Leptotes unicolor, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

This Leptotes unicolor specimen was introduced to this Orchidarium in August 2019.  This plant was growing inside another of my terrariums, but I made some alterations to the terrarium, which changed this plant’s growing conditions.  The new growing conditions didn’t benefit this Leptotes unicolor specimen – I could see the plant declining – so I decided to move this plant into my Orchidarium and see if this plant’s condition could be improved – fingers crossed it works and this plant’s health is restored.

Leptotes unicolor, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Leptotes unicolor, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Leptotes unicolor, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Masdevallia decumana

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Back in August 2015, I included this Masdevallia decumana specimen in my original planting of my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium.  In April 2017, I moved this same Masdevallia decumana specimen to this Orchidarium, where this miniature orchid has grown ever since.

Masdevallia decumana is a fantastic miniature orchid species to grow – it’s a very rewarding plant that’s keen to get on and flower.  Another positive aspect is that these orchids need stable conditions throughout the year – very humid, with frequent misting and soft, indirect light.  This plant has flourished both inside my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium and inside my Orchidarium.

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Masdevallia decumana is such an incredibly floriferous orchid species.  My plant has seen better days, but this plant still manages to be in bud or in bloom for around 65% of the time, perhaps more.

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I’ve positioned this Masdevallia decumana specimen along the lowest row of mounted orchids, at the bottom of this Orchidarium.  This miniature orchid is mounted onto a piece of cork bark, which is hung on the side glass panel, using a rubber suction cup.

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

My Masdevallia decumana specimen is in bud at the moment, so I have the fun of new Masdevallia decumana flowers to look forward to in my future.

Masdevallia decumana, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Masdevallia decumana flowering

It won’t be long before this plant’s newest flowers open.  Here are some of my photographs of this Masdevallia decumana specimen’s earlier flower buds and blooms:

Masdevallia decumana pictured just as this plant’s flower buds began to open on the 30th September 2018.

This Masdevallia decumana specimen always has at least one or two yellowing leaves.

A closer look at this Masdevallia decumana specimen’s flower buds, pictured as the inflorescences began to open on the 30th September 2018.

Masdevallia decumana pictured just as this plant’s flower buds began to open on the 30th September 2018.

If you’re considering growing Masdevallia decumana, let me help you by telling you a bit about this orchid species.  This miniature orchid thrives in a very damp humid environment.  I find that my plants will happily receive any additional misting I will give them – this miniature orchid really does need a lot of regular misting.  If you want to, you can grow Masdevallia decumana plants inside a terrarium or bottle garden, you don’t need to build your own terrarium, but you will need to check your plant each day and mist your plant regularly.

Masdevallia decumana in flower, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

As this is a floriferous orchid, you will also need to fertilise your plant during the growing season.  I always advise to feed an orchid every week, for three weeks, and then use plain rainwater or reverse osmosis water during the fourth week – to avoid any build up.

A closer look at these Masdevallia decumana flowers, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

My Masdevallia decumana specimen has grown happily inside this Orchidarium and inside my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium.

Masdevallia decumana in flower, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

Masdevallia decumana orchids are such powerful plants.  These are huge flowers for a miniature sized plant to produce – it really is quite a feat.  The fact that this orchid species flowers so frequently and these plants produce such large flowers is incredible!

A closer look at one of these Masdevallia decumana flowers, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

Masdevallia decumana flowers are not scented.  I’ve never detected any perfume from this orchid species’ flowers.

Masdevallia decumana in flower, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

A closer look at these Masdevallia decumana flowers, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

Masdevallia decumana flowers feature animal skin type markings on their petals.

Masdevallia decumana in flower, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

A closer look at these Masdevallia decumana flowers, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

I took this close up photograph of one of this Masdevallia decumana specimen’s flowers, so you could see the markings on the petals.  I think flower markings are just so interesting; whether it’s pollen guides that direct bees to a flower’s pollen or markings that help to disguise a plant or enable a flower to resemble an insect, to attract the male insect to help to pollinate a plant – it’s fascinating!  I’d guess that perhaps the markings you can see here on these Masdevallia decumana flowers resemble meat and so the plant’s patterned petals will help this miniature orchid to attract flies.  Flies pollinate many of our plants.

I wouldn’t look out for flowers that look like meat or rotting meat- no thank you!  But it is always very interesting to see the collaboration with other insects to achieve pollination.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower on the 11th October 2018.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower on the 11th October 2018.

Masdevallia decumana in bud, with Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in flower behind, as pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 10th December 2018.

Here you can see this Masdevallia decumana specimen inside my Orchidarium.  This miniature orchid is surrounded by other orchids and a lovely fern called Humata repens, which looks much so much better in this photograph, than it does now, nine months later.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in flower, on the 15th April 2019.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Masdevallia decumana plants really make an impact when they’re in bloom.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Despite their giant size, Masdevallia decumana blooms are very graceful.  Masdevallia decumana inflorescences display an elegant swoop, as the blooms grow out from their mother plant – appearing both mythical and rather striking.

A closer look at Masdevallia decumana, as pictured, on the 12th May 2019.

Masdevallia decumana, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 15th July 2019.

Oncidium hians

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Oncidium hians is another very floriferous orchid species.  My Oncidium hians plant has kept growing ever taller at each flowering.  You might be able to see in this photograph, that my Oncidium hians specimen’s flowers have been successfully pollinated by the insects inside my Orchidarium, and this plant is now in the process of producing seed pods.

Oncidium hians flowering

This Oncidium hians specimen is pictured with five flower buds in similar stages of development, as pictured on the 30th September 2018.

My Oncidium hians plant is in bloom for much of the time.  This orchid species produces tall, thin flowering stems with a light and airy, see through appearance – this is the Verbena bonariensis of the orchid world!

Oncidium hians, pictured in flower on the 8th October 2018.

This Oncidium hians specimen as three open flowers and three buds in earlier stage of development, as pictured on the 8th October 2018.

Oncidium hians flowers often remind me of dainty ballet dancers.  This is a very elegant orchid species.

This Oncidium hians specimen as three open flowers and three buds in earlier stage of development, as pictured on the 8th October 2018.

I’ve never managed to detect any perfume from Oncidium hians blooms.

A closer look at one of this Oncidium hians specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 8th October 2018.

A closer look at one of this Oncidium hians specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 8th October 2018.

This Oncidium hians specimen as three open flowers and three flower buds in an earlier stage of development, as pictured on the 8th October 2018.

Oncidium hians, as pictured, on the 2nd December 2018.

A closer look at this Oncidium hians specimen’s developing seed pod, as pictured, on the 2nd December 2018.

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

This Oncidium hians specimen has grown taller at each flowering.

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

A closer look at this Oncidium hians specimen’s flower spike, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

Oncidium hians, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

A closer look at this Oncidium hians specimen’s developing seed pods, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here you can see a closer look at this Oncidium hians specimen’s seed pods.  These pods will become more rounded before splitting when the seed is ripe and ready to be released.

A closer look at this Oncidium hians specimen’s developing seed pods, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Ornithophora radicans

Ornithophora radicans, as pictured on the 5th January 2019.

I sold this Ornithophora radicans specimen at the Orchid Society of Great Britain, January 2019 auction.  This Ornithophora radicans specimen never flowered inside my Orchidarium.

Pinguicula hybrid

My Pinguicula, as pictured on the 12th September 2019.

This Pinguicula hybrid has declined over the two and a half years that this carnivorous plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium.  I had expected that this plant would have died before I wrote this update, but at the moment this Pinguicula limps on.

Pinuicula is a carnivorous plant.  Plants produce soft leaves that are coated with tiny hair-like secretory cells; these cells produce a gelatinous mucilage that entraps and digests small flies and other insects.

Restrepia citrina

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

Restrepia citrina is a miniature epiphytic orchid species that hails from the humid cloud forests of Colombia.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

My Restrepia citrina specimen has taken on a rather low growing prostrate form.  Let me show you how this orchid species naturally propagates itself, to cleverly extend the plant’s range.  Over time, this Restrepia citrina plant’s older leaves have naturally become coated in moss – I didn’t place any of this moss here, it spread naturally from the moss growing in amongst the other plants inside this Orchidarium.  This moss is holding water close to the leaf petiole and the base of the leaf – this moisture encourages these leaves to root and form new plants.  My original Restrepia citrina plant has created a few new plants over the time that it has been growing inside my Orchidarium.

If you want to propagate your own Restrepia plant – simply remove an older Restrepia leaf from your plant.  Pot your leaf up in a small container of moss or a container filled with a speciality orchid compost.  Hold your leaf vertically, as you pot your leaf up, ensure that the base of your Restrepia’s leaf (the bottom 1/3 of your leaf) is covered by the moss or compost – it’s better to plant your too deeply than too shallow, as shallowly potted leaves will not develop into plants.  Keep your Restrepia leaf inside a terrarium or bottle garden, or somewhere that enjoys a very humid environment and mist your leaf every day – every few days.  Before long, your leaf will develop roots and you’ll have your own Restrepia plant.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia citrina flowering

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 22nd October 2018.

This is a lovely Restrepia species to grow, it produces these fabulous yellow flowers, with maroon coloured spots and freckled markings; they’re just so attractive!

A closer look at Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 22nd October 2018.

I am particularly fond of this Restrepia species’ blooms – the yellow and maroon colours are so complimentary, they really set each other off.  The flower’s markings are very handsome.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

This Restrepia is not quite as quick or eager to bloom as some of the other Restrepia species that are growing inside this Orchidarium, but it certainly blooms more often than Restrepia seketii!

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Restrepia citrina flowers aren’t scented, but they are very decorative and are lovely to have around.  I am really rather fond of this Restrepia species.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Restrepia citrina, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

If you’re interested in Restrepia citrina, here’s a link to more information about this orchid.

My first Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plant

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I have two Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen’s growing inside this Orchidarium.  The first – the plant that you can see here in these first three photographs, was grown from a keiki produced by the larger mother plant that I’ll show you in a moment.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ has been growing inside this Orchidarium, since March 2017.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Newly developed Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ leaves are a pale ochre colour when they first emerge.  As each leaf ages, it becomes first a pale shade of leaf green, then develops into a darker tone of green.  While, older leaves display more pronounced markings and colour tones.  Plants grown under brighter, more intense light, display purplish leaf markings – which is what you can see on my plant’s older leaves.

This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen is usually in bloom.  However, these Restrepia flowers are such a regular occurrence that I rarely think to take a photograph – sorry.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

My second Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plant

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here is my older Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plant – this is the mother plant that produced the smaller Restrepia specimen – the one I just showed you a moment ago (and other keikis, too).  This Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen has been growing inside my Orchidarium since I introduced this plant in March 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was two and a half years ago.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

I have always felt that this orchid would have been happier growing inside a terrarium with softer or more indirect light, as I feel that the light inside my Orchidarium is a little too intense and harsh for these Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plants to be truly happy.  Remarkably, this orchid species has adapted itself incredibly well to the growing conditions found inside this Orchidarium.  My plant has produced a great many new leaves during the time that it has been growing inside this Orchidarium.  As these leaves have been produced inside this enclosure, this Restrepia has developed new leaves that were adapted by the plant to cope with the brighter lighting found inside this Orchidarium.  The longer that this plant has been cultivated inside this enclosure, the better equipped it has been at coping with the conditions inside this Orchidarium.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ is an incredibly floriferous orchid species.  I have plants that have flowered for years at a time without a break, including this plant you see pictured – although I must say that I have noticed that recently this plant has taken a few short breaks from blooming.   Unfortunately, I photographed this plant on the day that its flowers faded – such bad timing, but it’s still nice to show you the plant.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowering

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium on the 10th December 2018.

This is Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ in bloom –  it’s the most floriferous Restrepia species that I’m currently growing inside this Orchidarium.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ flowers aren’t scented.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2019.

People often say that Restrepias only produce one flower at a time per leaf, yet on occasion my plant will produce two flowers at once from a single leaf.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2019.

The white tassels coming from this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ leaf are the dried flower stems from earlier (and now faded) flowers.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 31st March 2019.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

The darker purple markings on this Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ specimen’s leaves are caused by the plant being slightly stressed from being grown under a more intense and brighter light than this orchid would have preferred.

Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 15th July 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea

Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here is my Restrepia sanguinea specimen.  This plant was also introduced to this Orchidarium in March 2017.

Another very floriferous Restrepia species, but another plant that isn’t in bloom today.  I find that Restrepia sanguinea plants require more water than Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plants or any of the other Restrepia species that are growing inside this enclosure.  This Restrepia sanguinea specimen has been dehydrated on many occasions.  Along with the other Restrepia plants that are growing inside this enclosure, this Restrepia sanguinea specimen benefits from additional hand misting, as and when I can.

Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

It’s so interesting to see how the moss has naturally colonised this Restrepia sanguinea specimen’s leaves.  Like the Restrepia citrina specimen I showed you a moment ago, this moss and extra moisture held around the base of the leaves helps this plant to root and be propagated.

A closer look at this Restrepia sanguinea specimen’s leaves and the moss that’s growing over this plant, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

In the photograph above, you can see one of this Restrepia sanguinea specimen’s leaves that has rooted into the moss and produced a keiki – a baby plant.  This baby Restrepia will be an exact clone of its mother plant.

Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepias are easy plants to propagate.  These orchids readily produce keikis, even without any moss forming on the plant’s leaves.

A closer look at this Restrepia sanguinea specimen’s leaves and the moss that’s growing over this plant, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea flowering

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium on the 10th December 2018.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium on the 10th December 2018.

Restrepia sanguinea blooms are just a little larger than those produced by Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ plants.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, inside my Orchidarium on the 10th December 2018.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

I think that Restrepias have such a grace and elegance, they are wonderful orchids to grow.  Restrepia sanguinea blooms are a wonderfully rich raspberry-red colour.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

I love Restrepia flowers’ antennas!

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 10th January 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 14th January 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea, pictured in flower, on the 14th January 2019.

Restrepia sanguinea, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

Restrepia seketii

Restrepia seketii, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia seketii is one of my favourite Restrepias.  I love this Restrepia’s flowers, they display such a gorgeous pink and white colouration – it’s really very pretty.  It might not look very different to the other Restrepia’s I’ve shown you, but even when it’s not in bloom, there’s also just something about this plant’s demeanor that I favour.  This is a smaller sized Restrepia species than Restrepia citrina, Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ or Restrepia sanguinea.

Restrepia seketii, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Restrepia seketii flowering

This Restrepia seketii plant was grown in my Orchidarium. This plant was pictured on the 9th January 2019.

I am going to make quite an under statement!  I find that Restrepia seketii isn’t anywhere near as floriferous as the other Restrepia species that are growing inside this Orchidarium.  The bloom you see pictured here is the only flower that this Restrepia seketii specimen has produced during the plant’s two and a half years inside this Orchidarium!

This Restrepia seketii plant was grown in my Orchidarium. This plant was pictured on the 9th January 2019.

Schoenorchis fragrans

Schoenorchis fragrans, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd August 2019.

I don’t ever become tired of admiring Schoenorchis fragrans; this is such a fascinatingly beautiful orchid species!  These plants don’t need to be in bloom for me to coo over them in delight at their textured leaves and handsome form.  I adore this Schoenorchis – it’s gorgeous!

I think there’s something rather charming about this Schoenorchis fragrans‘ symmetrical form that’s so beautiful and so almost instantly recognisable and loveable.  Seeing this plant is like finding or recognising a friend in a crowd – it’s a delight!

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I introduced this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen to this Orchidarium in April 2017, so as I write to you today, (in mid September 2019) this plant has been growing inside this enclosure for two and a half years.  This Schoenorchis has looked a little tattered at times, but for the most part, this plant has been in very good health over the past two and a half years.

Schoenorchis fragrans flowering

These pictures show this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen’s second flowering inside this Orchidarium.  If you’re interested, you can click on the highlighted link to see this Schoenorchis fragrans plant’s first flowering in May and June 2018, here.

While in my photographs that I’ve added below, you can see this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen’s second flowering.  As reliable as ever – this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen bloomed for the second time, in May and June 2019 – exactly a year after the plant’s first flowering.

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 30th May 2019.

My Schoenorchis fragrans specimen has grown to form two plants – one next to the other.  It was just so lovely to see both of these plants in flower at this blooming, as last year only the larger of the two plants came into bloom – the other was too young to flower last year.

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Schoenorchis fragrans flowers produce a light, delicate fragrance.  You really need a very close encounter with this plant, while it’s in bloom, to have any chance of detecting this flower’s perfume – it’s lovely but very gentle – as the plant is so tiny.

A closer look at Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Here’s a look inside these micro mini Schoenorchis fragrans flowers.  Aren’t they cute?  I’m just quickly popping back in time, with this photograph I took in June 2018 – just because this picture includes a British five pence piece next to the flower, so it gives you a clearer indication of the diminutive size of this mini miniature orchid species.

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured in flower on the 11th June 2018. I have included a British five pence piece in the photograph, to more clearly demonstrate the diminutive size of the plant.

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

I think that Schoenorchis fragrans is the quintessential orchid for a flower fairy.  It’s impossibly cute and just so dinky!

Some moss is growing on the cork alongside this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen; the moss has naturally sprung up, having seeded itself from the other mosses growing inside this Orchidarium.  If I was mounting this plant, I would not choose to include any moss around my plant’s roots, as I believe that this orchid grows better without the addition of moss.  I’ve left this moss alone for the moment, but I will be keeping an eye on it and potentially removing the moss – if I notice any decline in this Schoenorchis fragrans specimen – I will remove the moss right away.

Schoenorchis fragrans, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Schoenorchis scolopendria

Schoenorchis scolopendria, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd August 2019.

There are two Schoenorchis scolopendria plants growing inside this Orchidarium.  As you can see in my photographs, one of my plants is in significantly better health than the other.  Both plants are grown in the same conditions and receive the same care.

Schoenorchis scolopendria, pictured inside my Orchidarium, on the 22nd August 2019.

I don’t give these Schoenorchis scolopendria plants any additional misting or any special treatment.  These plants just receive the misting from this Orchidarium’s automated misting unit.  These plants are fertilised when I feed all of the orchids inside this enclosure.

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

It’s sad to see so many frazzled, decaying leaves on one of these orchids and yet so wonderful to see the healthy roots and leaves on the other Schoenorchis scolopendria plant.  I’ve intentionally left the decaying leaves in place, as they may provide the plant with additional nutrients, as the leaves die and decompose.  Epiphytic plants, like these miniature orchids, are quite amazing, as they are able to grow, flower, and reproduce, in the wild; having only received the water and nutrients from the air, rainfall, and any accumulated debris that has gathered around the plant.

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

The photograph above shows a lovely little Schoenorchis scolopendia stem that has grown out from its cork mount, so you can see the roots and the back of this plant’s leaves.  It’s always so exciting and uplifting to see new growth and new roots!

Schoenorchis scolopendria, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii, as pictured on the 22nd August 2019.

I have just one Schoenorchis seidenfadenii plant growing inside this Orchidarium.  You can instantly tell that this dear little chap is another plant from the handsome Schoenorchis family.

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

In my last update, this Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen was standing up proudly.  The plant had lifted himself up, away from his cork mount, so the plant was then at a right angle with the mount.  As this plant has aged it’s now going the other way – this Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen is now leaning downwards – the plant almost looks as if it’s about to topple over!

This plant is probably a little larger than it first appears, as this Schoenorchis seidenfadenii specimen has two and a bit crowns, having formed a more substantial specimen over the two and a half years that this plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium.

Schoenorchis seidenfadenii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Schoenorchis tixieri 

Schoenorchis tixieri, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

There’s just one Schoenorchis tixieri plant growing inside this Orchidarium.  This particular Schoenorchis didn’t bloom this year, which was a shame.  I’d really like to see this miniature orchid produce some lovely new, strong and healthy roots, as many of this plant’s roots have dried out and become desiccated.

Many of these Schoenorchis species that you can see listed in this update have had their naming called into question, with a number of botanists grouping two or more of these species together as one species.  I have continued to list my Schoenorchis plants by the names they were labelled with when I purchased them, but it might be in future that these Schoenorchis species will have their names changed.

Plant names are always evolving; as we learn and discover more about plants, so we discover the intricate ways in which plants are related to each other.  We then need to change the names we’ve given these plants in order to relate and pass these discoveries onto future generations.  So although it can be tricky for us to remember a new plant name, we mustn’t see it as a negative step or think of botanists being difficult fellows, as they’re nothing of the sort.  It’s important that each of us passes on our knowledge to the future generations, so that they can improve on the information that we’ve given them.  In life, we all learn from one another and that’s a beautiful thing, it’s not something to be feared or daunted by.

Schoenorchis tixieri, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Stelis muscifera

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 10th January 2019.

This Stelis muscifera specimen is really quite a remarkable plant.  This is another orchid species that is almost always in bloom, it’s a wonderful miniature orchid to grow.  My plant doesn’t receive any special care or attention – I don’t treat this Stelis to any additional misting.  I don’t move this plant into different enclosures or give it warmer or cooler temperatures or drier seasons.  Yet this Stelis muscifera specimen is almost always in bloom.

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 10th January 2019.

My Stelis muscifera specimen has been displaying yellowing leaves over the past year.  However, my plant looked so much worse earlier this year.  I definitely feel that this Stelis specimen’s health picked up when I switched back to using Orchid Focus fertilisers this spring (2019), but this plant was still flowering for much of the time, prior to me switching my orchid feed, it’s just the plant had many more yellow leaves then.

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

As you can see, this Stelis muscifera specimen is still displaying some yellow leaves – but there are much fewer yellow leaves on the plant now.

Sadly, Stelis muscifera flowers aren’t scented.  These flowers are quite unusual, they remain shut for almost all of the time.  It’s perfectly possible to see this Stelis every day for a period of weeks and yet still not see one of this Stelis muscifera specimen’s flowers open.  The usual view is that of a closed bud, but this still makes for a pretty special view.  I am particularly fond of Stelis muscifera.  This is a glorious orchid!  I think its flower buds are so pretty.

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

A closer look at this Stelis muscifera specimen’s flower buds, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Here you can see these Stelis muscifera specimen’s flower buds, as they develop.  As you can see, this Stelis muscifera specimen’s flowering stems open from the bottom first – the oldest buds and flowers are nearer the base of the stem, and the newest buds and flowers are found at the tip of the flowering stem.

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 11th September 2019.

Stelis muscifera flowering

Stelis muscifera, pictured in flower, on the 11th October 2018, before the removal of some of this orchid’s older flowering stems.

I took these photographs last year, so you can see how these photographs compare to more recent pictures.  I try to date every single photograph I take, to make it easier for you to see the growth and development of each of these miniature orchids.
I regularly cut the faded flowering stems from this Stelis – it tidies the plant up and makes it look so much neater.

Stelis muscifera, pictured in flower, on the 11th October 2018, after the removal of some of this orchid’s older flowering stems.

Stelis muscifera flowers, pictured on the 11th October 2018.

In all of the time that I’ve been growing this Stelis muscifera specimen, I’ve only ever seen a few open Stelis muscifera flower buds; despite two years of regularly checking and studying this interesting orchid.  Any time I’ve ever seen an open Stelis muscifera bloom I’ve taken a photograph to show you in my orchid updates.  So, you can see all of the open Stelis flowers that I’ve seen, in my photographs and my updates for this Orchidarium and for the terrarium that this plants was growing inside prior to March 2017.

Stelis muscifera flowers, pictured on the 11th October 2018.

Stelis muscifera flowers, pictured on the 11th October 2018.

Here’s a closer look at this Stelis muscifera specimen’s flower buds, as you can see they are held tightly closed.  Each Stelis muscifera flower bud has three distinct sides.  The stems full of buds look very handsome indeed.  I think it’s the number of buds, all lined up in neat rows that really enhances the appearance of this orchid’s flowering stems.

Stelis muscifera, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

Stelis muscifera in flower, inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 8th September 2019.

Click here, if you would like to see how the Phalaenopsis orchids that reside in this Orchidarium, grew and developed over the same period as the update above – from August 2018 to September 2019.

Click here to see an update on how the equipment inside this Orchidarium performed over the same period as the above updates – from August 2018 to September 2019.

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.

Fertiliser

To feed my miniature orchids, I use Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom.  I purchased both of these 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.

Further Trials

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

Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials

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

To see my Rainforest Terrarium being set up and uncover the thinking behind this terrarium’s design, please click here.

To see how the automated misting unit, LED lights, fans, and other equipment inside my Rainforest Terrarium performed over the eleven months after they were installed, 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 all of my Compost Trial Reports , 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 see the results of my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.

To see the results of my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, please click here.

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 2017 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:

One thought on “An Update on the Orchids growing inside my Orchidarium (part four)

  1. Anne

    September 16, 2019 at 3:56pm

    Wow, thank you for sharing. I would never see these beauties weren’t it for you and your patience. Thank you.

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      September 16, 2019 at 5:51pm

      Hello Anne

      It’s lovely to hear from you; I am so glad that you enjoyed this update. If there are any orchids that you’re particularly fond of, do let me know and I’ll publish some photographs when your favourite plants next come into bloom (provided I’ve not accidentally dropped these plants – or killed them!).

      I hope you’re having a great start to the week.

      Best wishes
      Beth

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