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

Orchidarium Update

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 and to automatically administer the plants’ lighting and watering, and control their growing conditions.

Phalaenopsis species

Many of these Phalaenopsis species that you can see in this update are difficult to grow.  Some Phalaenopsis species are threatened in the wild, both from from human activity (turning wild areas over to farming, or logging and human activity that has caused the destruction of the plant’s native habitat) and from over collection of wild plants, collected for the orchid trade.  I definitely want to raise awareness of the plight of these plants and encourage and inspire people to support organisations that will protect the remainder of these plants’ native habitats, but I don’t want to encourage anyone to purchase rare plants or to support the over collection of any species.  I love to show you (and my other readers) my plants that are reliable, beautiful, interesting, and fun to grow, but when I show you my orchids, I am not always hoping to inspire you to grow the plant I am writing about.  I hold the National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species and so I feel compelled to share the trials, tribulations, and delight, that these orchids bestow on us.  I hope to encourage more love for these plants and encourage protection from these wild plants’ natural habitats.

If you’re interested in growing orchids and want to grow some beautiful, easy to grow miniature orchids that are not rare or over collected in the wild, you might be interested in this article I’ve written with some lovely suggestions.  Here’s a link to another article I’ve written about interesting, floriferous orchid species.  I’ve written an article with information about two hybrid Phalaenopsis plants that you might be interested to grow – you don’t even need a terrarium, these Phalaenopsis can be grown as houseplants.

Right, back to my Orchidarium and these miniature Phalaenopsis species.  In this update, you can see how the Phalaenopsis 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.

A look inside my Orchidarium on the 22nd August 2019. Inside this terrarium, Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, Deinostigma tamiana, Oncidium huans, Phalaenopsis deliciosa, Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, Stelis muscifera, and Phalaenopsis celebensis, are all in flower.

All of my Orchidarium Updates that cover the same period as this update – from August 2018 to September 2019 are listed as part four.  This current update shows all of the Phalaenopsis orchids that I’m growing inside this Orchidarium; I grow other miniature epiphytic orchids, besides these Phalaenopsis orchids, inside this Orchidarium.  You can see these orchids in my other Orchidarium update.  These two updates listed below show how the equipment inside this Orchidarium performed and how the orchids and the other plants 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.

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

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

Many pests can live on Phalaenopsis plants; these creatures can flourish undisturbed, inside the protected environment of an Orchidarium.

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.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis finleyi flower – complete with aphid, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

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.

I’ve not noticed many flies at all inside this Orchidarium, since I applied this treatment six months ago.  If you’re interested, 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

Phalaenopsis lobbii in bud, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

I’d love to know how many tiny snails there are that reside inside this Orchidarium!  These mini mollusks are a recurring problem, they have taken particular delight in devouring this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s leaves.  At one point, the Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen that you can see pictured above, was down to possessing just one, half eaten leaf, which was peppered with mini shot-like puncture holes.  My terrarium updates often seem to have a theme of: can you spot the snail?

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.  Can you spot the snail?

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, 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 plants growing alongside the Phalaenopsis orchids, inside this Orchidarium.  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 once grew inside this Orchidarium, but have now been moved to other terrariums and any 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.

A look inside my Orchidarium, as pictured on the 7th September 2019. Inside this terrarium, Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, Deinostigma tamiana, Oncidium huans, Phalaenopsis deliciosa, Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, Phalaenopsis taenialis, Stelis muscifera, Phalaenopsis parishii, and Phalaenopsis celebensis, are all in flower.

The Orchidarium Planting List includes information on each of the plants growing inside this Orchidarium – 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, where I purchased all of my plants, mosses, and the cork for this Orchidarium, at the bottom of this planting list.  You can see the full planting list for this Orchidarium here.

Phalaenopsis species

Phalaenopsis appendiculata

Phalaenopsis appendiculata pictured in bud, inside my Orchidarium, on the 5th September 2018.

This is a really tiny miniature Phalaenopsis species; it’s a very sweet little orchid.  Phalaenopsis appendiculata is endemic to Pahang, in Malaysia.  In the wild, Phalaenopsis appendiculata plants grow in very humid areas; these orchids enjoy warm, humid growing conditions.  In their natural environment, Phalaenopsis appendiculata plants can often be found growing upon the branches of trees, that cascade over rivers and streams.

I guess that my Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen is probably about three and a half years old now.  This plant flowered for the first time, last year (in 2018).

Phalaenopsis appendiculata pictured in bud, inside my Orchidarium, on the 5th September 2018.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I think that my Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen would have preferred our summer to have been hotter, as this orchid species enjoys warm growing conditions, in its native environment.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata plants produce regular leaf green, coloured leaves.  These orchids have a tendency to produce leaves with a wavy form and shape.  I think that the kinks in one of this Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen’s leaves show that this plant was a little dehydrated when this particular leaf was forming.  Although, this is a quirk that many Phalaenopsis appendiculata plants’ leaves share, so I might be wrong and it may just be the form that adult leaves develop, as they age.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata flowering

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, pictured just as one its flowers opens on the 16th September 2018.

As you can see in my photographs, Phalaenopsis appendiculata produces these rather lovely purple and white flowers.  The blooms feature intricate spotted and striped markings, with a central tooth like appendage (hence the species’ name ‘appendiculata’), which is rather comical – it’s a bit like a fang!

I have missed seeing some of this Phalaenopsis appendiculata specimen’s flowers, as they are naturally protected and hidden by the plant’s leaves.

Phalaenopsis appendiculata, pictured just as one its flowers opens on the 16th September 2018.

Phalaenopsis taenialis

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured in bud on the 16th September 2018 – sadly these flower buds were aborted.

I was really quite excited in spring 2018, when this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen began to produce its first ever flower spike!  Sadly, my happiness was short lived.  On the 19th September 2018, I turned the LED lights inside my Orchidarium off – something I rarely do.  I intended to turn the lights off for merely five minutes or so, but I was interrupted, and then my attention was diverted.  So, I then simply forgot that I had the Orchidarium lights switched off.

I didn’t see this Orchidarium the next morning, so my error led to the plants inside my Orchidarium being thrust into 24 hours of very different growing conditions – very low quality light, almost darkness – a dramatic change to the usual quality of light that these plants receive.  Many of my plants suffered because of my error.  This Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen immediately aborted its flower spike.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Orchids are very clever.  Although people often think that their plant decided to commit suicide, the reality is that this is never going to happen, as plants don’t want to die!  After sensing a dramatic change in the lighting conditions, my Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen aborted its flowers to protect itself.  Flowers are usually expensive for a plant to produce, they require a lot of the plant’s energy and resources.  Without the LED lights lighting the inside of this Orchidarium, this Phalaenopsis plant would have been unable to sustain its developing blooms without the required intensity of light needed for photosynthesis.  My orchid did the sensible thing, it diverted its energy from producing flowers, into keeping itself alive.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Thankfully, I didn’t kill this orchid in the year that followed, and in the spring of 2019, I was delighted to discover that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen had started producing a brand new flower spike!

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

Like many Phalaenopsis species, Phalaenopsis taenialis doesn’t produce many leaves – so if you’re growing this orchid, don’t be alarmed if your plant only has a couple of leaves, this is the plant’s natural stance.  My Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen only had one leaf at the time when the plant began to produce this flower spike.

Phalaenopsis taenialis is a deciduous orchid species.  In the wild, plants lose their leaves during the winter time, but plants grown in cultivation receive more favourable growing conditions, so cultivated plants are often able to retain their leaves, throughout the year.  If your Phalaenopsis taenialis plant loses its leaves, don’t worry – all is far from lost – your plant could be alive and well and just growing naturally and reaching a resting stage.  Provide your resting plants with light, regular light misting – using rainwater, deionised, or reverse osmosis water.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

At this stage, I was still very anxious as to whether this orchid would fully develop its flower spike and flower successfully.  Every day that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s flower spike looked to be developing well, I felt such a huge sense of happiness and relief.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

I was delighted that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen was braving another attempt to bloom, but I was also just so very happy to see this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen producing lots of lovely new roots!  This plant has welded itself to the piece of compressed cork that this plant is growing on.  The roots are growing over and around the plant’s mount; many of this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s roots are penetrating through the centre of this piece of cork.

But then one day, I sensed a change.  I could see that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s flowering stem was not looking as robust and sprightly as I had hoped.  A closer inspection of this plant’s flowering stem confirmed that my fears were correct and two of the plant’s largest flower buds had been aborted.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

In these photographs, you can see that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen has aborted two of its flower buds – these are the reddish coloured buds nearer the base of the stem, in the pictures you can see above and below.  This flowering stem was developing buds and looking good, just a couple of days before I took this picture; perhaps the plant received less water than it would have liked that day, or in the days prior to this photograph being taken.

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

After seeing these buds aborting, I then made a conscious effort to provide this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen with more hand misting.  Every couple of days, I misted this plant with a quick spray of reverse osmosis water, in addition to the automated misting provided by my MistKing misting system and my weekly fertiliser applications – which are done by hand.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

I was so happy to see that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen was producing a second leaf!  Yippee!  It’s wonderful to see an orchid producing new leaves and new roots, as well as flowers.  Thankfully, the snails inside this Orchidarium weren’t drawn to this lovely new leaf, which was a relief; this is something worth celebrating, too!

Phalaenopsis taenialis flower buds developing, as pictured on the 19th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis flowering

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 31st August 2019.

Here you can see this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen in bud.  Even though these buds look full, firm, and healthy, I never count on any of my orchids’ flowering, as there are so many things that can go wrong: including me dropping the plant, or accidentally snapping the stem, as I tend to another plant, or dropping my misting sprayer onto a plant, or some other frustrating calamity!

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 31st August 2019.

It was exciting to see this first Phalaenopsis taenialis flower, as it opened!  The newly opened blooms are a darker tone – they’re a chocolate maroon colour, which is complimented with a rather refreshing lime green coloured, picotee edging.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 2nd September 2019.

I couldn’t detect any perfume at all from this Phalaenopsis taenialis flower in the first couple of days after the bloom opened.  But I always find Phalaenopsis taenialis flowers to be fascinating; their petals have a slight glimmer, an almost iridescent sheen.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 2nd September 2019.

I always think that Phalaenopsis taenialis plants produce such characterful flowers; they look rather like they have their mouth open and their tongue sticking out!  This is quite a comical Phalaenopsis bloom, it makes me smile – I hope it brings a smile to your day, too.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 2nd September 2019.

This orchid species is often confused with Phalaenopsis honghenensis, Phalaenopsis stobartiana, and a number of other Phalaenopsis species.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 2nd September 2019.

This is a young Phalaenopsis plant.  The pictures you see here show this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s first ever flowering.  This particular plant has been growing inside this Orchidarium, since September 2017.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 4th September 2019.

I confess that I am more than a little in love with Phalaenopsis taenialis inflorescences; the flowers appear as a more intense or paler colour, depending on the angle that you’re viewing the bloom from.

These flowers have such a glorious sheen.  Sometimes, when I make a closer examination of Phalaenopsis taenialis flower petals, I find that these petals display so many minute pin pricks of reflected colour.  Phalaenopsis taenialis petals are almost like a micro-mini mosaic – to me, they resemble the scales on the wings of a butterfly or moth – they’re really rather lovely.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 4th September 2019.

The trigger that turns my Orchidarium’s Skylight LED lights on automatically, failed on the 2nd September 2019.  The plants inside my Orchidarium were in semi darkness until sometime after 3pm that day, when I discovered the error and switched this Orchidarium’s lights on manually.

I was initially concerned, worried that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen would abort all of its flower buds, for the second year in a row.  But thankfully, as one of this plant’s flowers had already opened and the majority of the remaining buds were mature and very close to being ready to open when the lights failed to operate.  So, it has been a relief that so far, this orchid’s developing flower buds are still progressing and developing well.  Had this error happened at an earlier stage of flower production, I might not have been so lucky.

I really do feel thankful, as to experience the same error, two years running, would have been awful!  Having said this, I do feel that it is now very unlikely that this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen will go on to develop the immature flower buds, at the tip of this flower spike.  These tiny flower buds were developing well, when I examined this plant just the day prior to the Orchidarium’s light failing (the fault was a glitch with the system I use to trigger the lights – not with the light itself), but I suspect that the smallest of this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s flower buds will now be aborted, in the next few days.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 4th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 4th September 2019.

This Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s second flower opened on the 6th September 2019.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this plant aborted some of the other buds on this flowering stem, but I am hopeful that I will be able to enjoy at least two more Phalaenopsis taenialis buds developing into flowers, as these buds were almost fully formed or more developed when the error with the lights turning on occurred.  Seeing a flower open is always a magical moment.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis is a miniature orchid species.  If you’re planning to grow this orchid species, please remember that although this Phalaenopsis only produces a few leaves, plants will produce a great many, lengthy, shoelace like roots.

It’s important to factor in things like this – your plants growth and habit – when you’re placing a plant inside a terrarium or enclosure, as you’ll need to ensure that you’ve allowed sufficient space around your plant, where its roots can grow.  If you place plants like this Phalaenopsis too close to other orchids, you’ll end up with a tangle of roots!  If your plants become entwined, it can be difficult to separate them; doing so can damage one or both plants’ roots.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I’ve spent time with this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen in the morning, afternoon, and evening; but so far, I’ve not detected any perfume from this orchid’s flowers.  Scent is so interesting; I am always keen to discover a plant’s fragrance.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

As a Phalaenopsis taenialis flower ages, it becomes a slightly more golden green version of its former self.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 10th September 2019.

My Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen now has three open flowers.  I’ve still not managed to detect any scent from this orchid’s blooms, but I’ve enjoyed seeing this plant in flower.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 10th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 10th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis taenialis, as pictured on the 10th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis

Phalaenopsis celebensis, pictured in bud, on the 30th April 2019.

Here’s my Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen.  This is a shade loving orchid species that will only succeed in very shaded conditions.

This Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen is positioned right at the base of the planting inside my Orchidarium, where this orchid is shaded by the plants around and above it.  This is a larger sized miniature orchid species than many of the other orchids that are growing inside this enclosure, but because I can squeeze this Phalaenopsis celebensis plant in at the back, where this plant is growing underneath, and next to the other plants; Phalaenopsis celebensis doesn’t take up much room at all.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s leaves, as pictured on the 30th April 2019.

I enjoy seeing this Phalaenopsis species leaves, they resemble a newly created piece of grey and purple tie-dye material; spectacular, random, and intense.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 30th April 2019.

I introduced this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen to this Orchidarium back in September 2017.  At the time of its introduction, this was a young Phalaenopsis plant, which had yet to bloom.  Back in April 2019, I was thrilled to discover that this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen had began producing its first ever flower spike.  Hooray!

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

As you can see, Phalaenopsis celebensis plants produce a lengthy flower spike.  I am incredibly clumsy.  I had been bracing myself for the eventual, unavoidable disappointment of accidentally snapping this Phalaenopsis celebensis flower spike.  I could envisage this happening when I was misting the plants or tending to one of the other orchids that are growing inside this orchidarium.  I cannot tell you the relief I feel, as I share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen with you, along with the fact that so far this Phalaenopsis flower spike remains intact!

A closer look at Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis thrives in the shade.  This orchid species is too large for most bottle gardens and small terrariums.  You really need a larger enclosure if you want to make room to grow this Phalaenopsis.  That said, Phalaenopsis celebensis plants flourish in the shade; they’re happy growing in the shelter and shade produced by other orchids and terrarium plants and will happily grow cheek by jowl in close proximity in the undergrowth.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s crown, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis plants produce these wonderful silver-purple-grey coloured, mottled leaves.  Each leaf is large and handsome.  New and younger leaves display a more pronounced purple tone to their colouring.  While in older leaves, the markings that were once purple, fade and become tinged with a an almost blue-blacking colouring – this tone reminds me of those ‘Black Jack’ children’s sweets – the ones that stain tongues with their scary blue-black colourings!

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s leaves, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis flowering

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

This Phalaenopsis celebensis flower spike is growing ever longer – it’s a relief to see the flower buds forming.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

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

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s flower spike, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Early on, this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen aborted this flower bud; thankfully the other buds look to be developing and progressing well.  It’s important for Phalaenopsis plants to receive sufficient water, light, humidity, and fertiliser.  I try to provide any of my Phalaenopsis plants that are in bud or flower with some extra misting.

This Phalaenopsis celebensis flower bud is in the process of aborting, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis flower buds, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s developing flower buds, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis flower buds, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Here is a closer look at this first Phalaenopsis celebensis flower opening, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

On the 12th August 2019, the first Phalaenopsis celebensis flower opened.  These inflorescences look like a mystical butterfly; one that’s exquisitely crafted from creme brûlée!  It’s the flower’s two side petals that really resemble creme brûlée; they’re the colour of this dessert’s burnt sugar topping.

Here is a closer look at this first Phalaenopsis celebensis flower opening, alongside another flower that’s aborting, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

Here’s this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s first flower opening, as pictured on the 12th August 2019. Here’s a fingertip, which is included to show the size of this orchid’s flowers.

It’s all very well me giving you very precise measurements of my orchids, but this fingertip hopefully accurately conveys the size of this Phalaenopsis celebensis flower and developing flower buds better than any measuring tape can.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s newly opened flowers and developing flower buds, as pictured on the 15th August 2019.

As you can see in this photograph taken on the  15th August 2019, this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen is now aborting two flower buds.  Phalaenopsis plants will often abort flower buds.  The plants will lose one or more of their developing flower buds if the plant isn’t receiving sufficient moisture or humidity, or if the growing conditions change dramatically – if it becomes colder or hotter, or if the light levels drop.

Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s newly opened flowers and developing flower buds, as pictured on the 15th August 2019.

I suspect that my plant just didn’t receive the optimum amount of water over a period of two or three days and this prompted the Phalaenopsis to abort the buds.  It’s not something I am worried about, it’s just something that happens.  Many of my Phalaenopsis plants will abort a few buds at every flowering.  It’s when a plant aborts its entire flower spike that I feel deeply sorry and feel I need to voice my apologies to the plant.

Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s newly opened flowers and developing flower buds, as pictured on the 15th August 2019.

Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s newly opened flowers and developing flower buds, as pictured on the 15th August 2019.

Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s flowers as they open, as pictured on the 15th August 2019.

This is such a long and rather floppy flower spike; I still cannot believe that so far this Phalaenopsis celebensis flower spike remains intact – I’ve not broken it.  I feel amazed and so grateful!

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

This Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s flowering stem measures 34cm (13.4 inches).

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 27th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 31st August 2019.

It’s wonderful to be able to share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s first blooming, from the very first sign of a flower spike developing, to a seemingly every growing flowering stem, then finally visible buds, which grow ever larger and then burst into flower!

This Phalaenopsis celebensis flowering stem hovers over the ferns and the other plants that are growing at the base of this Orchidarium.  To me, these orchid flowers resemble butterflies or moths in flight, twisting and twirling, as they chase one another.

Phalaenopsis celebensis, as pictured on the 4th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 8th July 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen has been growing happily inside this Orchidarium, since I introduced this plant to this enclosure, in October 2017.

I’ve found that this orchid species favours cool to intermediate temperatures.  This Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen has flourished over the past year inside this Orchidarium, as this plant has enjoyed the cooler temperatures that we’ve experienced this summer.  If you’re interested, you can see the minimum, maximum, and average temperatures and humidity levels inside my Orchidarium, over the past year, via this link.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowering

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa is an orchid that’s predisposed to flower over a long period, given the right growing conditions – namely soft, indirect light, high humidity, regular misting, and intermediate temperatures.  Phalaenopsis deliciosa plants’ flower spikes just keep on generating more new buds, so new blooms open regularly, usually every few days.  Each flower is so incredibly pretty.  The flowers have a slight sparkle, a crystalline quality that allows the blooms to look as if they have been gently kissed with fairy dust.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 4th October 2018.

I love to closely examine Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers.  The blooms display such delicate pink freckles over their petals and the striped markings add extra impact – it’s such a beautiful orchid flower.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, pictured in flower on the 8th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa produces small flowers, they’re really very pretty.

If you’re growing Phalaenopsis deliciosa, it can be easy to miss your plant’s first flowering, especially if you grow this orchid with a group of other plants that might be shielding your plant’s new blooms from view.  This orchid species’ flowering stems grow out from under the base of the plant, below the crown.  New flowering stems are rather short when they first appear, they are held close to the plant’s roots, where they can be shielded from view, hidden behind the plant’s large leaves.  A new flowering stem can easily be mistaken for a new root.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, pictured in flower on the 8th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, pictured in flower on the 8th October 2018.

You might just be able to make out the small brown flower bud on the tip of this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen’s flower spike.  This bud is being aborted.  I expect that this plant received a little less water than it would have liked, over a period of a couple of days and this triggered the plant to abort this bud.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, pictured in flower on the 9th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 2nd August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 2nd August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 2nd August 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowering stem has been in production for a while now, so the flowering stem has grown longer in length and is much more visible.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis deliciosa flower, as pictured on the 2nd August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 5th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured in flower, on the 5th August 2019.

Here you can see this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen’s flowers pictured together with the flowers of the white form of this species – Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba.  The white flowered form, produces snow white flowers without any visible markings on the blooms.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa is a sequentially blooming orchid species – this orchid produces a great many flowers that open one after the other in sequence, giving a long flowering period.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

I appreciate this Phalaenopsis species’ naturally floriferous nature and its pretty pastel pink coloured flowers; this orchid enhances this Orchidarium with its sweet little blooms.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers, as pictured on the 10th August 2019.

Despite spending a lot of time with this plant all through the day and evening.  I’ve never detected any perfume from this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen’s blooms.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers, as pictured on the 10th August 2019

This month (September 2019), I have altered the settings on this Orchidarium’s automated misting unit, so as to reduce the amount of misting the plants receive automatically.  I will endeavour to provide this Phalaenopsis deliciosa specimen and my Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen with additional hand misting, to ensure that these plants receive the optimum amount of waterings to sustain their flowering.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers, as pictured on the 12th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 27th May 2019.

As well as the usual form of Phalaenopsis deliciosa, I am also growing the white flowered form – Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba – inside this Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Both of the Phalaenopsis deliciosa plants inside this Orchidarium – the Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimens have thrived in the cooler temperatures we’ve experienced this summer.  These plants have both been so much more floriferous this year, than last.  Flowering, almost continually, every day, from June through until I write to you today, (in mid September 20190 and hopefully, beyond!

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flowering

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen initially started the flowering season with one flower spike, but by the beginning of July 2019, the plant had produced a second flowering stem.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba inflorescences don’t produce any perfume.

Their blooms are smaller than you might expect for a miniature orchid species of this size.  These Phalaenopsis deliciosa plants are a little larger than the mini miniature orchid species that reside inside this Orchidarium.  Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flowers look like little stars, shining out from the Orchidarium; they’re really quite charming.  I am really rather fond of Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba inflorescences, .

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

When you look closely at Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba inflorescences, you can see the faint stripes over the flower’s petals and sepal.  I love to admire the subtle crystalline quality that this orchid species blooms display – the flowers have a slight sparkle, which is so beautiful.  I’ve tried to show you just how beautiful these blooms are in my photographs – none of my pictures are enhanced in any way.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 19th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flowering stem has branched and developed a side shoot.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

I’ve tried to include a range of photographs that show Phalaenopsis delciosa var. alba flowers in relation to the size of the plant as a whole, as well as close up photographs of the flowers.  As you can see, Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flowers are very small in size – the blooms are especially tiny when you consider the overall size of plants of this Phalaenopsis species.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, pictured in flower, on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

This orchid species almost continually pumps out new buds and new flowers, from its long-lasting flowering stems.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

In this photograph, you can see that Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba (and Phalaenopsis deliciosa) plants produce their flowering stems from the very base of the plant, out from underneath the plant’s leaves.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var alba, as pictured on the 8th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var alba, as pictured on the 8th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 16th July 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen has produced two flowering stems.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 16th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 16th July 2019.

This Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen has produced two flowering stems.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 16th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen’s flower spike, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured on the 5th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba, as pictured in flower, on the 5th August 2019.

Phalaenopsis finleyi

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

This young Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen has been growing inside this Orchidarium, since the beginning of September 2017.  Phalaenopsis finleyi plants favour warm growing conditions, like those that these orchids enjoy in the wild, in their native environments in Burma, Thailand, and Myanmar.  This orchid species thrives in a warm, humid environment.

It’s possible that you might have this same plant and not realise, as it’s rather confusing with the orchid’s naming – Phalaenopsis finleyi is also known by the names of Kingidium minus and Phalaenopsis minus.

The photograph of this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen that you can see above and the picture you can see below, were taken almost a year apart.  So, you can see that over the past year, this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen has grown many more roots and the plant had also developed much larger leaves by the time the most recent picture was taken.  In the autumn of 2017, this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen actually dropped all of its leaves.  I am relieved to see this plant growing so happily.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis finleyi flowering

This Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen’s leaves have grown over the past year and this plant has produced a number of lovely new roots, but that’s not the only thing to happen….

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

……this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen has produced its first flower bud!  It is always a magical moment when you find an orchid in bud, but it’s especially exciting when you discover a young orchid that has not bloomed before, is now in bud – it’s such a great feeling – a moment that’s full of delight, euphoria, and great anticipation!

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis finleyi is pictured in bud, on the 2nd July 2019.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

Here’s this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen pictured on the day that this plant’s first flower opened!  Phalaenopsis finleyi produces such cheerful looking flowers.  My plant’s flower is a little paler in colour than I had anticipated, but I’ve so enjoy studying this interesting bloom.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis finleyi bloom, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

Despite many close encounters at almost every time of day and night, whilst this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen was in bloom, I’ve not managed to detect any perfume from this plant’s flower.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis finleyi bloom, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis finleyi bloom, as pictured on the 16th July 2018.

I’ve taken quite a few photographs of this orchid’s flowers for you, but don’t be deceived, this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen’s flower opened on the 16th July 2019, but this flower was already fading by the 19th July 2019.  I was so thankful that I was around to see this plant in flower.  If I had been on holiday or away from home – I would have missed it, as this bloom didn’t last long.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis finleyi flower – complete with aphid, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

By the 20th July 2019, this Phalaenopsis finleyi flower had faded.

Phalaenopsis finleyi, as pictured on the 19th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis

Phalaenopsis honghenensis in bud, as pictured on the 2nd December 2018.

Last year, (in 2018) this Phalaenopsis honhenensis specimen delighted me by producing an abundance of gorgeous flowers, creating a beautiful display, which lasted for many months.  Almost from the moment this orchid’s flowers faded, I was greedily picturing this plant’s next flowering, imagining how many more blooms my plant would produce this year.  I’ve felt such excitement and a great anticipation to see this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen in bloom again.  It was wonderful to see this orchid’s first flowering stem of the plant’s 2019 flowering season, which first emerged in November 2018.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis in bud, as pictured on the 2nd December 2018.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen’s bud and root, as pictured on the 2nd December 2018.

I love seeing new Phalaenopsis honghenensis roots, they gleam and shine more beautifully than any crafted piece of silver that I’ve ever seen.  They really are exquisite!

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen’s silver root, as pictured on the 2nd December 2018.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 2nd December 2018.

A closer look at Phalaenopsis honghenensis in bud, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis in bud, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

All year, I’ve been waiting for the health of this Phalaenopsis honghenensis specimen to improve before taking a photograph, but sadly this plant just recently lost its last leaf, at the end of August 2019.  I have everything crossed that this Phalaenopsis honghenensis plant will rally and this specimen will produce new leaves and flowers in 2020.

Phalaenopsis honghenensis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

If you’re interested, you can read more about Phalaenopsis honghenensis and see this same plant in flower via this link here.

Phalaenopsis lobbii

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

The teeny tiny snails that live inside this Orchidarium have mauled this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen over the past two and a half years, leaving the plant ragged and looking rather fragmented.  Each year, I hope for the development of lovely new ‘lobbii’ leaves.  I pray the snails will avoid these new leaves for long enough to allow each leaf to mature and toughen up, as this orchid’s leaves become more resilient and less appetising to snails, the older they get.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

As you can see, my Phalaenopsis lobbii plant is as scruffy as ever; at this stage, my dreams have yet to be realised!  However, this is a naturally strong growing and resilient Phalaenopsis species.  Despite my plant having just a couple of seriously damaged leaves, this miniature Phalaenopsis species produces a fabulous display of flowers, every year.  Here you can see this Phalaenopsis lobbii plant from the moment its new flower buds emerged, to the moment the blooms opened.

A closer look at the new flowering stems emerging from this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

Phalaenopsis lobbii in bud, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

A closer look at Phalaenopsis lobbii in bud, as pictured on the 10th December 2018.

Phalaenopsis lobbii flowering

This Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen has one open flower and at least eight flower buds in earlier stages of production. As pictured on the 20th December 2018.

This Phalaenopsis lobbii flower opened on the 20th December 2018.

This Phalaenopsis lobbii flower opened on the 20th December 2018.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 7th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii is one of my favourite orchids.  When it’s in bloom, Phalaenopsis lobbii plants always look like they’re having an absolutely fabulous time!  I always think of Phalaenopsis lobbii as being a good fun, easy going orchid; this is a wonderful orchid to have around.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 7th January 2019.

I always this of Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers as having such cheerful, friendly, smiling faces.

Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers, as pictured on the 8th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii in flower, on the 11th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured in bloom, on the 16th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii is a naturally floriferous orchid species.  I am particularly fond of this orchid, it’s a dear little fellow.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured in bloom, on the 16th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, pictured in bloom, on the 16th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 19th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 26th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 26th January 2019.

As this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s flowers faded, my prayers were answered and the plant focused its attention on successful leaf and root production.  I could not be happier to show you this photograph, that I took just the other day of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen!

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Wow wee!  Look at these gorgeous new leaves, aren’t they lovely?  This plant is still hanging onto the last tatty, half eaten, punctured leaf, but it won’t be long until this older leaf is discarded.  It feels almost magical to show you my photographs and share the joy, as this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen now has four perfect leaves.  Isn’t that amazing?

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

You can probably see in the photograph below, this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen has now grown into a plant with two crowns.  I am trying not to get too excited about the thought of seeing this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen in bloom, next year!

Phalaenopsis lobbii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

This is the yellow flowered form of Phalaenopis lobbiiPhalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia.  This is one of my favourite miniature orchids.  I just adore this Phalaenopsis!

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

I am so unbelievably clumsy, it’s an awful curse to be afflicted with.  In March 2019, I took this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen out of my Orchidarium to admire its beautiful leaves and study the plant’s lovely plump flower buds, which were just about to open, when I stupidly dropped the plant on the floor.  As the plant fell, it bounced onto the floor, causing this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen’s leaves and flowering stem to be cleanly separated away from the plant’s roots – the roots bounced in one direction while the leaves and flower buds landed in the other.  I cannot tell you how awful it feels to destroy something so beautiful, so easily.  I feel a tremendous sense of guilt when I damage any of my plants and this time was no exception.

I am hoping and praying that this Phalaenopsis will be able to rejuvenate itself.  Fingers crossed that it won’t be too long until this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen has some new leaves.  I will not be rushing to take this plant out of the Orchidarium again!

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia flowering

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 11th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 11th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, pictured in flower on the 12th January 2019.

I love the pastel yellow colour of this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen’s lip.  This orchid’s flowers are exceptionally pretty.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, pictured in flower on the 12th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 26th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, as pictured on the 26th January 2019.

Phalaenopsis lowii

Phalaenopsis lowii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I find that Phalaenopsis lowii is one of the most difficult Phalaenopsis species to grow.  This Phalaenopsis lowii specimen was first introduced to this Orchidarium, back in April 2017.  I can’t say that this plant has ever looked very happy, but certainly I’d say that this Phalaenopsis lowii specimen looks in worse condition today, than it did last year.

Just looking at this plant makes me feel terribly guilty.  I will change this plant’s position within this Orchidarium and I’ll consider what other alterations I might be able to make, with the aim of finding more favourable growing conditions for this plant.

I would desperately like to be able to grow this orchid species well.  It might be that I need to move this plant out of this Orchidarium and into a different enclosure.  I am still considering this at the moment.  Once I’ve decided what to do, I’ll let you know.

Phalaenopsis lowii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis malipoensis

Phalaenopsis malipoensis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Since my last update, this Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen has produced some new leaves and roots.  This is still a rather scrappy looking plant, but it’s now a slightly a more substantial, larger sized tatty plant now, than the plant I showed you last year.

Phalaenopsis malipoensis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

This Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen has made several efforts to flower, the plant has produced a number of flowering stems over the past few years.  Sadly, so far, none of this plant’s flowering attempts have been successful – every flowering stem has been aborted.  My Phalaenopsis malipoensis plant has remained inside this Orchidarium, a reminder that things don’t always go to plan.  I shall try to improve this Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen’s growing conditions.

Phalaenopsis malipoensis, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 18th February 2019.

This is another of my absolute favourite orchids – Phalaenopsis parishii.  This particular plant was first grown inside my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium in April 2016, before being moved into my Orchidarium, in April 2017.

I have a large range of web making creatures living inside this Orchidarium, including bark lice and spiders.  I expect that the fairly substantial webs that you can see in my photographs above and below, were made by a spider.  These spider webs have given my Orchidarium plants a touch of a Mrs Haversham themed enclosure – not a look I’d have chosen.  Naturally, my Phalaenopsis plants would have looked lovelier if I had cleaned each plant before I took a photograph, but I keep my reviews and all of my writing true and honest – this is how these plants looked, on the day they were pictured.

A closer look at the webbing surrounding this Phalaenopsis parishii plant – you might be able to spot the spider. As pictured on the 18th February 2019.

A closer look at these developing Phalaenopsis parishii flowering stems, as pictured on the 18th February 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

It’s always exciting to see the first flower buds of the year, as they develop.  Flower buds arrive with such hope and promise – the promise of a better tomorrow – of happiness ahead.

Phalaenopsis parishii in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

In February 2019, this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen was producing four flowering stems.  Each flowering stem was at a different stage of development.  Some of the flowers may end up being open at the same time, but by producing flowering stems at different times, this orchid species is extending its flowering season and maximising its chances of pollinating insects discovering this plant in bloom.

Phalaenopsis parishii in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s first flower of 2019, opened on the 17th March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii is described as a scented orchid species.  Sadly, when I examined these blooms in March, I couldn’t detect any perfume from this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s flowers.  This plant has been flowering every year, for the past four years in a row, but no matter what time of day or night I examine the plant, no matter the temperature of the day or night, or how many flowers are open – I have never been able to detect any fragrance from this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s blooms.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

A closer look at Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

I just adore Phalaenopsis parishii flowers.  They’re so sweet and so full of character.  I feel so fortunate to be growing this miniature orchid species.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 17th March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 21st March 2019.

I was quite surprised at how quickly this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s first flower of the year faded.  This bloom opened on the 17th March 2019; the same flower was on its very last legs, on the 21st March 2019 – just four days later.  This shortened flowering was most unlike this orchid species and indeed very unlike this particular plant, which was in good health.

I’d say that I often notice that it is the first flowers to open that endure for a longer flowering period.  These facts combined with my concerns for some of my other Phalaenopsis plants that were growing inside this Orchidarium, led me to take the decision to switch back to using Orchid Focus  as the fertiliser for all of the orchids that are in active growth, inside this Orchidarium.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 21st March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, pictured in flower, on the 31st March 2019.

A closer look at an individual Phalaenopsis parishii flower, as pictured on the 12th May 2019.

In May 2019, after I had been using the Orchid Focus fertilisers for a couple of months, I was relieved and delighted to see this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s blooms lasting for a number of weeks.

A closer look at an individual Phalaenopsis parishii flower, as pictured on the 12th May 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s flowers, as pictured on the 31st May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii in flower, as pictured on the 21st June 2019.

This Phalaenopsis parishii flower was in bloom for over four weeks, the bloom has faded considerably, which is to be expected, but it’s wonderful to have an extended period to enjoy my plant’s flowers.  I am so relieved that I switched back to using Orchid Focus fertliser.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis parishii flower, as pictured on the 21st June 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 31st July 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

This Phalaenopsis parishii specimen will soon cease flowering for the year.  Plants are usually dormant from November to December, sometimes until the start of January.

Phalaenopsis parishii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba

Phalaenopsis parishii alba in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

I introduced this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen to this Orchidarium in April 2017.  When I ordered this plant, back in the early spring of 2017, this particular plant had endured numerous delays in its transport to me; as a consequence, this plant had been kept in the dark, inside its package for a number of weeks.

As you’d expect, this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen suffered as a consequence of its arduous journey.  For the next two years, this plant displayed a rather sickly appearance, despite my best attempts to nurse the plant into better health.  This Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen did not even attempt to bloom in 2017, or 2018 – I don’t blame the plant after such a traumatic experience.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

I had been hoping upon hoping that this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen would bloom in 2019; I am so happy to say that this time I wasn’t disappointed.  I was thrilled when I discovered this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s first ever flowering stems were now developing!

Phalaenopsis parishii alba in bud, as pictured on the 25th February 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba flowering

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, as pictured on the 30th April 2019.

Yippee!  Here you can see my Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen pictured in bloom, for the very first time.  This is this plant’s first ever flowering.  I feel so grateful and fortunate to be able to enjoy seeing this beautiful orchid and its simply gorgeous flowers, it’s wonderful to be able to share these special moments with you.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured as this orchid’s first flower opened, on the 30th April 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii is described as a scented miniature orchid species.  I’ve grown many of these sweet little plants; they are impossibly cute – yes – but scented – no?  Sadly, my Phalaenopsis parishii and Phalaenopsis parishii alba plants have not produced any scented blooms to date – that is until now!  So hip, hip, hooray for this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen and its delightful, lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) scented blooms.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured as this orchid’s first flower opened, on the 30th April 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii is not a miniature orchid with fragrant flowers that will fill a room with their fragrance, but this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s fragrance can be enjoyed during a close encounter with the plant.  This orchid species’ fragrance is really rather lovely; it’s very much like the perfume of lily of the valley flowers, but with a touch of hyacinth and a hint of lemon blossom.  It’s a sweet but somewhat tart perfume, that has a slightly musky undertone to its character.  I am so grateful that at last I have one Phalaenopsis parishii alba plant that produces scented flowers!

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower and bud, on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba is absolutely, without doubt, one of my favourite orchid species.  I just adore this charming little fellow.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower and bud, on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower, on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower, on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba flower buds developing, as pictured on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, pictured in flower and bud, on the 4th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, pictured in bloom, on the 12th May 2019.

A closer look at an individual Phalaenopsis parishii alba inflorescence, as pictured on the 12th May 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii f. alba, as pictured on the 15th May 2019.

This Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s blooms open in sequence.  The last remaining bud that was left to open was positioned at the top, above all of the other open flowers.  I had been really hoping that this last flower bud would open before I headed off to work at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but sadly the timing didn’t work out on this occasion.

When I got back from Chelsea, I took the picture that you can see below.  Many of this plant’s flowers had faded while I was away, but I was grateful to have enjoyed this plant’s earlier blooms.  I am so grateful that this plant survived its journey to me back in 2017.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 26th May 2019.

As you can see, if you look at the dates on my photographs, this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s flowers have been lasting for a remarkably long time, much longer than this plant’s neighbour – the Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s first flowers of the year.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 17th June 2019.

I feel that I can notice a positive difference since I switched back to using Orchid Focus fertilisers on the orchids that are growing inside this Orchidarium.  My orchid plants are now flowering for longer and the plants look to be in improved health and vigour.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 17th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba in flower, as pictured on the 21st June 2019.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba in flower, as pictured on the 21st June 2019.

A closer look at Phalaenopsis parishii alba in flower, as pictured on the 21st June 2019.

How’s this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen looking now?  Here’s a photograph I took just the other day – as you can see this plant’s not in bud at the moment – which is what I would expect – this Phalaenopsis species usually flowers in April.  Phalaenopsis parishii alba plants usually flower from April until about June, but there are exceptions, with some plants’ flowers fading more rapidly and other plants blooming from early spring through until autumn.

Phalaenopsis parishii alba, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I am so happy to have this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen as part of my collection.  I just adore this cute little plant.  Here’s a photograph I took the other day of one of this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s roots.

A closer look at one of this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen’s roots, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on 3rd March 2019.

I introduced this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen into this Orchidarium back in April 2017.  Sadly this Phalaenopsis species has not thrived inside this enclosure.  I’ve been very concerned about this plant for more than a year now.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana produces the most beautiful roots.  When they’re new, Phalaenopsis stobartiana roots look as if they’re been crafted from real silver, they’re one of the many real wonders of the natural world!  I’ve been hoping to see this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen produce some new, healthy leaves and some beautiful roots, for what seems like a very long time.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, pictured in bud on the 31st March 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, pictured in bud on the 31st March 2019.

I have had many concerns that this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen was growing in too bright a location, or that the plant would have preferred different growing conditions to those it was receiving.  However, I felt unable to move this plant to a shadier location inside this Orchidarium, as every time I decided to move this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen, I noticed that the plant was in the process of producing a flower spike.  I then felt that the orchid must have been happier than I had anticipated; as I was naturally keen to enjoy this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen’s first flowering, I was reluctant to alter any of the plant’s growing conditions, for fear that the plant might have been triggered into aborting its flowering stem.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 15th April 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, pictured in bud, on the 30th April 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen’s developing flower buds, as pictured on the 30th April 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 27th May 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 27th May 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 27th May 2019

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 13th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen’s developing flower spike, as pictured on the 29th June 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 26th July 2019.

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

What a sorry state this Phalaenopsis stobartiana specimen is in.  I feel very guilty and so sorry for this plant’s poor condition.  I will continue to try to find ways to improve this plant’s health.

Although there is always a positive to be found in every situaltion, this decaying Phalaenopsis stobartiana leaf has a beauty all of its own – it’s dying beautifully!

Phalaenopsis stobartiana, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis thailandica

Phalaenopsis thailandica, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

Here’s my Phalaenopsis thailandica plant.  This plant has been growing inside my Orchidarium since the start of April 2017, which as I write to you in September 2019, was two and a half years ago.

Phalaenopsis thailandica, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

This Phalaenopsis started to produce a flowering stem, but this was sadly aborted in October 2018.  I am unsure why this flowering was not successful.  This Phalaenopsis thailandica plant has flowered once before, back in 2017.  But sadly since 2017, the growing conditions inside this Orchidarium have not induced this plant to bloom.  I will see what I can do to encourage this plant to flower.

A closer look at this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen’s flowering stem, as pictured on the 16th October 2018.

I removed a little of the moss that was growing around this Phalaenopsis thailandica plant, just to see if doing so would make any difference to the plant’s health.  I can’t say for certain whether me doing this this has helped or hindered this plant.

Phalaenopsis thailandica, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

I am disappointed that this orchid hasn’t flowered, but I am glad to say that this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen appears strong and healthy.  The plant has grown larger in size, producing new leaves and roots and even a new crown.

Phalaenopsis thailandica, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis thailandica, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

Phalaenopsis wilsonii

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, as pictured on 3rd March 2019.

It’s easy to get excited at the sight of a flowering stem and assume that the sight of a flowering spike means that plant definitely will bloom.  Sadly, the Phalaenopsis wilsonii flowering spike that you see pictured above, didn’t come to anything – the plant aborted this flowering stem.  In fact, this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen hasn’t flowered since May 2018, which I can tell you, feels like a very long time ago!

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

So why hasn’t my Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen flowered this year?  In the wild, Phalaenopsis wilsonii plants experience a number of distinct changes that signal the arrival of winter.  There is a marked difference in the plant’s night time temperatures, especially during the wintertime, when temperatures drop to around 5C (41F) at night, but the plants enjoy temperatures of 15-18C (59-65F), during the daytime.  The winters in Yunnan are drier and sunnier, with brighter light and much cooler temperatures arriving each evening.  These differences trigger Phalaenopsis wilsonii plants to flower.  My Phalaenopsis wilsonii plant has been experiencing more consistent temperatures, with only slight differences in this plant’s daytime and nighttime temperatures, during the winter months.  I’ve not shielded this orchid from any of the automated misting inside the Orchidarium, so this plant has been without any of its usual triggers that stimulate the plant to bloom.

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

In the coming weeks, I am going to be introducing this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen to the arrival of autumn, with cooler temperatures, less moisture and more sunshine.  I just hope this plant enjoys it!  Whatever happens, I’ll let you know in my next update!

Phalaenopsis wilsonii, as pictured on the 6th September 2019.

If you’re interested to see how this Orchidarium’s LED lighting, misting unit, and the other equipment inside this Orchidarium performed and what the growing conditions were like in this Orchidarium, from August 2018 to September 2019, click here to see my report.

If you’d like to see how the other terrarium plants (which include orchids and a couple of ferns) grew inside this Orchidarium during the same time frame, from August 2018 to September 2019, please click here.

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 Phalaenopsis Orchids growing inside my Orchidarium (part four)

  1. Anne

    September 11, 2019 at 4:10pm

    Wow, wow, wow, you are truly amazing. So are your orchids. You have such patience, and the result is so rewarding. Your orchids are truly beautiful and so delicate. I would be so devastated to see the spikes dying like that. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      September 11, 2019 at 4:41pm

      Hello Anne

      It’s so lovely to hear from you! Thank you for your kind compliments, I am so glad that you enjoyed seeing my photographs. It is devastating to see the flower spikes being aborted. I am thinking about what changes to make first, to try to improve things for the plants that aren’t faring so well. I’ll let you know how I get on – whether I am surrounded with flowers or more dead stems!

      I hope that your plants are growing well and you are happy.

      Best wishes
      Beth

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