An Update on the Aerangis & Angraecum Orchids inside my Tall Orchidarium
I set up my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. I am absolutely thrilled with this custom built terrarium, which Matthew (from Custom Aquaria) built for me in autumn 2019. I’m growing a large number of orchids inside my Tall Orchidarium, so I’ve divided up this update (which covers the period from November 2019 to March 2021) into three posts of slightly more manageable sizes. Read on for an update on how the Aerangis and Angraecum orchids I’m growing inside this enclosure have developed over the past 15 months.
To find out more about the equipment I use inside my Tall Orchidarium and discover how these products have performed from November 2019 to February 2021 (and learn more about the growing conditions inside this terrarium), please click here.
To discover how the Phalaenopsis species and other orchids I grew inside my Tall Orchidarium developed from November 2019 to May 2021, please click here.
Read on for my first update on the Aerangis and Angraecum orchids inside my Tall Orchidarium. However, if you’re interested in seeing my Tall Orchidarium being set up for the first time, please click here. Alternatively, to find every article I’ve written about my Tall Orchidarium, please click here.
Tall Orchidarium Planting List
These Aerangis and Angraecum plants are currently growing inside my Tall Orchidarium:
- Aerangis citrata
- Aerangis hariotiana
- Aerangis hyaloides
- Aerangis kirkii
- Aerangis macrocentra
- Aerangis modesta
- Aerangis mooreana
- Aerangis somalensis
- Aerangis x primulina
- Angraecum aloifolium
- Angraecum equitans
- Angraecum ochraceum
- Angraecum sacciferum
You can find out more about each of the plants I’m growing inside this enclosure via this link to my Tall Orchidarium Planting List. The planting list features photographs and information about each of the orchids I’m growing inside this enclosure; plus at the bottom of each page you’ll find the details of the nurseries and suppliers where I purchased all of the cork, moss, and plants, for my Tall Orchidarium. Any plants I’ve grown inside my Tall Orchidarium in the past and any plants I add in the future will also be added to this same Planting List.
Orchid Fertiliser & Water
I use Orchid Focus fertilisers (from Growth Technology Products) for all my orchids; I’ve been using two (Orchid Grow and Orchid Bloom) of these fertilisers for many years and I would absolutely recommend these products. Whilst my orchids are actively growing, I will fertilise my plants once a week, for three weeks in a row; then on the fourth week I will only give my plants plain rainwater, without adding any fertiliser. The next week, I will start the four week cycle again (and repeat). I dilute my orchids’ fertiliser with rainwater. If you aren’t able to collect rainwater, you could use reverse osmosis water or deionised water.
I have been using Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom for many years, but I’ve recently discovered Orchid Ultra and I am now using all three of these products.
I use rainwater to water the orchids growing inside my Tall Orchidarium.
Tall Orchidarium Pests
When I first set up my Tall Orchidarium, I hadn’t realised it at the time, but the cork I purchased for this enclosure was already home to a colony of non-native Crematogaster scutellaris ants! Yikes!
I say this somewhat tentatively, but I hope that 15 months after my ant discovery, my problems with ants are now finally over. However, I will continue to monitor the situation – I am always on the look out for ants whenever I’m examining my Tall Orchidarium! Find out more about these ants in this article I wrote about them.
I have experienced numerous problems with a particularly tiny species of aphid, which is so small that I can only spot it in close up photographs. I would be delighted (but very surprised!) if there weren’t any of these minuscule aphids on any of the orchids inside my Tall Orchidarium; as I know that there are colonies of the same species of aphids inside most (if not all) of my terrariums.
This aphid’s tiny size gives it a real advantage in allowing it to go undetected when I am viewing or checking over my plants. However, the insects’ diminutive frame also provides these aphids with a greater chance to survive my pest control regime; as if even an area as small as pin point of leaf, root, or stem is missed when I spray my SB Plant Invigorator and an aphid happens to be in that unsprayed space, then this aphid will survive. One solitary aphid will rapidly produce more aphids; so it’s a continual cycle of trying to control the aphids and prevent the aphid colony from growing too large.
I think if I recall correctly, that it was around a year ago that I last spotted aphids on one of the plants inside my Tall Orchidarium. After making this discovery, I made a concerted effort to spray my plants with SB Plant Invigorator more regularly. On one or two occasions, all of the orchids were taken out of this tank, so as to be able to spray the plants more thoroughly.
NB. I don’t spray any of the aphids or pests in my garden. I only use SB Plant Invigorator to control the pests on my indoor plants. This is an organic product.
I didn’t stop to take their photographs, as I was rushing at the time, but I found two large slugs on the plants inside my Tall Orchidairum in November 2020. The first slug I discovered was found on the 15th November 2020, on my Aerangis citrata plant, where it was about to devour this lovely orchid’s long awaited flower buds; thankfully I spotted it in time! While on the 18th November 2020, I found a second slug on my Ornithocephalus manabina orchid; both slugs were promptly removed from this terrarium.
I found the third slug on the 20th November 2020. I took this photograph, to show you the slug (!) and then I removed this mollusk from my Tall Orchidarium.
I can nearly always find miniature snails inside my terrariums, but I don’t find slugs very often. However, having said this, I went on to find more slugs in November and December 2020, and sadly before I found the slugs, these mollusks had already devoured some of my orchids in their entirety, which was very upsetting. I actually found more slugs this week: one slug on Thursday and another slug on Friday night (11th & 12th March 2021); needless to say these slugs were promptly extracted from my orchids and removed from my Tall Orchidarium.
I am unsure where these slugs came from; they might have been concealed within the moss I bought for this terrarium. It’s also possible that the slugs arrived with the cork I purchased.
I have quite a number of teeny tiny snails living inside my Tall Orchidarium. These little snails have caused far less damage over the past six years than the slugs inside my Tall Orchidarium caused in a two week period. Snails can often be spotted in my orchid pictures. I would naturally prefer to have no problems with slugs or snails inside my Tall Orchidarium. Whenever I find a slug (and most of the times I spot a snail) I remove it.
Goodness only knows how many spider mites are living inside my Tall Orchidarium, but I know that these insects persist inside this enclosure. I’ve seen evidence of spider mite damage on many of the plants I’m growing inside my Tall Orchidarium.
I use SB Plant Invigorator to help protect my orchids from aphids, scale insect, mealybugs, and spider mites. I don’t always manage to spray my orchids and ferns with SB every single week, but it’s something I always aim for.
Cleaning my orchids’ leaves
Currently, almost all of the orchids that reside inside my Tall Orchidarium have coatings of algae, dust, moss, etc. on their leaves, which vary from plant to plant in their severity. I like to use cooled chamomile tea to clean my orchids’ leaves; to do this, I take a piece of kitchen paper and dip it into the cold tea and then I gently wipe over each leaf. I tear off tiny pieces of kitchen paper and dispose of them after cleaning a leaf or sometimes a couple of leaves on a single plant. I never use the same piece of kitchen paper on multiple plants, as this could spread pests from one plant to another. Anyway, I am absolutely itching to clean my orchids’ leaves at the moment!
Cleaning orchid leaves can help with pest control; this action can also improve your plant’s appearance and health; as having cleaner leaves improves the leaf’s ability to photosynthesise.
Tall Orchidarium Orchid Update
This Aerangis citrata specimen was previously growing inside my Madagascar Terrarium. My plant was already in bud when I moved this orchid into my Tall Orchidarium, in November 2019. Please note that the information in this update is condensed. I wrote a separate article about this older Aerangis citrata specimen’s growth and development from December 2019 to December 2020; this article is full of photographs I took of this orchid whilst the plant was growing inside my Tall Orchidarium, and includes lots of details about this orchid’s growth and the care this plant received.
On the 15th December 2019, I took this Aerangis citrata specimen out of my Tall Orchidarium to admire this orchid’s developing inflorescences and show you an updated view of the plant. At this time, my Aerangis citrata specimen had four flower spikes, which were all in similar stages of production. The oldest spike measured 16cm (6.3inches) long; this flowering stem produced two buds and one flower that began opening the same day. In comparison, the longest spike measured around 43cm (17inches) long; this stem displayed 27 developing buds. While the second longest Aerangis citrata flower spike measured 30cm (12inches) in length and featured 31 flower buds. Finally, the third longest flower spike measured 22cm (8.7inches) long and held 25 flower buds.
Aerangis citrata flowering
I often hear Aerangis citrata described as a fragrant orchid species; however, this is not my experience of this orchid. I have never detected any scent from Aerangis citrata flowers, despite having examined the flowers countless times, during both the daytime and evening (over the past five years).
I have two Aerangis citrata plants growing inside this Tall Orchidarium. This is my smaller, younger specimen. I would like to have a go at pollinating these two orchids; so I hope that one day both of my Aerangis citrata plants will be in bloom at the same time!
I suspect that these Aerangis citrata flowers would have lasted even longer if they hadn’t been sprayed with water a few times a day by the misting unit inside my Tall Orchidarium. Although, I must admit that when I hand mist my orchids I think that I won’t spray water onto the flowers, but I always do!
My older Aerangis citrata specimen has been drier than it would have liked lately; hence my plant’s wrinkled leaves. My misting unit’s nozzles were somewhat pushed out of place by accident; I am unsure when this happened. I only became alerted to the problem when I noticed that a number of my plants in this Tall Orchidarium were becoming dehydrated.
The photograph above shows this Aerangis citrata specimen with a build up of algae etc on the plant’s leaves. You’ll notice this plant’s leaves becoming cleaner in the photographs that follow, as I cleaned this orchid’s leaves each week for a time; something I have got out of the habit of doing and I need to start up again.
For me, Aerangis citrata inflorescences’ beauty is most pronounced when you see a large plant with masses of flowers, as this magnifies the flowers beauty. I admire Aerangis citrata inflorescences and love to see them resplendent in all their glory; however, it’s not just the flowers, it’s the spaces between and around the flowers that magnify this orchid’s beauty. I admire the structure, the order within the blooms and the attractive placement of the flowers all along Aerangis citrata flower stems.
It’s such a delight to see some lovely new Aerangis citrata roots!
Here’s an updated picture of my oldest Aerangis citrata plant that I took for you yesterday. I’ve not given this plant any extra misting since its flowers were at their peak. As you can see, this plant’s leaves are a mixture of green and yellow, which isn’t a look I favour. Hopefully this orchid’s foliage will be dressed in a more uniform shade of green in time for my next update.
I am growing two Aerangis hariotiana specimens inside my Tall Orchidarium; as I am particularly fond of this orchid species. Both of these Aerangis hariotiana plants were previously growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium.
When managing an orchid collection, it’s not good practice to grow two plants of the same species together in the same enclosure (unless you have a large number of plants of that species which you’re growing inside in separate terrariums – when you have the luxury of placing plants wherever you wish). Sometime soon I will separate these plants and move one of the plants into another enclosure, as this will help me to mitigate the risk to my orchid collection; as if something goes wrong in one terrarium, the other plant will hopefully be safe in an entirely separate environment.
Aerangis hariotiana flowering
I love this orchid even when it’s not in flower, but Aerangis hariotiana’s pendent inflorescences can be utterly mesmerising! Like Aerangis citrata, I find this orchid species’ flowers have a magnified beauty when seen en masse. The first flowers this Aerangis hariotiana plant produces are small and rather insignificant; these blooms won’t stand out across a room and you might not notice them if you were standing right next to the plant, but as a plant matures and holds more and more blooms, so its beauty intensifies.
Aerangis hariotiana plants have these lovely wiry, thin roots. I don’t recommend growing Aerangis hariotiana plants in moss, which can somewhat swamp the plant. Generally, I recommend growing Aerangis hariotiana mounted on a piece of cork bark without any moss. I have regular sessions where I remove moss from around these plants, as I try to keep the moss in check.
You might be able to spot a cheeky snail in the picture above. I sometimes wonder how many snails are living inside my Tall Orchidarium (and inside my other terrariums!). I expect it’s a larger number than I expect; the snail population certainly seems to be growing all the time!
It’s wonderful to see so many Aerangis hariotiana flowers in varying stages of production, but I am also so happy to see so many lovely new healthy roots!
Aerangis hariotiana flowers aren’t scented, but I think that these miniature blooms are absolutely stunning en masse.
Here’s my other Aerangis hariotiana plant. This plant isn’t really flowering (there are just a few older flowers) at the moment, but it’s looking good and is busy producing lots of lovely healthy roots and leaves.
Aerangis hariotiana flowers are minuscule! Here’s a close up photograph I’ve taken to show you the detail of these stunning flowers.
A water droplet is held by the lowest pair of Aerangis hariotiana flowers.
Aerangis hariotiana is a very floriferous orchid with long-lasting flowers. As you can in my photograph below, one of my plants is producing nine flowering stems!
A few of this Aerangis hariotiana plant’s leaves have turned yellow and are dying back, leaving the plant with an undesirable and rather unhappy looking disposition. It’s always a worry when plants lose a few leaves at a time; when this happens it’s important to pay closer inspection to your plants and check that they’ve not been over or under watered and make any improvements to your plants care and growing conditions.
It’s entirely possible that this Aerangis hariotiana plant received more water than it required a few months ago. Hopefully this orchid will retain its other leaves and will display a greener and happier looking appearance very soon.
I love the symmetry of the order and placement of Aerangis hariotiana flowers. For me, these orchid flowers have a delicacy and beauty which I find utterly charming. There are just a small number of flowers on this Aerangis hariotiana plant’s flowering stems are just starting to open; the majority of this Aerangis hariotiana specimen’s flowers will be opening over the next few months.
Hopefully, by the time this Aerangis hariotiana specimen’s yellowing leaves have fallen, this plant’s flowers will still be looking good.
The thin white strands that you might be able to make out just above my Aerangis haiotiana, on the cork in the picture below; these are actually fungi – tiny toadstools.
I tried to cross pollinate these two Aerangis hariotiana plants, but the few flowers that remained on one plant were a fraction too old and the small number of flowers on the other plant were just opening, so the timing wasn’t as good as I was hoping; because of this I only attempted to pollinate two flowers. I guess it’s possible that I could have pollinated one flower successfully, but I don’t think I was successful this time.
Aerangis hariotiana flowers are tiny, so this is a tricky plant to pollinate at the best of times.
My Aerangis hariotiana plant really needs a good clean up and the removal of the moss that’s growing around the plant.
This Aerangis hariotiana plant looks a lot better after some gentle care and attention.
Here’s another orchid that needs its leaves cleaned! This Aerangis hyaloides specimen was originally growing inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums. I transferred this plant to my Tall Orchidarium, when I set this terrarium up for the first time, back in November 2019. This orchid’s leaves could do with a clean; a simple wipe over with small, damp piece of kitchen roll would do the trick nicely. Looking at these pictures is making me even keener to give my plants a clean!
I am naturally a little wary of cleaning any orchid leaves whilst a plant is in bud or in flower, as I have accidentally snapped both flower buds and flowering stems, as I cleaned the leaves. Accordingly, I do tend to leave plants alone whilst they’re preparing to flower.
I have a number of Aerangis hyaloides specimens growing inside my Tall Orchidarium; the plant you see pictured here was previously grown inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums. In the picture above, you might be able to spot an ant!
I love Aerangis hyaloides. This is such a charming little orchid species, with magnificent dark green leaves and the most incredible flowers. I think this is a very handsome orchid species, even when these plants aren’t in flower they still possesses an endearing beauty.
Aerangis hyaloides flowering
The excitement begins! It’s so wonderful to be able to share my Aerangis hyaloides flowers with you.
I love Aerangis hyaloides flowers! These blooms are exquisite!
Aerangis hyaloides flowers have a beauty all of their own, but these orchids don’t produce scented flowers – at least there’s no scent that I can detect. I have sometimes seen this orchid advertised for sale where the seller has advertised Aerangis hyaloides as an orchid with fragrant flowers, but it’s simply not true – there’s no perfume from Aerangis hyaloides flowers either in the daytime or at night.
These magnificent Aerangis hyaloides flowers sparkle in the light; they’re so pretty!
Can you see the Aerangis hyaloides flowers’ nectaries in my photograph below? You might be able to just make out that the nectaries have been punctured and damaged; I think this was done by the ants, who probably feasted on the flowers’ nectar.
Aerangis hyaloides flowers are a lovely white; the blooms glisten like snow or frost in the sunlight.
The kind of foamy substance you can see on the moss in the photograph above is nothing to worry about; it’s the residue from my SB Plant Invigorator sprayings – my pest control spray. The SB seems to collect in the moss, which isn’t the best look.
Aren’t Aerangis hyaloides flowers beautiful? I am utterly captivated by this orchid species.
Here are some more images that show the distorted nectaries, where the ants have punctured the nectary to allow them to dine out on Aerangis hyaloides nectar. Here’s an ant exploring one of my Aerangis hyaloides flowers.
I took this picture back when I was still struggling with ants! Hopefully, these days are over now (fingers crossed!).
I pollinate my orchids flowers to produce seed to create new plants. I cross pollinated this Aerangis hyaloides plant; you might be able to see the swellings at the base of the faded flowers. These swellings are the beginnings of new seed pods forming. Unfortunately, this pollination didn’t produce any viable seeds.
Again, you can see the Aerangis hyaloides seed pods forming in my photographs of another Aerangis hyaloides plant. Although the seed pods continued to ripen on the plant; sadly, this pollination attempt also didn’t realise any new plants. I don’t know if this was down to a problem with the plant or the seed, or if the problem was due to the seed being older, as Lockdown restrictions meant that the seeds had to wait for some months before they were sown. Orchid seeds need to be sown in a lab, so this isn’t something I can do myself.
I’m growing two Aerangis kirkii plants inside my Tall Orchidarium. One of these Aerangis kirkii plants is in much better shape that the other; here’s the healthier specimen…
I just love Aerangis kirkii leaves! This orchid’s foliage really displays a cute and very endearing shape!
While you can see my weaker plant below. This Aerangis kirkii plant was extensively damaged by slugs. I have my fingers crossed that this plant will recover.
It’s possible that you might recognise this raggedy orchid, which I purchased as Aerangis modesta, for my Madagascar Terrarium, back in March 2017. This orchid was then introduced to my Rainforest Terrarium, where this Aerangis lived for a time, before moving to my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019.
It’s always good to see new roots growing!
Over the past year, I’ve found that this Aerangis goes through cycles and stages of looking better than others. We’re currently in a stage that shows this plant at its absolute worst. The leaves are yellowing and there are fewer new roots than I would like to see.
This Aerangis modesta plant has never flowered in the four years that this plant has been in my care.
There are two Aerangis mooreana plants growing inside my Tall Orchidarium. This plant isn’t in fantastic condition but I am hoping that I can make some improvements to this plant’s growing conditions and encourage this plant to produce more roots and leaves.
Here’s my second Aerangis mooreana plant. This is a teeny little thing; a mere fragment, taken from another plant. I wasn’t certain this miniature plant would survive but rather wonderfully this dear little plant is now producing a new root and and leaves, and is growing away nicely. It makes me feel very happy to see this sweet Aerangis mooreana plant growing so well.
These two Aerangis macrocentra plants were previously growing inside my Madagascar Terrarium. I introduced these plants to my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. I positioned these orchids together at the base of my Tall Orchidarium; the plants seem happy here but I’ve noticed that detritus from the plants above frequently falls onto these Aerangis plants’ leaves and they can become too entrenched in moss and fragments of bark and plants.
I experienced a lovely surprise in early December, when I examined these plants and found that both of these Aerangis macrocentra specimens were in the early stages of producing flower buds!
Aerangis macrocentra flowering
Aerangis macrocentra flowers are like tiny silken blooms with long nectaries that resemble one of the arms from a pair of glasses!
Can you spot the aphids?
You might be able to just make out a few aphids on this Aerangis macrocentra specimen’s flowers in my photograph below. I had no idea these aphids were on my orchids until I zoomed in on this photograph. After discovering the aphids, I sprayed both of these Aerangis macrocentra plants and the plants nearby with SB Plant Invigorator and upped my spraying regime.
Aerangis macrocentra flowers have a beautiful sheen. These flowers are tiny. This is a miniature orchid, with very small flowers that are held below the plant’s leaves.
I was delighted when both of these plants flowered at the same time! I took pollen from one Aerangis macrocentra plant, which I used to cross pollinate one of the other plant’s flowers.
Although I took pollen from the flowers on one Aerangis macrocentra plant, I didn’t pollinate any of the flowers on this second plant. This was an insurance policy, as I’ve found that by pollinating young orchids I can usually be successful in getting the plant to produce seed, but I can also be unsuccessful in that I can lose the plant. Producing seed uses up a lot of the plant’s energy and young plants don’t always have the stamina to survive seed production.
Unfortunately, this Aerangis macrocentra specimen’s seed capsule ripened faster than I anticipated and the seeds were all expressed inside my Tall Orchidarium, which was very disappointing. I don’t always have two plants from the same orchid species in flower at the same time to have the opportunity to cross pollinate the flowers, so missing the chance to collect this seed pod felt like a real loss.
Happily, although they’re rather tatty, both of these Aerangis macrocentra plants are alive, which is wonderful! Hopefully I’ll receive another chance to cross pollinate these plants’ flowers and I’ll be more successful in collecting seed.
These two orchids sit at the very bottom of my Tall Orchidarium’s tank, where their leaves catch all of the debris and moss spores that fall onto them. This has resulted in my plants’ leaves receiving a thick coating of moss and detritus, which I regularly remove. I have considered moving these plants to a new position within this Tall Orchidarium, but so far the plants have remained in the same spot.
When cleaning orchids’ leaves, take care to avoid getting water into the crown of the plant (the crown is the centre of the plant’s leaves, where new leaves are formed); as this can cause Crown Rot, which is often fatal.
Hopefully you can see the water in the crown, between my Aerangis macrocentra plant’s leaves, in the picture below. Try to avoid this situation if you can; however, if you notice any water at all (even the tiniest amount) in the crown of your plant, take a piece of kitchen paper or cotton wool, or a material that’s thin, soft, and absorbent, and gently lift the moisture away from the leaves.
It’s important to respond quickly and dry the leaves to prevent the water seeping into the centre of your plant. Never leave water in the crown of your plant, as you could lose your orchid to Crown Rot; a fast response is necessary.
I just have one Aerangis somalensis plant growing inside my Tall Orchidarium. This particular plant was previously growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium; I introduced this plant into this enclosure in November 2019; so this orchid has been growing inside this enclosure for the past 15 months.
When I placed this Aerangis somalensis plant inside my Tall Orchidarium, I decided to position this orchid at the very top of the terrarium. This plant has never flowered in my care and I wondered if by giving the plant some more intense lighting I could encourage it to flower. Almost a year later, this Aerangis somalensis specimen began producing a flower spike.
I was thrilled to see my hope of a new Aerangis somalensis flower becoming closer to being realised.
This Aerangis somalensis flowering stem continued to grow and develop and my excitement and anticipation grew in tandem with this plant.
Here’s a closer look at the Aerangis somalensis flowering stem in production.
Sadly, this flowering stem began to wither in the early part of 2021, so my hopes for a Aerangis somalensis flower this time were dashed. All is not lost however, as although this Aerangis somalensis plant isn’t looking as lovely and strong and healthy as I would like, this plant is continuing to produce new roots, which is so wonderful to see.
Here’s a closer look at a gorgeous new Aerangis somalensis root!
Aerangis x primulina
I’m growing two Aerangis x primulina plants inside my Tall Orchidarium; both of these plants have been growing inside this enclosure for the past 15 months. This plant is a younger specimen, which has adjusted well to the conditions inside my Tall Orchidarium but both plants have thrived inside my Tall Orchidarium.
Aerangis x primulina flowering
It’s always exciting to see my Aerangis x primulina plants flowering!
Like both of their parents, Aerangis x primulina flowers aren’t fragrant; they are however very beautiful.
If you can avoid wetting your orchid’s flowers they will usually last a lot longer. Sadly, this is not my speciality, I have unintentionally specialised in soaking my orchid blooms!
Aerangis x primulina flowers have a crystal clear shimmer when viewed in the light. The cell structure of this miniature orchid’s petals and sepals gives these orchid flowers a magical sparkle!
I took this picture on Christmas eve. I love to have white flowers in time for Christmas; I was thrilled to have these Aerangis x primulina flowers brightening up my Christmas!
I took this picture of my younger Aerangis x primulina plant on new year’s day just as this plant’s flowering dwindled; there were just three of its flowers hanging on.
Here’s my older Aerangis x primulina plant in bud. Aren’t the flower buds gorgeous? I love the patterns these orchid flower buds make; for me, they are just as attractive in bud as they are in flower. Although having said that, it is exciting waiting for the flowers to open!
Aerangis x primulina flowers really pack a punch! These two Aerangis x primulina flowering stems are jam-packed full of snowy white flowers! I don’t think these flowers have the full on sparkle that Aeragis hyaloides blooms display, but nevertheless this orchid’s flowers have a definite shimmer which I admire whenever I examine the blooms closely in the sunlight.
Here’s my second Aerangis x primulina plant; this specimen isn’t as strong or healthy a plant as my other plant.
My Aerangis x primulina plant’s flowers were fading as I took this picture.
Here’s a photograph of Aerangis x primulina that was taken today.
These Angraecum aloifolium specimens were all previously growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium. I moved these plants into my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019; so the Angraecum aloifolium specimens you see here have all been growing inside this enclosure for the past 15 months. I don’t usually like to include too many plants of the same orchid species in one enclosure, but I made an exception this time, as I was keen to trial growing these Angraecum aloifolium plants in different growing conditions. I am particularly interested to see how these orchids will grow and develop when grown under brighter lighting than they enjoyed in my Rainforest Terrarium.
I must be honest and say that I am absolutely and utterly head over heels in love with Angraecum aloifolium. I truly love this clunky, quirky and impossibly cute orchid species! I simply adore this orchid species; look at these Angraecum aloifolium leaves, aren’t they gorgeous?
None of the Angraecum aloifolium specimens that I am growing inside my Tall Orchidarium have flowered before. I hope that I can encourage these Angraecum plants to flower; as I would like to pollinate my orchids to produce seeds to create a new generation of plants.
Angraecum aloifolium is endemic to Madagascar, where plants grow as epiphytes, growing upon trees in Madagascar’s dry, deciduous forests. This orchid species (like many other orchid species) faces many threats in the wild from loss of habitat, due to forests being cleared for charcoal production and habitats are damaged and plants are lost when trees are felled for firewood. Although Madagascar is being studied and protected by groups of hard working conservationists, scientists, and other specialists, areas of Madagascan forests have been cleared over the years as the country’s population increased; towns and villages expanded and new homes were needed to house the growing community. People need to feed their families and so eco systems and species rich habitats were lost, as forests are cleared to create more land for farming.
In addition to these numerous and serious threats, orchids are often collected in the wild to supply plants for the world orchid trade. All of this is heartbreaking; these actions have left many wild orchids living in fragmented populations, in degraded habitats. This is a serious problem for orchids and other wild plants, not only in Madagascar but in many countries around the world. Sadly, some orchid species are now extinct in the wild. I want to propagate more plants from my orchid collection to allow further study of these miniature epiphytic orchid species and to hopefully help the wild plants and their habitats.
When I introduced these Angraecum aloifolium plants to my Tall Orchidarium, I positioned the plants high up, right at the top of the tank, so the plants would be close to my Tall Orchidarium’s LED lights. I placed all of these orchids in the top section of the tank, but some of the Angraecum aloifolium plants were positioned closer to the LED lights than others; this was intentional – so I could see whether the plants would be happiest growing under more intense light and to help me determine the quality of light that’s required for optimum Angraecum aloifolium plant growth.
None of these Angraecum aloifolium plants have flowered before and so I also hoped that this new brighter lighting would encourage these orchids to bloom.
I’ve got a considerable amount of fast growing mosses peppered all around my Tall Orchidarium. The regular misting and lighting that I’ve set up for my orchids combine to create the optimum conditions for moss growth. Many of my plants thrive when grown in and amongst moss, but I don’t like to see moss growing on or over a plant’s leaves; as this prevents the leaves from photosynthesising, which can cause the plant to decline or die.
It was really quite challenging to chip off the moss from this Angraecum aloifolium plant’s leaves. After working away gently cleaning moss from this plant’s leaves for quite some time, I decided to stop and resume my work the following week. It’s really important to be gentle when you’re cleaning a plant’s leaf. Leaves are a vital part of a plant, so you don’t want to damage any of the leaves; this is especially important when you’re dealing with miniature plants, which don’t have many leaves.
It’s a wonderful feeling when one of my orchids starts producing a flower bud! The excitement is intensified if that plant hasn’t ever flowered before; so discovering this Angraecum aloifolium specimen was producing its first ever flower bud was an incredibly exciting discovery!
I noticed this mere hint of a flower bud when I went to give my Angraecum aloifolium plants’ leaves a clean. After finding this bud, I cancelled my plans and left this Angraecum aloifolium specimen’s leaves alone, as I didn’t want to take the chance that I would accidentally damage this new flower bud.
Here’s a closer look at this developing Angraecum aloifolium bud; isn’t it wonderful?
Can you spot the cheeky snail in the background?
Orchid flower buds often look rather like mittens; this Angraecum aloifolium plant’s flower bud is no exception.
This Angraecum aloifolium flower bud developed very rapidly. Some orchid species take much longer than others to develop their flowers, the time from bud emergance to the flower opening varies dramatically from one orchid species to another.
This Angraecum aloifolium specimen’s flowering stem is noticeably flattened, which is typical of this species.
Isn’t this Angraecum aloifolium flower bud gorgeous? It has been such a thrill to watch this flower develop.
In this close up photograph above, my Aerangis aloifolium flower bud looks rather like it has some kind of watermark – this is just what the bud now looks like close up – it’s where the flower is formed and packaged inside the bud.
There’s just one Angraecum equitans plant growing inside my Tall Orchidarium. This is a super special orchid from Madagascar; I absolutely adore this orchid species and I hold a great deal of love and affection for this particular plant.
I first planted this tiny little plant inside my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, back in August 2015. Then in November 2017, I moved this plant into my Madagascar Terrarium, where the plant remained until November 2019, when I finally moved this miniature orchid into my Tall Orchidarium.
Despite being in my care for over five years, this Angraecum equitans specimen remains a very miniature plant, even by my standards and for the size I would expect to see in plants from this particular miniature orchid species. This Angraecum equitans plant has never, ever flowered. However, it has absolutely thrilled me to see how well this charming little plant has grown inside my Tall Orchidarium; my plant has produced new leaves and some gorgeous new roots over the past 15 months.
Whilst this miniature orchid was growing inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, this Angraecum equitans specimen would seem to be growing happily for a time and then just when it all seemed to be going so well, things would change rather dramatically and we would then endure a period where I would fear for this plant’s life! However, thankfully this has not happened for quite sometime and it has pleased me so much to see that this mini miniature Angraecum equitans plant has been very happy growing inside my Tall Orchidarium.
It’s not always easy to gauge the size of a plant from a photograph – to more accurately convey to you just how tiny this little Angraecum equitans orchid is – here’s a photo of my Angraecum equitans plant in my husband’s hand. This plant has been in my care since August 2015, which was over five and a half years ago – as I write to you today.
Here’s a loser look at a brand new Angraecum equitans leaf as it emerges.
I have one Angraecum ochraceum specimen growing inside this Tall Orchidarium. This miniature orchid is from Madagascar. You may recognise this plant, which I previously grew inside my Madagascar Terrarium for a couple of years, before I introduced this plant to my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. This plant has now been growing inside my Tall Orchidarium for the past 15 months.
This orchid had a few snails that were living in the moss (and under the plant’s leaves) around this Angraecum ochraceum specimen’s roots and leaves. These mollusks weren’t causing a huge amount of damage to this plant, but quite a number of lovely, brand new leaves were gobbled up by the snails the moment they emerged. Consequently, I took drastic action and removed almost all of the moss around the plant, which allowed me to find the snails and remove them.
I find that Angraecum ochraceum plants tend to be happier when grown in moss. Now that I’ve taken away this plant’s security blanket, I will be providing this Angraecum ochraecum plant with some extra hand misting to try and improve the plant’s growing conditions, until the moss grows back, which hopefully won’t take very long.
I just have this one Angraecum sacciferum plant growing inside my Tall Orchidarium. I don’t find this the easiest of orchids to keep. I hope that this plant will perk up and will be happy growing inside this enclosure.
Other articles that may interest you………………..
To see my Tall Orchidarium as I first set up this enclosure, please click here.
To see all of the articles I’ve written about my Tall Orchidarium, please click here.
To see a planting list of orchids, ferns, and other plants, that thrive inside terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.
To see all of my articles about setting up terrariums, please click here.
To read about my Thanksgiving cactus, please click here.
To see my Rainforest Terrarium being created, please click here.
To see my houseplants, please click here.