I’ve designed and created so many terrariums, including a number of terrariums and orchidariums that I’ve written updates for (see my Orchidarium, my Rainforest Terrarium, my Tall Orchidarium, my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, my White Orchid Trial Terrarium, and my Madagascar Terrarium). Each terrarium update I publish takes an inordinate amount of time and energy to put together; hence why I’ve not published a full update for this Orchidarium in an absolute age! Today, I’ve finally made it – here’s a look at how the Phalaenopsis species I’m growing inside my Orchidarium have developed since my last update, back in September 2019. PS. Don’t worry – I’ve included photographs I’ve taken of my Phalaenopsis plants in 2019, 2020, and 2021 – so you can see how my plants have changed over the past 20 months – although I’ve not given an update until now, I’ve made sure that you won’t miss out on anything!
This Orchidarium was set up in the early part of 2017. If you’re interested, you can read my step by step guide as to how my Orchidarium was created, by clicking here.
There’s a lot to write about inside my Orchidarium; as a result, I’ve divided this update into more manageable sized pieces. I’ve written a separate update on the equipment I’ve used inside my Orchidarium, and I’ll write an update dedicated to the remainder of the orchids I’m growing inside this enclosure. Read on for an update on how the Phalaenopsis orchids inside my Orchidarium have developed from September 2019 to June 2021!
Orchidarium planting list
I am currently growing the following Phalaenopsis plants growing inside this Orchidarium:
- Phalaenopsis appendiculata
- Phalaenopsis celebensis
- Phalaenopsis deliciosa
- Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba
- Phalaenopsis finleyi
- Phalaenopsis lobbii
- Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia
- Phalaenopsis malipoensis
- Phalaenopsis parishii
- Phalaenopsis parishii alba
- Phalaenopsis stobartiana
- Phalaenopsis taenialis
- Phalaenopsis thailandica
- Phalaenopsis wilsonii
My Orchidarium Planting List includes information on each of the orchid species that have ever been grown inside this Orchidarium, but you can also click on a plant to see links to every article I have written about that particular plant species. I have listed all of the nurseries and suppliers that I used to purchase all of my plants, mosses, and cork for this Orchidarium, at the bottom of this planting list. You can see the full planting list for this Orchidarium here.
I am starting with an unfortunate clang rather than a bang! This is Phalaenopsis appendiculata; perhaps I should say that it was Phalaenopsis appendiculata? This plant’s rubber sucker that I use to attach this plant to my Orchidarium’s glass sides must have come unstuck as this plant had fallen upside down and lay undetected at the bottom of my tank.
It might look like a regular sized plant in these close up picture, but Phalaenopsis appendiculata is a mini-miniature sized orchid – this plant is small enough to enable it to disappear in amongst the bushy plants that are growing in the compost and moss, at the base of my Orchidarium.
This plant’s only remaining leaf is decaying; it would be impossible to wipe this leaf clean! There are some heathy roots remaining, but I am doubtful that this will be enough to sustain this plant and enable its recovery back to full health.
I’ve been growing this Phalaenopsis appendiculata plant inside my Orchidarium since April 2017 (four years). I find that young Phalaenopsis appendiculata plants are much easier to grow than older plants. I don’t think this plant has much of a future, but I will keep hold of this orchid and nurture it, just in case I can help it to recover.
I’ve been growing this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen inside my Orchidarium since October 2017. Phalaenopsis celebensis thrives in wet and shady growing conditions. I try to give my Phalaenopsis celebensis plants additional moisture by hand misting; however this orchid species always seems to desire more water!
Phalaenopsis celebensis flowering
My Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen would have produced a greater amount flowers, if I had given this plant more waterings. In order to bloom, this orchid species needs to experience deep shade, very high humidity levels, as well as regular and frequent, heavy waterings.
When I wrote my last Orchidarium update, I was using reverse osmosis water or deionised water to water my plants and fill up the reservoir for my automated misting unit. Since then, I’ve now bought a bigger rainwater tank, which has allowed me to use rainwater to water all of my orchids. If I run out of water during spring or summer droughts, I will still be able to use my reverse osmosis system to supply water that’s an improvement on tap water for my orchids, but I hope to collect sufficient rainwater to irrigate my orchids, throughout the year.
Given deep shade, regular frequent waterings, and very humid growing conditions, Phalaenopsis celebensis is a very floriferous orchid species.
My Phalaenopsis celebensis plant had to be moved. This plant is now grown in not as shaded location as this plant would like; as I had to re-locate this orchid to a slightly more exposed position in order to ensure that this plant received more water when my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit operates.
Previously, this Phalaenopsis celebensis plant was given its optimum light levels (deep shade). I had originally positioned this Phalaenopsis celebensis plant at the bottom of my Orchidarium and as far back as possible, where this orchid enjoyed the deep shade cast by the plants growing above. However, I found that despite hand misting this orchid, I was unable to supply this plant with sufficient water; hence this plant’s move to a position that’s not quite shady enough but still not quite wet enough!
My Phalaenopsis celebensis plant’s leaves are showing signs of damage; there are holes in this plant’s leaves and undesirable dark markings that aren’t part of this orchid’s natural leaf variegation. The leaf damage that resulted in the accumulation of these unwanted leaf marks has been caused by a combination of things; firstly water dripping from the plant above onto the surface of this orchid’s leaves and that water sitting on the surface of the leaf for a prolonged period of time. The water hasn’t run off due to the horizontal positioning of this orchid’s leaves inside my orchidarium and the water hasn’t evaporated (or has evaporated very slowly), due to the low position of this orchid within the tank, where the air circulation is not as brisk.
Tiny snails have eaten as much as they could from my Phalaenopsis celebensis plant’s leaves; these tiny molluscs are the cause of this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen’s leaf holes. When new leaves emerge, they are softer, thiner, and more succulent; as the leaves age they develop a tougher surface and are more resistant to damage. However, when the foliage is new it takes some time to thicken and harden and during this period of new growth the leaves are very vulnerable to attack by slugs and snails. The tiny snails inside my Orchidarium have devoured as much as they could from this Phalaenopsis celebensis plant’s leaves. Thankfully enough of the leaf remains to sustain this orchid, although the plant does look unsightly.
There are goodness knows how many snails inside my Orchidarium; as fast as I remove snails from this tank it seems that more appear! The snails are nowhere near as damaging as the larger sized slugs I found inside my Tall Orchidarium – by the time I had any inkling that there were any slugs inside my Tall Orchidarium – these molluscs had eaten two or three of my orchids in the entirety! Thankfully, I’ve only had slugs inside my Tall Orchidarium. I pray that I never expose my orchids to slugs again but snails reside inside all of my terrariums and for the most part the tiny snails don’t cause any serious damage.
When orchids are in bud or in flower it’s important to supply your plant with its optimum moisture levels. I find that almost all of my orchids require extra moisture and additional hand misting when they are developing flower buds or blooming.
I am fortunate to have this Phalaenopsis celebensis specimen growing inside my Orchidarium. I hope that whenever this plant produces another new leaf that I can successfully protect this orchid’s foliage from snails.
I am looking forward to seeing this Phalaenopsis celebensis plant in bloom in the coming weeks!
This Phalaenopsis deliciosa plant has been growing inside my Orchidarium since October 2017 (which was just over three and a half years ago, as I write to you today in June 2021).
Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowering
Phalaenopsis deliciosa is another floriferous orchid species. This is a sequential bloomer which blooms over a long flowering period – Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowering stems continue to grow and lengthen, producing more flower buds from the tip of the stem. Phalaenopsis deliciosa flowers open one after another in an extended floral succession that lasts for many months.
Plants usually produce one or two open flowers at a time, sometimes more, but new buds are in various stages of production; new flowers are ready to take over the helm when the current flower fades.
These are such beautiful flowers. I have never managed to detect any perfume from Phalaenopsis deliciosa blooms, but I always stop to admire this orchid species’ very pretty flowers.
When you examine a Phalaenopsis deliciosa flower closely, you can see that these flowers have a slight crystalline quality and a hint of subtle shimmer to each individual bloom. This sparkle is created as the light refracts through the petals’ and tepals’ cells.
This Phalaenopsis deliciosa plant has formed two crowns, which is wonderful. However, my plant is not as vibrant as I would like, simply because this miniature orchid prefers to grow in slightly more shaded conditions, with light that’s a little softer and more diffused. I separate all of my plants from the same orchid species out and place them into different enclosures, in an attempt to safeguard my plants and protect my orchids from a pest outbreak or an equipment malfunction. Hence why I am continuing to grow this Phalaenopsis deliciosa plant in slightly less than ideal growing conditions.
My Phalaenopsis deliciosa plant looks rather mouldy in my picture below. The almost foamy look this plant’s mount is displaying is unsightly, but it’s just where I’ve used SB Plant Invigorator (an organic spray used to control aphids, whitefly, mealybug, scale insects, and spider mites).
I’ve got some vigorously growing mosses that are absolutely thriving inside my Orchidarium!
Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba
This is Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba – the while flowered form of Phalaenopsis deliciosa. I’ve been growing this particular orchid inside my Orchidarium since September 2017, which is not far off four years ago, as I write to you today.
Here’s the first new flowering stem that my Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plant produced last year.
Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alaba flowering
Some growers cultivate Phalaenopsis deliciosa in small containers, but I prefer to grow these orchids mounted on a large chunk of cork bark. In the picture above, you can see the moss growing around this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plant’s roots and leaves.
Quite a bit of moss is growing alongside this miniature orchid on its cork mount. This isn’t a problem at all, but I don’t like to see moss covering the orchid’s leaves. I have various species of moss, some of which grow rather large and quickly form pillow like hummocks; these mosses could almost swallow a miniature orchid whole! It’s always worth keeping an eye on any mosses around your orchids but don’t rush into removing the moss.
I absolutely adore moss and many of my orchids will in fact grow better with moss growing in unison with the orchid. Moss will sometimes grow on, underneath, or all around these plants’ roots. I also grow orchids that would rapidly decline if they were mounted with moss or any other vegetation close to their roots; it all depends on the particular orchid species I’m growing.
I find that Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba both thrive with moss growing around their roots.
Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba produces these gorgeous snow-white flowers. On closer inspection, you’ll find that these blooms have a touch of sparkle over every flower’s tepals and petals. This orchid species’ flowers only reveal their exquisite and almost magical beauty to those who take the time to make a close examination of their inflorescences; this shimmer cannot be seen from afar. I adore Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba flowers; they are utterly charming and ever so pretty!
I’ve often heard Phalaenopsis deliciosa described as a scented orchid, but I’ve never managed to detect any perfume from either Phalaenopsis deliciosa or Phalaenopsis delciosa var. alba flowers. These blooms are very beautiful to look at, but they aren’t scented.
Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plants require frequent misting while the plants are in bud. If these plants don’t enjoy high enough humidity levels and are not receiving sufficient water to bloom well, this orchid species will always rapidly abort at least one or two of their developing flower buds. On the day that I took the photograph you can see above, this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plant decided to abort two of its developing flower buds after not receiving enough misting.
I provide my Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plants with additional hand misting, while these plants are in bud. Outside of their blooming times these orchids don’t require any additional misting.
The brown markings on this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plant’s leaves look rather like scale insects at first glance; however, these aren’t scale – they are markings caused by droplets of water from my automated misting unit landing on the plant’s horizontally held leaves. These marks were created due to the water remaining on the leaf for an extended period and not running off or evaporating. This orchid’s leaves are in poor condition due to the plant being grown in too bright a position for many years and from water being sprayed onto the leaves each day – both Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba would prefer to have water run over their roots and their leaves kept dry. This is true of many orchid species and cultivars.
Another factor that has been detrimental to this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen and some of the other orchids I’m growing inside my Orchidarium is that I’ve had some problems with my equipment in my Orchidarium (find out more about this in a dedicated equipment update coming sometime in the next few weeks). These faults have caused the growing conditions inside my Orchidarium to be much wetter than I would have chosen for these orchids.
I feel bad that this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen isn’t receiving its ideal care. I am currently planning to see if I can move this orchid to a new environment.
It’s lovely to see this Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba specimen’s first flower spike of the year. I look forward to showing you this miniature orchid’s flowers in a future update!
I’ve been growing this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen inside my Orchidarium since September 2017. This is a smaller sized orchid species, it’s more compact than Phalaenopsis deliciosa.
I grow this miniature orchid in pretty shaded conditions, underneath my Phalaenopsis deliciosa and Phalaenopsis deliciosa var. alba plants. As this plant is shielded by the plants above, I sometimes have concerns that this Phalaenopsis finleyi plant isn’t receiving sufficient rainwater from my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit. I try to give this particular plant some additional hand misting a couple of times a week, during the growing season.
Phalaenopsis finleyi only flowers for a short period of time – just a couple of days, once a year. In 2020, unfortunately, either this plant aborted its flower buds or I missed this plant’s flowering! I suspect that this orchid aborted its flowers to protect itself from undue stress, as the plant had not received enough moisture to flower comfortably. If you’d like to see this same plant in bloom, head over to my previous update to see this Phalaenopsis finleyi specimen in flower.
Phalaenopsis finleyi is a deciduous orchid species – these plants drop all of their leaves in autumn and wintertime. I give my Phalaenopsis finleyi plants a dry winter rest period every year. This past winter, to enable my Phalaenopsis finleyi plant to enjoy drier growing conditions, I took this plant on a trip over to my dry winter terrarium to spend the later months of 2020. Winter’s over and this orchid has now been returned back to my Orchidarium where my Phalaenopsis finleyi plant is enjoying regular misting, thanks to my Orchidarium’s automated misting unit.
My Phalaenopsis finleyi plant has produced some incredibly shiny new leaves. This plant’s foliage looks as if it has been polished; these leaves glisten, they’re so smooth and glossy. These new leaves are also very thin and succulent, which makes them vulnerable to attack from slugs and any other mollusks that are residing inside my Orchidarium.
This particular Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen has been in my care since 2015 (six years, as I write to you today). I introduced this Phalaenopsis lobbii plant to my Orchidarium when I set this enclosure up for the first time in the early part of 2017, and here this orchid has remained ever since.
Phalaenopsis lobbii is such a wonderful orchid species, it flowers beautifully and reliably, every single year. I simply adore this stunning miniature orchid species!
Phalaenopsis lobbii flowering
I took this picture of my Phalaenopsis lobbii plant in bloom on Christmas Eve; it was wonderful to celebrate Christmas with this dear little orchid in bloom.
Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers always remind me of sweet little flower faces, with their orange lips beaming, delighting me with their happy smiles!
I celebrated New Year’s Eve by taking some photographs of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen and its super-cute flowers!
I hand pollinated one of this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s flowers on the 30th December 2019. I cross pollinated this particular flower with pollen I took from another Phalaenopsis lobbii plant, which I’m growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium. The picture above shows the pollinated flower (and another flower that I chose not to pollinate) the day after pollination; while the picture below, shows this same Phalaenopsis lobbii flower as the seed pod began developing, and after its flower had turned orange to demonstrate that this bloom had been successfully pollinated.
Unless a plant is linking its roots to another of my orchids that’s growing on a separate mount or trying to extend into an area where the plant will be endangered by me clanging into it, I always allow my orchids’ roots to grow and position themselves wherever they choose. I don’t attempt to pin down any of my plants’ roots or tidy them up at all. Air is so important to orchids; these plants need to enjoy air around their roots.
The picture above shows a successfully pollinated Phalaenopsis lobbii flower next to a bloom that has not been pollinated. The picture below shows the same two Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers just a week and a half earlier, when the flowers’ differences are not as pronounced but are still easily identifiable (the pollinated flower is on the right-hand side of both pictures).
Here’s this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen, pictured complete with its developing seed pod; isn’t it wonderful? Phalaenopsis lobbii seed pods display such a handsome form with these gorgeous grooves.
Seeds=new plants=very exciting!
In my photograph below, you can see a new flower bud and new roots forming.
These pictures show the bud now fully open as a Phalaenopsis lobbii flower and slightly longer, older roots!
My photograph above shows this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen’s ripening seed pod and a new flower spike just emerging. Can you see it? It’s the green shoot that’s emerging next to the seed pod’s stem. Phalaenopsis lobbii flower buds resemble mittens or a side view of a fish with its mouth open!
Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis lobbii seed pod. There’s a small amount of moss growing on the tip of this seed pod but it’s not causing a problem, so I’ve left the moss alone. I was anxious not to tamper with the tip of the seed pod, as I didn’t want to take any chances or risk damaging the seeds inside.
Despite its ongoing seed production, this Phalaenopsis lobbii specimen is still producing new flowering stems and lots of lovely new flower buds!
I took these pictures on New Year’s Eve, when these Phalaenopsis lobbii flower buds weren’t quite ready to open.
Here are my first Phalaenopsis lobbii flowers of the year.
I have different forms of Phalaenopsis lobbii, each form produces different coloured blooms. This form of Phalaenopsis lobbii has orange, brown and white coloured blooms, while the Phalaenopsis lobbii plant I’m growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium produces brown and white coloured flowers, and Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabi produces yellow and white coloured flowers. They’re all different but the same, and all utterly gorgeous – I cherish these miniature orchids.
Phalaenopsis lobbii is a miniature orchid with flower power!
Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia
I simply adore Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia; this is the yellow flowered form of Phalaenopsis lobbii – an utterly gorgeous and super-cute miniature orchid! I’ve been growing this same Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant inside my Orchidarium since May 2017 (which as I’m writing to you today, in June 2021, was four years ago).
This Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen has endured a tough time. My update starts in November and December 2019, at this time my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen was entirely leafless, after I dropped the plant causing its leaves and flowering stems (complete with flower buds) to snap off cleanly at the base. Thankfully, this miniature orchid survived this trauma and my plant went on to produce new roots, leaves, and flowering stems in 2020.
Naturally, my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen flowered much later after experiencing its accident; this plant needed to regain its energy and produce new leaves and flowering stems. In these pictures I took in October 2020, you can see that this plant made a great comeback. At this time, my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant was in the process of producing four new flowering stems.
It feels utterly, dismal writing this but as I was reaching into my Orchidarium to study one of the other orchids inside this tank, I accidentally knocked this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant and it bounced onto the floor, parting ways with the plant’s best leaf as it landed.
This miniature orchid is actually one of my absolute favourite plants, so I feel terrible for causing it another set back.
In these close up photographs, you can see that this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabi specimen is mounted on a small piece of cork tile. I didn’t mount this plant myself – this is how the orchid came when I purchased it. Although orchids can grow happily on compressed cork tiles like this, I generally prefer to mount my orchids onto pieces of naturally formed cork bark, as I find their deeper ridges and undulating forms look more aesthetically pleasing. These pieces of natural bark often offer more recesses and seem to be less prone to mould. However, cork tiles are more widely available and these products can be more affordable; so there are pros and cons with both forms of this same material.
I have thought of removing this miniature orchid from its mount and giving it a lovely new fresh piece of cork that’s entirely free from mould spores, but so far I’ve not been able to bring myself to detach this plant from its mount. This Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia specimen must be very securely attached to this condensed piece of cork, having survived being dropped so many times.
Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia flowering
Although this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant was in the process of developing four flowering stems back in December 2020, only one of these flower spikes survived to fruition.
I am simply head over heels in love with Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia; its flowers are so lovely. I love their pastel yellow colourings and their charming beauty.
I must say that this flower did not seem as vibrant as this plant’s usual offerings; this is die to this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant not being up to full strength.
This Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant isn’t looking anywhere near as fabulous as I would like. I will continue trying to revive this orchid; I will do anything I can do to help this plant to regain its former strength and beauty.
This is Phalaenopsis malipoensis. I’ve been growing this miniature orchid inside my Orchidarium since April 2017.
Sadly, so far, I’ve not managed to provide this miniature orchid with its ideal growing conditions. My plant looked very tatty when I purchased it – this Phalaenopsis malipoensis specimen had many brown marks all over every leaf when it arrived in the post, four and a half years ago. Thankfully, this plant’s leaves do now have an improved vigour and appearance but this plant still missing something it needs.
I must say that Phalaenopsis malipoensis is a very resilient orchid species. This particular plant must have produced goodness knows how many flower spikes which were sadly aborted by the plant, but that didn’t stop this Phalaenopsis malipoensis plant from continuing to generate new flowering stems.
The continual production of more and more flowering stems must sap this plant’s energy. I suspect that this miniature orchid has craved wetter growing conditions and so I’ve allowed some moss to grow up around this plant’s roots. I hope that this additional moss growth will help to improve this Phalaenopsis malipoensis plant’s growing conditions.
Here’s another cheeky snail pictured happily ambling around this orchid’s roots.
Here’s another of my most loved plants; this is Phalaenopsis parishii. I bought this plant back at the beginning of April 2016; at the time this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen was a young plant that was about to flower for the first time.
My Phalaenopsis parishii plant was first introduced to my BiOrbAir terrariums, where this specimen resided from April 2016 until April 2017, when I moved this plant into my Orchidarium.
I curtail the quantity of moss that grows alongside my Phalaenopsis parishii plants. I gently remove the moss using tweezers. I do this fairly regularly for this particular Phalaenopsis parishii specimen, as I have one or two vigorous moss species that have seeded themselves around inside my Orchidarium.
When I am removing moss from my orchids, if the moss doesn’t gently peel away from my plant’s roots immediately; then I will spritz the moss and this Phalaenopsis parishii plant’s roots with rainwater; then I leave the plant and return 15 minutes later to remove the moss, when it’s much easier to dislodge and remove.
Phalaenopsis parishii is a miniature sized orchid. Over the years, this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen has produced a number of new crowns and many new roots to form a substantial specimen that’s still compact and bijou. That’s not to say that my plant has anything of a groomed appearance it’s something of a confused tangle in places, with leaves under roots and remnants of spent flower stems and ancient roots still in situ.
These dried brown sticks are the remnants of this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s old flowering stems. These faded flower stems can be cut back neatly at their base, but leaving them like this won’t cause any damage. I left these stems as they were, as I was anxious to avoid accidentally cutting into any of this Phalaenopsis parishii plant’s lovely new roots.
Here’s a picture I took to show the beautiful framework of this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s roots.
Here’s a closer look at a new flowering stem and some lovely new Phalaenopsis parishii roots.
Here’s another view of this same Phalaenopsis parishii specimen, showing the plant as a whole from the other side. This miniature orchid is holding roots of many different ages; these roots all perform different functions and all have value to the plant. I very rarely remove any old roots from my orchids.
Phalaenopsis parishii flowering
II pollinated one of these Phalaenopsis parishii flowers at the beginning of February 2021. I took pollen from another Phalaenopsis parishii plant, which I’m growing inside a separate enclosure.
On the 29th March 2021, I cross pollinated another of this Phalaenopsis parishii specimen’s flowers with pollen I took from another of my Phalaenopsis parishii plants – this time from a Phalaenopsis parishii specimen that I’m growing inside my Tall Orchidarium. The picture above and the image below both show the Phalaenopsis parishii flower I’m about to pollinate and the flower that I had already hand pollinated back in February 2021.
Phalaenopsis parishii alba
This Phalaenopsis parishii alba is a sad and sorry sight! I bought this plant back in 2017; my plant was lost in the post after dispatch and this orchid spent a few weeks in the dark. When this Phalaenopsis parishii alba plant eventually arrived at my home, it wasn’t in good shape and didn’t have much life or any vitality about it. My visitors declared this plant to be dead, such was its poor health and condition.
By 2019, this Phalaenopsis parishii plant had regained some of its strength and delighted me by flowering for the first time! Although this plant was never as full of vitality as I would have liked, its growth and progress seemed positive. However, by 2020, this same Phalaenopsis parishii plant had seeped back into some kind of despair.
Phalaenopsis parishii alba flowering
Phalaenopsis parishii alba flowered in June 2020, albeit weakly and for a much shorter time than is usual for this orchid species.
This Phalaenopsis parishii alba plant has been looking so poorly for so long that I have been bracing myself in case I lost the plant.
When I saw this flowering stem emerging in January 2021, I decided that if this Phalaenopsis parishii alba specimen did indeed bloom, then I would pollinate its flower to try and produce some new plants before this plant eventually departed this world.
New flowering stems often look rather like mittens when they emerge from the plant.
It’s always exciting to see a new flowering stem, but I felt somewhat sad at the time when I took these photographs; as I feel sure that this Phalaenopsis parishii alba plant won’t survive long term. Indeed, asking this miniature orchid to produce seeds maybe the action that finally pushes this plant over the edge; however, I would rather take this chance now. This has never been a strong or healthy plant, despite receiving the gentlest of care and attention; I feel that this plant’s early trauma has affected its long term health and prospects and I want to do all I can to secure a new generation of plants – hence my determination to pollinate this miniature orchid.
I took these photos just before I pollinated this Phalaenopsis parishii alba flower.
The photograph above shows Phalaenopsis parishii alba before pollination and the picture below shows these two flowers a month later. I didn’t have another Phalaenopsis parishii alba in flower at the time, so I decided to self-pollinate this miniature orchid.
This is Phalaenopsis stobartiana. I’ve been growing this orchid inside my Orchidarium since April 2017 – which as I write to you today was just over four years ago.
Here’s a look at a flowering stem that this Phalaenopsis stobartiana plant produced last. year. This miniature orchid has produced quite a large number of flowering spikes over the years, but sadly none of these stems have gone on to fulfil their purpose, and this plant has yet to flower.
These twigs that have been inserted underneath this Phalaenopsis stobartiana plant’s crown help to provide this orchid with some extra humidity; they prevent all of the water that this orchid receives from evaporating as quickly as it would without the addition of these stems. These twigs also help to create valuable air pockets between this orchid and its mount.
It’s always exciting seeing an orchid producing a new flowering stem, especially when it’s a plant that hasn’t bloomed before.
Sadly, I was unsuccessful in getting this orchid to flower this time. This Phalaenopsis stobartiana plants has aborted these tiny flower buds. I hope to show you this orchid in flower in future! Fingers crossed.
This Phalaenopsis taenialis plant has grown into a fantastic specimen; I feel a little anxious that in writing those words that I may just have bestowed the kiss of death onto this lovely plant. However, I’m excited to show you just how productive this particular Phalaenopsis taenialis plant has become – you’ll see a big change in this plant from the orchid I last showed you back in autumn 2019.
Firstly though, the flower spike you can see above in my picture from January 2020 didn’t make it, but I didn’t feel too sad about this, as replacements were already in advanced stages of production!
Woo hoo! This Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen produced three flowering spikes in June 2020! Yippee!
While this Phalaenopsis taenialis plant was in bud, I gave this orchid extra misting using my hand-held sprayer filled with rainwater. Phalaenopsis taenialis requires high humidity levels and regular misting to successfully deliver on its promise of flowers whilst the plant’s in bud. If the conditions are too dry or something dramatic changes with the lighting then this orchid will abort its flower buds.
I use rainwater to mist and water all of my orchids, using rainwater I’ve collected from my roof.
Phalaenopsis taenialis flowering
I took this close up photo to show you this Phalaenopsis taenialis flower bud as it started to open.
Here’s the first open flower of this blooming period. Phalaenopsis taenialis flowers display an attractive sheen.
I often think that Phalaenopsis taenialis flowers look rather like they have their tongue sticking out! Can you see what I mean?
Phalaenopsis taenialis flowers are not perfumed. I’ve never detected any scent from this orchid species’ flowers either during the daytime or at night, despite many close encounters.
I pollinate the orchids in my National Collection to produce seed to create new plants for orchid conservation groups and further study.
I didn’t have another Phalaenopsis taenialis plant in bud or in flower, so I had to self-pollinated this plant by hand.
I pollinated two of this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s flowers immediately after taking these photographs.
Here’s the result of a successful orchid pollination – two new seed pods!
Phalaenopsis taenialis seed pods develop pretty rapidly; I took this photograph just 19 days after pollination.
I find that money spiders love Phalaenopsis taenialis. I am not sure if there are always spiders on this plant, but certainly when this miniature orchid is in bloom or in bud I can almost always spot a money spider, without remembering to look for one! If you’re scared of spiders – this is the only spider picture – I promise.
I only had one Phalaenopsis taenialis plant in bloom, so I self-pollinated this plant by hand.
Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis taenialis specimen’s seed pods developing.
This Phalaenopsis thailandica plant has been growing inside my Orchidarium since April 2017, when I first set up this Orchidarium.
At the time when I first introduced this miniature orchid to my Orchidarium, this Phalaenopsis thailandica plant was a very young plant that had just flowered for the first time. Now, four years later, this same plant is still miniature, but of its own accord, this specimen has now evolved into forming two separate plants, both larger than the original plant that I introduced to this Orchidarium back in 2017.
These two plants may have separated but they are both genetically identical, being formed from exactly the same genetic material as each other.
Phalaenopsis thailandica is a miniature epiphytic orchid species that flourishes in warm temperatures and thrives given humid growing conditions and regular misting. This plant enjoys being sprayed with rainwater, then being allowed to dry out just a little, before being misted again.
Getting the temperature right is really important for orchids. This is a miniature epiphytic orchid that thrives in warm and hot temperatures. I can’t provide this Phalaenopsis thailandica orchid with reliably warm or hot growing conditions through the summer months, as I live in the UK, where our weather fluctuates. We tend to have much hotter temperatures on some days, peppered with much cooler conditions on other days.
It’s terribly exciting to see all of these Phalaenopsis thailandica flower buds developing!
Phalaenopsis thailandica flowering
This is only the second time that this Phalaenopsis thailandica specimen has ever flowered! The last time this plant bloomed was back in 2017 – four years ago!
I was so very happy to see this Phalaenopsis thailandica plant in bloom again.
This Phalaenopsis wilsonii plant has not been flourishing lately. I suspect that I have not provided this orchid with cool enough temperatures during its winter rest period.
Unsurprisingly, this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen’s flower spike didn’t progress to fruition. This miniature orchid hasn’t flowered for a long time, to see this plant’s last flowering, please click here.
A closer look at this Phalaenopsis wilsonii specimen’s compressed cork mount shows lots of fungal activity. Although fungi can be detrimental to orchids, I always feel more than a little reluctant to use a fungicide, as I know that fungi and plants grow together and form beneficial, symbiotic relationships. I can’t recall when I last used a fungicide, but I would have included this information in my regular terrarium updates. Certainly, I can tell you that as yet this orchid has not been treated with fungicide; although it is something that I am currently considering.
Orchidarium Planting list
The Orchidarium Planting List displays every plant that has ever been grown inside this Orchidarium so far; even plants that are no longer growing inside this Orchidarium are listed. Any plants that I decide to grow inside this Orchidarium in future will be added to this planting list. The Orchidarium Planting List includes information on each of the plants – you can click on a plant to see links to every article I have written about that particular plant species. I have also listed all of the nurseries and suppliers that I used to purchase all of my plants, mosses, and cork for this Orchidarium, at the bottom of this planting list. You can see the full planting list for this Orchidarium here.
To feed my miniature orchids, I use Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom. 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.
To see the next update on the equipment inside my Orchidarium, please click here.
To see every article that relates to my Orchidarium, please click here.
You may be interested in some of the other trials I have conducted.
Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials
To see my Tall Orchidarium being set up, please click here.
To see how this Orchidarium was created, please click here.
To see my Rainforest Terrarium being set up and learn about the thinking behind this terrarium’s design, 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 third Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my second Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my first Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.
Scented Daffodil Trial Reports
To see the results of my third Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.
To see the results of my Scented Daffodil Container Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my first 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 Aerangis luteo-alba var. rhodosticta, please click here.
To read about Restrepia citrina, please click here.
To read about Haraella retrocalla, please 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.