Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia is one of my favourite orchids and it’s in flower today!

I’ve got a wonderful weekend of outdoor gardening lined up, as our lovely friends Ian and Martin are coming over to help us in the garden.  I am so grateful for their help and I can’t wait to see my friends and spend time together outside.  I am hoping we hear lots of birdsong.  I’ll be doing my best to remember to turn the Merlin Bird ID app on.  If you’ve not heard of Merlin before, it’s an amazing app that can identify bird species in photos and also identifies birds from their song.  I’ve not had the need to use the Merlin app to identify birds in my pictures; it’s the Merlin Sound ID app that I am most enthralled by.  I don’t have a smart phone, so I am always urging my husband or friends to turn the Merlin Sound ID app on.  I’d definitely encourage you to try Merlin – I hope you find it as engaging as I do – I simply love it!

I haven’t got started with any seed sowing yet, but I’ve got so many seeds that I can’t wait to sow.  I am bursting with excitement for spring!  The weather has been really dreary here for quite a few weeks now; the sun has been hidden by the clouds and the atmosphere has been rather gloomy, but this afternoon we were treated to a little late afternoon sunshine and the blue skies revealed themselves from behind the clouds.  The weather forecast isn’t great for the weekend, but I am hoping for some sunshine!  If we manage to do anything exciting in the garden, I’ll be sure to post an update.

Here’s my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant pictured as the flower bud started to open on the 18th March 2024.

Today I’ve spent the day indoors.  I’m so happy to show you this gorgeous little orchid; this is Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia, a total darling of a plant.  This is the yellow-flowered form of Phalaenopsis lobbii.  I bought this plant seven years ago; it usually flowers a few times a year, but this is my plant’s first blooming in over a year, so these flowers are a very welcome sight.  My Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia‘s plant’s lack of blooms is purely down to the plant being severely knocked back and damaged by the unexpected cold temperatures when my heating broke back in January 2023.  I am so very thankful that this dainty little orchid survived this trauma and is flowering for me today!

Here’s my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant with a hand to clearly show the size of this miniature orchid. Pictured on the 18th March 2024.
Here’s a closer look at this Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant’s flower bud, pictured as the flower started to open on the 18th March 2024.

This Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia plant is growing inside my Rainforest Terrarium.  The lighting inside this terrarium is the same three Skylight Pro RP LED lighting units that I’ve mentioned in previous updates.  For just over a year, my Rainforest Terrarium has been housed inside a brighter room, the extra natural daylight the plans enjoy (and the fact I’m trying to save money on my electricity bill) has meant that the LED lighting is only operational from 8.30am until 5.30pm each day.

I utterly adore Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia flowers! Pictured on the 22nd March 2024.

I use water butts to collect rainwater from my roof to water my orchids and houseplants.  The rainwater is decanted into bottles and brought indoors to warm up for a couple of days, before being poured into the bucket for my Rainforest Terrarium‘s automated misting unit.  My orchids inside this terrarium get misted automatically twice or three times a day, for short bursts.  I have fans running continually to circulate the air inside this enclosure.

I use Orchid Focus fertilisers (from Growth Technology Products) to fertilise all of my orchids; I’ve been using Orchid Focus Grow and Orchid Focus Bloom for years and I am very happy to recommend these products.  Whilst my orchids are actively growing, I 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 to irrigate your orchids; or perhaps someone near you collects rainwater and can give you some for your plants?  There has been a lot of rain lately, so this is a good time to ask!

Here’s a side view of my Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia’s flower. Pictured on the 22nd March 2024.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve never been able to detect any scent from this particular orchid’s flowers.

To see the post I wrote about how my Rainforest Terrarium was built, please click here.

I wanted to let you know that on Saturday 13th April 2024, the Orchid Society of Great Britain are holding their Spring Orchid Show at Squire’s Garden Centre, Halliford Road, Upper Halliford, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW17 8SG.  This fantastic event promises to be a dream come true for orchid lovers!

The OSGB Spring Show is an open flower show that anyone can enter – you don’t need to be a member of the Orchid Society of Great Britain – just bring along your orchid in the morning.  Orchid entries can be received from 9.30am until 11am.  Judging takes place at 11am and plants can be collected at 4.30pm.

Visitors will be able to admire a wide range of interesting and unusual orchids at this special show with the chance to purchase orchids from Squire’s Garden Centres, Spicesotic plants, Orchid Alchemy, and OSGB members at this very special event.  Squire’s also sell houseplants, garden plants, pots, tools, gifts, etc..

Squire’s at Shepperton have a newly refurbished Café Bar that offers breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea.  The Café Bar has distinct seating areas to choose from, including the main Café Bar, a sophisticated afternoon tea area with piano, a coffee lounge, and a special family-friendly area, as well as outdoor seating.

There’s free parking at Squire’s Garden Centre in Shepperton.  This Garden Centre is just a 20 minute walk or short taxi ride from the train station which has a direct line from London Waterloo.  Squire’s Garden Centre will be open from 9am until 6pm.

To see my Orchid Calendar and find orchid events, including plant sales, orchid talks, orchid shows, and more, please click here.

To see my houseplant pages, where you’ll find houseplant growing information and pictures, please click here.

To see articles showing how to set up various terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To see my Daffodil Calendar and find daffodil garden openings, daffodil shows, daffodil talks, and more, please click here.

For more articles about orchids, please click here.

To see my plant pages and find pictures and advice to help you grow a wide range of plants, from orchids, houseplants, ferns, cut flowers, vegetables, fruit, herbs, trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, container plants, and plants for bees and butterflies, please click here.

For gardening advice for March, please click here.

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One thought on “Phalaenopsis lobbii f. flavilabia is one of my favourite orchids and it’s in flower today!

  1. Barb Perks

    March 22, 2024 at 7:30pm

    Dear Beth
    What a beautiful little orchid! I am also delighted to report that our bright yellow marsh marigolds are in flower in the garden pond, Spring is most definitely springing.
    Thanks as always for your updates,
    Barb

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      March 22, 2024 at 10:08pm

      Hello Barb

      It’s great to hear from you. I am so excited about your pond! My Marsh Marigolds are also blooming, but the weather has been so wet that I’ve not taken any pictures yet. I hope to get some pictures this weekend.

      I hope you’ll try the Merlin app – it’s brilliant!

      Best wishes, Beth

      • Barb

        March 24, 2024 at 4:33pm

        Dear Beth
        Thank you for your reply! Very excited about Merlin. it’s been interesting to return to the same spot a few times to hear the range of birds slowly increasing as we get closer to spring. There’s a place nearby where in the summer we hear chiffchaffs, and I will definitely be going back to that spot hoping for them to show up soon.
        Best wishes
        Barb

        • Author

          Pumpkin Beth

          March 24, 2024 at 4:39pm

          Oh how exciting, Barb! I really hope you’ll hear the Chiffchaffs again, and hope Merlin will help you identify lots of other birds too.

          It rained and hailed a lot here yesterday, so we didn’t manage to give Merlin a try, but hopefully over Easter we will be able to be out in the garden and enjoy listening and identifying the birds. It’s such a great app. It does sometimes crash for us and lose the record of the birds we saw, but that’s just occasionally. I am so excited by birdsong and hearing bird song and knowing for definite the species I hear is just an amazing and exhilarating feeling!

          It’s been cold here, so I’ve not managed to be outside for as long as I was hoping. I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Have a lovely evening.

          Best wishes
          Beth

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