I spend a vast proportion of my time running Indoor Trials and Outdoor Trials. When I’m working on Orchid Trials, I find it such a thrill to discover beautiful miniature orchids that look stunning visually, but are also easy to grow and flower. I love to write about these plants to help you find orchids that aren’t demanding or difficult to grow – I simply adore introducing you to orchids that I know will almost certainly grow and flower for you!
This is Deinostigma tamiana, a truly marvellous plant that thrives inside terrariums and bottle gardens. Deinostigma tamiana is a Gesneriad species from Vietnam. If you’ve not seen it before, yet Deinostigma tamiana looks somewhat familiar, it’s probably because these plants are related to African violets (Saintpaulias).Growing Deinostigma tamiana
Deinostigma tamiana is an easy going, adaptable plant that’s content growing in a range of terrarium environments.
Last year, I discovered Crematogaster scutellaris ants on the cork I purchased for my new Tall Orchidarium. Crematogaster scutellaris ants are known as acrobat ants, but these ants are found in many different countries, so they’re bound to have many other common names, too. With their distinctive amber coloured heads and pointed abdomens, these ants are easy to identify.
I’m currently in the process of setting up a new terrarium, which is very exciting! Don’t worry, I’ll take you on a tour of my new Tall Orchidarium in due course. However, today I wanted to tell you about something unexpected that happened to me, while I was gathering together the materials for this new enclosure.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to create an Orchidarium with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care. This wasn’t about creating a beautiful enclosure; I built this Orchidarium to house as many orchids from my collection as possible inside this enclosure and to provide these plants with automated care.
In 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.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to build an Orchidarium to house some of my miniature orchids, with equipment that supplied the plants with automatic lighting, misting, and air circulation. Inside my Orchidarium, this automated plant care is provided by a misting unit, a hygrometer, LED lights, and fans.
I designed this Orchidarium in 2017; it was constructed in the early spring of 2017. If you’re interested in the materials I’ve used, you can see the step-by-step process of my Orchidarium build here. I thought I’d share some of these pretty orchid blooms with you. These orchids are all in bloom inside my Orchidarium, today.
Spider mites are a serious pest of orchids, indeed they are a pest of a great many other plants too, but with the warm weather we’re experiencing in the UK, today I wanted to remind you about the importance of controlling spider mites on orchids and other indoor plants.
Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions.
Let me introduce you to Phalaenopsis parishii alba, a miniature, epiphytic orchid species that originates from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Assam, Burma, and the Himalayas.
Phalaenopsis parishii alba is the white flowered form of Phalaenopsis parishii.Phalaenopsis parishii alba growing conditions
In the wild, Phalaenopsis parishii can be found growing in humid areas. This miniature orchid species produces flattened roots that nestle into the damp, moss laden branches, which overhang streams and ponds, in the areas where this plant makes its home.
Sciarid flies are teeny, tiny flies, from the family Sciaridae, they’re also known as fungus gnats, or by their genera’s scientific names of Bradysia or Lycoriella. Although sciarid flies live outdoors, as the flies are so minute in size, you’re unlikely to notice these insignificant little flies outside.
In this column I share my favourite gift ideas with you, these are the best products that I have personally tried and tested this year, as part of my quest to help you find quality presents for your loved ones this Christmas!Vegepod
Vegepod is an award-winning container gardening system that is really quite marvellous! This raised bed system has universal appeal, you don’t need access to the soil, so if you’re gardening on concrete but ache to grow vegetables, this is for you.
It’s so wonderful to be able to share these photographs that I have taken of my orchids’ latest flowers with you – these photographs are of the very same inflorescences that are open now – these are the orchid blooms that I am enjoying today – I hope that you’ll enjoy these miniature orchid flowers with me.
If you’re setting up a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden, and you’re looking for miniature orchids to add to your indoor garden, you may find that it is not always easy to tell which orchids are truly miniature and which aren’t.
Many orchids that are sold as miniatures are miniature sized when they are young, but as they grow and develop, many of these plants will soon outgrow a traditionally sized terrarium or bottle garden.
In the early part of 2017, (which as I am writing to you, was over eighteen months ago now) I decided to create an Orchidarium: an enclosure complete with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature and small sized orchids and provide them with automatic care. I chose to create this orchidarium as a functional terrarium, the planting and style of this Orchidarium is not designed, or intended, to be naturalistic or beautiful, instead this Orchidarium allows me the opportunity of growing a greater number of plants, all mounted individually, so the plants can easily be removed or rearranged as I wish.
In November 2017, I conducted a large scale reorganisation of my orchids, moving plants from one terrarium into another. My intention, and the end result of all of this disruption, was to group my orchid plants more interestingly: placing plants from different orchid species that originate from the same genus together wherever possible.
This weekend, I have been admiring the beauty and grace of some of my orchids that are in flower. I am very fortunate to have been able to gather my orchid collection together; I don’t want to keep these orchids away from prying eyes, far from it – I’d love to share their flowers with you!
When I was a child, it was my aim that by the time I became an adult I would have saved up sufficient funds to purchase, and forever after protect a beautiful woodland or forest, and at least one meadow! I haven’t succeeded in my aim – I sadly have been unable to protect any of our woodlands, forests, or meadows, but I still feel just as passionately about plant conservation.
In March 2017, I created an Orchidarium, complete with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care. In this update you can see how these automated features have performed over the past year, and you can also discover how the plants inside this Orchidarium have grown and developed.
Phalaenopsis honghenensis is an epiphytic orchid species, which is native to Honghe in Yunnan. This is the region in China which gives this orchid species its name, but Phalaenopsis honghenensis can also be found growing in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Phalaenopsis honghenensis can be found growing at about 2000m above sea level, on the trunks and branches of mossy, lichen covered trees in Vietnam, Thailand, and China.