Back in January I moved house. It was a nerve wracking and anxious time, made more difficult because I grow a lot of plants inside terrariums, bottle gardens, and orchidariums, which I can’t bear to be parted from. These enclosures all needed to be emptied and washed up, and the plants and glassware required careful packaging and wrapping.
Mother Nature reminds us of her immense power today. Storm Eunice currently has us firmly in her grip. Eunice is battling against the trees, pushing them, flaying, whirling, and then ruthlessly discarding anything that isn’t tied down securely enough. As I write, I am eternally thankful that my sturdy glasshouse and Vegepod are both intact and remain where I left them, safely in my garden.
Over the past couple of weeks, the pair of Aerangis macrocentra plants inside my Tall Orchidarium have been busy developing seed pods, which is very exciting! These two orchids flowered one after the other; there was only a single day when both plants had a flower in bloom at the same time. Thankfully, I managed to cross-pollinate at least two of these plants’ flowers, but the other seed pods you see here in my pictures were self-pollinated, either by the insects inside my terrarium or by the plants themselves.
I’ve taken pictures of a few of my miniature orchids to show you the plants that I’ve been focusing my attention on this week. Currently, my main preoccupation has been to be poised and ready to pollinate my Aerangis macrocentra plants, in the hope that the last remaining flower of my first plant to bloom survived long enough for my second plant’s first flower to open.
Being around plants lifts my spirits. Watching my plants produce vibrant and healthy green leaves gives me endless pleasure, but I understand that many people favour growing flowering plants. Leaves are often taken for granted, as foliage is assumed to be a permanent fixture that doesn’t change and lives on forever; whereas the fleeting presence of a flower commands interaction and appreciation.
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.
Welcome to the first update for my Tall Orchidarium! I set up my Tall Orchidarium in November 2019. This update reveals how the equipment inside my Tall Orchidarium has performed over the past 15 months (from November 2019 until February 2021).
If you would like to find out how the Angraecum and Aerangis species I’m growing inside my Tall Orchidarium grew from November 2019 to March 2021, please click here.
Welcome to the Planting List for my Tall Orchidarium. This is a planting list with a difference! To find out more about a particular orchid, simply click on the orchid’s profile for more information, where you’ll also find links to every article about that particular orchid species on pumpkinbeth.com. Some individual orchids can be followed, as they grow from young seedlings to mature flowering plants.
I thought you might enjoy following one of my Aerangis citrata orchids through the course of the year; so I’ve been regularly updating this diary to give you the chance to get to know this orchid better. To make it easier for you, I’ve dated all of my photographs, so you can more clearly see the rate of this plant’s growth and development.
Welcome to the fifteenth and final installment of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial. I started this White Orchid Trial in March 2017, when I planted white flowered orchids inside one of my BiOrbAir terrariums. My White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium was one of my favourite terrariums for a long time, but over the past two years I have been frustrated by tedious problems with condensation coating the inside of this BiOrbAir’s globe, which has spoilt the appearance of this enclosure and obscured my view of the plants inside.
In November 2019, I set up this new terrarium, which I’ve christened my Tall Orchidarium. I designate a name to each of my terrariums to help you more easily find every article relating to the particular terrarium you’re interested in. If you want to know more about my Tall Orchidarium, you can find all of my articles that relate to this terrarium by clicking here.
I set my Rainforest Terrarium up in April 2018, to provide a home for a number of the orchids that form part of my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis species and my National Collection of Miniature Aerangis and Angraecum species. This particular update focuses on how the equipment installed inside my Rainforest Terrarium has performed from March 2019 until May 2020.
This is Aerangis citrata, a miniature orchid species, that’s endemic to Madagascar.Aerangis citrata naming
The genus ‘Aerangis’ gets its name from the Greek words aer (air) and angos (vessel or container), as plants grow in the air (epiphytically) using aerial roots, and the flowers each feature a nectar filled spur. The second part of the name, (the specific epithet) ‘citrata’, refers to this orchid’s flowers, which are sometimes pale lemon in colour, when they first open.
Since I shared my last Rainforest Terrarium update with you, I’ve been busy conducting a huge rearrangement of many of my terrariums and terrarium plants. Some of the orchids that previously resided inside my Rainforest Terrarium have now been introduced to other enclosures, including my new Tall Orchidarium.
As you’ll see in this update, I’ve changed the appearance of my Rainforest Terrarium, by placing huge slabs of cork around the sides of this enclosure.
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.
Welcome to the fourteenth update from my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium. In this update, it’s a pleasure to share the sparkle of this Aerangis hyaloides plant’s glistening flowers with you. Yes – that’s right – this miniature orchid’s blooms really do twinkle in the sunlight! I’ve also got a crystalline Ceratostylis pristina flower that you might be interested to see.
Welcome to the twenty-third update from my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir! Since my last instalment, the two plants that were really struggling – Diplocaulobium chrysotropis and Macroclinium chasei have both died. But it’s not all bad news, I’ve got a few orchid flowers to share with you and I’m also celebrating that for this week at least, the tiny aphid species that has colonised the plants inside this terrarium is temporarily under control.
Welcome to the fourteenth and final instalment of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial – growing epiphytic orchids, from Madagascar, inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Since my last update, I’ve made the decision to empty my Madagascar BiOrbAir terrarium and re-plant this terrarium. I found that the Madagascan orchids that I chose to grow together, inside this enclosure, required too strongly opposing growing conditions to make it possible to easily grow these orchids successfully in such close proximity to one another.
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.
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.