I adore orchids and houseplants. I get so much enjoyment from being surrounded by foliage and flowers and I simply love growing orchids and houseplants. Since Brexit, the range of orchid nurseries open to UK customers has dramatically reduced. Thankfully, we still have a number of UK nurseries who are growing orchids in Britain. Love Orchids are a small family-run, British company, based in Southern England.
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.
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.
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 discover orchids that aren’t demanding or difficult to grow.
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.
Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re celebrating today, I wish you a joyful and uplifting day of celebration. Today, I’m celebrating my Thanksgiving cacti, which are keeping perfect time and flowering for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving cacti (also known by their botanical name, Schlumbergera) are easy to care for, long-lived houseplants that thrive in shaded and semi-shaded conditions. Unlike traditional cacti, which grow in bright and sunny, dry and arid conditions; Thanksgiving cacti flourish in a humid environment, away from bright sunshine.
This Phalaenopsis pulchra flower opened fifty-two days ago (the bloom opened on the 8th September 2020). Phalaenopsis orchids can produce incredibly long lasting flowers. However, the blooms of Phalaenopsis hybrids tend to persist for more prolonged periods than the wild species plants. A number of the Phalaenopsis hybrids I’ve grown are particularly floriferous, sending out masses of long lasting flowers and blooming continually for longer than a year at a time, without appearing to flag or tire at all.
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.
My friend, Gary Firth kindly gave me this Phalaenopsis pulchra plant, for my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species, exactly two years and eight months ago. I must say, it’s always a huge relief when I don’t immediately kill a plant that a friend has given me! Consequently, I’m celebrating the fact that this orchid remains alive and well and I am delighted to be able to share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis pulchra specimen’s first flowering with you.
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.
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.
Four or five years ago, two of my favourite people in the whole world gave me this lovely Thanksgiving Cactus. I love this plant because I associate it with two people that I love very much but also because this cactus is a fun, easy going, and reliable houseplant that flourishes inside my home, in less than bright 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.
I love looking at this orchid; I so admire Angraecum distichum‘s shape and form, this plant’s simple, leafy stems are a thing of beauty. I love to see young and old Angraecum distichum specimens; whatever the plant’s size, I find Angraecum distichum utterly mesmerising!
Angraecum distichum is a miniature to small sized epiphytic orchid species. Angraecum distichum plants can be found growing upon a range of tall trees in a variety of different environments including: rainforests, humid forests, deciduous forests, and plantations.
I really enjoy designing and planting terrariums and bottle gardens. Usually, I look for pre-made glass bottles, vases, vivariums, old aquariums, or fish tanks, to use to create and design my indoor gardens. However, earlier this year I decided to commission a custom made terrarium, which was designed to fit neatly on top of my sideboard, where it now provides a home, complete with automated care, for some of my orchids that form part of my National Collection.
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.
Welcome to the tenth part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial. In this update it is a real pleasure to share with you the flowers of Amesiella minor before they fade, the sparkling blooms of Hymenorchis javanica as they twinkle, and the magnificent flowering of Amesiella philippinensis, as these glamorous flowers finally finish developing and open at last!
However despite all this sparkle, it’s not quite as glitzy or glamorous inside this terrarium as you might think – at least one type of spider mite is currently affecting the plants inside this White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium.
Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta is a beautiful miniature, epiphytic orchid species, from Kenya and Africa. Plants produce long, arching, or pendulous flower spikes, that feature large, white, crystalline flowers with orange-red columns or centres. Aerangis luteoalba var. rhodosticta flowers are borne in double rows along each flower spike. As each of the flowers open, their petals unfurl; one by one the flowers adjust themselves to be held horizontally on the plant, with their nectaries held directly below each bloom.
I so enjoy growing miniature, epiphytic orchids. When I am mounting epiphytic orchids, usually I use cork bark as a mount, although sometimes I will use other woods to mount my orchids, it all depends on which orchid I am growing, and what materials I have.
I hope this information will help you, if you’re mounting epiphytic orchids onto cork bark or other wood, or if you’d just like to learn more about these diverse and interesting plants.
From Saturday the 4th February 2017, until Sunday the 5th March 2017, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are hosting their Orchid Extravaganza! This year, Kew’s Orchid Extravaganza has been designed to showcase India’s vibrant plants and culture. Visitors will be treated to an array of inspiration, provided by sights, sounds, and scents which will entertain and delight from the moment you enter the Princess of Wales Conservatory during this very special event.