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.
I find if I’m feeling a little jaded, taking a tour of my orchids or popping outdoors to reacquaint myself with the plants and nature in my garden is an almost guaranteed way to lift my spirits and rejuvenate my soul. If you’re feeling weary, I hope you can recharge your batteries by spending time with your houseplants, or relaxing outside in your garden, or perhaps escape to visit a park, garden, or enjoy a revitalising walk at a nature reserve nearby.
I’m so excited to show you the orchids I’ve grown that favour cool, intermediate, and warm temperatures! I want to help you find the perfect orchids for the conditions you can offer, so I’ve created three new planting lists that divide the orchids I’ve grown into groups by the temperatures these plants are happiest growing in.
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!
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 hold two National Collections of orchids – a National Collection of Miniature Aerangis and Angraecum Species and a National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species. I set up these collections to raise awareness of the dangers that these miniature orchid species (and other plants) are facing in the wild and to help conserve these fascinating plants.
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.
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 twenty-fourth and final update from my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir! Since my last update, I’ve been experiencing problems with both my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium’s LED lights and this terrarium’s ultra sonic misting unit. Sadly, as a result of my BiOrbAir’s equipment faults I’ve had to close this Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Trial; accordingly, this is the final installment and update for my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Trial.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.