April 25, 2020

Jewel Orchid Terrarium

I had been planning this project for quite a while. I wanted a way to showcase my lovely Jewels, and a terrarium seemed the obvious choice. I had read mixed reviews on how Jewels will grow in a terrarium so I decided to use an open setup, to allow for both airflow and a bit of extra humidity. I bought a second hand fish tank to use, but just didn’t get super inspired to set it up. But then I found this lovely glass bowl in the clearance pile, and inspiration struck!

I started with a layer of large pebbles covered with fly screen mesh (both from Bunnings) to create a false bottom. Then I used a layer of large(ish) charcoal pieces. For the substrate I used the Tropical Substrate from SerpaDesign on YouTube:

  • Soil Base (I used Coco Fibre)
  • Fine bark ( I used the 6-9mm Orchiata Bark)
  • Sphagnum moss ( I chopped the moss into about 3cm pieces)
  • Sand (I used play sand from Bunnings)

Next I had to figure out the placement of my wood pieces. I used driftwood pieces from Petbarn that were for a reptile enclosure… a bit on the pricey side, but I didn’t want to have to wait for an online order to arrive.

Next I had to start working out my plant placements. I had a bunch of Bottle Baby plants from Bunnings that had been washed, repotted and quarantined for a month (I didn’t want any external diseases/ pests to be able to harm the Jewels once they were added.)

These were the plants at the start of quarantine, not all survived.

I chose four of the healthiest plants for this project:

  • Calathea insignis (top left)
  • Ctenanthe burle-marxii (bottom right)
  • Asplenium leslie (bottom left)
  • Peace lily- a small division (top right)

Choosing placement was a lot of trial and error. I used the tallest ones at the back, and smaller at the front, to complement the shape of the bowl.

Then it was time to place the Jewels! This was the most exciting part, as i could really see it all coming together. I used the same principle as for the other plants, placing the smaller/more creeping ones at the front, and the taller/more upright ones at the back.

I’m super happy with how this turned out. And the Jewels seem to love it too- they have all unfurled new leaves, and are busily working on their next ones, only 5 weeks later.

5 weeks later… everything is looking good!

And for anyone wondering… here is a list of the Jewel orchids in here, clockwise from the top:

  • Anoectochilus siamensis
  • Macodes sanderiana
  • Macodes petola ‘Thailand’ x Macodes spp. ‘Penang Wild Green Giant’
  • My mutant pinstripe Macodes sanderiana
  • Macodes petola
  • Anoectochilus roxburghii x Anoectochilus siamensis
  • Anoectochilus formosanus
  • Macodes petola ‘Thailand’ x sib ‘Sarawak’ (in the middle)

2 comments on “Jewel Orchid Terrarium”

  1. Wow! Awesome. Look like a natural habitat for them. Well done. I am just starting my collections and would like an open terrarium too. Do you mist them or water at the base? How often?

    1. Thanks! I water them at the base whenever the medium gets almost dry, I try not to let it dry out completely.

Orders placed now will start shiping on Monday 8th Aug 2022

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram