Special flower display cases for moody orchids create ideal conditions for growing these tropical beauties. Orchidariums, in the first place, provide high air humidity and careful control over it, but they also have other advantages. There is no better way to emphasize the value of a plant and its particular beauty than choosing the right and spectacular orchidarium. And there is no other option that allows you to enter orchids even where there are no windows at all. Simplifying care and providing orchids with everything they need, purchased or home-made orchidariums is the dream of any fan of these plants.Orchidarium.
What is orchidarium?
Orchidariums are conventionally called any type of flower showcase or indoor terrarium in which orchids are grown. In essence, this is just a separate “house” for orchids. It can be a huge room with climate control or a small decorative vase with installed lighting and can be attributed to the florarium. Unlike orchidariums in botanical gardens, home ones are not only compact in size, but also in great diversity.
Epiphytic orchids are grown in orchidariums. They are not necessarily placed on blocks, but this method is preferred even for those species that can grow in the substrate.
Orchidariums provide a unique opportunity to create an environment with high humidity to reveal all the beauty and characteristics of plants. This is an ideal home for deciduous, moody, requiring stable moisture species of orchids, which in normal conditions may be in a depressed state.
Not only orchids are grown in orchidariums: the latter in the collection can be combined with other capricious exipites from the number of epiphytes, including various moisture-loving bromeliads. Where moisture accumulates, at the bottom of the orchidariums, other plants can also be planted directly in the soil, creating a wonderful background for orchids - peperomia, ferns, and other stars of moist terrariums.
Orchidariums are divided into two types:
- Purchased or finished models of varying complexity and functionality.
- Handicraft, or home-made orchidariums.
Ready-made orchidariums are selected, first of all, for the price and their own preferences. Chrome or plastic, glass or transparent acrylic, a full-fledged climate control or its simplest systems determine the cost of orchidarium, as well as the possibilities that it opens for the cultivation of rare species of orchids.
Conventionally, all ready-made models of orchidarium are divided into ordinary and premium models.
Premium orchids, or professional orchidariums - models that are equipped with a full-fledged climate control system that creates ideal conditions for orchid cultivation or those orchidariums that create specialized firms to order for individual characteristics of the house and plants, mainly with the aim of creating special interior decoration and pride collections.
They are chosen with an unlimited budget and opportunities, or if you really want to move to a new level in collecting rarer and more valuable orchids.
An elite and professional type of orchidaria is characterized by a large selection of sizes, but, as a rule, even in the smallest orchidariums there are several levels of plant distribution at which the light intensity differs. Such models are never designed for one plant: this is the "home" for entire collections, often heterogeneous in their requirements.
Climate control systems of premium orchidariums usually include the functions of lighting control, ventilation, irrigation control, air humidity, spraying, temperature, underfloor heating, sensors that allow you to check and set all the indicators necessary to create a strictly controlled atmosphere with the corresponding indicators.
Plants for professional orchidariums are selected so that they are content with the same temperature regime. Lighting can be changed with the right choice of place, but the temperature will be similar for all orchids placed in the orchidarium. Therefore, they are used for a collection of either heat-loving, or cold-loving, or "medium" orchids.
In premium models, you can grow any of the indoor orchids - both the rarest and quite typical for residential premises, but capricious. At the upper levels, they enjoy an ideal humid environment and intense diffuse lighting, for example, vandas, Lelia and dendrobiums.
Cattleya or oncidiums flourish in the middle (in diffused soft lighting), and on the lower shelves the ability to bloom for an amazingly long time, masdevallia, papiopedilum and phalaenopsis is perfectly revealed. In such orchidariums you will not have to worry about either flowering or decorative-deciduous species.Orchidarium is the easiest option to introduce orchids even where there are no windows at all.
These are models without complex automatic control systems. They are actually a terrarium or a flower showcase with the usual elementary lighting and ventilation system, usually located at the top of the model. Today, more and more often, in addition to these two components, orchidariums and flower showcases are equipped with a thermometer and a hygrometer, allowing you to see humidity and temperature indicators and accordingly change them by adjusting the ventilation schedule.
There is no talk of a general automatic control system, but the simplest devices simplify the task of creating ideal conditions for growing a collection of orchids. To create comfortable conditions, you need to monitor the plants and resort to small tricks.
In the simplest models, the temperature is lowered by ventilating or installing them in rooms with reduced rates, air humidity is controlled by ventilation, by opening the doors or the "roof", installing pallets and sponges and oases soaked in water.
More economical options are models for small collections. In simple models of orchidariums, plants are usually grown that are similar to each other not only in terms of temperature requirements, but also to lighting. It is impossible to place a separate collection in them, because there are no several levels of plant placement in them. There, for example, you can place oncidiums with Cattleya together, but not oncidiums with Wands and Phalaenopsis.In the "multi-level" models of orchidariums, you can grow any of the indoor orchids - both the rarest and quite typical for residential premises, but capricious.
Home orchidariums are always the most economical options, but not in every case they are the most modest. They are made from accessible materials by those who like to craft and experiment. It is better to independently build an orchidarium for those gardeners who have previously dealt with aquariums or terrariums (at least - backlit florariums), has at least minimal experience in organizing additional lighting and a stably humid environment for growing capricious plants.
It is better for beginners to first experiment with florariums, and only then to test themselves with much more valuable orchids grown in special "indoor houses".
Home orchidariums are variants of home-made flower showcases and florariums. They can be either large, designed for a collection, or created for a single orchid.
Most often, orchidariums are created on the basis of an aquarium, choosing sizes, shape, model, style to your taste and to your interior. Both frame and glued aquariums with one removable side wall and glass thickness from 6 to 8 mm are suitable for orchidariums.
If the model of the aquarium is open, then the removable wall is replaced with a “cover” made of plastic, acrylic, plexiglass (high wear resistance and transparency are important). You can use large glass vases of an original form to create an orchidarium, especially if it is planned to place only a few miniature orchids in it.
Planning is a key success factor in building home orchidariums. Disappointments and loss of plants can be avoided if you think in advance not only those additional elements that will be used in the creation of orchidarium, but also the entire functional component.
The type and intensity of lighting, the method of mounting sensors or systems, the laying of communications, holes or gaps for ventilation, the mesh or frame for attaching plants - all this must be "calculated" in advance. Having carefully drawn the plan and studied the features of the plant life support systems, one should not forget about moisture protection, safety measures when working with electrical devices and wiring, and additional decor.
There are several essential elements in home orchidariums:
- Lighting system - special phytolamps, lamps for illumination of plants or, in extreme cases, fluorescent lamps (usually use standard 36 watt lamps), which create a full range of illumination for plants. Additional illumination is necessary for any orchidarium that is not located on the south window. For orchids, the lighting system is thought out so that the plants receive light in an amount of about 20,000 lux for photophilous species.
- Ventilation system - openings that allow plants to breathe and provide a steady flow of fresh air or specially installed fans that provide continuous air renewal (they use special ventilation systems for plants and conventional computer fans).
- Communications - openings and channels for electrical wires and other functional elements.
- Security elements and fasteners - special "thresholds", supports, coatings that hold the decor and plants at the attachment point, which make the composition inside the orchidarium stable and maintain the isolation of the orchidarium itself.
- Decorative or interior elements - additional decor and accessories that will turn the orchidarium into a work of floral art.
Auto Watering System or auto spray it is rarely installed in home-made orchidariums, but it simplifies maintenance as much as possible and is the most expensive element.
Caring for plants in artisanal orchidarium requires much more effort. Plants on blocks are watered and sprayed daily, in winter - every 2-3 days, but in pots - with a frequency of about 1 time in 2 weeks. Orchids are planted according to standard methods, using well-adapted and quarantined plants.
In caring for plants, they comply with all recommendations on the peculiarities of growing specific types of plants. Humidity should remain within the limits of indicators comfortable for the plant, without excessive stagnation of air and dampness, but also without excessive dryness.
Regular ventilation is carried out depending on the presence of ventilation holes. Every year, all elements of the orchidarium are treated against mold, bacteria and contamination with solutions of special fungicides.Every year, all elements of the orchidarium are treated against mold, bacteria and contamination with solutions of special fungicides.
The internal filling of the orchidarium is usually called the interior. These are so special objects that in their design, as a rule, they do not save on trifles and create highly decorative compositions imitating natural conditions that look like jungles or corners of wildlife in a display case. Imitation of the rainforest is a classic. For orchidarium, you can fantasize and experiment with style unlimitedly.
If orchidariums imitate the jungle, driftwood, branches, bark fragments, and other “blocks” imitating the usual for epiphytic orchids are usually introduced into it from the number of variants specially processed and intended for growing epiphytic plants - from artificial imitations to natural models requiring regular replacement.
At the bottom of any orchidariums, an imitation of soil or sheet litter is placed - they create a claydite or stone crumb base, covered with a layer of sphagnum, which not only plays the role of a decorative background, but also creates an optimal environment for water accumulation and humidity maintenance. Plants are placed on supports or snags so that they do not touch the bottom.
Other options for arranging orchidariums may even include the absence of additional decor using special containers or flowerpots. Plants can be planted on blocks or placed on a substrate - it all depends on what effect you want to produce and what style you choose.
Orchidariums can be strict, with plants placed in a certain order on a "clean" background, creating the illusion of solid landscaping, like a regular collection of plants or imitating fragments of landscapes. In addition to additional plants, you can use accessories and decor to create an atmosphere.