Phalaenopsis bellinaIt’s bellina season again… It smells lovely in the warm vivarium right now, although I think my particular clone has a pretty weak scent for a bellina. Some say one flower can fill an entire houses with its fragrance, mine is definitely a bit more shy than that but I do not mind. This species likes it hot and humid, why I keep mine in the warm vivarium. If the RH drops too much it will either refuse blooming all together, or drop a bud… which is what happened to me this time. Darn.

We are on vacation so I only get into town to water every 5 days, normally I mist in the warm viv every other to every 3 days and this keeps the RH (relative humidity) at a comfy level (85% +) without any misters or foggers. The five day stretch have meant a little dryer conditions in there, perhaps down as low as 55% at day five, and the bud following the flower in the photo actually dropped. So I devised a very simple solution to the problem. I filled a plastic mesh pot with sphagnum moss, soaked it in water and placed it on a saucer with more water. I placed my humidity mound in the middle of the viv letting it evaporate gradually. This actually worked and kept the RH well over acceptable levels again. The mound was still soaking wet when I came back in to water this time. More buds are coming so all is not lost.

By the way, what do you think of the sad butterfly (or alien) in the center of the flower…?