Mini-orchids have been gaining extreme popularity over the last years. Let’s face it, if you do not have a large greenhouse, and you have quite a restricted place for orchid growing, you simply cannot collect a large number of different species of large plants. So, miniature orchids (or mini-orchids) are a reasonable choice for orchid collectors and enthusiasts, who want to collect as more as possible orchid species in a restricted space. Another advantage of miniature orchids is that you can very simply place them into a terrarium and grow them mounted on branches with moss and other tropical epiphytic plants, just like in nature, and you can see the beauty of orchids’ natural habitats, staying at your home. And do not forget about their extreme beauty and loveliness; mini-orchids are often quite botanically curious plants and even if you do not specialize on mini-orchids, some of them are collectors’ items, and therefore they are true starlets in every orchids collection.
Now, we should determine the terminology. When we mean “mini-orchids”, we mean truly tiny plants, which are fully mature and have such size, that an entire plant can fit in a palm. If an orchid starts blooming in this size, but then it grows to large sizes – it is actually not mini-orchid. So-called mini Cymbidium orchids are miniatures in relation with common cymbidiums, which are large to giant sized, so mini Cymbidiums such as Cymbidium Golden Elf ‘Sundust’ are actually medium-sized plants and don’t match the category of mini-orchids. And for instance, so-called miniature Phalaenopsis orchids such as species Phalaenopsis parishii, Phalaenopsis lobbii , Phalaenopsis chibae and their hybrids are truly miniature orchids. Such mini moth orchid care is just the same as for the common Phalaenopsis house plants and therefore mini-Phalaenopsis orchids considered being ones of the easiest miniature orchids to grow, and they are also growing fairly good mounted on slabs. They are also ones of the most common mini orchids for sale.
There are also so-called mini Cattleya orchids, which are also quite popular and particularly easy to grow. For instance, Cattleya aclandiae maybe is the most well known miniature Cattleya. This is bifoliate Cattleya which grows better mounted on slabs, and through dwarf-sized, it has large up to 4 inches wide flowers. Cattleya alliance contains a lot of beautiful miniature orchids – for instance, Sophronitis cernua and Sophronitis coccinea both having extremely nice red flowers. Many rupicolous Laelias such as Laelia briegeri or Laelia liliputana are also lovely miniatures with extremely beautiful flowers. And Leptotes bicolor, another nice miniature Cattleya Alliance Orchid, is well known not only for its beauty but also for being one of the best substitutes for Vanilla. And imagine numerous miniature Cattleya Alliance hybrids!
There are also lots of mini-dendrobium species such as Dendrobium unicum with large peach fragrant flowers, Dendrobium senile with funny pseudobulbs and beautiful flowers, and Dendrobium chrysotoxum, Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, Dendrobium tanii are other lovely miniatures. Many Bulbophyllum species are also miniature orchids, and Bulbophyllum minutissimum is even considered to be the smallest orchid in the world. Besides these, some vandoids and angraecoids are also miniatures – Angraecum didieri is small sized with big, white flowers, Amesiella monticola is a tiny lovely plant with large, white flowers with long spurs. And well known Neofinnetia falcate, Samurai Orchid, is also miniature orchid. And many Masdevallias are also miniatures.
You may ask, which mini orchids for terrarium suited best. And the answer is nearly every mini orchid, but you may only be restricted to temperature groups – warm and hot because it is particularly hard to lower temperatures within terrarium. If you equip your terrarium with enough light sources, fans for sufficient air movement and air humidity is high – nearly every miniature orchid will thrive in such an environment because it will completely mimic their natural habitat. So, a well-equipped terrarium is one of the best places to grow orchids indoors.
How to care for miniature orchids
What’s about care for miniature orchids – it depends on which species of miniature orchids you grow. There are no general instructions about miniature orchids care, you should know which species you grow. For instance, mini Cattleya orchids are much closer to Cattleya in their growing requirements than to mini Phalaenopsis or Masdevallia species. However, in general, mini-orchids do better being mounted on slabs, because they are usually growing on tiny branches and in more drier habitats than medium-sized orchids, for instance, Tolumnia orchids are quite difficult to grow, potted in pots, but quite easy grown mounted on slabs. It is much easier to control the humidity level of their root system, so it is practically impossible to overwater mounted orchid. Another advantage of growing Miniature orchids mounted is that they look much more decorative, just like in nature, so you can be in touch with their natural beauty just staying at home and watching, how their roots twist around slab surface, and this looks really amazing.
Some mini orchids for sale
by Andys Orchids