Tiny Orchid Treasures

Miniature orchids have all the beauty of their larger cousins, but only take a fraction of the space. These tiny treasures enable orchid lovers to assemble a tropical collection in a single room, on a windowsill, or under lights. Mini forms exist in the Phal, Catt, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Masdevallia, and Oncidium families, to name a few. The half dozen varieties pictured here are just a drop in the bucket of what’s available.

Mini Bulbophyllum speciesMini Phal hybridMini Cattleya

There’s no formal height rule, but generally mini orchids are plants sized half an inch (1 cm) to half a foot (15 cm.) Some types have taller flower stems, but they’re still considered minis. Many of these compact plants have relatively large blooms, especially compared to their small leaves. There are also varieties with tiny flowers which can be tough to appreciate without a good camera or magnifying lens, like this Lepanthopsis. When growing minis, it’s extra important to water thoroughly and maintain high humidity, since they can quickly dry out on hot or windy days.

Mini Dendrobium speciesMini Masdevallia speciesMini Oncidium hybrid

Whether you grow minis or not, you can enjoy great books about them. Miniature Orchids details hundreds of petite hybrids and species. Author Steven Frowine includes useful care info, beautiful pictures, and helpful lists of minis by light requirements, ease of culture, fragrance, and more.

Miniature Orchids and How to Grow Them is a classic book by famed orchid author Rebecca Tyson Northen. As a biologist, she was one of the first to simply explain orchid care for amateurs when orchids became mass-marketed plants in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She wrote several care books, and this one helped to popularize these tiny orchid treasures.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books, Mini Orchids, Photos

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6 Comments on “Tiny Orchid Treasures”

  1. Hanna at Orchid Care Says:

    I started cultivating miniature orchids as gap fillers about 3 years ago. However, I soon fell in love with them and have now allocated their very own special location within my hothouse.

    This fall season, my mini catts have produced magnificent blooms which are so disproportionately large and top heavy, that I had to support the delicate stems to prevent them from collapsing.

    By the way, I love your blog and I visit it frequently. I have also incorporated your link within my OrchidCare.org site as a valuable resource for my visitors. Would you be willing to return the favor by placing my link within your Blogroll?

  2. sparkbarist Says:

    I seriously enjoy your posts. Thanks. I’d like to subscribe to your blog.

  3. nancy Says:

    I love that orange and red Den. cuthbertsonii. I’ve got a few of those in other colors (1 is orange, 1 is pink, and 1 is purple/orange). You’re right that the flowers look monster-sized against those tiny leaves!

  4. Helga32Lara Says:

    I had to say that I really liked your pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Dakota Stuart Says:

    What beautiful orchids! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Luisa B. Says:

    They have such intense colours! I think that proves that one doesn’t need huge flowers to make a show.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog! I really enjoy learning about orchids, and the pictures are all so wonderful.