As a city dweller with limited growing space, I can always appreciate a mini orchid. I was immediately intrigued by this charmer in a 2-inch (5-cm) flowerpot for sale at last winter’s Pacific Orchid Expo. My reward came a few months later with these tiny, light pink blooms. While this species’ flower spike can reach 7 inches (18 cm) or more, mine topped out around 5 inches (13 cm) tall.
Rare in its native range, this terrestrial species is known from just a few places in South Africa and Zimbabwe. In cultivation, it doesn’t want much water. Most days I spray it with the mister, and only give it a thorough watering when the soil looks dry. Its thin leaves can burn in direct sun, so I keep it in bright light and good humidity with minimal morning sun.
A larger Stenoglottis relative shows off bigger flowers with more purple spots in the final photo. Both the larger species and the mini are deciduous. After dropping their leaves, they need to stay cool and dry over winter dormancy. Water once or twice per month to keep underground tubers from drying. New leaves emerge in spring.
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