Growing mini orchids
Most orchids originate in tropical forests, but they are also found in semi-desert regions, near seashores and even the tundra! Hmm… adaptable plants. Growing mini orchids might be easier than I thought.
Orchids are a promiscuous lot, in the wild and in captivity. In nature, orchids hybridized widely to create between 25,000 to 30,000 different species. In cultivation, a grand total of 110, 000 hybrids were produced in 150 years of unbridled crossings.
My little orchid was the popular mini Phalaenopsis ‘Allen’ from CosMic Plants. Mini Phalaenopis are much smaller (30 cm or 12 in.) than their bigger cousins. In the wild they grow in moist, warm shade growing on rocks or latched onto host plants. Phalaenopsis orchids are touted as one of the easiest orchids to grow. OK…promising.
The mini orchid was already potted in gravel and planted in new kind of self-watering pot, a Lechuza mini-cube. I never watered the orchid from above. I just filled the water reservoir to keep the wick wet.
A few months after I got the orchid, the blooms finally fell off. Couple months after that, the stalk dried out, I snipped off the stalk. Then I forgot about it. Sure, I checked to see if the water reservoir was full, and occasionally I would mist the leaves.
Temperature? In summer I kept the thermostat at an even 24 degree Celsius (75 degree Fahrenheit). In the winter, temperatures are kept at 20 degree Celsius (68 degree Fahrenheit) during the day and 18 degree Celsius (64 degree Fahrenheit) at night.
Watering? The Lechuza mini-cube did all the work. The media was never too wet or too dry. The Lechuza wick system kept the media evenly dry.
Light exposure? West-facing window covered with white sheer drapes.
Fertilization? Never fed it anything all year.
And what do you know? The mini orchid bloomed again this year. True story.
I guess not all orchids are finicky. Or did I luck out by getting all the right conditions?