How to Care for Mini Orchids

How to Care for Mini Orchids

Caring for mini orchids is very similar to caring for standard orchid varieties. Like their standard-sized counterparts, mini orchids thrive in warm, humid conditions with semi-dry roots. Mini orchids tend to be a little more sensitive, however, and require less watering and less frequent fertilization. Mini orchids, like their standard-variety cousins, also need to be re-potted every few years in order to remain healthy.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Daily Care

  1. Water your orchid when it starts drying out. Put your finger or the point of a sharpened pencil into the growing medium; if the soil feels dry, water your plant by placing it under lukewarm, running water in your sink for about 15 seconds, then allow the excess water to drain for about 15 minutes after that.[1]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • Overwatering can kill your orchid, so it's important to prevent the roots from sitting in soggy soil.
    • Phalaenopsis and paphiopedilums should be watered before the soil completely dries out, while cattleyas and oncidiums need the soil to dry completely between waterings.[2]
    • Contrary to popular belief, you should not water your orchid with ice. It's not the only way to avoid overwatering your orchid, and the cold ice can stress the plant and decrease its lifespan.[3]
  2. Check the growing media for dryness every few days. In most cases, a 6-inch (15.24-cm) pot will need water once every week. Smaller pots will need water a little more often.[4] However, in excessively hot or dry conditions, you may need to add an additional sprinkle of water in the middle of the week. Allow the media to get partially dry, but add more water once it feels dry even 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) below the surface.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 2 Version 4.jpg
  3. Allow your mini orchid to sit in a sunny spot, but avoid direct sunlight.[5] Place the flower in an eastern window that only receives muted sun, or block out some of the direct sun by placing it behind a translucent shade or screen in a southern window.[6][7]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 3 Version 5.jpg
  4. Supplement artificial lighting when you cannot provide enough natural light. Fluorescent lights or High Intensity Discharge lights offer the best alternatives. Place the lights 6 to 12 inches (15.24 to 30.48 centimeters) away from the top of your mini orchid to prevent accidental over-lighting.[8]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 4 Version 4.jpg
  5. Keep an eye on the foliage. You can usually determine whether or not your orchid receives the right amount of light based on the way its leaves look. Too little light will result in dark green leaves with no flowers. Too much light will cause the leaves to turn yellow or red. Some leaves may even develop brown "sunburn" spots.[9]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 5 Version 5.jpg
  6. Maintain a room temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 29 degrees Celsius). Mini orchids thrive in warm, humid conditions. For best results, keep the temperature on the high end of the scale during the day and drop it by about 15 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) at night. Never allow the temperature to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), however.[10]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 6 Version 4.jpg
  7. Do not place the flower in a drafty area. Avoid letting it sit near open windows and air vents.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 7 Version 4.jpg
  8. Periodically mist the leaves of the mini orchid. Orchids like humid conditions, and misting the plant every day or two will mimic humidity. If this does not work, run a humidifier in the same room during the day.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 8 Version 4.jpg
  9. Fertilize your mini orchid once a month.[11] Use a balanced fertilizer and mix it with water, diluting it down to half its recommended strength.[12] If this fertilizer does not seem to do well for your plant, you can also try a high-nitrogen fertilizer, especially if you use a bark-based growing media.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 9 Version 4.jpg
    • Make sure the fertilizer contains little to no urea.
    • Another option is to fertilize your orchid once per week, right after you water it, by diluting a balanced fertilizer safe for use with container plants down to 1/4 strength, to further reduce the risk of feeding it too much at one time.[13]

[Edit]Potting and Re-potting

  1. Choose a slightly larger container than the one your orchid currently sits in. Mini orchids have fast-growing roots, and one of the main reasons you need to periodically repot your orchids is to provide the roots with plenty of room. The new pot only needs to be large enough to fit the roots; you do not need to choose a pot that is significantly larger to anticipate further root growth.[14]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 10 Version 4.jpg
  2. Look for a growing media that has large particles. Media with a base of moss and bark is superior to standard potting soil.[15]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 11 Version 4.jpg
  3. Allow the growing media to soak in water. For best results, let the drenched media sit for a full 24 hours so that it thoroughly absorbs the water.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 12 Version 5.jpg
  4. Trim the spikes. Snip off green spikes 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) above the top node. Trim yellow or brown spikes 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) above the bottom node.[16]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 13 Version 4.jpg
  5. Carefully remove the mini orchid from its current container. Gently grab the base of the orchid with one hand and the pot with your other. Tip the mini orchid to its side or upside-down, and slowly squeeze or rotate the sides of the pot until the clump of roots comes free.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 14 Version 4.jpg
  6. Brush off any planting media stuck to the roots. Media breaks down as time passes, and old, decomposed media is more likely to cause your orchid's roots to rot. As a result, you need to remove as much old media as possible without damaging the roots.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 15 Version 4.jpg
  7. Snip away dead roots. Dead roots with look brown and wilted. Healthy roots, on the other hand, are white or green and relatively firm.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 16 Version 4.jpg
  8. Scatter a little of the growing media into the bottom of your new container. You only need a little, since the mini orchid's roots should fill the majority of the container.[17]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 17 Version 5.jpg
  9. Fit the mini orchid into its new container. Hold the orchid up so that the base of the lowest leaf dips below the rim of the pot by 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters).[18]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 18 Version 4.jpg
  10. Slowly pour the growing media around the mini orchid's roots. Press down on the media gently to force it into the bottom and around the sides of the container. Periodically tap the side of the container to help settle it. Continue adding the media until the entire root system is covered, leaving the plant exposed from the bottom leaf up.[19]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 19 Version 4.jpg
  11. Check the sturdiness of your re-potted mini orchid. Lift the plant up by the stem. If the pot starts to slip, you need to add more media to make the orchid more secure.[20]
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 20 Version 5.jpg
  12. Refrain from watering your freshly potted orchid for the first 10 days. Instead, sit it in a warm location and mist it with a little water each day. The leaves should stay dry at night.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 21 Version 4.jpg
  13. Repot your mini orchids every two years. Mini orchids may need re-potting as often as every one year, but some can even go as long as three years without any damage occurring. If your media starts to smell or if the roots of your flower look choked, you know it is time for you to repot.
    Care for Mini Orchids Step 22 Version 4.jpg

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • Find out the specific species of mini orchid you have in your possession. Each variety is a little different, and while the care instructions are generally the same for each type, some varieties do have more specific requirements. Pay special attention to your variety’s ideal temperature range and humidity levels, since these are the most likely features to vary.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Coarse growing media
  • Larger pot or other container
  • Spray bottle or mister
  • Humidifier
  • Grow lights
  • Fertilizer

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

  1. http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchid-care/how-do-i-water-my-orchid.aspx
  2. http://www.aos.org/orchids/culture-sheets/novice-watering-know-how.aspx
  3. http://oregonorchidsociety.org/ice-cubes-and-orchids
  4. http://www.beautifulorchids.com/orchids/orchid_care_tips/watering/watering.html
  5. http://www.beautifulorchids.com/orchids/orchid_care_tips/light/light.html
  6. http://www.aos.org/orchids/additional-resources/light-the-key-to-successful-blooming.aspx
  7. [v161590_b01]. 22 September 2020.
  8. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/gardening/flower-gardening/how-to-grow-orchids-under-artificial-light/
  9. http://www.aos.org/orchids/additional-resources/light-the-key-to-successful-blooming.aspx
  10. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=333
  11. https://www.justaddiceorchids.com/just-add-ice-orchid-blog/bid/91537/how-to-fertilize-orchids
  12. http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchid-care/how-do-i-feed-my-orchid.aspx
  13. http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchid-care/how-do-i-feed-my-orchid.aspx
  14. http://www.aos.org/orchids/orchid-care/when-should-i-repot.aspx
  15. http://www.aos.org/orchids/additional-resources/potting-media-reviewed.aspx
  16. http://www.orchidsmadeeasy.com/orchid-care-instructions/
  17. https://youtu.be/oedy6hZdE_k?t=216
  18. https://youtu.be/oedy6hZdE_k?t=224
  19. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/gardening/flower-gardening/how-to-repot-an-orchid/
  20. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/gardening/flower-gardening/how-to-repot-an-orchid/
Back to blog