Is there a Miniature Orchid Plant?

My friend was in Panama and said her guide showed her “miniature orchid plants” growing on the leaves of the trees. Were these really orchids or some type of bromeliad?

Hi Miranda,

There are many kinds of miniature orchid plants that produce very small but absolutely beautiful, complex flowers. These plants are usually found in Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies, but you can order them from growers on line. Lepanthes (from the Greek “ scaleSoft Brown Scale plant pests are  the most common scale that attack indoor houseplants, especially ficus tress, various ivy varieties, spider plants, ferns, aralia, and schefflera. The scale plant pests appear as small, bumpy, brown spots that may appear to move. As the scale plant pest sucks on the sap of the plant, it secretes a sticky substance called "honeydew." The honeydew attracts black mildew. Because of the shell-like exterior, sprays are only partially effective against scale. Wipe off the lines of brown oval bumps with your finger, a cloth, or a child’s toothbrush then spray the plant with Neem Oil or a houseplant insecticide. You can use the non-toxic, easily made Green Solution to clean off the black mildew.d-flower”) is a large group of mini orchids with about 700-800 species. These orchids often grow on the leaves of other plants. Here are a few pictures.

Tiny red Lepanthes Orchid
Lepanthes jmcalsa Orchid Plant
Purple miniature orchid plants
Miniature Orchid Plants on Slabs

Lepanthes mini orchid plants like low to moderate light, medium to cool temperatures, high humidity and good air circulation. They grow either in small pots with with an epiphytic mix or mounted on treefern or cork slabs with a little moss around them, or in a terrarium.