Group : Pleurothallidinae
Covers these genera : Dracula (Drac.) , Dracuvallia (Drvla.) , Dryadella (Drya.) , Masdevallia (Masd.) , Myoxanthus (My.) , Octomeria (Octmr.) , Platystele (Pltstl.) , Pleurothallis (Pths.) , Restrepia (Rstp.) , Scaphosepalum (Scapho.) , Stelis (Ste.) , Trichosalpinx (Trchpnx.) , Trisetella (Tris.) , Zootrophion (Ztrphn.)

General information for this group :
Most members of this group require nearly identical conditions. They are easy to grow and bloom when provided with the right environment. You can find some of the most adorable miniatures of the orchid family in this group. The initial discussion is for Pleurothallis and any hybrid which has Pleurothallis in it's background. For subgroups that have additional information, it will appear under individual headings near the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can click on the genus name above to take you directly to that subgroup.

Subgroup : Pleurothallis

Covers these genera : Octomeria (Octmr.) , Pleurothallis (Pths.) , Restrepia (Rstp.) , Scaphosepalum (Scapho.) , Stelis (Ste.) , Zootrophion (Ztrphn.)

Description :
The plant size ranges are from micro-minis to standard, with the highest occurrence of micro-mini to miniature in stature. All of these prefer mid to high humidity levels, and the vast selection of small plants makes them perfect terrarium candidates.

Light :
Low to moderate light levels suit this group best. If you provide higher light levels, then ensure you have adequate air movement and humidity to keep them from dessication.

Temperature :
We find that most of these do quite well under cool to intermediate conditions. We avoid those that are strictly cool growers, as they are usually quite susceptible to many problems that manifest at warmer temperatures.

Media :
High-quality sphagnum moss is best. For the tiniest plants, ensure that the growth of moss does not overwhelm these little guys. If the humidity levels are high enough (> 60%) then most of these plants will also do fine mounted on tree-fern or very coarse cork surfaces.

Water :
Rainwater and dehumidifier water are the best choices, followed by distilled water. NEVER, EVER, use softened water, bottled water, or well-water since the high mineral concentrations will kill the root system. Avoid misting of the leaves directly, as this often causes spotting or rot.

Fertilizing :
Use only a balanced orchid fertilizer (ie. 3:1:3 or 4:1:4 ratio), and never higher than 1/4 strength. Ensure that you flush the medium thoroughly at least every 3rd watering for best results. Only fertilize when the plants are actively growing. Under lights this would be year-round, but on the windowsill it would be February through October.

Blooming :
Most will bloom intermittently throughout the year, depending on your growing conditions. Keep a magnifying glass handy so you can really appreciate the intricate blooms on the micro-minis. If your plants are reluctant to bloom, then examine the growing conditions carefully to see which element needs adjusting.

Subgroup : Masdevallia

Covers these genera : Dracula (Drac.) , Dracuvallia (Drvla.) , Dryadella (Drya.) , Masdevallia (Masd.)

Description : These are typically showier and larger flowers than most of this group. The sepals of the flowers account for most of the flower-size, with the petals and lip being diminutive by comparison.

Same as for Pleurothallis, except :

  • Less tolerant of growing stress, so ensure you have the right conditions before growing these.
  • Draculas usually have pendulous bloom spikes, so ensure that your potting method allows for this.

  • Subgroup : Mounted Types

    Covers these genera : Myoxanthus (My.) , Platystele (Pltstl.) , Trichosalpinx (Trchpnx.) , Trisetella (Tris.)

    Description : As mentioned earlier, most of this group can be grown on mounts provided the humidity levels are high enough. This subgroup tends to grow much better mounted than in pots, but don't try this if the conditions are not suitable as described.

    Same as for Pleurothallis, except :

  • Most prefer the cooler end of intermediate range.
  • If you must subject them to higher temperatures, try compensating by increasing the humidity levels.

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