The Piccola orchid, also known as the Mini Orchid, is a small plant that is often chosen by beginners due to its easy care requirements.
These orchids are known for their attractive, long-lasting flowers and their compact size.
Caring for the Piccola orchid is very similar to the full-size Phalaenopsis orchid. It involves providing it with the right growing conditions, regular watering, and proper fertilization.
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Mini Orchid Light Requirements
The Piccola orchid requires bright, indirect light to thrive.
Direct sunlight can damage the leaves and cause the flowers to wilt.
You can place the orchid near a north-facing window or in an east or west-facing window, but it should be protected from direct sunlight.
Artificial light can also be used if natural light is not available.
Temperature and Humidity
The temperature range for the Piccola orchid should be between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and between 55 to 65 degrees at night.
If you’ll be keeping your Piccola orchid indoors, your average house temperature will suffice.
Avoid placing the orchid near drafts or heating vents, as this can cause the temperature to fluctuate and harm the plant.
Remember that orchids need a period of cooler temperatures before they can rebloom again.
So when the temperatures dip outside, think about moving it into a room in your home that’s a little cooler than other areas.
Humidity is also important for the Piccola orchid’s growth.
The orchid should be kept in a room with a humidity level of 50% to 60%.
If the humidity in your home is too low, you can place a tray of water near the orchid or use a plant humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant.
My favorite method for providing enough humidity is to place it in a room with lots of other plants nearby!
How Often to Water Your Mini Orchid
Proper watering is crucial for the health of the Piccola orchid.
The orchid should be watered when the potting mix starts to dry out.
The best way to tell whether your orchid needs water or not is to look at its roots.
When your orchid is freshly watered, its roots should be a bright, vibrant green color.
Once the roots reach silvery-white, it’s time to water your mini orchid.
For my mini orchid, I water it once every 7 to 8 days.
Another way to tell when your orchid needs water is to check the leaves.
If they’re feeling a little limp and depleted, then it’s time for a watering.
If they’re firm, it’s not ready for water yet.
Best Watering Method for Mini Orchids
Submerging the bottom of the pot in a shallow container of water is the best method for watering your mini orchid.
Make sure the pot is submerged in about 3 inches of water for 15 minutes.
Avoid water going up to the crown of the orchid (the thick stem where the leaves meet).
Bottom water about once per week and your little guy will thrive.
Be sure to use room temperature water and allow the potting mix to dry out before watering again.
Should You Water Your Mini Orchid with Ice Cubes?
Some people recommend watering orchids with ice cubes, but I do not.
The ice cube method is promoted as a way to easily regulate how much water you give your orchid.
In reality, your orchid may differ from week to week as to how much water it needs.
The best way to ensure your mini orchid is getting adequate water is to monitor it for signs.
Don’t just rely on throwing an ice cube on tip and forgetting about it for a week.
The Piccola orchid should be fertilized every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season, which is typically from spring to fall.
Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (20-20-20).
Once you see new growth happening (new leaves, new spikes, etc), this is the telltale sign to start on a fertilizing schedule.
During the winter months, the orchid may not require fertilization as it enters a period of dormancy.
You can resume fertilizing in the spring when new growth appears.
The Piccola orchid can be repotted every 1 to 2 years to provide it with fresh potting mix and space for growth.
The best time to repot is in the spring and before it gets too warm for the summer.
Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one, about 2 inches bigger.
If you choose too big of a pot, the orchid will retain too much water and its roots will rot quickly.
Remember to use a well-draining potting mix that is specifically designed for orchids.
Carefully remove the orchid from its current pot and gently loosen the roots.
Trim any dead or damaged roots and repot the orchid into the new pot. Flat and ‘smooshed’ roots are dead, whereas fat and round roots are healthy and growing.
Water the orchid thoroughly after repotting and allow it to settle in for a few days before resuming regular care.
How Long Do Mini Orchids Hold Their Flowers
A healthy and happy piccola orchid will hold its flowers for 4 to 8 weeks.
After this, it will continue to go through the normal orchid lifecycle.
It will go into a resting period (several months) and then rebloom again.
You can expect your mini orchid to bloom 1 to 3 times per year.
After the last bloom falls off, you can trim that stem, as new flowers will grow on a new stem.
How Long do Mini Orchids Live
With a lifespan of about 5 years, mini orchids tend to not live as long as regular-sized phalaenopsis orchids.
However, with the right growing conditions and care, you could see your orchid live past 10 years.
The Piccola orchid is generally a hardy plant, but it can be prone to a few common problems.
Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause the plant to wilt and die.
Make sure to allow the potting mix to dry out slightly before watering and never let the orchid sit in standing water.
Low humidity can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and the flowers to drop off prematurely.
You can increase the humidity around the orchid by using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant.
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