Microterangis hariotiana

The Microterangis hariotiana is a miniature orchid that hails from the Comoros Islands. The Comoros are a set of islands off of Africa, very near toMadagascar and similar in climate and fauna. The species in the genus Microterangis are monopodial, with an upright growth habit and appearance similar to that of the easily found Phalaenopsis.

As the picture shows, this orchid is mounted on a piece of cork-oak bark; placed on a bed of moss and wrapped with fishing line until it is firmly in place. Many African miniatures (all part of the Angraecoid family) enjoy this culture, and can be mounted on cork bark or tree fern that you can get at specialty nurseries. For North America, I highly recommend the even more sustainable and easily obtainable grapevine, which you can get at any pet store; also blueberry branches, which can be found by speaking to a local fruit farm.

The size of this plant is amazingly small,with the individual leaves only measuring about 3 inches long. The flower spikes are pendulous, and the longest only measures 1.5-2 inches from the base of the plant to the tip. I have read that the flower spikes can get 8-10 inches long in subsequent bloomings, which would be quite a site.

Since this plant requires a high humidity but good air flow, mounting is the way to have gone with it; however, this presents some more stringent care requirements for the windowsill gardener. I've been playing with both the sunlight, temperature and watering schedule of this plant since I received it, but recently settled on specifics.

I started only watering the Microterangis every other day, but found it didn't seem quite happy So to keep the humidity up, I am heavily watering it every day, instead of the more common light daily misting and weekly soak that most mounted orchids get. This keeps the plant wet a lot longer, but it still nearly dries out before the next days watering. . I've got it in medium-high light right now sitting in the back row of plants on a Southern exposure, but have been considering moving it to an East or West facing window to reduce the direct sunlight a little. Temperature should be in the normal house range, it should thrive in the mainly 70 degree household, and this guy reportedly can handle anything from the 60s to the mid 80s as long as the humidity is kept up.

I think the Microterangis is a great genus for indoor/windowsill cultivation, as long as it is mounted and it is watered on a daily basis or more.

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