Stelis stevensonii

Family: Orchidaceae

Countries: Americas, Ecuador, South America

Stelis stevensonii is a lovely miniature orchid species, which is endemic to Ecuador, where these plants grow in forested areas found at about 1600m above sea level.

This orchid species is epiphytic; instead of growing in the soil, in the wild, these plants can be found growing upon the branches of trees.  In cultivation, Stelis stevensonii plants can be grown successfully in tiny pots filled with medium or large sized pieces of bark, or alternatively, plants can be mounted onto a piece of cork bark or wood.  Whether grown in containers or mounted, Stelis stevensonii is a super terrarium plant.  Stelis stevensonii plants that are mounted really do need to be grown inside a terrarium, as with their roots exposed, these plants will require higher humidity levels than container grown Stelis stevensonii plants.  These orchids need to grow in a humid environment, they will flourish inside bottle gardens, terrariums, orchidariums, and vivariums.

Stelis stevensonii produces its blooms in tall yet dainty spires that feature double rows of teeny tiny, cream coloured flowers.  These curious inflorescences are hirsute; each of the individual miniature flowers display a halo of tiny tufted hairs that provide an enchanting feature, which for me, really enhances the blooms – it’s worth examining these fascinating flowers closely.  I will try and remember to share a picture with you when my Stelis stevensonii plant next blooms.

Stelis stevensonii is an intermediate to cool growing orchid species, which I find is well adapted to the temperatures inside my home.  This miniature orchid species thrives in a shaded environment, well away from harsh or direct sunlight, or intense lighting from grow lights.  Stelis stevensonii plants thrive in indirect light.

I water my Stelis stevensonii with rainwater.  This orchid species is easy to grow, it flourishes in the intermediate temperatures inside my home.  Like many orchids, Stelis stevensonii thrives in a humid environment and should be watered a few times a week with rainwater.  If you’re unable to collect rainwater, use reverse osmosis water or deionised water.

I fertilise my Stelis stevensonii plants once a week, for three weeks in a row, and then on the fourth week I use plain rainwater without the addition of any fertiliser.  I use Orchid Focus Bloom and Orchid Focus Grow.

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