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Two mini-phalanaeopsis on either side of standard ones. They may look like babies, but they’re in fact fully grown. Source: kelvinhalldesigns.com.au

Those miniature phalaenopsis orchids (Phalaenopsis) with tiny flowers that are sold everywhere these days are not cute little babies in early bloom. Any orchid in flower is fully mature or it wouldn’t be flowering. They truly are genetic miniatures, the chihuahuas of the orchid world, and won’t get much bigger over time.

If you like small orchids with small flowers, go ahead and buy one. If you prefer bigger orchids with big flowers, buy one of those.

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Miniature phalaenopsis, here grown in fake kokedama balls. Cute, but don’t expect them to get any bigger. Source: planten-kopen.com

In the home, no phalaenopsis bought in bloom will increase too notably in size (unless you let it divide into two or more plants and that can take decades!) Most will just produce a new leaf for every old one they lose, maybe over time adding at most one or two more leaves to their total. That’s just the way they grow. Get used to it.

Sometimes what you see truly is what you get!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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