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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 07:01 PM
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Default What are minis?

I have a bunch of orchids that I bought from the grocery store that have smaller flowers than the bigger orchids and are probably half the size. I wouldn't say they are very small, though. Are these minis? If minis are just a bit smaller than regular orchids, are they harder to get to bloom?
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:32 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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"Mini" is a subjective term, and there's no standardized description of what constitutes a miniature orchid. If you want them to be mini, then they are mini

As an example of the haphazard way the term can be applied, I have a plant, Lc Thi-ti 'Sweetheart' that I bought from Hasuermann. On his website, he describes it as miniature, but it's easily 12 inches tall, maybe more. It's fine, I have room for it, and I didn't buy it because it was miniature, but I was surprised how big it was when I got it. I guess it's smaller than some of the big standard Cattleyas, but I wouldn't have applied the term "mini" to it, and I have other Catts that people describe as "compact" which are far smaller, but anyway, this is an example of how the term doesn't really mean anything specific.

A plant's size itself doesn't have any effect on culture, except that maybe smaller pots need more frequent watering, but that is only incidentally related to the plant's size.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2018, 11:24 AM
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Actually there is a standard. AOS standards for a mini are plants that are no taller than 6" upon maturity. Unfortunately, many vendors play footloose and fancy free with the term. I have found that if one really wants "mini", one must ask the vendor how big the plant grows.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Actually there is a standard. AOS standards for a mini are plants that are no taller than 6" upon maturity. Unfortunately, many vendors play footloose and fancy free with the term. I have found that if one really wants "mini", one must ask the vendor how big the plant grows.
So now I'm curious about the term "compact." Does that also have an AOS definition? A lot of vendors use that term. I don't really know why, but I was under the impression that there are minis, and then compact was a size in between mini and full-size. Or is compact just another way of saying mini? It's can be confusing for those of us still trying to learn.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:57 PM
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I don't know if compact has an AOS definition, but I think it's meant to be for plants no larger than 12". Then there's also the micro minis....
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2018, 05:00 PM
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At the Sunset Valley Orchids website, Fred Clarke says that minis are less than 6 inches, and compacts are less than 12 inches, so I guess compact refers to a plant bigger than miniature, but smaller than standard. I don't know if those are just how he classifies them for the purposes of organizing and describing his inventory, or if there is an official standard for "compact". But that's all I know.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:14 PM
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6-12 inches tall is the definition I understand to be "compact". Can't recall where I was first introduced to that one however.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:05 PM
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Default Great question!

Great question (and answers/replies)! I also was trying to categorize my orchids using size as a criteria. I didn't know if I should label some of the plants 'mini' or 'miniature' or 'compact' etc. I even thought mini was smaller than miniature.

Five years later after you posted this thread, nothing has changed and there is no black and white or exact measurement size for these labels.

Here in China, online sellers also use the same terms 'mini, miniature, and compact' and of course all they mean is that the plant is 'smaller' in size.

Now I know how to do. If the orchid can fit into my tiered bamboo rack smaller shelves, I will call it a compact plant (LOL)!
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JScott View Post
At the Sunset Valley Orchids website, Fred Clarke says that minis are less than 6 inches, and compacts are less than 12 inches, so I guess compact refers to a plant bigger than miniature, but smaller than standard. I don't know if those are just how he classifies them for the purposes of organizing and describing his inventory, or if there is an official standard for "compact". But that's all I know.
Remember, these definitions relate to SVO's Cattleya plants... Other types will have different definitions. The terms are meaningless without reference to the majority of the group of interest. So in general, a mini is smaller than a compact which is smaller than a "standard" but the baseline or reference point is as variable as orchids in general.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:14 AM
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Yeah, it is pretty crazy how differently people define miniature orchids.

I collect mostly 'small' or 'miniature' orchids which mostly reside in a twenty-gallon tank or table-top greenhouse. Schoenorchis fragrans is about my idea of a 'miniature' orchid and an Angraecum didieri or Tuberlabium is my idea of a 'small' orchid. So, sometimes when I order orchids, I am surprised to receive an orchid that is larger than I expect. The biggest surprise came at an Orchid Society meeting when someone showed off a Cymbidium that had leaves at least twenty-four inches and introduced it as a 'miniature' Cymbidium. :|
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