Aerangis mystacidii is an epiphytic plant with white enchanting star-shaped flowers and green-obovate leathery leaves. It is a miniature species from the orchid family and an excellent houseplant for people who have limited space and low light.
Its flowers have strongly reflexed lateral sepals and a long nectary. Because this attractive tropical flora has a pendulous spike, it can be grown in an upside-down hanging pot.
- The Mystacidium-like Aerangis
- Aerangis mystacidioides
- Angraecum mystacidii
- Aerangis pachyura
- Angraecum pachyurum
- Angraecum saundersiae
- Family: Orchidaceae
- Subfamily: Epidendroideae
- Genus: Aerangis
About the Genus Aerangis
This genus belongs to the orchid family, and its name has been derived from two Greek words ‘aer’ (air) and ‘angos’ (urn) which refer to the shape of its lip. Nearly 50 flowering species have been classified in this genus. The orchids of this genus are mostly epiphytic or often lithophytic. All the flowers have a long nectary that is sometimes even longer than the flower itself. Most flowers are fragrant at night, and the leaves are fleshy and leathery.
These Aerangis species are native to Africa, but they are also found in some parts of Madagascar, Comoro Islands, and Sri Lanka.
Origin and Distribution
This epiphytic species of this orchid family was first discovered in the tropical lands of South Africa in 1917. It was first defined by Friedrich Richard Rudolf Schlechter. This species is also found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia.
It mostly grows in riverine forests where it can actively absorb water from the nearby twigs and small plants. It is also found in evergreen forests where there is enough rainfall to fulfill its water needs. The forests in the mountains of South Africa that are at 1220m altitude also have colonies of this pretty orchid family where these cling to small branches under the thick canopy of trees.
Aerangis Mystacidii Features
Foliage and Stem
This exceptionally attractive Aerangis Mystacidii can be kept as a mounted plant due to its pendulous spike. The loosely hanging stem is only 30 cm long with 2-8 green leathery leaves. The shape of its leaves is oblanceolate to obovate.
This beaut is primarily known for its pretty star-shaped flowers. Each flower has 5-6 petals with a 6 cm long spur. The color of these flowers varies from white to creamy to pink. The inflorescence of this comely orchid usually bears 24-30 flowers on a single spike. These flowers are fragrant at night; the fragrance attracts moths that pollinate this tiny planting.
This all-gorgeous Aerangis Mystacidii belongs to the group of deciduous plants, having deciduous leaves that dry out and fall during autumn. This pretty plant loses its foliage and inflorescence and conserves its water and energy at the onset of fall. Fresh sprouts bud out at the beginning of the next growing season.
This mystacidii species is known as a miniature of the orchid family due to its small height. It has a mature height of only 40 cm. The teeny-compact size of this beaut makes it an adorable indoor plant that is a great choice for decorating small spaces and surfaces.
The flowers of this orchid are 1.5-2 cm in diameter. A bunch of small-sized attractive flowers of its mini-sized inflorescence makes up a good display.
Aerangis mystacidii prefers a cooler temperature besides being a tropical plant. It can survive cold winds and moist airflow; it levels up the surrounding humidity. However, high temperature is not its cup of tea. It does not thrive well in heat and hot atmosphere. You should move your mystacidii inside the walls during warmer months and hot summers.
The maximum temperature that this delicate beauty can bear is 30°C, and the minimum temperature can be as low as 15°C.
All tropical plants are humidity-lovers; there is no debate on that. Aerangis mystacidii grows and thrives at its best rate when it is placed in a highly humid surrounding. The foliage and flowers of this pretty orchid stay fresh and lush if it is keep being misted frequently. Placing it in a terrarium in a group with some other plants completes its humidity requirements.
This miniature species adapts to its environment; if the conditions are getting worse, it conserves some water and goes dormant. It is pretty much drought tolerant that can survive periods of stress. It saves up water in its leathery leaves and decreases the process of transpiration during harsh conditions.
Over-crowding and close grouping with other plants is a big No-No for this delicate orchid beauty. The slim pendulous spike and small-touchy flowers are not pressure-tolerant. Place these mini-plants away from heavy objects that could hinder their growth and damage their inflorescence.
Disease and Pest Resistance
The gorgeous little plant is prone to Bacterial Brown spots. It is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. It affects the plants below a temperature of 85°F due to frequent splashing of water, aerosol movements, or contaminated seeds.
Brown spots with yellow margins start to appear on the lower margins of leaves; these lesions can also occur along the stem. Your only shot at saving your plant is to use bactericides on it. Protect your plant from being over-irrigated to prevent it from getting Bacterial Brown spots.
Aerangis mystacidii has a normal growth rate that requires repotting nearly after two years when new roots begin to grow. It has a normal growth habit; its height gradually increases throughout the year until it reaches its mature height of 40 cm and a mature width of 10cm.
No presence of any toxic crystal has been found in the leaves or stem of this mystacidii species of the orchid family. It means that you need not worry about your pet or child getting near this planting. But you surely have to worry about your delicate, cute planting if your pet or child is too near to it to cause any damage.
Aerangis Mystacidii, being an orchid, is a highly durable plant. It can stay in your home gardens or terrarium for many years, provided that you take proper care of it.
This pretty and attractive planting requires high maintenance to maintain its beauty. Orchids are known as plants for people with green thumbs, those who have a gift of being good at gardening and growing plants. If you feel like you are dedicated enough to give your proper attention to this attractive piece, then go for its purchase. Its beauty is worth all the hassle.
Just like its fellow orchids, this Aerangis Mystacidii goes dormant and re-blooms twice a year. It is a deciduous, evergreen plant. It bears flowers for three to four months, after which it goes dormant for some weeks. New sprouts bud out from the stem in the next growing season. The plant goes dormant mainly during winters when the weather is dry and cool.
Aerangis Mystacidii Care
Aerangis Mystacidii care includes watering it thrice a week, keeping it in slightly acidic to normal soil with a pH of 6-7, misting it regularly, feeding it with fertilizers every week, or at least every month. This alluring deciduous plant from the orchid family should be grown in USDA plant hardiness zone 11.
This tiny captivating orchid requires being watering regularly to keep its flowers garden-fresh. During the blooming season, the watering frequency is thrice per week with regular misting. This frequency should be decreased to watering once a week during winters when the rate of transpiration is relatively less than in the summers. Do not over-water your Aerangis Mystacidii.
This annual tropical plant thrives best in slightly acidic to normal soil. The optimum pH range for its growing media is 6-7. This orchid requires well-drained soil for its proper growth and fresh inflorescence. If you are planning to grow a bark-mounted Aerangis Mystacidii, you need to take extra care of it. Mist it often to keep it humid and moist all the time.
The best way is to plant this adorable orchid in a hanging pot where it gets maximum drainage and enough nutrients to grow lushly.
The optimum light exposure for this Aerangis is semi-sun or no direct sun. Direct sunlight can damage its pretty inflorescence, while dappled shade will promote its rich growth.
During the day, a temperature between 15-25°C is best for this tropical plant, while at night, this temperature range minorly changes to 15-20°C. The average temperature at which you should be placing your Aerangis Mystacidii for its most excellent growth is 10°C.
As mentioned earlier, Angraecum mystacidii is a humidity-loving plant; it requires 70-75% humidity in its surroundings. However, its humidity level demands lower to just 60% in winters when it is not transpiring and conserving its water.
A fertilizer of 1/4–1/2 strength is recommended for this tropical plant from the orchid family. It is best if you feed a fertilizer with high nitrogen content to your mystacidii from spring to mid-summer. During autumn and late summer, switch to a fertilizer rich in phosphate.
Repot your Aerangis Mystacidii every two years. New root growth is a sign that you should move your pretty orchid to a new larger pot. If you are keeping your plant in a hanging pot, allow its roots to come out of the drainage holes for fast drainage.
This miniature orchid is easy to propagate asexually through stem cuttings, back bulb cuttings, top cuttings, and Keiki cuttings. You can propagate these by planting them in a waterproof tray filled with sphagnum moss, damp sand, or a mixture of both these.
- Clip the orchid’s cutting to a 10 inches long cane.
- Each node must be attached to the cane.
- Spread an anti-fungal such as charcoal or sulfur on the raw ends.
- Keep it in a transparent plastic bag under indirect sunlight.
New sprouts will grow from the nodes in three to four months.
Hanging plants spreads a sense of beauty and tranquility to wherever these are placed. Decorating the indoor walls with hanging baskets is the perfect way to bring both beauty and nature inside your walls. What’s better than having a collection of adorable mini Aerangis mystacidii on your walls and home gardens?!