Home Orchids Schoenorchis Fragrans – The Fragrant Schoenorchis

Schoenorchis Fragrans – The Fragrant Schoenorchis

by gardeningit
Schoenorchis Fragrans

Schoenorchis fragrans is a miniature orchid that is adored for its tiny size and mini, adorable flowers. It is an epiphytic species that has thick, leathery leaves that grow around cylindrical, tube-like flowers. This mini plant is the cutie of the orchid family, as it is so small that it can fit in your palm.

It is an epiphytic plant from tropical lands that can be mounted on a wooden slab. It can be grown indoors as a gorgeous, ornamental houseplant. You can get creative with its placement inside your home as it can fit anywhere! You can mount it in your wall garden, in your kitchen, or your bathroom window.

Common Names

  • The Fragrant Schoenorchis
  • Gastrochilus fragrans
  • Saccolabium fragrans
  • Schoenorchis fragrans var. Seidenfadenii
  • Schoenorchis manipurensis


  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Genus: Schoenorchis

About the Genus Schoenorchis

Schoenorchis is a genus of the orchid family that includes small, scented, flowering plants. Around 25 flowering species have been classified into this genus so far. All these species are epiphytic. These plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions.

Origin and Distribution

Tem Smitinand and his companion Gunnar Seidenfaden identified this species for the first time in 1963. The Fragrant Schoenorchis is endemic to Assam, which is a state of northern-east India. It is also found in Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Myanmar.

Schoenorchis Fragrans Features

Foliage and Stem

Schoenorchis fragrans has small, oval-shaped, dark-green leaves that have a leathery texture. These leaves grow in pairs, facing each other in rows, and each leaf is 1 inch long at most. The real beauty of its leaves is their purple undersides. These thick leaves grow on a slender stem that is not more than 0.8 inches long.


This beautiful orchid bear sweet-scented, pinkish flowers in summers. These small flowers grow in clusters, about 20 at a time!

The sepals and petals of this mini plant fuse with each other at the base making its flowers tube-shaped. Each flower is just 0.4 inches wide. The color of the inflorescence is mostly pink or reddish-purple.


This miniature species is a semi-evergreen plant that is at the borderline of being a complete deciduous orchid. This means it loses its foliage only for a short period in winters before the new leaves start to grow. During this time, it loses only the old potion of its foliage. Eventually, its leaves grow back before the winter ends.


The small height is what makes this Schoenorchis species so lovable. It reaches a maximum height of 1.1 inches. Its leaves are longer than its stem so they add the extra length to the height of this miniature plant.

Temperature Tolerance

Just like other tropical plants, Schoenorchis fragrans cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Growing it outside in winters or on hotter days is the worst that you can do to this delicate plant. When the temperature level is outside the optimum temperature range, move it to a more suitable spot where the surroundings are warm and favorable for the plant’s proper growth.

Humidity Tolerance

All tropical plants love moisture. They thrive in environments where the humidity is mimicked as the humidity levels of tropical forests. Schoenorchis fragrans also loves high humidity. If the humidity falls below a certain level, its leaves start to lose shine and freshness. Low humidity leads to the dullness of its flowers. You should regulate the humidity level around this plant to provide it with the necessary amount of moisture.

Drought Resistance

The leaves of this tiny plant are thick enough to hold some water. Water retained by these leaves is then used in harsh conditions. The leathery texture and the ability to store water make this plant quite resistant to droughts.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Aphids, mealybugs, black rot, botrytis, and caterpillars are some problems to name for this mini orchid. Among these, aphids are the major threat to this pretty plant. Aphids not only suck sap from the stem but also spread diseases and infestations from one plant to another. They will continue to weaken your plant unless you get rid of them, which is quite easy, by the way. You can remove them by using a cotton swab dipped in neem oil.


Schoenorchis fragrans is the turtle-grower of the orchid world; it grows at a really slow speed. You will see only 2-3 new leaves each year on its stem. Its slow growth rate does not make it any less of a yearned plant. It is equally in demand by plant lovers as the other fast-growers.

The plant hardiness zones recommended for this plant by USDA are 8b-10a.


This mini fella is slightly toxic. You may have to keep your pets and toddlers away from its foliage. Each part is poisonous. If ingested, it can cause a disturbance in the stomach and GIT.


This lovely orchid is quite durable. It can live up to three years as long as it is taken good care of. It only blooms once a year, and the flowers last for about 30-45 days.


If you are a beginner and want to grow an easy-to-care plant, you should go for Schoenorchis fragrans. It is a low-maintenance orchid that does not need its grower to be around all the time. This easy-to-maintain plant grows mostly on its own.


This semi-deciduous plant hibernates in winters. Although it does not stop growing completely. Its roots still grow under the growing medium; only its growing speed slows down to almost unnoticeable.

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Schoenorchis Fragrans Care

Schoenorchis fragrans care involves 2-3 times waterings and six hours of partial sunlight. It requires neutral soil and 75% humidity to thrive. You should mist it once or twice a day for its lush growth. It prefers to be fertilized once a month. The recommended growth zones are 8b-10a.

Water Requirements

This lovely orchid needs to be watered twice or thrice a week. It is better if you let it dry between waterings to protect its roots from any damage. Make sure that you do not overwater it as it can lead to stagnant roots. Overwatering is an easy way to kill this orchid; this is something that you would probably not want to do.

Soil Requirements

Schoenorchis fragrans grow best in a growing medium whose pH is kept neutral, between 6 and 7. If you have bought this pretty orchid as a houseplant, you should use moss as its growing medium. Moss is most suitable for its proper growth as it retains just the right amount of water and provides the plant with all the essential nutrients. This epiphytic plant has air roots that will hold tight on to moss and grow as a mounted plant on the wooden slab.


Partial shade is preferable for this Schoenorchis plant. This means that six hours of light exposure is a must-thing for this plant. Six hours of sunlight is necessary for the photosynthesis process. If this plant does not get enough light exposure, its leaves will begin to lose their color and freshness. You should place it in a bright spot where it can receive dappled sunlight and where it is safe from the afternoon sun as well. You can grow this miniature under the shade of a larger plant whose leaves will protect its delicate foliage from intense heat and light exposure. A north-facing or an east-facing window is best for the placement of a Schoenorchis plant.

Temperature Requirements

The warmth-loving Saccolabium fragrans must be kept in an environment where the temperature fluctuates between 15°C and 32°C. Temperature extremes are not tolerable. You should never place this orchid in the way of hot or cold drafts. Never leave this plant outside in the cold weather; it is prone to chilly injuries. In winters and hot summers, move this plant indoors for its well-being.


The Fragrant Schoenorchis needs a minimum of 60-65% humidity to grow properly. The moisture level helps its leaves and roots to stay fresh. If the humidity falls below this minimum level, this plant will begin to rot. If you want your Schoenorchis plant to thrive and flourish, keep the humidity above 70%. You can do so by planting a humidifier inside. If this way seems a little pricey to you, you can also try other simple methods. Try misting the plant once or twice a day or grow it in a terrarium to provide it with a high moisture level.


This mini orchid is more foodie for its size. It needs to be fertilized every 3-4 weeks. It is an epiphytic plant; if it is not depending on another plant for nutrients, it needs all the essential nutrients from its growing medium. This is why you should feed it after a month at the minimum. You can use the orchid fertilizer for fertilizing Schoenorchis fragrans. Always water it before adding fertilizer to protect its roots from burning. All you have to do is mix ⅓ of the mentioned quantity of the fertilizer on the package into a gallon of water and then spray its soil with it.

Grooming and Pruning

Schoenorchis fragrans is small enough to fit in your hand; do you really think it even needs pruning too? Well, you can trim its leggy sides to groom it if you like, but it does not need to be pruned necessarily. However, you should always be careful with the blades while pruning. You can use small scissors to cut unnecessary leaves. Always disinfect the scissors before pruning the plant to prevent any type of infection. You can trim its foliage before the growing season, so the new growth has enough space to grow.


Despite being a slow-grower, The Fragrant Schoenorchis needs to be re-potted every year. If you are growing on a wooden slab, you can renew the sphagnum moss. Yearly re-potting replenishes the nutrients that are essential for the plant’s growth. Be careful while detaching the plant from the wooden slab. You can easily damage its roots if you do not do the process patiently. You can also move your plant on a wooden cork; it can grow so beautifully on that too!


Schoenorchis fragrans can be propagated similarly to other orchids, but you have to be really careful while doing so. You can cultivate this miniature orchid by using stem cuttings. Follow the following step-by-step guide for the propagation of The Fragrant Schoenorchis at home:

  • Take a sharp pair of scissors and sterilize it.
  • Cut a tiny fragment of the stem from the plant. The stem cutting should be around one leaf long.
  • Take a tray and place some sphagnum moss in it.
  • Damp the moss and let the water get absorbed.
  • Place the stem cutting at the surface of moss. Do not insert it inside.
  • Keep spraying the cutting daily until new roots form.
  • Once you see roots and a shoot growing out of the cutting, move it to a cork or a wooden slab.

Final Thoughts

Pretty orchids are always welcome in the houseplants collection. Schoenorchis fragrans, with its beautiful flowers and leathery leaves, makes an adorable species of the orchid family. You can grow it as a mounted plant on your home walls or in your window sills. This low-maintenance, faintly fragrant orchid is a lovely addition to terrariums and bathroom windows.

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