Masdevallia amabilis

Source: Orchi

Masdevallia amabilis

Masdevallia amabilis is a miniature orchid that is quite easy to grow.

Masdevallia amabilis is part of the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Epidendreae, sub-tribe Pleurothallidinae, genus Masdevallia.


Masdevallia amabilis is a miniature, cold to warm-growing, terrestrial or lithophytic orchid.

It has no pseudobulbs but very short, unobtrusive secondary stems, covered by 2-3 short tubular membrane sheaths. The leaves are upright, leathery, elongated and pointed with a deep groove in the center.

The flower stem is upright or horizontal, slim, up to 30 cm long. The flower is solitary and varies in color from white to purple.



Masdevallia amabilis f. flammula, Masdevallia amabilis var. lineata, Masdevallia flammula


Masdevallia is named after Jose Masdevall, a physician and botanist at the court of King Charles III of Spain.
Amabilis: from the Latin amabilis (lovable)


Northern Peru


Rocks in full sun at high altitudes, 2.000-5.300 m altitude



Diurnal: 15-25 °C
Nocturnal: 11-14 °C
Provide a distinct difference in day and night temperatures to promote flowering.


Must have plenty of light to bloom regularly. The leaves should be bright green: in too much light, they are yellow and when they don’t have enough light, the they are dark green.


In general, the substrate should not dry out. The water quality is also very important as Masdevallia is very sensitive to salts in water. So certainly do not use water that has been treated by a softener. If your water contains many minerals, a regular shower to rinse the minerals from the substrate is useful.

The roots should always be damp but not wet. They should be watered a little every morning and and dried by the evening.


70-90 %
Mature plants can settle for less but the growth and flowering will be much slower.

A bowl of water or misting is not effective enough. It is better to use an enclosed area with adequate ventilation, such as an orchidarium.


Masdevallia can be grown in a moist mix of fine fir bark and peat moss or mounted on slabs of wood or sticks. The important thing is that they have good air circulation.

In large pots, you can use a coarser mix but the top layer must be composed of a mixture of fine fir bark and peat moss.

They are also very suitable for hydroponics.


Provide a general liquid fertilizer for houseplants once a week, but diluted to 1/8th compared with the recommended dilution.


Repot annually to prevent the substrate from rotting, Masdevallia does not resist that.


The bloom lasts about two weeks. When the flower stalk begins to appear, do not turn the pot so that the same side remains turned towards the light.

Yellowing and falling of the flower buds before they hatch are usually due to excessively high temperatures or dry air.



The plant has a rhizome that may be cut in pieces when the plant is mature.