Psygmorchis Pusilla (Everything You Need to Know!)

Psygmorchis Pusilla, also known as Erycina pusilla, is a fascinating miniature orchids from Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Trinidad, Venezuela, Surinam, Bolivia, Brazil and French Guiana. 

In this article you will find out what is psygmorchis pusilla and everything you need to know regarding care, growth requirements, etc.

This genus is home to over 500 species. Most of them are found in Central and South America. They grow almost exclusively epiphytic on trees and shrubs. 

What is Psygmorchis Pusilla ?

Psygmorchis Pusilla is a hot to warm growing, miniature sized, fan-shaped orchid epiphyte growing to 1.5-3 inches (4-8cm) tall, with numerous bilaterally compressed, acute, lanceolate-subfalcate leaves 3 inches (8 cm) long and 0.5 inches (1 .5cm) wide.

Psygmorchis pusilla is also known as Erycina pusilla , but the morphology totally different from the classical canons of the genus Oncdium , has led the taxonomists to constitute the new genus in the Pulvinata section in which 4 other similar species have also been grouped.

The Oncidium genus includes several hundred species native to tropical and subtropical America. Among them are dwarfs, which are only about 4″ (10 cm) high. On the other hand, other species can reach heights of up to 30″ (80 cm).

Psygmorchis Pusilla grow on trees and bushes, in warm and humid forests in plantations of coffee and citrus trees.

We owe its name to the Swedish botanist Peter Olof Swartz, who named it Oncidium referring to a small bump or callus located at the base of the lip of its flowers. In Greek, Onkos is swelling and -idium is a diminutive suffix, small swelling or protuberance: Oncidium.

It commonly receives names such as “Golden Shower” or “Dancing Lady”.

Psygmorchis Pusilla Characteristics

Psygmorchis Pusilla
Scientific name: Erycina Pusilla
Common Name:  Dancing Lady Orchid, Golden Shower Orchid
Origin: Not naturally occurring, the wild forms come from Central and South America
Size: Between 10 and 80 centimeters depending on the variety
Location: Light to semi-shady, morning sun, evening sun, winter sun, in summer also on the balcony or in the garden
Watering : Intensive in summer, sips in winter, but do not allow to dry out
Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizer every 4 to 8 weeks during the growing season
Temperature: Room temperature in summer, winter at 15 to 20 °C
Substrate: Fine to medium-coarse bark substrate
Propagation: division

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How to Care for Psygmorchis Pusilla

Psygmorchis Pusilla are orchids that produce very beautiful flowers, but as we said at the beginning, bur caring for them be somewhat difficult to maintain, especially when the climate is not the most suitable. 

Accordingly, an airy and coarse orchid substrate should always be chosen. Psygmorchis pusilla comes in a variety of shades of yellow with long flower spikes. 

But also small and colorful varieties belong to this genus and have been bred over the years. With its simple care requirements , it is one of the ideal orchids for the house and windowsill.

We are going to tell you how to care for Psygmorchis Pusilla below:

Watering of Psygmorchis Pusilla

Psygmorchis pusilla should not be watered every day. You must have a good supply of clean water, especially at the stage of shoot growth. 

The irrigation frequency of Psygmorchis pusilla can range between 2-3 times a week, varying according to the weather season and the type of substrate. The substrate in which the plant is planted can not remain very wet all the time, so it is recommended to check its humidity before carrying out the next irrigation and water only if necessary.

Between each watering there must be a certain period of dryness. It should always be watered with clean, fresh and abundant water. In coastal areas you must be careful so that the water used for irrigation does not contain salts

It is recommended to water only in the morning hours. During and after irrigation, it is recommended to drain well the excess water that remains inside the container where the plant is located (in the case of plastic pots, clay pots, etc.).  

It is NOT recommended to submerge the plant in buckets or containers with water. It is NOT recommended to place a plate under the pot. It is a variety that does not tolerate excess irrigation.

The watering should be adapted to the growth rhythm and the temperatures. During the main period of growth, the Psygmorchis pusilla is watered plentifully. Allow the root ball to dry thoroughly between the individual waterings. 

After flowering, the Psygmorchis pusilla needs a rest period of about 6 weeks. During this time, the Psygmorchis pusilla is watered just enough to keep the pseudobulbs from shrinking. Waterlogging and absolute dryness of the ball should be avoided.

Soft, stagnant water at room temperature is used to water and spray the Psygmorchis Pusilla. Ideally, clean rainwater, filtered if necessary, should be used.

During this time, the Psygmorchis Pusilla is watered just enough to keep the pseudobulbs from shrinking. Waterlogging and absolute dryness of the ball should be avoided.

Soft, stagnant water at room temperature is used to water and spray the Psygmorchis Pusilla. Ideally, clean rainwater, filtered if necessary, should be used.


Sygmorchis Pusilla orchid needs a lot of light to grow. Place its pot near a window, in direct sunlight in winter . In summer , protect this window with a curtain so that the sun does not burn your plant.

Psygmorchis pusilla (Oncidiums) have higher light needs than other orchid genera such as Phalaenopsis. Even so, we do not recommend direct exposure to the sun, although in its natural habitat Psygmorchis pusilla is used to being outdoors.

A suitable place at home can be a window landing, balcony, internal patio, etc. If the light that the plant receives is adequate, the coloration of the leaves will be an intense medium green. A very dark green color would indicate little light and a reddish-green an excess of it.

A bright west or east window is suitable as a stand. Strong sunlight, especially in summer must be shaded. In winter, the flowers are dropped in a location that is too dark

Psygmorchis pusilla are orchids that require high lighting to grow and flourish. They generally do well in 50% to 60% sunlight. Prefers medium-high light: 20000-30000 lux. Direct sun is slightly shielded. The ideal photoperiod is 12-13 hours.

It is very common for Psygmorchis Pusilla to not bloom because they do not have enough light.

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Feeding and Fertilize

Use only special fertilizers for orchids and follow the product instructions. In general, we will need to pay more regularly in the periods before flowering (normally in late winter or early spring in our Mediterranean climate). 

We also recommend using foliar fertilizers mixed in the spray water, since both the aerial roots and the leaves can assimilate them and will contribute to the good general condition of the plant.

Psygmorchis pusilla is fertilized once every 2 weeks, using 1/4 of the dose indicated on the bottle of a special liquid fertilizer for orchids. The bare root are fertilized once a week, with 1/8 of the dose. Before fertilizing the plant it is necessary to wet it to avoid harmful contact of the fertilizer with dry roots.

During the possible winter rest this species does not fertilize.

Apply a low dose of fertilizer , diluted in water, every two watering period during the growth period until the Psygmorchis Pusilla flower stalk appears:

  • During growth: a special growth fertilizer of the 15-10-15 type;
  • When the pseudobulb is formed: a special flowering fertilizer type 8-12-24.
You can use balanced fertilizers year-round, but you can also use higher-nitrogen fertilizers from spring through mid-summer, and then use a fertilizer with a higher phosphorous content in late summer and fall.

Temperature and Humidity Needs

Psygmorchis pusilla is classified as warm to temperate climate orchids , the range of temperatures in which we move is between 15ºC for the minimum and 30ºC for the maximum (be careful if we put them outside).

As with all orchids, to stimulate flowering there must be a difference of around 10ºC in temperature between day and night.

Psygmorchis pusilla is definitely a warm greenhouse species, the ideal summer temperatures are 78-80°F (26-28°C) during the day and 66°F-68°F (19-21°C) at night, while the winter temperatures are 75-76°F (24-25°C) during the day and 59-60°F (15-16°C )at night. 

If you decide to avoid the winter rest period, Psygmorchis Pusilla can be grown under summer temperatures all year round.

From March to September, however, the psygmorchis pusilla must be protected from direct sunlight. The optimum temperatures are between 65 and 76°F. It can also be cooler at night and during the winter months.

Psygmorchis pusilla grows well in environments with 40 – 60% humidity in the air. In the winter and summer months, the humidity in the house can drop. Mist the smallest buds with water daily to keep them from drying out and causing them to bloom.

The ambient humidity must be high. Let us remember that it is a genus that inhabits jungles or mountainous forests where it usually rains very often. To achieve this, the ideal is to put glasses of water around it or buy a humidifier like this beautiful one that they sell here.


Psygmorchis pusilla requires a bright location with morning, evening and winter sun. The summer midday sun is tolerated if the pot is placed at a distance behind the window. If black spots form on the leaves, this can be an indication of too much sun exposure.

During the summer, a partially shaded spot in the garden or on the balcony is also suitable.

It is a fairly delicate orchid, and I would not recommend taking it outdoors, but it could be placed in front of an open window (beware of too strong drafts).

  • Outside : if the climate is tropical without frost and it also rains frequently, you can grow it outside on the branches of a tree, making sure that it does not get direct sunlight.
    If you can only grow it in a pot, fill it with substrate for orchids (pine bark), and put it in semi-shade.
  • Interior : it is a plant that must be placed inside the house in a room where there is a lot of light, away from drafts.

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Potting Mix

Psygmorchis pusilla requires a potting mix generally made of: pine bark, charcoal, coconut shell, crushed stone, coconut shell, individually or in mixtures. The use of soil and/or rotten sticks is NOT recommended. 

We advise potting mix changes only in those cases in which we have had an infestation of bacteria or fungi in the roots or in those cases in which the plant has grown and the roots really need more space. These changes must occur in the rest period of the plant. Never during flowering. 

Psygmorchis pusilla will need a few days to recover from the small scars caused on the roots and other parts and it is recommended to avoid fertilizer and waterlogging. Be aware of possible infestations and take extreme hygiene measures.

We will use special substrate preparations for orchids that are easily available at any garden center. Maintain the temperature without many changes and keep it away from excessive light. 

When to water Psygmorchis (Erycina) Pusilla ?

Once a week, water Psygmorchis pusilla abundantly with non-calcareous water. Let the water drip well into the saucer, then empty the saucer.

The roots must not be soaked in standing water. Between two waterings , spray once the surface of the substrate and the aerial roots . Be careful, do not spray the leaves!

When it is in full bloom, the Psygmorchis Pusilla has many flowers on one stem, making it a colorful eye-catcher in the living room. Regular spraying of the leaves and roots will prolong the life of this plant.

How To Grow Psygmorchis Pusilla

ExposureWinter: sunny
Summer: shady
Watering1 time / week
FertilizerDuring growth: special growth fertilizer
Pseudobulb formed: special flowering fertilizer
Growth60 to 82 inches (1.5 to 2m)
DiseasesPsygmorchis Pusilla is a fairly pest-resistant orchid . 
Lack of light, excess water, drought or too much sun can damage your plant.
ToxicityPsygmorchis Pusilla is a non-toxic plant.

Psygmorchis pusilla is difficult to grow: it requires good light, an airy and continuously humid environment because the plant has no pseudobulbs, but during its vegetative rest phase it must remain with the axils of the dry leaves to avoid lethal rot.

In good condition grow fast and may require re-seeding every year to allow them to produce new roots and have room to grow without promoting fungus.

The life span of the strains of this orchid is very limited (a few years), pay attention to new stumbling blocks and possibly divide the mother plant as soon as possible.

The ideal arrangement is on a raft with a small bed of sphagnum: fertilize moderately with balanced fertilizer N20.P20.K20.

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How to repot Psygmorchis Pusilla

Repotting is carried out every 3 or 4 years in the spring , in a pot of the same size or slightly larger.

Take advantage of this repotting to clean the plant of its dead roots and dry leaves. Optionally remove one or two of the older pseudobulbs. Place the Psygmorchis Pusilla in a special orchid substrate, rich in pine bark. Its rhizome must be horizontal and its aerial roots, buried.

Suspend all watering and fertilizing for the next month. Simply spray the surface of the pot each day.

In early spring, pot the orchids in slightly larger planters. The old substrate is carefully shaken out of the roots and the rhizome is cut into several parts with at least two pseudobulbs. 

Rotten and damaged roots are cut off with a sharp knife and the rhizome parts are placed on the rim of the new pot. Carefully direct the sprouting points to the center of the pot so that the shoots later cover the open area of ​​soil in the center of the planter.

It is very important that the Psygmorchis Pusilla is repotted in special orchid soil every 3 to 4 years. We have put together an air-permeable mixture of tree bark, coconut and peat especially for Psygmorchis Pusilla. This soil is available here .

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How to prune Psygmorchis Pusilla

The pruning will only be done on the faded flower stem, when it is completely dry. When repotting, cleaning of roots and dead leaves may also be necessary.


Today you have learned what is Psygmorchis pusilla, what are the characteristics and how to care for it and grow it. I hope this article has answered every question you had about Psygmorchis pusilla.

Andreea Tapu

Andreea TAPU is a passionate gardener with over 5 years of experience in cultivating a wide variety of plants and flowers in her garden. As the author and creator of, she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others, providing practical tips and advice to help gardeners of all levels achieve success and enjoyment in their gardening pursuits.