group of plants that includes
over 600 species! The flower displays in this group are among the most
dramatic in the orchid world. Colors range from bright yellow
bronze, white with pink, and glittering shades of dark red. Some have
hundreds of blooms on flower
spikes over 4ft long! |
spellbound by fields golden yellow, doll-like flowers
moving gracefully in the wind. So the fiirst Oncidiums were
"The Dancing Lady", as symbol of the beautiful, exotic dancers of
( Sri Lanka). ||
Can you see the Dancing
in this flower?
Because Oncidiums grow
in many different habitats, they seem to be
more accomodating in their growing requirements than most
orchids. Most are excellent plants for "northern"
growers whose temperatures
are cooler during winter months.
Oncidiums don't like wet feet
their natural habitat Oncidiums are epiphytic (air plants)
on rocks or
in trees - never in the ground. That's why you'll often
see active roots
growing above the pot (see photo). Nature has also equiped Oncidiums
"storage tank" at the base
of each growth called a pseudobulb. These pseudobulbs
provide water to the plant
during long dry periods between rain showers.
overwatering, Oncidium are usually planted in a coarse, fast draining
This can make correct watering a challenge. As the water quickly
the pot, how can you
be sure the plant is getting anything? Soaking the root system
at the sink or in a bucket of water is the only way. This is time
consuming when you have more than a couple of
plants. And if you water too often, the roots will rot quickly.
Oncidium with our system is easy!
Grow System has a water gauge
that makes watering easy. Simply water to 1/4 -
1/2 on the
gauge, then wait for the system to dry out completely before rewatering. The "wicking
action" of the LECA
the nutrient solution from the resevior at the bottom of the pot gently and evenly. Because the
pebbles won't decay or pack down, the roots will get
air. Good air circulation at the roots is important for Oncidiums. Just make sure
the system is completely dry before
rewatering (usually takes about 2 weeks) and you'll never have to worry about overwatering.
Pseudobilbs on Oncidium
with active roots growing
in the air
orchids, we always say "there's a place to grow them and there's a
show them". This is particularly true for Oncidium. During the growing
season, these plants need several hours of direct sun every day to
build up the energy to flower. Then, when the
flowering cycle arrives (hurray!) and the first couple of
flowers open, move the plant away from the direct
sun to encourage longer lasting flowers. Hot sun deteriorates Oncidium flowers quickly. After
the blooms have faded, cut back the flower spike and move the plant back to a sunny spot to begin the
next growth cycle.
recommend cool night time temperatures in the 50-60 degree
With good air circulation temps can reach 90 during the day. Remember,
cool nights (along with good light during the day) initiates flower
spikes. Cool daytime temperatues also prolongs the life of the flowers.
Correct watering for these
plants can be tricky. Coarse, fast draining potting material is
because Oncidium's thin roots decay
quickly with too much water. They love our LECA pebbles because they
decay, or breakdown. This promotes good drainage and maxium air flow
grow quickly and
require frequent repotting in traditional media (unless you can water
everyday!). This disturbs the plant and the
flowering cycle. Frequent repotting isn't necessary
with Hydroponics because our system delivers the
water from a reservior at the bottom of the pot and our
media never breaks down.
Oncidium roots love our system!