The plant Oncidium is a member of the Orchidaceae family. This herbaceous perennial plant is also popularly called "dancing pupae". This genus includes many species, most of which are epiphytes. However, there are also terrestrial plants and lithophytes. Under natural conditions, this flower is most commonly found on the Antilles, in Central and South America, as well as in the southern part of Florida.
Oncidium prefers to grow in forests of various types, and it is found up to 4,000 meters above sea level. The first description of such an orchid was made by the Swedish botanist Peter Olof Swartz, it happened in 1800.
In domestic culture, natural species are quite common, and their hybrids and varieties as well.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. The bush blooms at intervals of once every 9-12 months, with a flowering duration of 28 to 35 days.
There are hybrids which flower 2 or even 3 times a year.
- Brightness. The plant needs a lot of sunlight and must be shaded in the afternoon. It is recommended to put it on the window of western or eastern orientation. If flower stalks appear on the bush in winter, then additional light should be arranged for it with the help of artificial light sources.
- Temperature regime. It depends directly on the species: in winter - 7-18 degrees, and in summer - 20-30 degrees. Most hybrids sold in flower stores can grow and bloom within the normal temperature of 14-26 degrees. But it is imperative that daytime temperatures differ from nighttime temperatures by 3 or 4 degrees.
At the very beginning of the growing season, water abundantly and systematically by dipping in water. Almost complete cessation of watering is done from the beginning of pseudobulb formation. Only after the flower arrow appears, begin to gradually resume and increase watering. When the bush has flowered, water moderately or sparingly.
- Air moisture.
Its level may vary from 40 to 70 percent. On hot days, as well as in winter, when heating devices are active, the bush should be moistened from a sprayer with warm water, as well as the container with the flower is recommended to put on a deep tray filled with moist expanded clay. Once the room is colder than 18 degrees overnight, humidification with a sprayer should be stopped.
- Fertilizer. Oncidium needs fertilizing from the beginning of the growing season until the young sprouts begin to form.
Thereafter, fertilization is done from the time the flower stalk is formed until flowering begins. If desired, fertilizer can be applied alternately under the root and on the leaf. Specialists advise, to feed the flower, combining the procedure with every second watering.
- Dormant period. For hybrids that do not form pseudobulbs, the dormancy period begins after the young shoots have matured.
During this period, the bush is watered sparingly, it is not fed, and it is moved to a cooler place. This contributes to the full recovery of the flower. Varieties that form pseudobulbs do not have a pronounced dormancy period, so they can stay in their usual conditions all year round.
- Transplanting. At the very beginning of the growing season or when the dormancy period is over.
But only if absolutely necessary: when the root system can no longer fit into the pot or when the substrate becomes unsuitable for further cultivation.
- Propagation. By bush division.
- Pests. Mealybugs, scales, spider mites and thrips.
- Diseases. Bacterial and root rot.
Orchidia Oncidium is a houseplant for home and soul. What is behind the name Red Fantasy?
Oncidium is an orchid that features a sympodial type of branching. Some species reach a height of only 10 to 15 centimeters, and they are similar in appearance to irises.
There are also large species whose rhizomes can be long or short, their pseudobulbs distinct and their lanceolate leaf plates can be folded in half in length.
Heat-loving species are characterized by leathery to the touch and hard foliage, while shade-tolerant ones are thinner and softer. During flowering, bunches of fragrant flowers form, which may be drooping, strongly branching, straight or arched. Flowers may reach 1-12 centimeters across, with inflorescences ranging in length from 10 to 500 centimeters.
Flower coloration is varied, but brownish-red and yellow are the predominant hues.
The petals and sepals do not differ much in appearance, but the lateral sepals may be fused into one. There is a pectinate or tuberculate outgrowth at the base of the guitar-shaped flower lip. Inflorescences in a cut can last up to 20 days. Flowering can begin at any time of the year. The flowers on the same arrow can open several times.
Home care for oncidium
The house oncidium is noted for its light-loving nature. The shrub needs plenty of bright sunlight, but should be protected from the scorching sun at midday. You can tell if the orchid suffers from a lack of light by the color of its leaves:
- In an overly bright light the leaves turn pale yellowish and yellow spots appear;
- the leaves turn a dark green if there is little light.
The plant would feel the most comfortable in a window facing east or west. You can also put the shrub on a northern window sill, but in this case there is a chance that it will not bloom.
The fact is that during the formation of inflorescences oncidium needs a lot of light. If your orchid blooms in the winter, it is absolutely necessary to provide it with extra light.
All orchid species and varieties fall into 3 categories depending on their optimal temperature regime:
- Heat-loving (e.g., Lanza or Moth Oncidium).
Under natural conditions, they are found in tropical forests where they grow at winter night-time temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees and summer daytime temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees. The daily temperature difference should be no more than 3 to 5 degrees.
- Species and varieties that need moderate temperatures (e.g., Tiger and beautiful Oncidium).
During the summer months they need a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees during the daytime and 12 to 15 degrees at night in winter.
- Cold-loving species that naturally grow in mountain forests (for example, the twisted and warty oncidium). For comfortable growth in summer the room should not be warmer than 22 degrees, and in winter the optimal air temperature is from 7 to 10 degrees.
Most often there are hybrids and varieties on sale in the specialized store that are able to adapt to new conditions with ease. They can develop and flower normally at a temperature of 14-26 degrees, with a difference between day and night temperatures of 3 to 4 degrees.
The house oncidium is not very demanding on air humidity, with its level varying from 40 to 70 percent. You should only moisten the shrub's foliage with a sprayer during the hot summer months and in winter, because heating devices dry out the air. If the humidity is too low, the plant will stop developing, the young pseudobulbs will grow crumpled (like corrugated) and the leaf tips will shrivel up.
Moisturizers available in the home improvement departments can be used to increase the air humidity. Also the pot with the orchid can be placed on a deep tray, which is filled with wet pebbles or expanded clay.
When the room is colder than 18 degrees the bush in any case do not moisten.
The room where the flower stands should be quality ventilation at all times of the year. Otherwise stagnant humid air increases the risk of fungal diseases affecting the Oncidium.
From the beginning of the growing season the flower must be watered abundantly and systematically, with the excess liquid flowing into the tray to be poured out at once. It is recommended to water the oncidium by dipping the pot with the flower into a container filled with well-drained warm water.
However, from the moment the pseudobulbs begin to form, watering should be almost stopped, otherwise the bush may not produce flowers. But as soon as the flower arrow appears, the orchid is watered as usual again, but the watering rate should be increased gradually. From the end of flowering until the beginning of active growth, the plant should be watered moderately. If a pseudobulb forms a vegetative shoot instead of a flower stalk, this indicates that the bush is not developing properly, due to a lack of care during the dormancy period. Sometimes the pseudobulbs become shriveled, which is not always a sign of disease.
This can be due to new shoots that do not currently have their own root system being nourished by the parent pseudobulb. Because of this, it may shrivel up a bit. If you decide that the pseudobulb is drying out because of a lack of water and start watering it, you could cause rotting of the root system.
Orchidia Oncidium. Proper watering is essential for flowering.
Regular feeding is done from the beginning of active bush growth. However, from the beginning of pseudobulb formation, feeding is suspended. Re-apply fertilizer to the substrate as the flower arrows begin to grow, but once the first flowers have opened, discontinue fertilizing again. Fertilizers can only be applied again at the beginning of a new growing season.
The root system of these orchids is very sensitive to substrate salinity.
Because of this, it is recommended that foliar and root applications be carried out alternately. In this case, for foliar feeding, a nutrient solution is used, the concentration of which should be 8-10 times less than indicated in the instructions on the package. Feed the plant by combining this procedure with every second watering. The special fertilizer "For orchids" is good for the Oncidium.
Potting the Oncidium
This orchid reacts very negatively to repotting, therefore it is recommended only if absolutely necessary, such as if the substrate has not been changed for a while and it got hard or salty or if the root system became very crowded in the container.
On average once every three years in the spring as soon as a new growing season begins.
Remove the orchid from its old container and remove the old substrate from its roots. If the substrate is difficult to separate from the root system, then immerse it in warm water for a few minutes. Then clean the roots of any soaked bits of bark, cut off any excessively shriveled or old pseudobulbs. Examine the roots and cut out any rotten parts and cover with crushed charcoal or colloidal sulphur or Fundazole.
A suitable pot should be wide, low and not transparent. The volume should be large enough to allow new pseudobulbs to develop. As a substrate, pine bark alone can be used. However, some flower growers prefer to plant such a culture in a substrate consisting of bark, chalk, charcoal and river sand.
At the bottom of the container, lay a thin layer of foam plastic or expanded clay.
On top of it pour a small amount of bark of coarse fraction. Then place the root system of the flower in the pot, and then carefully do not hurry to fill all the voids with a small fraction of the bark. Make sure that the base of the pseudobulbs is on the surface of the substrate after planting. Water the transplanted bush with a solution of Fundazole (1 gram per 1 liter of water).
Transplanting the Orchid Oncidium, with Helpers 😊💐💮😹🐱 Pests.
NEW GROUND for Oncidium do-it-yourself.
Care during flowering period
If the domestic Oncidium develops within normal limits, then it will flower at a frequency of once every 9-12 months. However, if the shrub has a large number of pseudobulbs, then flowering may be observed more frequently. The orchid blooms for 28-35 days. Most hybrids bloom 2 or 3 times within 1 year.
Note that if nighttime temperatures are above 18 degrees, then the flower arrow will form more slowly. To stimulate flower stalk growth, resort to abundant watering and regular foliar and root feedings.
Care after flowering
Hybrid varieties without pseudobulbs have a more pronounced dormancy period than hybrids with pseudobulbs. The beginning of the dormancy period is just when the young shoots are fully matured. While the plant is dormant it should be watered once per 2-3 weeks, not given any food and put in a cooler place.
If the variety has pseudobulbs, the dormancy period will not be pronounced, so you need not change the growing conditions.
Conditions for a lush Blooming ORCHIDIUM Oncidium (Sweet Sugar). How to water during different growth periods.
Propagation of Oncidium
The indoor oncidium orchid is propagated only by bush division. Choose a shrub with at least six pseudobulbs to divide.
Take the flower out of the container and remove all substrate from its root system. Take a very sharp tool, sterilize it and divide the plant with it so that each division contains at least 3 pseudobulbs. Once the cutting areas have been covered with carbon powder, the dividers should be planted in their own pots.
Do not water the divided orchid for at least 7 days. As a rule, the procedure of dividing the bush is combined with transplanting.
Note that the substrate must be completely dry when dividing the orchid.
Diseases and Pests
Pests and Control
The most common pests that settle on the indoor oncidium are: mealybugs. Scabies, spider mites and thrips. To get rid of them, treat the bush with a solution of Karbofos or Aktellik (20 drops per 1 liter of water). However, before you start spraying the plant, worms and scabies must be removed from the plant manually.
A cotton swab moistened in vodka, alcohol or soapy water is used for this purpose.
For getting rid of pests you can use folk remedies such as onion or garlic infusion. To prepare it, add 0.5 tsp. finely chopped garlic or 1 tsp.
chopped onion to 1 tbsp. warm water. The infusion will be ready after 24 hours, strain it and start working.
Producing Oncidium by splitting
Diseases and their treatment
Root rot can affect the plant because of a cold draft or regular stagnation of moisture in the substrate. It affects not only the roots but also the lower part of the above-ground organs of the shrub.
All affected parts are cut out. Next, the orchid is treated with a solution of Fondazole (before preparing it, study the instructions on the package), and the substrate is poured with it. Then it is placed in a warm well ventilated place, protected from drafts.
Sometimes the oncidium gets sick with such a dangerous disease as bacterial rot. It causes brown spots to form on the leaf plates.
It is impossible to cure such a disease, as no effective remedy has yet been found. That is why it is recommended that the diseased flower be destroyed.
It is not uncommon to see yellowing of the leaves on old pseudobulbs. This process is quite natural and therefore there is no need to worry. However, if the yellow and faded leaves on the young leaves, it is due to excessive exposure to sunlight.
How to resuscitate an oncidium
If the substrate is systematically left too wet, root rot might occur. To save the oncidium, you will need to transplant it urgently. Take the shrub out of its container, remove all substrate from its root system, let it dry well. Cut out all the rotten roots and carefully cut out the rotten areas. Cover the cuts with charcoal powder, then plant the bush in fresh dry pine bark of coarse fraction, without various additives.
Before planting the orchid at the bottom of the container make a thick layer of drainage from claydite or foam plastic, which should occupy one third of the height of the pot.
The plant should be planted so that the pseudobulbs and rhizomes necessarily located on the surface of the substrate. This will help to prevent the development of rot, and the bush will develop normally. To prevent the transplanted flower from falling out of the pot and wobbling, it will need to be tied to a support. Remember that after transplanting, the oncidium should not be watered for at least 7 days.
Oncidium species and varieties with photos
More than 600 species of Oncidium have been found and described in natural conditions. Some of them are very popular in home culture. In addition, there are a large number of hybrids and varieties that are derived from crossing different species. The species and varieties of Oncidium that are most widely cultivated will be described below.
Oncidium warty (Oncidium varicosum)
This epiphytic plant has cylindrical bulbs as well as thin, greenish leaf plates.
The inflorescences include rich yellow flowers. One bush can form up to 100 flowers. The bush blooms for 6-7 weeks.
Oncidium limminghei (Oncidium limminghei)
Miniature in size, the bush is decorated with small leaf plates. Its pseudobulbs are rounded and flat with a flower stalk about 10 cm long, producing 1 yellow flower with brownish-red speckles, up to 40 mm across.
This epiphytic plant has a long rhizome and flat pseudobulbs. Each bulb produces 1-2 soft leafy plates, which can be up to 20 centimeters long. A loose inflorescence is formed on a long flower stalk, consisting of small rich yellow flowers decorated with light red spots. The petals and sepals are small, with the sepals fused together.
Oncidium splendidum (Oncidium splendidum)
The large bush has a short rhizome and small flat pseudobulbs that are very close together.
As the leaf laminae mature, their color changes: at first they are ash-green with touches of purple, later they turn green with a brownish-purple hue. Up to two dozen deep yellow flowers, 50-80 mm across, are formed on a straight, slender branching pedicel.
Oncidium tigrinum (Oncidium tigrinum)
This epiphytic plant has oval pseudobulbs and 2-3 leathery leafy plates. The flowers are yellow in shade and reach about 70 mm across, their lip is large and there are spots of dark brown coloration.
Oncidium moth (Oncidium papilio)
The pseudobulbs are flat and rounded in the bush.
From them grows only one leathery leaf plate of an olive-green hue, decorated with a pale red marbled pattern. The flowers are brownish-red, with spots of yellow tinge on their surface, which are placed transversely. The shape of the flower looks like a butterfly with long whiskers, which influenced the choice of the species name. The brownish sepals are wavy, oblong and wide, bent backward and decorated with large yellow speckles. There are red and brownish spots on the surface of the three-lobed yellow lip.
Oncidium lanceanum (Oncidium lanceanum)
Pseudobulbs are reduced in the bush. The greenish stiff leaf plates are leathery to the touch, adorned with a large number of spots of a dirty purple hue. The fragrant flowers have a greenish-yellow coloration.
From the hybrid varieties, the most common in culture are the products of inbreeding, such as: rhodricidiums (oncidium + rhodrigesia), odontocidiums (oncidium + odontoglossum), mackellanara (oncidium + odontoglossum + Brassia).
Most popular among florists are such low-growing hybrid varieties as: Govear (Leochilus + Rodriguesia + Oncidium), Oncidetti (Oncidium + Comparettia), Rodretti (Comparettia + Rodriguesia), Rodricium (Oncidium + Rodriguesia), Odontorettia (Comparettia + Odontoglossum).
Also many Oncidium varieties exist. Of these, the following are the most popular in room culture:
- Sweet Sugar. The two-leaved small pseudobulbs adjoin each other very tightly. The flower stalk is about 35 centimeters long. Flowers reach 30 mm across, have a yellow color.
- Twinkle. The miniature bush is adorned with white, pink or light yellow flowers up to 15 mm across.
ORCHIDYA for beginners - Oncidium Sweet Sugar / Sweet Sugar