Oncidium Orchid Species and Hybrids
Oncidium Orchid Care
Oncidium orchid species, also known as Dancing Ladies,
are popular indoor plants and florist orchids due to their large
display of flowers that often include dozens of blooms.
several hundred oncidium species and most thrive in normal indoor
Large pseudobulbs rise from a mass of thin
Their large leaves emerge from the pseudobulbs, and can
grow up to 2 ft. Blooms appear in fall.
flower spikes bears dozens of exotic flowers, usually
mahogany, or white, some with wonderful scents.
Bloom time varies,
depending on variety, climate, and care.
A full-grown plant can
send out six or seven branched sprays of yellow flowers.
The spray of
blooms resembles a cloud of delicate butterflies.
Bright year-round. If kept outdoors during the summer, keep
this orchid out of direct sunlight.
winter, cool (60° F / 16° C nights and 75° F / 24° C days); in summer,
intermediate (60° F / 16° C nights and days in the 75 – 80° F / 24 -
27° C range).
to sixty percent humidity is ideal for oncidium orchids. This can be
provided by placing the orchid pot on a tray of gravel filled with a
small amount of water or by placing a humidifier in the room. A
greenhouse should also provide sufficient humidity.
every third watering during spring and summer. Feed monthly in fall and
winter. Fertilizer should be mixed at ½ the strength – this orchid is
prone to fertilizer burn.
prevent and remove excess salts from potting soil, thoroughly flush
with clear water every month.
summer, keep potting media slightly moist. From fall through spring,
let oncidiums become almost dry between watering.
Orchid Potting Mix
plants have developed more than six pseudobulbs, divide them into
clusters of three bulbs or more and repot. Oncidium orchids only need
to be divided every seven to eight years.
a flat work space with butcher paper or newspaper. To loosen the
orchid, tap the pot gently or slide a knife between the soil and the
- Tilt the orchid pot sideways and gently remove the plant
from the pot and lay it on the work surface.
- Remove as much of the potting mix from the orchid roots as
a section of the orchid roots that have at least three pseudobulbs.
Gently pull it away from the main plant. Separate by working
fingers through the root ball. If necessary, use a sharp knife to cut
through the smaller roots of the orchid (avoid cutting major roots).
Note: Each division
should have at least three pseudobulb growths.
ideal pot is 6 inches in diameter and has a drainage hole in the
bottom. To ensure proper drainage, place 1 in/2.5 cm of pebbles, broken
pottery pieces, or other drainage material in the bottom of the orchid
pot. Fill the pot 1/2 full of orchid compost - usually consists of a
mixture of peat moss, bark, sand and other matter.
stakes into the orchid medium as needed to support flower stems. Use
plant ties to secure them. The weight of the buds tends to bow or bend
the stems, so support is essential in ensuring a good view of the
- Water oncidium orchids when potting
soil is dry halfway down. Saturate the bark fully. During summer, keep
potting media slightly moist. From fall through spring, let oncidiums
become almost dry between watering.
Oncidium orchids can last many years when propagated by division.
A unique hybrid is the Wildcat “Bobcat” orchid. Dark burgundy flowers
adorn branch spikes.
Uses and Display Tips
A windowsill in a bright, sunny location when not in bloom. As the
flowers develop, display oncidiums as a tall floor plant.
Other Types of Orhcids