Growing Oncidium Orchids – How To Care For Oncidium Dancing Ladies
Oncidium orchid is one of the most popular types of flowers sold at flower shops and garden centers. They are easy to grow, require little attention, and produce beautiful blooms.
There are many varieties available but they all have one thing in common: they’re on the genus Dendrobatidis (or sometimes called “dancing ladies”). Some people call them “Dance Lady” or “The Dancing Lady”.
Oncidium orchids are not very hardy plants. If grown properly, they will survive anything.
However, there are some things you need to do if you want your oncidium orchid to thrive. These include watering regularly, pruning them when necessary, and using fertilizer and compost when needed.
When it comes to caring for these flowers, there’s no substitute for experience!
How To Water Your Oncidium Orchids
Watering your oncidium orchids is pretty simple. You just need to make sure you water them every two weeks during the summer months and once a month during the winter months.
When it comes to watering, you don’t want to overdo it because they will dry out faster than other flowers. Also, keep in mind that they like a bit of sunlight so put out some sun near their pots if possible.
Pruning Your Oncidium Orchids
As for pruning, you will need to do this during the winter months. This can be both hard and easy at the same time.
First, you will need to cut off all of the dead flowers so your plant is left with just stems, leaves, and roots. Then, use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut off any brown or dead roots. Finally, spread some compost around the roots and cover with a bit of sand.
It’s important to note that orchids grow through their stems, not their roots. That’s why you should never remove more than 30% of any single growth.
You should also make sure the cutting tool is sharp when you do this so you don’t accidentally damage the plant.
Fertilizing Your Oncidium Orchid
It’s a good idea to fertilize your orchid once a month during the summer months (June, July, and August). During the winter months, you can cut this back to once every three months.
If you want to give it extra nutrition, you can use fish or crab meat as a substitute.
Compost is another important thing to consider. You should spread a layer of it around the roots (without touching the stem).
You can also place some around the base of the plant in general because this provides a gentle, natural fertilizer.
One last thing you should do is increase air flow to the roots area by removing any dead or dying leaves.
Repotting Your Oncidium Orchid
It’s not uncommon for oncidium orchids to be repotted. In fact, you should repot them every two years to make sure they stay healthy and happy.
Before you do this, make sure the roots are not growing into a clump (you’ll be able to recognize this quickly). If they are growing into a clump, you will need to untangle them before planting.
The best time of year to do this is during the spring or summer. Fill your new pot with a fast draining medium (such as tree bark, small stones, or perlite).
Place your oncidium in the center of the pot and fill in around it with medium.
Be sure to not cover the tips of the roots with the medium. Just cover the roots by an inch or two at most (and don’t worry if you cover some of the stem).
After you have repotted the orchid, cut off about 1/3 of the roots. This will encourage new growth, which is beneficial for the plant’s health.
Place it in a location with plenty of bright, but not direct sunlight and make sure the pot has good drainage (you don’t want the pot to be sitting in water). Water it until you see some run off and then empty out the pot. Repeat this process until the pot is nearly dry. From then on, water it once a week (more in the summer and less in the winter).
Buying Oncidium Orchids
Oncidium orchids are fairly common in garden centers around the world. If you are unsure about caring for them, be sure to ask your local nursery worker for advice.
You can also buy these online or from a local specialty store. There are several different types of oncidium orchids you can choose from, such as:
Green oncidium orchids: These grow between two and six inches tall. They have small white flowers with a sweet scent.
Velvet flower oncidium orchids: These grow up to a foot tall and produce flowers with petals that are a deep purple, lavender, or magenta color.
Golden oncidium orchids: Also growing up to a foot tall, these have flowers with yellow petals with red spots.
Crested oncidium orchids: Grown between two and six inches tall, these have flowers with white petals and a yellow center (the crest).
Rainbow oncidium orchids: These grow between two and eight inches tall have flowers with multicolored petals. They have long, thin stems and small leaves.
These are just a few of the many varieties of oncidium orchids there are to choose from. Which one you pick is completely up to you!
Tips To Growing Oncidium Orchids
If you’re an oncidium orchid owner who has struggled with the proper care of this beautiful plant, it’s time to try something new. There are some great orchid care tips you can follow to keep your orchid healthy and happy.
Tip #1: Find the Right Location
The first thing you need to do is find the right location for your orchid. The best place is a warm, bright spot without a lot of excessive heat or cold.
You also want to make sure it gets plenty of sun throughout the day.
Oncidium orchids should not be placed in a window with direct sunlight. This could cause the temperature around it to get too hot, which could kill your orchid.
It also needs to be away from air conditioning vents, radiators, or other areas where the temperature may fluctuate a lot.
You also want to find a spot that is protected from direct wind, but still gets a bit of breeze. An orchid that is getting too much direct breeze may cause its leaves to turn brown and fall off.
Find a nice, warm, bright spot away from these dangers and your orchid should thrive.
Tip #2: Water it Thoroughly
When you water your orchid you want to make sure you are giving it enough water to get the roots soaked through. You should water it until you see a bit of water coming out the bottom to make sure it has enough water to last it awhile.
If you see some brown on the top layer of the soil then you know that your orchid is getting all the water it needs. A good way to check for this is by squeezing some of the dirt in your hand.
If it feels a little wet then you know it’s time to water it again.
Tip #3: Fertilize it
Your orchid will need some fertilizer every once in awhile. You can either buy special orchid fertilizer at your local home and garden center or you can make your own.
To make your own, mix one tablespoon of fish emulsion and one half tablespoon of Super phosphate (phosphate burns plants so be careful with how much you use).
Mix this into a gallon of water. Use this weekly to feed your plant.
Tip #4: Repot it
Every once in awhile your orchid will need to be repotted into a bigger pot. In fact, oncidium orchids need to be repotted regularly to ensure they stay healthy and don’t get “pot bound”.
Look for a pot that has several inches of drainage holes in the bottom as your orchid needs plenty of air circulation to prevent root rot. With larger orchid varieties, you’ll need a bigger pot so the roots have plenty of room to grow.
Ensure that you use orchid mix for your potting soil and that it’s free of pests and pathogens.
Some people prefer to wait until their orchids are finished flowering before repotting them. Once you’ve removed the flower, wait about a month before repotting it and follow the steps above.
An orchid that is not repotted regularly may suffer from “root rot” and die.
Tip #5: Re-Potting an Orchid That Has Been in the Same Pot for Over a Year
If you’ve had your orchid in the same pot for over a year, it is still necessary to repot it into a bigger pot. Follow the steps above for repotting your orchid into a new pot that has several inches of drainage holes in the bottom.
After one year, your orchid will need more room to grow so it should be repotted into a bigger pot. If you don’t, the plant’s roots will become pot-bound and it will eventually begin to suffocate and die.
Be sure to follow the steps above to ensure your orchid gets plenty of air circulation around its roots.
After your orchid is potted into a new pot, it may take awhile for it to begin growing again. This is normal and you shouldn’t worry as it should start growing again soon.
Some orchids will even produce a flower spike during the first growing season after being repotted.
Aftercare for Orchids
Aside from watering and fertilizing your orchid, there isn’t much else you have to do in order to care for your plant. Here are some other tips you might find useful.
Tip #1: Temperature
Orchids like warm temperatures but not hot ones. A good rule of thumb is that if you can place your hand above the soil near the base of the plant without it burning your hand, the temperature is good.
Using this method I keep my orchid on a windowsill that faces southeast.
Orchids should not be placed in a place that receives no sunlight, especially not artificial light. While orchids do benefit from some sunlight they can’t handle being in a place that is either too hot or too cold.
As a general rule of thumb, an orchid should be placed in a place that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature is too hot, the leaves of your orchid will begin to wilt and fall off. If the temperature is too cold, the leaves will either be very slow to grow or not grow at all.
Tip #2: Repotting
Your orchid may begin to outgrow its pot after awhile. When this happens you’ll need to repot it into a bigger pot that has several holes in the bottom for adequate drainage.
When this happens, your orchid will need to be re-potted into a pot that is at least three times bigger.
If you don’t want to buy a new pot, you can cut the bottom out of the orchid’s pot and place it into a larger pot with several drainage holes in the bottom. This allows more room for the roots of your plant.
Be sure to keep the orchid moist so that the roots don’t dry out.
Other than repotting, there is no need to uproot your orchid unless you are planning on moving to a new home. It is not necessary to uproot an orchid every year.
Tip #3: Fertilizing Your Orchid
Fertilizing your orchid is important in order to produce a strong and healthy plant. There are special orchid fertilizers that can be found at your local home and garden center.
Sources & references used in this article:
A direct gene transferring system for Oncidium orchids, a difficult crop for genetic transformation by K Niyomtham, K Bhinija, PS Huehne – Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2018 – Elsevier
The Orchid Whisperer: Expert Secrets for Growing Beautiful Orchids (Orchid Potting, Orchid Seed Care, Gardening Book) by B Rogers – 2012 – books.google.com
Simple orchid culture by KW Leonhardt – 1980 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
Myrtle Flowering Plant: Different Types, How To Grow and Care by E Tovar – florgeous.com