Orchid Growing & Care Tips
Odontoglossum variety of orchids are becoming very popular for ease
of growing and long lasting sprays of small, distinct flowers which
often have unique color combinations and a pleasant fragrance. They
will typically bloom once a year and can be grown in the home, as
well as in a sheltered area in the garden. Odontoglossum have been
combined with Oncidiums and other related orchid types through hybridizing
to offer a seeming endless array of striking color patterns.
Most Oncidiums and their hybrids enjoy intermediate temperature
ranges: 75-85 degree F. day & 60-65 degreee F. at night.
Most Oncidium and their hybrids prefer filtered, subdued light (from
1000 to 1500 ft. candles). The Oncidiums prefer bright light.The
leaves should be bright green as opposed to dark green or reddish
green. Reddish green indicates too much light; dark green indicates
not enough light.
Oncidiums should become moderately dry between waterings. Generally,
they require more water while the new shoot is growing and less
once the bulb has formed. Fertilize your plants at least once a
month. Take care to keep water out of the new growth at the base
of the plant. Never allow the bottom of the pot to stand in water.
Never use artificially softened water.
Oncidiums enjoy moist air, requiring a minimum of 40-50% humidity
in the immediate vicinity of the plant. Humidity should be increased
with higher temperatures. The ideal humidity is between 55 and 75%,
with as much ventilation or air movement as possible without any
cold drafts. Humidity can be increased around the plant by placing
the pot on an inverted saucer in a baking pan filled with pebbles,
rock chips, etc., and water. Keep water level below top of pebbles
so that the plant will not have "wet feet" from setting
in water. Morning misting of foliage is also helpful, especially
during periods of hot weather.
Repot Oncidiums at least every two years. As a general rule, repot
them when the new shoot is two to three inches tall or when new
roots appear. All the old mix should be removed from the roots and
any dead roots should be removed. If dividing, keep the divisions
in clumps of three to five mature bulbs. Medium to fine fir bark
is preferred. The base of the new growth should be potted about
1/2" (no deeper) into the fresh bark. Keep mix barely damp
until you see the new roots penetrating the bark, then resume normal