Oncidium Orchid

  • Scientific name: Oncidium orchid
  • Common name:  Dancing Lady Orchid, Golden Rain Orchid
  • Origin:  Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, up to Florida.
  • Orchid type : Epiphyte
  • Flowering:  Spring. Hybrids can flourish up to three times in a year
  • Location:  Intense lighting. It can be outdoors, in a place protected from the sun
  • Irrigation:  Intense during the growing season (2 to 3 times a week), and spacing during the latent period
  • Humidity:  Average 40% -60%
  • Level of difficulty:  Medium

The oncidium orchids are considered another of the orchid genres that is also popularly known as the dancing lady, this is because the flowers of this plant with the force of the wind move simulating a dance or the movements of a dancer and in all this highlights the striking of its yellow color, which is a characteristic aspect within the genre and the main pattern when differentiating them from other genres. In turn, we can say that this genus is made up of about 330 species of orchids, which in turn are all part of the subfamily Epidendroideae.

Terms: Data: Observations:
Temperature The ideal temperature is a minimum of 12-15ºC. night in winter at 24-28ºC. daytime in summer. If the temperature increases (+ 28-30º) we will have to increase humidity level so that the plant will tolerate it better. We will need a slight temperature difference between day and night to favor flowering (at least 10ºC ..
Humidity The optimum humidity is 40 to 60%, adjusting it to the temperature. More heat greater humidity needed. In winter or rest period we can lower the humidity level (40%).
Light It needs very bright environments avoiding direct sunlight. Together with windows, balconies or internal patios, as long as they are not in direct sunlight (especially during the middle of the day), they can develop perfectly. During the resting period, place it in a shady place avoiding darkness.
fertilizer Add specific fertilizers for orchids in the water that we use for irrigation in the growing period (late winter, spring-summer). Do not exceed the doses marked by the manufacturers. It can be supplemented with foliar fertilizers with special products for this use. In winter (rest period) distance the fertilizers or delete them.
Substrate We can install them in small containers with a special substrate for orchids and have a high capacity to filter the water (peat, pine bark, etc.). It is not necessary, in Oncidium, for the pot to be transparent. Transplant only because of root disease or when the plant can not really continue to grow.
Others It needs good ventilation but you have to avoid direct air currents on the plant. It is not a particularly delicate plant if we are able to provide you with the conditions you need.Avoid places contaminated with smoke or organic gases of any kind.

Content Index

  • 1 Main characteristics of oncidium orchids
  • 2 Species of oncidium orchids
    • 2.1 Orchids oncidium altissimum
    • 2.2 Chelyorchis orchids enlarged
    • 2.3 Orchids oncidium harrisonianum
    • 2.4 Orchid oncidium bifolium
    • 2.5 Orchids oncidium riograndense
    • 2.6 Orchids oncidium splendidum
  • 3 Care of orchid oncidium
    • 3.1 Solar light
    • 3.2 Temperature and environment
    • 3.3 Irrigation and drainage
    • 3.4 Nutrients needed
  • 4 Trade in oncidium orchids
  • 5 Types of orchid oncidium
    • 5.1 Epiphytic oncidium orchids
    • 5.2 Semi-terrestrial oncidium orchids

Main Characteristics Of Oncidium Orchid Plants

What can first be said about this genus of oncidium orchids is that in general most species have a particular yellow coloration, which is maintained in most species of the genus, in turn within The structure of the plant as such can also be said to have pseudobulbs of coarse consistency. On the other hand this plant is easy to identify among other orchids because it has its leaves a little longer and thinner. In this way, among the figures that can be specified are small fans. These oncidium orchids are similar to wild orchids of the cattleyas genus.

On the other hand, in terms of the characteristics taking into account the size range of this aspect may vary depending on the case of the species, since usually some have large flowers and other unlike small flowers. It should be noted that although the size varies, the peculiarity remains that in all cases they are open flowers and they are kept in this form for several days.

Taking into account the above, it is also important to note that according to the studies applied to these flowers there is a reference that most of the species of the orchid oncidium usually flourish once per year, in some exceptions, in the case of Hybrids can bloom even three times a year. Now, taking into account the case of hybrids, it should be noted that this genus can hybridize with the genera of Colmanara, Miltassia, Burregeara and Aliceara. From these processes, new intergeneric species are given as results. All these aspects previously explained can be considered as the different varieties of oncidium orchids.

It is an epiphytic orchid (it lives in the branches and trunks of the trees that take advantage as supports). The plant is of the sympodial type, that is, they grow laterally from new pseudobulbs that are born in the base of the old ones and that will replace them. 
The Oncidiums have elongated leaves, usually narrow and ending in a spear or tip. They are born from the base of a new pseudobulb. Unlike other genera are less fleshy since the nutrients are concentrated basically in the pseudobulbs of these plants. It is important to provide, especially in the growing season, sufficient nutrients and irrigation so that the pseudobulbs can store them and grow if they are young pseudobulbs.
Each new pseudobulb will generate from its base, if the conditions are favorable (light, temperature, etc.), a floral rod that will branch out to produce a multitude of flowers.

Oncidium are orchids that can be more complicated to care for than other varieties, such as Phalaenopsis or Paphioopedilum, which tend to be somewhat more tolerant to environmental conditions. 
It is very important that they receive the necessary lighting, as well as define very well the periods between irrigations. 
However, if you follow the advice of this guide, you will be on the perfect path to have some precious Oncidium orchids.

General aspects of Oncidium The first thing we should know about our Oncidium orchid is that it lives as an epiphyte. 
Oncidium grows from pseudobulbs laterally (sympodially). The new pseudobulbs are born and develop from the old, to replace them. 
Its leaves appear from the new pseudobulbs, its aspect is narrow and elongated in the form of a tip. 
As in most orchids that grow from pseudobulbs, their leaves are not fleshy,

Oncidium is an orchid that is not very demanding and easy to adapt at home. Look for a place with a lot of light for it. This genre is one of the few that tolerate some direct light but without excess. If you can also place it in an area with good ventilation, a moderate temperature (minimum of 14-15º C. and maximum of 24-25º C.) and a little humidity (more than 30%), it is very likely that you will give it away with a spectacular bloom. Once they have found their place at home, it is advisable not to move it.

Species of oncidium orchids

First of all we must know that this genus is composed of about 330 species in total, so it can be said that these species are located in countries of America, both in countries of the central and southern areas, covering countries such as Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Haiti, among others.

On the other hand taking into account that it is a large group of species what is known among the most known species include as follows.

Orchids Oncidium altissimum

This species that belongs to the genus of oncidium can be described as another orchid of the epiphytic type, that is, it usually develops in trees. The popular name that is attributed to this species is “Lady Danzante de Wydler”, which can be described as a flowering plant with thin and elongated leaves.

Among other aspects it is known that the dancing lady of Wydler reaches a length of about 60 centimeters, specialists say that the flowers of this plant usually tend to be perfumed and fragrant, which usually last about 20 to 30 days in these terms. This species is native to Jamaica and usually grows in the country’s main rainforests.

Orchids chelyorchis ampliata

This is another of the most known species that are part of the genus Orchid oncidium, according to its characteristics and mode of development is described as another epiphytic orchid. In general, this plant has a distribution that covers the countries of Central America, specifically Peru.

It is important to note that among the main characteristics of this plant it can be said that its size covers approximately 30 and up to 65 centimeters long, of which the petals in intense yellow stand out with the curves that characterize this genus. In general, of this plant, on average, 20 flowers bloom. This species tends to be located in warm forests where climatic conditions are favorable for its development.

It should be noted that at present the species of Chelyorchis ampliata within the state of conservation is in danger, reason why it is considered that the conservation of this species is threatened

Orchids oncidium harrisonianum

Another recognized species within the genus is Oncidium harrisonianum, within the popular terms is only attributed the name of dancing lady, as it is known to the genre. The case of this species can be said to have its origins in Brazil. Unlike other species this is also epiphytic and also described as lithophyte, this means that the roots of these plants are developed both in trees and rocks or other decomposing plants.

It is important to bear in mind in relation to this species that the flowers of these plants usually occur in small sizes, and in turn in the structure of Oncidium harrisonianum can be found various paniculate flowering stems. The tonalities of this species are usually the same as those of the rest of the genus, that is, intense colors in yellow and orange tones predominate, being the main feature of these orchids.

On the other hand, among the highlights of this species is known that its origin is attributed to the southern part of Brazil, where it usually develops in warm areas but with certain contrasts of cold temperatures, that is, that this species its development requires climatic conditions where heat and cold are present. The ideal climate for the development of this plant would be warm days and cold nights. Within this natural habitat and with the indicated conditions the Oncidium harrisonianum usually flourishes during the months of January and February.

Orchid oncidium bifolium

This popular species within the genus is also known as Gomesa bifolia, or by the name of orchid duck. This plant can be described as another epiphytic orchid, that is, it grows on trees. Regarding the distribution of these species, it is known that South America has its origin.

Among the general descriptions of the orchid Oncidium bifolium it can be said that it is a plant that does not have large sizes, usually it remains between 30 to 30 centimeters long on average. What entails its ideal habitat for its correct development refers to a warm and fresh climate, in these conditions this plant usually flowers about 5 to 20 flowers during the summer season, which present the particularities of the genus, ie intense colors in yellow tones.

Now, taking into account what was indicated above according to various studies among the countries where this plant usually develops, we can say Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, usually in mountain environments and in the vicinity of streams where they can find shade and warm climates.

oncidium orchid

Orchids oncidium riograndense

This is another of the known species that make up the genus, these orchids are often described as epiphytic plants, that is, they only grow and develop on the branches and trunks of trees, since that is where their roots are planted. The climatic conditions necessary for this species is a warm climate with certain humid conditions and shaded areas. It is also known that this species is native to Argentina.

It is important to keep in mind that basically the oncidium riograndense complies with all the main characteristics of this genus, that is, small size, numerous flowers with thin and thin leaves and intense colors in yellow and orange tones. The overall size of this plant is close to 30 centimeters, but the size of its flowers is usually 2 centimeters, usually in most cases this plant blooms in the late spring season.

Orchids Oncidium Splendidum

This is another recognized species of orchid oncidium that has its origins in Central America. Like most species of this genus, the orchid Oncidium splendidum has the characteristic of growing in the branches of trees, that is to say that it is considered as another epiphytic orchid, although in some cases it can grow in a semi-terrestrial manner. The flowers in this orchid case measure about four centimeters in length, of which the particular intense yellow color that identifies the genus stands out.

In relation to the above, unlike other species of orchid oncidium in this case this species requires more special care for its development, since within the given conditions this plant fundamentally requires a proper drainage of its roots, which vitally needs frequent irrigation to grow, it should be noted that these needs often change when the plant is in a stage of development, since in these cases the healthiest for its vitality is that it has a sufficiently dry substrate to can form without problem the new pseudobulbs.

In addition, what is known about this species is that it usually grows regularly in humid areas with warm seasons of the countries of Honduras and Guatemala. It is also known that the reference in terms of the height at which these plants grow is 150 to 1700 meters of altitude. Because of its main characteristics, this plant usually flourishes in what is considered the dry stage of the forest.

It should be noted that this species is often very popular especially for the commerce of the country of Honduras, where it is also known under the name of Lluvia de Oro.

How To Care For Oncidium Orchids?

Among the care of orchid oncidium must take into account that they must provide adequate conditions for this plant to develop in the best way, as far as the conditions are covered aspects of light, temperature, nutrients and others. It should be noted that although these plants are not large, they usually grow laterally and their structure is born from new pseudobulbs that gradually supplant the previous ones. If all the necessary cares and conditions are taken into account, oncidium orchids would be another kind of wild orchid that we can grow at home in a simple way.

Sunlight And Illumination

The Oncidium are among the few orchids that resist the direct sun. 
It is important that the site has a lot of light, we can place it in a window oriented east or west, where it receives the light of the first hours of the day. 
As a precaution and despite its good resistance to sunlight, it is best to receive the light sifted by a net curtain or a Venetian blind. 
In temperate climates, they could be outdoors in a place protected from direct light, and facing south. In these cases we must not forget the needs of humidity, nor that they can not withstand excessive temperatures. 
We will appreciate that it does not receive the light it needs, observing the color of its leaves.
A dark green leaves indicates that it receives little light, while a reddish green warns us that it receives too much light. When the orchids receive the light they need, they  have to have a medium intense green color.

The Oncidium have light needs that are superior to those of other orchid genera, such as Phalaenopsis. Even so, we do not recommend, in some warmer and sunny areas of the United States, a direct exposure to the sun, although in its natural habitat it is accustomed to being outdoors. One of the reasons is that this genus comprises many hybrids with different needs and, therefore, we can not generalize too much in this aspect.
A suitable place at home can be the landing of a window, balcony, internal patio, etc. If the light received by the plant is adequate, the coloring of the leaves will be of an intense green color. A very dark green color would indicate little light and a reddish green an excess thereof. 

First of all, it is necessary to bear in mind that the needs for light are fundamental for the development of any type of orchid, but in the case of oncidium orchids it is necessary to be very careful in this aspect, because these plants need very specific conditions related to light. First of all it should be noted that as every orchid needs an environment where sunlight is guaranteed, but we must also make it clear that the sun’s rays should not come into direct contact with these plants, that is, for the orchid Oncidium can develop in the best way it needs seasons of light and others of shadows.

For this reason, it is necessary to highlight that in the best case to ensure proper care of the oncidium orchid is to locate this plant in a place where it can be outdoors, the ideal location would be near windows or windows, balcony, some patio that is covered. On the other hand, sunlight will undoubtedly give the necessary vitality to the plant to fulfill its development functions, but the excess of this element could dry the leaves of the plant ending with leaves in a yellowish color, when the ideal would be leaves In intense green color.

Temperature And Humidity

It is generally known that in terms of temperature most species of oncidium orchids can maintain a stable condition if they are between 15 ° C and 30 ° C. But among other aspects of care should be taken into account that these plants improve their flowering if their temperature is changed during the day and night, that is, if during the day maintain warmer temperatures than those of the night environment, according to various studies This contrast is favorable for the development of the flowers of these orchids. For this reason it is stated that the difference that must be maintained between the temperatures of the day and night should be at least 10 ° C.

It should be noted that within the care taking the aspect of temperature the best for the vitality of oncidium orchids is to avoid temperatures that are below 12 ° C and above 30 ° C, these temperatures would be harmful to the development of these plants. In the same way, taking into account the temperature should be considered a ventilated environment, that is, the most ideal for these orchids is an environment that has some current of air.

As with all orchids, there must be a difference in temperature between day and night to stimulate flowering. These differences have to be in the environment of 10ºC, with the precaution of not exceeding the minimum and maximum. 
The degree of humidity must be maintained between 40% and 60%. To favor this degree of humidity, during winter indoors and on warm days, it is advisable to spray the plants, place a humidifier or, failing that, place a dish with water under the plant, always with the precaution that the water is not in direct contact with the roots.

Taking into account the above, it can be said that humidity is the best scenario for the ideal habitat that establishes the right conditions for the growth and vitality of oncidium orchids, however, as a reference of the environment according to the studies it must be maintained at 40% and 60% humidity. Faced with this situation, the most advisable thing is if this environment is not propitious to implement some irrigation strategy by means of humidifiers or in such case regular sprays, then, specialists in the cultivation of orchids propose that it is best to moisten these plants slightly but in hours in the morning, so that during the day the leaves can be dried in the best way, otherwise, the plants may contract fungi or infections produced by excess water at night.

However, taking into account the previously explained aspects it is also important to highlight that among other recommendations regarding the care of oncidium orchids related to temperature it should be noted that these plants, if exposed to the higher temperatures indicated, should be increased the humidity levels.

Take into account also that especially the Oncidium, as with most orchids, can not stand being in very high places (low oxygen or tobacco smoke or other pollutants). Neither do they tolerate direct air currents, although they do tolerate a certain renewal of the environment (aeration of the room).

The ideal humidity for these orchids is between 40 and 60%, as we explained above. For this purpose and according to conditions we should proceed to use humidifiers or regular sprays. Better to do it in the morning or in the early afternoon to allow the leaves of the plant to dry before nightfall. Otherwise, we could favor the appearance of diseases (fungi, bacteria, etc.). At higher temperatures we must increase the value of the environmental humidity

Irrigation And Water

The Oncidium require more water than other types of orchids , so it is usually recommended to water every two to three days in the growing season and once a month (or every two) in the dormant season. However, this is not completely correct, the ideal is to water when the orchid needs moisture. 
It is best to check if the substrate is dry or not, at least half of the pot should have been dried to re-irrigate. 
During the latency period it is best to observe the pseudobulbs to decide whether to water or not.  If we see them smooth and thick, it is that the plant is well and does not need much water, but if we observe that they seem to wither, we must increase the frequency of the waterings.
The Oncidium pseudobulbs are prone to putrefaction, so it is very important to monitor the waterings and that the drainage of the pot is correct. If we see that a pseudobulb begins to rot, it is best to cut it with a knife that we will have previously sterilized. 
Water always in the morning and with water that does not contain salts. When in doubt, it is better to use filtered or bottled water.

On the other hand, taking into account the process of irrigation in the care of orchids, it should be noted that water should be used in these cases of oncidium species that contain low mineralization, that is, avoid using water that may have other types of components. that could be harmful to the plant.

Among other ideas highlights that the risks depend on the conditions established in terms of humidity and temperature of the environment where the plant is located. For example, in seasons where the temperature is warmer, irrigation should be carried out more frequently, for example, in the case of winter, longer periods of time can be established between each irrigation. On the other hand, the life cycle of the plant also influences the irrigation, since when the orchid is in full stage of growth it should proceed to water more frequently.

Within the entire irrigation process it must be considered that for the care of these oncidium orchid species at the time of irrigation the substrate must be completely dry from the previous irrigation, that is, the waterings should not be so frequent because the plant needs seasons where the substrate must be completely dry, however, it is clear that the end of the dehydration of the plant should not be reached.

However, in these cases the specialists recommend avoiding using the water that can be obtained from the tap for the irrigation process, since this type of water is loaded with minerals that can affect the vitality of the orchid.The best in these cases to maintain the care and the orchid in excellent conditions is to irrigate the plant with filtered or mineral water.

So use, as in all orchids, low mineralization water. Irrigation will be carried out depending on the vegetative cycle of the plant and environmental conditions. Spacing them more in winter, during rest at 1 or 2 per month; increase during growth and before flowering to 1 or more weeks, depending on temperature and humidity conditions.

It is very important in this species, between irrigation and irrigation, to let the substrate dry almost completely but without the plant becoming dehydrated.

It is essential not to use tap water. The current waters, normally with great hardness and mineral content are not suitable for these plants. Use mineral water or treated water with appropriate filters (reverse osmosis). 
Also important are the irrigations carried out by vaporizers on aerial roots and leaves, avoiding ponding. This type of irrigation should be more abundant in the hot season (summer) since there is greater water loss.

Fertilizers And Nutrients Requirements

In the growing season, and if the substrate is composed of pine bark, you have to look for a fertilizer that contains a composition 30-10-10 (Nitrogen-phosphorus and potassium) . This proportion is to compensate the nitrogen expense, which comes from the degradation of the substrate. 
If the substrate is not pine, we can use a more balanced fertilizer 20-20-20. 
During the growing period it is advisable to fertilize every two weeks, but at half the recommended dose. It is also a good idea to water abundantly once a month, to eliminate the remains of fertilizer that may remain on the substrate.
You already know that fertilizers usually contain salts, that the plant stores in its roots and also is deposited in the substrate, and this is very harmful for orchids.

In all that concerns the care of orchid oncidium in the case of nutrients should take the suggestions that are established in specialized stores, ie, in the case of orchids are marketed specific nutrients for these plant species , the ideal is to acquire and maintain the care with these products.

In addition, it must be considered that among other recommendations it should be taken into account that the ideal would be to fertilize the plant in the periods prior to growth, that is, at the stage where it needs to acquire more nutrients for its proper development.

Use only special fertilizers for orchids and follow the instructions of the product. In general, we will need to pay more regularly in the periods before flowering (usually in late winter or early spring, but depends on which part of the United States you are located). We also recommend using foliar mixed fertilizers in the water of vaporization since both the aerial roots and the leaves can assimilate them and will contribute to the good general state of the plant.

Substrate And Repotting

The substrate that Oncidium orchids need is typical for orchids: spongy, light, resistant … it is best to buy the one that comes prepared, which is usually composed of pine bark. 
From time to time it is necessary to change the pot, when the plant has grown a lot or also when we observe that the substrate no longer drains correctly. 
These changes are best done when the orchid has already blossomed, ideally during the resting period. 
Before making the change, we will proceed to thoroughly clean the substrate of all types of dust , and disinfect the pot well by washing with soapy water. 
When making the change and if the plant allows it,we can divide the orchid as long as we have at least three pseudobulbs in each plant.
Once the transplant is done, the plant will need a few days of recovery, especially if we have cut roots or divided the plant. It is best not to water a lot and keep it away from excessive light. 
Following these tips, you will surely have a huge success with your Oncidium, which are the most spectacular orchids in their bloom.

On the other hand it should be noted that the change of substrate must be done when it is really necessary, that is, when the plant has some type of infection or any fungus that requires the transplanting of the orchid, among other cases it is also valid when the plant has grown in a considerable way and the pot does not suit your needs in terms of space. In this way, as previously stated, it is best to acquire nutrients and specialized fertilizer for plants of this species, that is, orchids. Within all this it is important to know how to cut the orchids and get new pups from it, in the whole process involved in the transplant.

Regarding changes of substrate, we advise changes only in those cases where we have had an infestation of bacteria or fungi in the roots or in those cases in which the plant has grown and the roots really need more space.
These changes must occur during the plant’s rest period. Never during flowering. We will use special substrate preparations for orchids and easily acquired in any garden center. Avoid fertilization in the post-transplant period and excess irrigation. Keep the temperature without many changes and away from excessive light. The plant will need a few days to recover from the small scars caused by roots and other parts. Be alert to possible infestations and extreme hygienic measures.

Market For the Oncidium Orchids

Within the market in different countries the different oncidium orchid species are generally known as dancing orchids and have great economic value due to the beauty of their yellow flowers, which are popularly considered as the dancer movements of a dancer. In this way in what refers to the aspect of the decoration the dance ladies orchids are valued and form the main trade, due to this demand is proceeded to carry out the cultivation of these species, which usually is not complicated if you have consider their necessary conditions for growth.

In relation to the above in the orchid trade, oncidium is found in the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, where climatic conditions are generally favorable for these plants. It is generally known that in the cultivation of these plants are made in some supports made of wood or cork, but the most common and most advisable for the cultivation of these plants is to make them in pots, where the drainage is guaranteed by of the substrate.

In this way, taking into account the above, it can be said that the success of the trade is due to the fact that in the cultivation of these plants the appropriate considerations are taken for the correct development, and one of them is without a doubt to keep the plants in a pot where the substrate can offer adequate drainage in the irrigation process. In general, due to the facilities in terms of the cultivation of these Oncidium orchid species, they are usually found commercially in an accessible manner, that is, these plants do not carry high prices.

Types of orchid oncidium

Although orchids are generally classified into three types in the case of the oncidium genus, they can be noticed in most cases only in two types. In this way, the plants, in the case of wild orchids can be found divided between the types of epiphytic orchids, semi-terrestrial orchids and terrestrial orchids. Where the main difference between these types is in the development of the roots in different surfaces.

Oncidium epiphytic orchids

For example, in the most common case for the orchid genus, oncidium refers to orchids of the epiphytic type, which are known to have the main characteristic of developing their roots in the branches and trunk of the trees, that is, these plants growing on the surface of some tree, usually within the forests. Then it could be said that most of the species that make up this genus are described as epiphytic orchids because they typically develop their roots in the trunks of trees.

Semi-terrestrial oncidium orchids

Although in most cases the species of this genus belong to the type described above, it is also known that there are semi-terrestrial oncidium orchids, this means that they can develop by generating their roots from other surfaces that are different from the trunks of the trees, but without reaching the terrestrial surface, that is to say that the plants of this group grow in general on other runs, on other leaves that are in decomposition or on another surface closer to the ground. Usually the orchid species of this type They grow on the moss.

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