Herbaceous perennials from the Orchid family are scattered around the world – they can be found in humid, hot tropics and in areas with a cool climate. Some varieties easily take root at home, while some grow only in greenhouses or in nature. For example, representatives of the genus Oncidium live in highlands, arid savannah, in tropical rainforests. But, despite the differences in requirements, it is loved by flower growers for its original flowers, similar to dancing pupae, and the duration of flowering.

Distinctive features of culture

Oncidium have no common characteristics – the appearance is determined by the type of flower. Among them there are undersized (only 15 cm) and high (up to 40 cm) species, there are lovers of a warm, humid climate with hard leaves, and there are lovers of shady places with thin narrow leaves. Pseudobulbs do not grow in all species, so the accumulation of moisture in them occurs at the base of the leaf.

The name of the genus was due to a special comb growth on the lip (onkos – tubercle, tumor + eidos – view, image).

Oncidium: description

Fragrant flowers (diameter from 1 to 12 cm) of various colors are collected in inflorescences from 0.1 to 5 m long. The most common flowers are yellow and brownish-red. There is no specific flowering period – flowers can form twice a year if the necessary conditions are created. Flowers live for a long time – from 1 to 1.5 months.

Oncidium – varieties with photos

The genus is represented by a huge variety of species – there are more than 600 of them, most of which are epiphytes. Among the variety of its representatives, everyone can choose the type and variety suitable for specific conditions.

In conditions of home cultivation, the following varieties of Oncidium are in great demand:

  • O. Twinkle (Oncidium Twinkle) – undersized (up to 10 cm) hybrid, flowers with a vanilla aroma of yellow, scarlet, pink, white color, flowering is plentiful, long;
  • O. Sweet Sugar (Oncidium Sweet Sugar) – height no more than 40 cm, the leaf plate comes out of the bulb, medium size (diameter 2.5 cm), the bud is bright yellow, golden brown, at the base of the lip there is a reddish-brown spot;
  • A. Sherry baby (Oncidium Shery baby) – a tall (about 70 cm) hybrid variety with red, dark purple, various shades of brown flowers exuding a chocolate-honey aroma, in an inflorescence from 8 to 10 flowers;

O. Twinkle (Oncidium Twinkle), Sweet Sugar (Oncidium Sweet Sugar), Sherry baby (Oncidium Shery baby)
  • A. Haruri popcorn is a short (up to 15 cm) variety with small (1-1.5 cm) white-lilac flowers;
  • O. Curly (Oncidium cricpum) – flowers are red-brown, the edge of the petal is wavy, the lip is two-colored, the peduncle is up to 30 cm high;
  • Aloha Ivanaga is a hybrid variety with large bright yellow flowers and a chocolate-cherry spot at the base of the lip.

O. Popcorn Haruri, Curly (Oncidium cricpum), Aloha Ivanaga

Buying Oncidium

When buying a flower, you want to get not only a profusely flowering plant, but also a healthy one, capable of further growth and reproduction. The purchase should begin with a thorough inspection of the plant.

What to look for:

  • there must be a description of the variety – this is important when caring for Oncidium;
  • soil without foreign odors, not flooded;
  • the leaf plate is green, without spots;
  • greenish-gray roots protruding from the substrate (healthy roots report proper care);
  • the presence of three pseudobulbs (this is the minimum) – one serves as a repository for nutrients, flower stalks are formed from the second, and the third will be their replacement;
  • no signs of pests (small cobwebs, grayish-white spots and brown blotches on the leaf, powdery coating);
  • slightly wrinkled pseudobulbs are not terrible – the plant has received less moisture or is preparing to grow.

At home, the flower must be quarantined for 2-3 weeks, isolated from other crops. All this time, he needs to be monitored in order to take measures to eliminate the problems that have arisen. If insects appear, they can be removed with a cotton pad dipped in a solution of soap or insecticide. Repeat the treatment of leaves and stem several times.

Oncidium does not tolerate transplanting well, so it should be transplanted only if the quality of the substrate is poor, when the pot is small, the plant wilts, or two to three years have passed after planting.

Oncidium: planting at home

Transplant rules

To transplant (plant) an orchid, you should prepare in advance – pick up a container, soil, choose a place. If everything is done correctly, then it will quickly adapt to new conditions and will please with flowering.


Many orchid roots are involved in photosynthesis and they need light, but chlorophyll is absent in the roots of Oncidium, so there is no need to acquire a transparent container. A ceramic pot with rough walls is also not suitable – the roots adhere to the walls and are injured during transplantation. It is important to take into account the height of the plant and the stability of the vessel – plastic is light and can turn over, clay and ceramics are heavier. You can put a plastic pot in a beautiful clay planter, leaving a gap between the walls.

Epiphytes grow well on special blocks, snags, in wicker baskets, plastic containers, in ceramic and clay pots, the inside of which is covered with glaze. There must be holes for the outflow of excess moisture.


For the root system of orchids, the permeability of the soil (substrate) by air, moisture is important, and it must be chosen based on these requirements. For Oncidium, you can use a purchased or self-prepared substrate: medium fraction pine bark (3 parts) + 1 part medium fraction charcoal and perlite (vermiculite). Species living in arid regions will grow well on expanded clay, on dried and crushed fern roots.

General recommendations for choosing a substrate:

  • pieces of bark for thick roots should be larger;
  • for species whose habitat is rocky, a mixture of equal parts of bark and rubble is suitable;
  • small thin roots need a substrate consisting of small pieces;
  • for moisture-loving species (they have leaves of lighter shades), a third of the volume of the pot should be occupied by moss;
  • self-prepared substrate must be disinfected (pink solution of manganese, boiling water, freezing).

Oncidium: transplant rules

How to transplant

Oncidium is a sympodial plant and has several growth points – they have a common root, so new shoots grow in one direction, which should be taken into account when transplanting and place the orchid a little closer to one side of the pot. Send the old pseudo-buds to the wall. If there are already shoots, then they need to be sent to the center of the vessel.

What you can’t do: deepen and cut off pseudobulbs – they need air (only roots need to be covered), they participate in nutrition and the plant needs it during the adaptation period.

Important! There are small scales at the base of the pseudobulbs and you should try not to damage them. Removal of scales affects the growth of young shoots and the formation of flower buds.

Transplant steps:

  • pour the flower with warm water, take it out after a quarter of an hour, remove the remains of the substrate;
  • cut off damaged and diseased areas on the roots and leaves;
  • place the roots in settled water at room temperature for a quarter of an hour;
  • treat sections with coal powder, any fungicide;
  • pour a little substrate on the drainage layer, place a flower on it – the last pseudobulb should not be lower than the edge of the pot;
  • fill voids, slightly compact, if necessary, install supports;
  • leave the flower alone for a week, do not water, create partial shade.

Transplant Tips

On the flower growers’ forums, questions are often asked about the transplantation of Oncidium. For example, is it necessary to transplant a flower after purchase. Participants who have tested this in practice answer that after a successful quarantine, only those flowers that have a poor quality substrate need to be transplanted. If it meets all the requirements, then you can just add a little fresh.

Another tip: when transplanting, it is convenient to divide the orchid and plant several flowers at once.

Tips for Transplanting Oncidium

Care after transplant

When grown at home, caring for the Oncidium orchid plays a big role in providing it with nutrients and moisture. As a basis for choosing conditions, you need to take the species affiliation of the culture, because the requirements for all varieties are different.

Site selection, lighting

The location of the flower is determined based on the characteristics of the species. The plant itself can tell about its preferences:

  • dark green leaf plate (not glossy) – the orchid easily tolerates shading and can grow on north-facing windows;
  • species with leaves of lighter shades feel good on eastern, western window sills or on southern ones with shading;
  • light green leaf plate, with small reddish specks – for these varieties, the southern and eastern window is suitable, the western one – with additional illumination in the morning;
  • glossy leathery leaf of dark green shades – the flower needs bright lighting during the day.

If it is not possible to keep the flower on the windowsill, you can put it on a shelf next to the window, but away from the heaters.

Temperature, humidity

Most often, hybrid varieties of Oncidium are grown at home – caring for them is easier than for pure species, in which the requirements are more categorical.

The temperature fluctuations in the room should be within 5 °C, and the difference between summer and winter temperatures should vary from 15 °C to 27 °C.

Type of Oncidium and temperature:

  • heat-loving tropical varieties – the minimum indicator is 15 ° C, the maximum is 30 ° C;
  • species living in temperate latitudes – in the cold period – 13 ° -15 ° , in summer – from 20 ° to 22 ° ;
  • lovers of coolness from mountain forests – for the hot season – from 20 ° to 22 ° , in winter – 7 ° -9 ° .

The required level of lighting is needed by orchids during the laying of flower buds and the formation of pseudobulbs, so its lack must be compensated for by lighting.

Orchids feel good in a room where the humidity is not lower than 40% and not higher than 70%. If the air is too dry, then in the morning and evening you can moisten it with a spray gun or place containers with water, an aquarium near the flower, spray the stems and leaves. Wipe water that gets into the sinuses with a napkin.

Oncidium: conditions at home

To feel good, the flower needs fresh air, so it is necessary to carry out regular ventilation, but without drafts. High humidity, stagnant air contribute to the development of putrefactive processes in the roots and the occurrence of various infections.

Irrigation mode

The onset of flowering and its duration directly depend on proper watering – the need for moisture is different at each stage of development. When a sprout appears in the lower part of the pseudobulb and until the pseudobulb is formed from it, you need to water regularly and plentifully. It is recommended to defend water for irrigation so that salts and impurities settle, chlorine compounds evaporate. If the room is cool, then it needs to be warmed up a little.

Important! Orchid Oncidium watering is required when the substrate is completely dry. The best watering method for her is immersion in warm settled water. The frequency of watering depends on the condition of the substrate – in winter and in wet weather it dries out slowly, in a warm period and in heat – faster.

As soon as the pseudobulb has formed, the introduction of moisture should be stopped, otherwise flowering may not be expected. After 21-30 days, a peduncle should appear from the lower lobe of the pseudobulb and watering should be resumed. During the flowering period, they are again plentiful, and after its completion, the volume of moisture is reduced.

If, however, it was not the peduncle that grew, but the shoot, then the conditions of detention were violated during the dormant period, which affected the development of the orchid, or the flower had less than three pseudobulbs, and it is not able to form a peduncle due to lack of strength.

How to recognize a peduncle:

  • it has a flattened shape, the tip is sharp, stepped, cone-shaped;
  • grows mainly upwards, and the roots grow in any direction;
  • small bulbs begin to form on it, which will then become buds.

Top dressing

With the beginning of the growth of shoots, the plant needs more nutrients, so it is imperative to feed the Oncidium. For this, complex fertilizers for orchids are used. As soon as the pseudobulbs are formed, feeding is stopped. The next stage begins with the growth of the peduncle and ends after the first flower opens.

Fertilizer can be applied when watering, dissolved in water for immersion, or by spraying. In the second case, the dosage should be reduced by 10 times.

Compliance with the rules for caring for the Oncidium orchid at home, the correct transplant allows you to grow a healthy, strong plant that blooms profusely and for a long time.


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