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Odontoglossum Orchid care

This is a discussion on Odontoglossum Orchid care within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all, I recently acquired what appears to be an odontoglossum orchid,all the label said ...

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  1. #1
    HeidiK is offline Junior Member
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    Forest Park IL
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    Default Odontoglossum Orchid care

    Hi all,
    I recently acquired what appears to be an odontoglossum orchid,all the label said was orchid . I

    It was in bloom when I got it but is done for now ,I had to struggle to get it out of its pot,to try and repot it,I'm confused with whether these plants do better in bark type medium or moss?

    This one was in moss but it didn't look that great,so any advice suggestions are appreciated in its care,next time I'm on my laptop I'll try posting pictures of it once I know where to
    Thank you
    Heidi Keitz

  2. #2
    orchid-man's Avatar
    orchid-man is offline Not Normal
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    Oncidiums.Odonts and alliance
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    Mar 2006
    Auckland new zealand
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    As this family is so varst (there are something like 60 species of Odonts, 300 Oncids, 19 species of Rhynchostele and a miriade of other genera that make up the Odonts), without knowing the name or cross that you have , it is nearly impossible to advise.

    Here is a general break down. -----------

    Light – They prefer med light conditions. The leaves will stain reddish if the light conditions are too high. 70-80% shade cloth would be ideal in most areas. Increasing the shade is often used to promote spiking in reluctant flowerers. Oncidiums and their hybrids can tolerate higher light levels.
    Temperature: Odontoglossums and Odontiodas prefer to stay as close to 10-20oC as possible at all times, but tolerate down to 5oC in winter and will cope with higher temps in summer, provided the humidity is high enough. Oncidiums and their hybrids (Wilsonaras, Colmanaras, & Odontocidiums are the most commonly seen) are more tolerant of higher temps, but still prefer it a little cosier in winter with a minimum of 10-12oC. Like all tropical plants from high altitudes, Odontoglossums appreciate a marked difference in day and night temps of approx 5oC.
    Air movement is essential at all times.
    Humidity and Watering: Try to keep the growing mix evenly moist at all times. The mix should never be allowed to dry out completely when the plants are in max growth phase, nor should it ever be very wet for extended periods. Oncidium hybrids can be kept slightly drier, and may appreciate a short rest after flowering if the next shoot has not commenced growth yet. Try never to let your Odonts dry out completely at any time. In summer months watering every day may be necessary and regular misting is beneficial if time allows. During the cooler months water 1-2 times a week depending on your mix as the plants are never completely dormant – the exception being some Oncidium species.
    Feeding: Feed Flowering Orchid Tucker fertilizer weekly, or if you feed with every watering then one quarter strength is recommended. Make sure to flush with plain water between feedings.
    Repotting: If you can, annual repotting into fresh mix will benefit your plants. Spring and Autumn are the best times as there is often a flush of new root activity then. Use a fairly fine mix for best water retention – either No 2 bark or sphagnum moss. If the plants have the coarser roots then No 3 bark is best, also use this for large pots. Do not over pot your odonts ever. Choose a pot only slightly larger than your root mass, while they do not like to be root bound they also do not like to have their roots in a large soggy pot of mix.
    Flowering – Some Odonts will flower more than once a year. The bulbs may produce a spike from each side of the forward bulb, particularly in Oncidiums and their hybrid crosses. Water and feed the plants well when in flower, so as to keep the front bulb well plumped up, as they can shrivel very quickly if left too dry. If this happens, cut the flowers off. They will usually last well in water. On small or weak plants, remove any secondary spikes that may appear as this can further weaken the plants. Remove the flower spike as soon as it has fully opened and enjoy them in a vase for a while. This particularly applies to Odontoglossums and Odontiodas which can literally flower themselves to death, if given the opportunity!

    These culture notes will apply to most Odont alliance plants and also Columbian Miltoniopsis

    Happy growing

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