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Oncidium Cebolletae Orchid experts out there?

This is a discussion on Oncidium Cebolletae Orchid experts out there? within the Oncidium/ Intergeneric Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; While Phrags are my new interest, the first orchid I bought (12 years ago) was ...

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  1. #1
    Bob
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    Default Oncidium Cebolletae Orchid experts out there?

    While Phrags are my new interest, the first orchid I bought (12 years ago) was the "rat tail" Oncidium Cebolletae, or Trichocentrum. It bloomed after the first couple of months and not since. I have looked over many books, websites and asked several people what I might be doing wrong. While some of the info received is interesting, it's been of little help. Still no blooms. Many tell me to toss it and get on with the Phrags. But it's become a real challenge.

    Some of the info - It's area of growth is from the West Indies all the way to Paraguay. It (growing on stony cliffs) supposedly is used by the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico as a hellucinogenic Peyote substitute. I've also been told it grows in tall trees in the high desert of Texas. One said keep it dry, almost as a succulent while another said easy on the water but high humidity - ? I've tried everything I can think of. Now I've got it in small bark on a south, filtered light, windowsill. I water twice a week w/distilled using the same fertilizer I use on the Phrags once every other week. It's growing ok, lots of good looking roots, but no flowers.

    Anybody having some success with one of these? I suppose if all else fails I could smoke it!

  2. #2
    panam's Avatar
    panam is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm, Bob. When I see an orchid I know nothing about, I usually look it up on the internet. When I looked this one up, there were so many hits addressing its hallucinogenic properties and how to use it, that I had to scroll down a ways just to see some botanical information rather than pharmacological!

    So, why do you want to grow this one?

  3. #3
    Bob
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    Wink

    I bought it because the photos of one in bloom on the table of the man selling them at an orchid show, blew me away. (Now that I think of it, why didn't HE have one in bloom?) Probably the same reason I don't!
    As for why I'm growing it, frustrating as it has been, it's just because I have it and I'm stubborn. I won't let it beat me! And I hate to throw plants away.

    I know what you mean about the hallucinogenics. There's not much more info on it out there. Too bad. In bloom, it's really beautiful.

    Of course - did I REALLY see it?

  4. #4
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    I bought a flask of them a year ago in Costa Rica. I only have one plant left now. I grow it in a small pot with clay pellets and a tiny bit of moss under bright light and intermediate temperatures. I had another one that I had mounted, but it just perished after a couple of months. The only habitat info I found was in a book on the Oncidiae Alliance. Mine is too small to bloom, but is growing quite well for me at this time. I did not not know about the hallucinogenic properties of the plant...

  5. #5
    Bob
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    Thanks for the input, Andre. I never thought about using pellets, but it makes since, if it's true that they sometimes grow on stone outcroppings in Mexico.

    I have mine in small bark. About the only thing I haven't changed over the years, is the media. I was thinking of adding perlite. But I'm a bit paranoid to do this because the roots look so good now. Another thing I should probably change is fertilizing. But I can't find any info on what to use, proportions, how often, etc.

    This seems to be the one Oncidium nobody knows much about. If I do find anything more, I'll past it on.

  6. #6
    extranjera is offline Junior Member
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    I've been to the area where the Tarahumara live if that's any help. They live around a huge canyon in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, it's a desert up at the top with succulent type plants, cactus and scrub brush. Down in the canyon - a beautiful canyon BTW, one of the largest in the world - it is more tropical but still very dry. Quite extreme temperatures, very hot in the summer and cold with snow in the winter. The bottom of the canyon does not get as cold in the winter but it gets much hotter in the summer. I think that temps over 110° F are not uncommon in the summer. The only real humidity is at the bottom of the canyon, the top is very dry and high altitude. The Tarahumara are famous for their endurance running, they play a form of soccer without boundaries that involves days and days of running up and down at high altitude. I still have one of the baskets they weave from pine needles and it still smells wonderful.

  7. #7
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Bob, If you can remember "what" month it bloomed in, I have a suggestion. The two months before its supposed to bloom, start using a blossom booster, weekly, weakly. ( In other words, 1/4 what the directions say to use. ) And, drop the temperature at least 20 to 22 degrees at night for this orchid. This of course is what happens in nature...During the "growth period", I use a 30-10-10 fertilizer, or 20-20-20. (weakly, weekly, for three weeks, & on the fourth week I use plain water.) Perhaps this will help to get those blooms..I hope so! Keep us posted...Betty :-)

  8. #8
    Bob
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    Thanks very much to both of you - Jonna & Betty. I believe it's Copper Canyon were the Tarahumara live. And I've heard about their running prowess - such as running from thier home, to the ocean to collect salt for a religious ceremony, and running all the way back. Most of the time without a stop and sometimes without shoes!
    As for the blooming time, I'm not sure ( it was so long ago). I think it was late fall. It can't hurt to guess though, nothing else has worked.
    I re-potted it about a month ago. I'd like to add some perlite to improve drainage. What do you guys think about the perlite and is it to soon to re, re-pot?

  9. #9
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Bob, I usually use small fir bark for my oncidiums...60 % bark, 20 % perlite, and 20 % small charcoal ( the plant kind ) And, yes, you could re-repot if you're careful. Remember to use only a pot with great drainage (side slits, plus holes on the bottom)and a pot large enough to contain the roots without too much extra room. For some reason, most orchids like rather close confines. Betty :-)

  10. #10
    remo is offline Senior Member
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    Bob, do what Betty says and repot it like she does her oncidiums...feed it like she says and then if the sob won't bloom for you-then smoke it!
    Remo...

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