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Yellow Oncidium Orchid in bloom

This is a discussion on Yellow Oncidium Orchid in bloom within the Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; This Oncidium I brought, was the only one left on the display. In bloom, but ...

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  1. #1
    Gurj's Avatar
    Gurj is offline Senior Member
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    Post Yellow Oncidium Orchid in bloom

    This Oncidium I brought, was the only one left on the display. In bloom, but the roots are all dried in the media. looks like they couldn't cope well with the water in the UK. The roots we see have not yet touched the media. I have hydrated the media as good as I can now, and the plant is sitting on the patio with rain water as supplement. Hopefully, this triggers new root growth. Seven pseudobulds so far. No shame is admitting that I have always struggled with oncidium, somehow can not understand what they really want. This is my 4th attempt in keeping an oncidium.

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  2. #2
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Very pretty! I've always liked the yellow oncidiums. Just like you, I've had trouble growing them. They seem to need a lot of water but they also get fungus problems very easily.

  3. #3
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    You are not the only one having problems with oncidium and its allies.I have killed more oncids than orchids of other genera. Once it was phalaenopsis but I solved that problem by mounting them. I have already killed 8 Oncostele Wildcat, 6 Onc Sharry, 3 Onc Twinkle and numerous others of the tribe.Now I've only 8 left and they too seem ready to leave for orchid heaven. No more oncids for me.

  4. #4
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    Well, the blooms are pretty. I hope the roots take off for your orchid.

    cheers,
    BD

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    I think you need to put little bits of moss at the root level as the pseudobulb so dehydrated just to maintain the humidity and trigger root formation.

  6. #6
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    I suppose this is a bad time for me to say that Oncidiums pretty much grow like weeds for me.... my Sharry Baby just finished another spectacular blooming... but I will tell you what works for me, and hopefully it will help.

    I hear most people say that they struggle with the watering schedule more than anything with oncidiums. I've found that they do indeed need significantly more water than, say, Dendrobiums. I think it's because they're very fast growers, so they're pretty thirsty plants. Mine are not happy if I let them dry out in between waterings. They seem to like to stay damp.

    I've found that treating them like Paphs when it comes to potting and watering seems to be the magic fix. I pot my oncids in a medium-grade bark and coarse perlite mix in ceramic pots that are glazed on both the inside and the outside... some have small air slits and some don't, but either way, the glaze helps keep the moisture in. I water them as soon as the first half inch or so of media gets completely dry. This means they're probably still damp through the lower layers, but I've found that if I wait longer, the bulbs start to shrivel. These plants like water, water, and more water!

    I avoid fungus by keeping them in Catt light (or brighter.) They can tolerate pretty high light levels and very warm temps, so even though they stay somewhat damp, the bright light keeps the fungus at bay (unlike with my Masdevallias, which I am CONSTANTLY battling fungus and mold with, because they like it wet and cool. But wet and HOT seems to do well for the Oncidiums as far as fungus goes.)

    I make sure to water around the edges of the pots, so that water doesn't collect in the new growth and rot it. It's very easy for those new growths to collect water and just rot away... and then it looks like your plant is dying on you, when it's really just a problem with standing water.

    Oh, and I make sure that all the roots of my oncidiums are covered by the media. With my other orchids, like phals and dendrobiums, I'll often leave some of the roots sitting at the top exposed to the air, but my Oncidums start drying out if the roots are left in the open air. I have no idea how people successfully grow these plants on mounts... they just need so much water.

    Anyway, I wish you luck with your beautiful new plant! Those are gorgeous blooms!!!

    I hope this one stays happy for you! Make sure to give it lots of bright light and lots of water, and hopefully it will be a good grower for you. I find Oncidiums to be fast growing and free-flowering when the conditions are right, so they can be very satisfying orchids to grow!

    (Now, if I could only keep my Masdevallias from rotting.... LOL)

    Good luck, and congrats on your beautiful new plant!

  7. #7
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    I grow all my Oncidiums mounted and they seem to thrive despite my neglect. Frequent watering is definitely what they like--not necessarily lots of water at one time but some water more often. The pseudobulbs look rather wrinkled since I don't water as often as I should but they don't fail to bloom regularly except for one that's mounted on a branch of my persimmon tree, possibly due to inadequate light. Which is weird since it's probably the only orchid that I can't seem to kill (and I've had my share of them!!!). I even find old bulbs I have meant to toss sprouting new growth just sitting on my potting table.

    So maybe we all have our "problem orchids". But good luck with yours; you probably just need to find the right mix of its likes and dislikes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddie View Post
    I grow all my Oncidiums mounted and they seem to thrive despite my neglect. Frequent watering is definitely what they like--not necessarily lots of water at one time but some water more often. The pseudobulbs look rather wrinkled since I don't water as often as I should but they don't fail to bloom regularly except for one that's mounted on a branch of my persimmon tree, possibly due to inadequate light. Which is weird since it's probably the only orchid that I can't seem to kill (and I've had my share of them!!!). I even find old bulbs I have meant to toss sprouting new growth just sitting on my potting table.

    So maybe we all have our "problem orchids". But good luck with yours; you probably just need to find the right mix of its likes and dislikes.
    Hehee.... yep, we've all got our "problem" orchids. Masdevallias seem to just hate me. I've tried them in pretty much every room of my house, in sphag, in bark, in less sun, more sun, etc... I've pretty much tried everything and I'm still struggling with new growths getting eaten by fungus. Pbbtttt. Anyway, I'm getting off topic here.... ahem... back to Oncidiums...

    I'm amazed that you're growing yours mounted... you must be able to get away with it because you have adequate humidity outside all year. Mine are indoor plants that "summer" outdoors, but anything mounted just shrivels miserably up here in PA without some sort of greenhouse or humidity boost.

    I actually have an indoor greenhouse for the mounted orchids, the seedlings, and ones that might be struggling and need a very consistent environment. My husband thinks I'm nuts for having a greenhouse IN the house, but it's the only way to give some of the orchids the humidity they need... it gets very, very dry here in the winter, and short of putting humidifiers all over the place, it would be really difficult to get the humidity high enough for delicate or mounted plants... hence the greenhouse. (Yes, I'm aware that an outdoor greenhouse would make more sense, but my hubby has firmly said "NO" to a greenhouse on our property... although I bought a small 6'x6'x8' one that he doesn't know about. I have it hidden in the garage... hehee!!! I'm just waiting for the right time to take it out of hiding...)

    Anyway, it seems that the general consensus on Oncidiums is that they like frequent watering! I have to say it's very satisfying to see those bulbs plump up nicely once they finally get the water they need.

    To quote the famous song, 'Baby Got Back..' "I like big bulbs and I cannot lie...." (That is how it goes, right? Or is that 'Baby Got Bulbs?' I get them confused...)

  9. #9
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    i grow mine much like phals. keep damp. i use a mix of tree fern fiber and sphagnum moss, with some bark and clay pellets mixed in. i layer that in a clay pot, moss first at bottom, layer of mix, layer of moss, layer of mix and a layer of moss on top. this keeps it open and damp, bit not sloppy wet. small oncids i pot in just moss, like for 3-4" pots. it is very dry here, so i water twice a week in winter, and about 3 times a week now. i find them quite hardy, and grow some outdoors, and buy cheap used-and-abused ones and they come back in a year or so. moving them around much can shock them, especially if they have new growths. they like bright light, but not a sudden change. and mind what jenn said above about watering. just wet the medium, not the plants, they pocket away water and get rots easily. and moss on top is a must, for new roots growing.

  10. #10
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    I agree with the Onc/ Phal culture. My Onc. are in bright light, and close to the window. They seem to insist on making roots above ground which to me is not a problem. I have never had disease issues with my onc. If you are letting them get rained on everyday and they are in a pot,that may well be your problem. They like a bit of moisture, but they do need to dry out some.

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