The most popular among florists is orchid oncidium (Oncidium). This genus is represented by various plants that differ both externally and growing conditions. So, there are species that prefer to grow in arid savannas, others grow in the warm and humid forests of South and Central America, and there are also those that are found only high in the mountains. In this regard, there are no uniform specific rules for caring for this plant, as well as their hybrids. In each specific case, it is necessary to take into account which parental species a particular hybrid originated from. The most important thing in caring for such orchids is the choice of the correct temperature regime, their drought resistance and the features of the dormant period.
Oncidium differs from phalaenopsis in that it is more tied to temperature changes during the day, and also loves light very much. Most of the species of this plant are epiphytes and they are able to live even on a stone. In this regard, they do not tolerate excessive moisture in the root system.
It is worth considering that oncidiums of Dutch origin are for the most part very beautiful hybrids that do not require special conditions for keeping. They are easy enough to grow at home and at the same time they bloom quite effectively. You should also learn more about cambria - this name of hybrid orchids is a general trade name. These hybrids are obtained by crossing a wide variety of species of the oncidium group, as well as oncidiums. Such hybrids are also quite unpretentious.
It is quite easy to distinguish an oncidium hybrid in a flower shop. He has a branched and rather long peduncle, on which there is a large number of small flowers, similar to dancing dolls or moths. As a rule, they are colored brownish yellow or red. The flower has several pseudobulbs that are thickened. And from them are narrow long leaves, which are folded in the shape of a boat. Most often on sale there are such hybrids as:
- Sweet sugar (Onc. Aloha Iwanaga x Onc. Varicosum) - it is the most popular and distinguished by its unpretentiousness, it has many small yellow flowers;
- Twinkle (Onc. Cheirophorum x Onc. Ornithorhynchum) are compact hybrids, they have small fragrant (up to 15 millimeters) flowers, which, depending on the variety, can be colored yellow, white or red.
- Sharry baby (Onc. Jamie Suttonx Onc. Honolulu) - this series has many small flowers that have a fairly strong smell of chocolate and honey, and depending on the variety, they can have a red, dark purple or brownish yellow color.
In the store, you should opt for a plant that has at least 3 mature pseudobulbs. Only in this case the purchased flower will grow and develop normally. If the oncidium has less than 3 pseudobulbs, then the flowering of such a plant in the store is artificially stimulated, and when grown in room conditions, serious problems often arise with it. If the pseudobulbs are slightly wrinkled, then this is completely normal. When buying, you should also pay attention to the root system. The roots should be light in color. The soil should be slightly damp (not dry or flooded). The root system reacts negatively to stagnant water in the soil, as well as to dryness, which lasts for a long time. If there are brownish spots on the foliage, then it is better not to buy such plants.
Caring for the oncidium orchid at home
It is recommended to transplant a newly purchased plant only as a last resort, for example, if its root system is rotten (it is better not to buy such a flower at all). Such an orchid reacts extremely negatively to transplants, so this procedure should, if possible, be carried out once every few years, for example, if the substrate has become more like dust, or if an overgrown flower has become cramped in a pot.
For planting, do not use a transparent container, since there is no chlorophyll in the root system and therefore it does not need sunlight. It is best to opt for a low and wide enough pot. In the event that the container is of a standard size, then ½ part of it should be filled with drainage. Then the pot is filled with a new one, the bark of coniferous trees is used as it, and a smaller fraction will be needed than for phalaenopsis. Also, experienced florists recommend adding a small amount of pieces of charcoal, as well as sphagnum moss.
During the transplant, it should be remembered that the oncidium is a sympoid plant. Unlike phalaenopsis, which is monopoidal and has only 1 growth point, it has several growth points that share a common rhizome. The growth of young shoots is directed only in one direction. In this regard, it is planted closer to one of the sides of the pot, turning the old pseudobulbs to the wall. Thus, space is freed up for young shoots. If there are young shoots during transplantation, they should be turned to the center of the bowl.
In no case should the base of the flower be buried. So, pseudobulbs should not be immersed in the soil and they need good ventilation. During planting, only the root system needs to be buried in the soil. It should be borne in mind that the container must be filled with soil almost to the top, otherwise the orchid will have poor ventilation. You should not cut off old pseudobulbs, since, despite their age, they still feed the flower. You also need to be careful enough to grasp the bases of the pseudobulbs, since when removing the scales on their surface, young sprouts, as well as flower buds, are often damaged.
This plant is very light-requiring and tolerates direct sunlight normally. However, it is recommended to shade it from the scorching summer sun. The light level can be adjusted by paying attention to the color of the foliage. So, if it is dark green, then the lighting is too poor. And if the leaves are pale green and there are small reddish burn points on their surface, it means that the lighting is too intense. If the illumination level is selected optimally, then the foliage will be of a normal green color.
If necessary, this plant can be placed on a north-facing window, but in this case you should not expect flowering from it. Oncidium especially needs intense lighting during the formation of young pseudobulbs, as well as during the laying of flower buds. In the event that these processes are observed in winter, then it is recommended to provide supplementary lighting with phytolamps.
Hybrid plants grow normally and develop at a temperature of 14-26 degrees. If the room is too hot, the plant will stop growing. A not too large difference in daily temperatures is recommended (about 3 or 4 degrees).
The flower quite normally tolerates not too high air humidity in an apartment. The recommended air humidity is approximately 40 percent. It is necessary to moisten the foliage from the sprayer on hot summer days, and also occasionally during the heating season. With a cool wintering (less than 18 degrees), the oncidium is not moistened. Despite the season, the flower needs excellent ventilation. The fact is that fungal diseases can develop in stagnant air with high humidity.
How to water. Bloom
How it blooms depends on how well you water the flower. For the flowering to be sustainable, it is necessary to follow the watering regime, which must correspond to the stages of flower development. From the beginning of growth (when a young sprout emerges from the bottom of the pseudobulb) and before the pseudobulb begins to form (the sprout thickens from below), watering should be systematic and abundant. Experts advise watering the plant by immersing the flower pot in lukewarm, well-settled water. Watering is necessary only after the substrate dries well, but at the same time the "dry period" should not be too long. How much the soil has dried can be judged by the weight of the container with the flower. You should not water the oncidium strictly according to the schedule, because on hot summer days, the soil may well dry out after 3 days, and in a rainy autumn it will take about a crescent.
Immediately after you notice that a new pseudobulb is forming, watering the flower must be stopped, otherwise flowering will not occur. After 3-4 weeks, a peduncle will appear, which grows from the lower part of a new pseudobulb. If you are sure that this is the peduncle, you can start watering the orchid again. After flowering ends and before the new pseudobulb begins to grow, water should be less abundant. In the event that a young vegetative shoot grows, and not a peduncle, then this means that there are problems with the plant. This may be due to disturbances during the dormant period and, as a consequence, abnormal development of the plant. This often happens when a flower has less than 3 pseudobulbs and it simply does not have the strength to form a peduncle.
If the plant develops within the normal range, then it blooms once every 8-12 months. If there are a large number of pseudobulbs, then oncidium may bloom more often.
Shriveled pseudobulbs can often be observed. This may not in all cases be associated with diseases or with poor watering. They can shrivel when the young shoot is just starting to grow. Such sprouts lack their own root system, and therefore the maternal pseudobulb feeds it, as a result of which shrinkage occurs. If you increase watering, then this will only provoke rotting of the root system, but the pseudobulba will not help. Also, a pseudobulb can dry out during dormancy, and also during flowering.
The plant is fed only when young shoots begin to grow. After the beginning of the formation of pseudobulbs, fertilization is stopped. It is necessary to resume feeding only after the peduncle begins to grow and finish after the opening of the 1st flower. Then feeding begins only after the start of the growth of the young shoot. The root system reacts negatively to soil salinity. In this regard, the concentration of fertilizers must be reduced. And also sometimes you need to feed on foliage, for this you need to moisten it with a weak solution of fertilizer from a sprayer. At the same time, it is recommended to lower the fertilizer concentration 10 times from the dosage recommended on the package.
In indoor conditions, such an orchid can only be propagated vegetatively by dividing the curtain. You can only divide a plant that has at least 6 pseudobulbs. In this case, each delenki must have at least 3 sprouts (only such delenki are viable). An underground shoot is cut with a very sharp knife, and then the resulting cut is cut with chopped charcoal. Before proceeding with division, it is necessary to allow the soil to dry completely, and after this procedure, watering is not carried out for another 1-1.5 weeks. During this time, the wound should dry out.
Pests and diseases
The purchased oncidium must be quarantined for 4 weeks, it must be monitored.
Mealybugs are often found. If on the surface of the foliage you notice whitish lumps, very similar to cotton wool, then processing should be carried out. To do this, moisten a cotton pad with alcohol and carefully remove insects. After that, carry out the treatment with Aktar.
A scale insect can also settle. Plaques similar to wax droplets appear on the surface of foliage and shoots. Thrips and aphids can also settle. In this case, aphids can be seen with the naked eye, and thrips are quite difficult to detect, and infection can be judged by the appearance of silvery stripes on the surface of the foliage, as well as by black dots that are insect excrement.
In the presence of a spider mite, whitish dots form and cobwebs appear. And a flat mite often settles, the leaves in this case change color to whitish-silver. A bulb mite can infect the root system and the base of the shoots of weakened specimens. Any kind of tick is fought in the same way as with a spider mite.
Can become infected with fungal and bacterial rot. If brownish spots appear on the foliage, then the affected areas must be removed. Such a plant needs very good ventilation; between waterings, the soil should almost completely dry out. And such a flower should be placed in a warmer place, and you should also not shower and spray the foliage. Treat with systemic fungicides (foundationol, while following the instructions), as well as a broad-spectrum antibiotic (Tetracycline, diluted with water in a 1: 2 ratio). The plant is sprayed with the resulting solution and watered with the soil. A completely recovered flower should not develop new spots for a long time, while old ones should not grow.
Orchid Oncidium_ Care features
Dendrobium - care for a fabulous orchid
The dendrobium plant (Latin Dendrobium) is one of the most popular representatives of the Orchid family. The flower is native to the Philippines, China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Perennial culture in its natural habitat is divided into lithophytes (an orchid growing on rocks) and epiphytes (representatives of dendrobium living on trees). There are over two thousand varieties of the dendrobium orchid. The bred hybrids are especially popular as indoor plants. Most of the representatives of fine culture are particularly capricious. For abundant and long-lasting flowering, a lot of effort should be made.
Temperature, light, humidity for Dendrobium orchid
Room temperature is quite suitable for your flower: during the day - 20-26, at night 15-20 degrees for the summer period. In the autumn-winter period, it is recommended to lower the temperature of the content. Be sure to make sure that the night temperature all year round is 4-5 degrees lower than the daytime - this is a prerequisite for quality care for most types of orchids. It should be noted that the orchid does not tolerate temperatures above 27 degrees. At a room temperature of about 33 degrees, there is a risk of complete loss of the plant - the roots stop absorbing moisture.
Dendrobiums are light lovers. They feel great on east, south-east and south-west windows. In autumn and winter, in poorly lit rooms, you will need additional artificial light sources for the Dendrobium orchid.
It is very easy to determine whether a given light mode is suitable for your flower: if the leaves are green, everything is in order, if light green, there is too much light. With a lack of light, dark green or even yellow leaves can be observed.
In its natural environment, Dendrobium exists in conditions of high humidity (55-60%). Spray the flower periodically with water, put moistened expanded clay or a little damp sphagnum moss in a flowerpot in a pan.
In the spring and summer, try to water your Dendrobium every 3-4 days. In autumn, this should be done less often, about once a week, in winter - even less often - once a month. Allow the substrate to dry completely between waterings.When watering, try not to let water droplets get on the young plant bulbs.
During the growing period, that is, mainly from April to October, feed the plant 2-3 times a month. Fertilizer can be added to the drive when watering.
Substrate and transplant
Once every 2-3 years in the spring, after flowering, transplant your Dendrobium, if there is no particular need for frequent transplantation.
As a substrate, you can use a special soil that can be found in any flower shop, or you can make the soil yourself. We talk about this in detail in one of our articles. Dendrobium's roots are rather fragile, so be careful and careful when transplanting.
For 2-3 weeks, from January to April, your Dendrobium, with proper care, will delight you every year with its lovely, fragrant flowers. Stimulates the flowering process in case of delay, phosphorus fertilization.
Additional information about this species:
- Dendrobium orchid breeding video
- Dendrobium orchid transplant video
The nuances of planting and transplanting an orchid
Oncidium does not tolerate transplantation and transshipment very well, therefore, the procedure is necessary only in exceptional cases - the pot has become too small, the soil has turned into dust, the flower needs to be reanimated (its roots have rotted). It is also not recommended to immediately move this orchid to a new pot after purchase.
We compose the substrate for the "dancing doll"
As a rule, oncidiums in nature are epiphytes living on trees, or lithophytes growing in rock crevices. Therefore, the optimal composition of the soil for them is the bark of a fine fraction, sphagnum moss and pieces of charcoal. The ingredients must be chopped and mixed. You can also purchase a ready-made orchid substrate.
Choosing a flowerpot (pot)
Orchidists recommend choosing an opaque flowerpot for oncidium. Unlike most orchids, its roots do not contain chlorophyll, so they do not need light. The container should be shallow and wide. One or more drainage holes are required.
Step-by-step instructions for transplanting
- Remove the oncidium from the old container, remove the substrate from the roots. It is easier to do this if you first place the plant in a container with warm water for 2-3 hours.
- Remove all damaged, dry and rotten roots. Treat all sections with brilliant green or powder with ground cinnamon, crushed chalk, activated carbon. Old pseudobulbs should not be removed as they continue to feed the plant. In addition, do not remove the cover scales, as this can damage the flower buds and young shoots.
Place fine expanded clay or gravel at the bottom of the pot. The drainage should take up half the volume of the flowerpot.
Then add a layer of the prepared substrate.
How to put oncidium on a block
Oncidium, especially its miniature varieties such as Twinkle and other compact hybrids, look very impressive on a block of bark and moss. To plant a plant in this way, you need to take:
- a piece of coniferous bark about 5x7 cm in size
- sphagnum moss
- coconut fiber
- strong threads
Wrap a piece of bark with sphagnum. Place oncidium on it. Cover the roots with a layer of the same moss or coconut fiber. All of them must be safely hidden. Wrap the structure with threads, attach the hook on the back of the block and hang it by the east-facing window.
Miniature varieties of oncidium look very impressive on the block.
Oncidium, planted on a block, must be watered 2-3 times a week, completely immersing it in a container and then allowing excess moisture to drain off. In the heat, it must be sprayed daily, periodically replacing ordinary water with a solution of special dressings for orchids.
The beauty of an orchid cannot but evoke positive responses from both flower growers and other connoisseurs of beauty. This flower can decorate both a room in an apartment and a wedding hall. All negative reviews about the orchid arise only from ignorance of the elementary rules for the content of this flower. Orchids are completely unpretentious to care for, and experienced flower growers know this very well.
Sometimes there are negative reviews, argued by the inflated price of orchids. But, I think, it is justified by the fact that this flower is the result of a rather long and painstaking work of a florist, and besides, flowers that delight with their beauty only once every six months simply cannot be cheap.
In the next video, you will find a guide to caring for orchids from A to Z.