Oncidium Orchids | Ideal Indoor Orchids
Oncidium orchids are among the most popular indoor orchids around today. This is mainly due to the fact that they produce masses of beautiful flowers during their peak flowering season. There are also dozens of different species to choose from in a range of different colors and growth habits. The proliferation of the plant across the different continents and climatic regions has allowed it to cross-pollinate efficiently giving rise to a wide variation of plants in this group.
Due to the sheer number of different oncidium species, even the world’s top botanists have a hard time classifying the plants. There is often some confusion when it comes to naming the various specimens of oncidium species. One of the things that separate this species from other orchid species is that they can freely cross-pollinate and create hybrids with other orchids. This allows orchid growers and enthusiasts to create their own beautiful hybrids relatively easily. Years of this prolific breeding has led to the vast numbers of different orchid types available today.
Ideal for Indoor Orchids
While these plants can be grown outside of your home, the most common oncidium specimens are suitable as indoor plants. The unusual and exotic beauty of these orchids make them perfect as a great gift idea for gardeners – you cannot help but be impressed by them.
Oncidium orchids are also known for their pseudo bulbs which can be seen growing from the complex network of roots. The roots of the oncidium variety, as opposed to other popular orchids, are usually quite thin and can break easily if not handled properly. So an extra level of care is necessary when handling oncidium orchids.
The leaves of the common oncidium species can grow really large, up to two feet in length. The flowers usually start emerging during the fall season in temperate zones. In the tropical zones, oncidium orchids tend to grow after the rainy season. They are well known for the prolific beautiful flowers they produce.
Oncidiums are generally quite tolerant of direct strong sunlight – even more so than other popular orchids such as the phalaenopsis orchid. Unlike other orchids, you do not have to place oncidiums in the shade to protect them from the suns rays – they can handle the heat and direct light quite well. In fact not only do they tolerate direct sunlight, they will actually bloom better if they are exposed to heavy sunlight quite often. If you want to compare the light requirement of oncidiums, you can also take a look at the basic light requirements of dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids.
As for the water requirements – like other sun-loving orchid species, oncidiums enjoy and thrive on a lot of moisture. If you plan to keep some oncidiums at home, be ready to water these orchids at least once every other day, especially during the heavy growing season. Again, the growing season in temperate zones is usually during the fall season, so once you see the leaves of the plant browning; give your oncidiums plenty of water to facilitate the growth of the flowers.
Well cared for oncidium orchids are capable of producing a lot of flowers. So much so, that at times, the stems of the plants can be pulled down and even broken by the weight of the newly grown flowers. Keeping a close eye is recommended and be ready to tie in some plant supports if necessary.
Since you will be giving your oncidiums a lot of water, it is vital to make sure that the drainage system works well to prevent water from accumulating in the plants. Orchids in general can be prone to fungal root rots and other water related diseases. The growing media or orchid compost needs to be very open and free draining to serve its purpose of storing and conveying the much needed moisture to the fragile root network of the oncidium orchids.