The Oncidium grows wild in the jungles of Central and South America. In the wild Oncidium can be found on trees and in rock crevices. It occurs both at the coast and in the mountains. The Oncidium is also called the Tiger Orchid.
Buying an Oncidium orchid
The flower is available year-round from well-stocked garden centres and florists. Oncidium’s flowers are usually around two centimetres across. There are a large number of flowers on each branch. Oncidiums are mainly yellow and russet, but are also available in other colours ranging from white to shades of brown.
Care for an Oncidium orchid
Place the plant in a sunny spot but not in direct sunlight. The ideal temperature is between 16 and 22 oC. The flowering lasts around six to eight weeks.
Water the plant once a week. Make sure that the plant’s roots do not stand in water. The residual water should therefore be removed from the outer pot after watering. Preferably use rain water. Feed once a month with special orchid food.
Care after flowering
After flowering the plant should preferably be placed in a cooler spot, but it should be light (not in direct sunlight). The plant will then produce new pseudobulbs. This pseudobulb needs to thicken (cane). A new branch will emerge from this thickening on the side of the longest leaf. When new flowers have appeared, the plant can be returned to the living room. The natural flowering occurs in the summer and autumn.
Continue to feed once a month after flowering. Cut the branch with the dead flowers off at the bottom of the branch. Repot the plant when it gets too big. Do this straight after flowering. The plant can then be split into two or three new plants.
If it is treated well, the plant will produce new pseudobulbs, from which some plants will produce new branches immediately, whilst with other plants it will take a year. A pseudobulb which has flowered will not flower again. The plant makes fresh pseudobulbs which may produce a new branch when they are fully grown. The plant forms aerial roots; these should not be removed.