Culture, care and growing tips for


  • Needs can vary from bright to nearly full direct sun depending on the species. Most will thrive with one to sever- al hours of sun a day. Generally, thicker leaved plants, such as "mule-ear" and "equitant" oncidiums, can stand more light. In a greenhouse, 20 to 60 percent shade is required, or about 2,000 to 6,000 foot-candles, depending on the plants. In the home, east, south or west windows are ideal. Many types of oncidiums will grow under artificial light: Four fluorescent tubes supplemented with incandescent bulbs and placed 6 to 12 inches over the plants are necessary for proper growth. Metal-halide and sodium-vapor bulbs also provide sufficient light without needing to be so close to the plants.


  • For this group are generally considered intermediate to warm: 55 to 60 F at night, and 80 to 85 F during the day. Temperatures up to 95 to 100 F are tolerated if humidity and air movement are increased as the temperatures rise, a good general rule in any case.


  • Requirements vary with the type of plant. Generally, plants with large fleshy roots or leaves need less-frequent watering than thin-leaved or thin-rooted plants. Watering should be thorough, and the medium should dry at least halfway through the pot before watering again. This may be every two to 10 days depending on weather, pot size and material, type of orchid and, type of potting medium. Plants not actively growing should be watered less; many species have winter rest periods.

More tips for Oncidium

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