Essex Orchid Society

Growing your Oncidium

Oncidium (Dancing Ladies) are good plants for beginners as they are reliable growers and put on a good show of brightly coloured, usually yellow, flowers. Most Oncidium come from tropical American mountains so they need cooler conditions when they are resting.

Temperature: They do not like high temperatures; try to keep them below 75°F (24°C) in the daytime. Whilst they are growing a night time temperature of 55°F (12°C) is ideal. Once the new growth is complete, if possible, keep them a little cooler.

Humidity: They like a humid atmosphere. Stand them on a bowl of damp gravel.

Light: Oncidium can be grown as houseplants on a bright windowsill provided it does not have direct sunlight. (Net curtains can provide the necessary protection if the window faces the sun).

Watering and feeding: They should be allowed to dry out before they are watered again and the compost needs to be free draining as with most orchids. This means that watering is easy; just water them once the plant has been dry for a day. Only feed your plant every other watering and then with half strength fertiliser. Rainwater is best.

Potting: Repot plants before the compost decomposes, after two years. Take the plant out of its pot and clip off all the dead roots, then position it in the new pot so that the newest pseudobulb is near the middle of the pot and fill around the roots with new compost. The base of each growth should be in contact with the compost to encourage new roots to form, but do not bury the plant as this will cause rotting. Reduce watering until new growth starts.


A typical Oncidium


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