Friday, October 16, 2009

Oncidium flexuosum

 Oncidium flexuosum

Showy sprays of joy are the gift of the Oncidium flexuosum! They produce splendid flowers that are bright yellow with just of kiss of bright red. I've had this orchid living happily in a north facing window for a few years. It brightens up my family room and brightens me up whenever I see it.   

I've found the Oncidium to be one of the easiest of the orchids to grow indoors. With devoted care, which is pretty minimal, it will be bloom for a couple of months or more, every year and at various times of the year. It prefers a pretty tight container and as it appears to outgrow its container, you can separate the pseudobulbs by division and start new plants. That is how I've managed to keep mine in a smaller pot for so long.  

Sometimes called "dancing dolls" or butterfly orchidsthese epiphytic orchids (meaning they grow in trees) naturally grow in Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

 Care Instructions:
  • Oncidiums prefer very bright indirect light or a little direct sun. A north-facing window is just about perfect. Morning sun from an east window is great. They should do well within a few feet  from a sunny southern or western exposure.
  • For plants in 6"diameter pots, water thoroughly when the media feels dry about 1/2 inch or so below the top of the orchid media, for best results. Water them in the sink so that they get an even watering. Orchid media can be difficult to water evenly with a watering can. 
  • While your plant is in the sink, give the leaves a good misting too. 
  • A daily misting is helpful but they adapt well indoors if the air is not too dry or too warm.
  • Fertilize regularly with orchid food or regular houseplant fertilizer
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  1. Hello there,
    May I ask you a question?
    I am wondering how to look after my dipladenia now that it has stopped flowering.
    It has been in my kitchen for about three months and given great pleasure with masses of flowers.
    Have you ever grown one indoors? And could you tell me what and when to feed it and how much/little water to give it over the winter? Can/must I prune it and would it survive in a cold greenhouse?
    My watering is on the mean side. There are (flourishing) pelargoniums around the house that haven't had a drop for more than twelve weeks. So overwatering is never a problem :-)

  2. I have never grown a Dipladenia myself but obviously you have a knack for blooming plants! It can tolerate drying out quite a bit, but I'd water it when the soil feels dry about 1/2'-1" below the soil surface. And give it a thorough soak. I like to fertilize plants regularly and you can use whatever houseplant fertilizer you prefer. Use some on those pelargoniums, too! You do not have to prune it but it will probably be a fuller, lush looking plant if you do. It will probably not survive a freeze, so it depends on how cold your greenhouse gets as far as determing whether to put it in one.