How to Grow and Care for Oncidium Orchid (Dancing Lady Orchid) Indoors


Oncidium Orchid, Dancing Lady Orchid

Botanical name: Oncidium spp
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Oncidiinae
Common names: Dancing Lady Orchid, Golden Shower Orchid, Spray Orchid

Description

Oncidium Orchids also called Dancing Lady Orchid, Golden Shower Orchids or Spray Orchids are popular Orchids which are grown for their profusion of brightly colored flowers with a dominant enormous lip.

They produce a profusion of small flowers with a dominant enormous lip which partially blocks the small petals and sepals.

Dancing Lady orchids are magnificent bloomers where a well cared for plant can produce 6-7 branched sprays of flowers which look like a cloud of buttery butterflies which last for weeks.

The flowers in Spray Orchids are available in shades of yellow, red, white and pink.

Most of the Oncidiums grown indoors have large pseudobulbs and their long leaves about 2 ft long emerge from the pseudobulbs. The roots are a mass of thin white roots.

Origin

Oncidium is a genus of orchids distributed across South America, Central America and West Indies. They usually occur in seasonally dry areas.

The genus name Oncidium is derived from the Greek word onkos meaning "swelling" in reference to the callus at the lower lip.

The genus name is abbreviated as Onc. in horticultural journals. Many hybrids and cultivars of Oncidium Orchids have been developed.

Where to Buy

Beautiful and healthy Golden Shower Orchids in various sizes are available online at Etsy. Purchase Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchid) from Etsy.

Oncidium Orchid, Dancing Lady Orchid

Oncidium Orchid Care Indoors

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchids) thrive in bright light with some direct sunshine, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.

Dancing Lady Orchids require regular pruning to keep them neat as well as encourage flowering. Repotting is needed only when they become pot-bound or the soil becomes completely broken down. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.

Light Requirements

Oncidium Orchid grows best in bright light with some direct sunshine. However, keep the orchid away from hot direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.

Dancing Lady Orchid will also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate. Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the orchid receives adequate light on all sides for uniform growth.

An Oncidium Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green leaves. Dark green leaves indicate that the orchid needs more light. Yellowish leaves means that the orchid is receiving too much light.

Watering

Water Oncidium Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Cut down on watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Drooping or wrinkly leaves indicate that you are underwatering the orchid. The leaves of a well watered Oncidium Orchid are firm and smooth.

Water the Spray Orchid with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking the plant as it can cause reduced growth.

Oncidium Orchids are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water, therefore, water with chlorine-free water like rain water.

Avoid wetting the foliage as it can lead to fungal disease infestations.

Golden Shower Orchids are more tolerant to dry soil due to their tubular shaped leaves which are designed to reduce water loss through transpiration. As such, take care not to overwater.


Temperature

The best temperatures for growing Oncidium Orchid indoors are between 13-290C. Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for this Orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Protect it from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature as they can cause leaf drop and reduced growth. Ensure that there is good air circulation as the Spray Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Humidity

Moderate humidity is ideal for Oncidium Orchids. Where the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.

Do not mist the leaves as it can lead to fungal disease infestations. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust as well as discourage pest and disease infestation.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Oncidium Orchid during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Also, do not feed an orchid that is in flower as it can shorten the flowering period.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding the Dancing Lady Orchid as overfeeding may result in loss of the roots thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed the Oncidium Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth at the expense of flower production.

Repotting

Oncidium Orchid blooms best when it is pot-bound. Repot it only when growth begins to suffer. Repot when the orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge of the pot or when the soil has broken down completely.

Basically repotting an Oncidium Orchid every 2-3 years should be adequate. Repot it only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over. Do not repot an orchid that is in flower as it may shorten the flowering season.

The best pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one and with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots need good air circulation.

When repotting, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled pseudobulbs.

The large Dancing Lady Orchid (one with about 6 or more pseudobulbs) should be divided, (retain 3 shoots on each section) to propagate new plants.

Soil

Use loose, free-draining bark soil for the Oncidium Orchid like this quality orchid potting mix available at Amazon to avoid getting soggy soil which can cause rotting.

Pruning

Pruning Oncidium Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife. When flowering is over, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom to encourage more flowers.

Propagation

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchids) propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from rhizomes or from keikis (baby orchids).

How to propagate Oncidium Orchid by rhizome division

Gently split the Oncidium Orchid rhizome into sections while ensuring there are at least 3 shoots on each section. Seperate the roots attached to each division from the mother root-ball.

Remove the old potting soil attached to the section roots and place each section in the center of the pot.

Bury the roots of the section in the soil while ensuring that the bottom of the pseudobulb is level with the top of the soil.

The best pot for the Oncidium Orchid section should be about 1-2 in. larger than the pseudobulb. Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight until the sections have established their own roots.

Water the new Oncidium Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant to prevent it from toppling over.

How to propagate Oncidium Orchid from keikis

Oncidium Orchids naturally produce "baby" orchids called "keiki" which normally appear on an old or new flower spike. Keikis are identical copies of the parent plant.

Keiki growth can be triggered by prolonged exposure to high temperature during the final phase of spike growth.

The keiki can be detached from the mother Dancing Lady Orchid when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.

Pot the keiki in fresh potting medium and direct the roots of the keiki downwards and provide support to prevent it from toppling over.

Place the set up in a well-lit, brightly-lit place and mist the keiki regularly to maintain a humid enviroment.

Allow the new Dancing Lady Orchid to be well established before transplanting it after which routine care can begin.

Oncidium Orchid, Dancing Lady Orchid

Oncidium Orchids Problems Indoors

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchids) problems indoors include black leaf tips, lack of blooms, mold, drooping leaves, leaf spots, discolored leaves, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more details on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Mold on the leaves

Mold on the leaves in Oncidium Orchid is an indication of powdery mildew disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Do not mist the leaves of the Dancing Lady Orchid as misting the leaves may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly. Ensure good air circulation and stop misting the orchid.

Limp and drooping leaves

Limp and drooping leaves in Oncidium Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Water the Spray Orchid thoroughly during the growing season, maintain the soil moderately moist and allow only the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering in the cold season and keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Leaf tips turning black and dying

The cause of black leaf tips in Oncidium Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.

Use chlorine-free water only to water the Dancing Lady Orchid and flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.

No blooms

One possible reason why Oncidium Orchid will not bloom (flower) is too little light. Move the Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light or instal a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

The second possible reason why Dancing Lady Orchid is not blooming (flowering) is overfeeding. Overfeeding can result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.

Feed the Golden Shower Orchid during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions but do not feed it in the cold season and take care not to overfeed it.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft leaf spots in Oncidium Orchid are an indication of fungal leaf spot disease. Remove the affected leaves immediately to prevent further spread and ensure there is free air circulation.

Brown hard and dry leaf spots

Exposure of Oncidium Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry leaf spots. Move the Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine.

Yellowish leaves

Yellowish leaves in Oncidium Orchid indicate that the orchid is getting too much light. Move it to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Oncidium Orchid that is receiving bright light should be light-green.

Dark-green leaves

Dark green leaves in Oncidium Orchid indicate that the orchid is not getting enough light. Move the Orchid to a brighter spot or instal a grow light if the natural light is not adequate. The leaves of a Dancing Lady Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.

Is Oncidium Orchid toxic?

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchid) are non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. They are safe to grow indoors.

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