How to grow and care for Oncidium Orchid (Dancing Lady Orchid) Indoors

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Oncidium Orchid Care, Dancing Lady Orchid Care

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

Oncidium Description

Oncidium Orchids also called Golden Shower Orchids or Spray Orchids are popular Indoor 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.

Oncidium 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 Oncidium 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.

Oncidium 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.

Oncidium Orchid for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchid) from Etsy.

Oncidium Orchid Care, Dancing Lady Orchid Care

Oncidium Orchid (Dancing Lady Orchid) Care Indoors

Oncidium Orchid Light Requirements

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

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that your Oncidium Orchid gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth and prevent lop-sided growth.

An Oncidium Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green leaves. Dark green leaves indicate that your Oncidium Orchid needs more light.

Yellowish leaves means that your Oncidium Orchid is receiving too much light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Oncidium Orchid

Water your Oncidium Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering for your Oncidium Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

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

Water your Oncidium 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 your Oncidium Orchid with chlorine-free water like rain water.

Avoid wetting the foliage of your Oncidium Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases.

Oncidium 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 your Oncidium Orchid. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Oncidium Orchid

The best temperatures for growing your Oncidium Orchid indoors are between 13-290C.

Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for Oncidium Orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Ensure there is good air circulation as your Oncidium Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Protect your Oncidium Orchid from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Oncidium Orchid

Moderate humidity is ideal for Oncidium Orchids. Where the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Oncidium Orchid.

Do not mist the leaves of your Oncidium Orchids as it can lead to fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Oncidium Orchids by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Oncidium Orchid

Feed Oncidium Orchid every 4 weeks during the growing season with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Oncidium Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding your Oncidium Orchid. Overfeeding your Oncidium Orchid may result in loss of the roots thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed your Oncidium Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth instead of flower production. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Oncidium Orchid

Oncidium Orchid blooms best when it is pot-bound. Repot your Oncidium Orchid only when growth begins to suffer.

Repot your Oncidium Orchid 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 your Oncidium Orchid every 2-3 years should be adequate.

Repot your Oncidium Orchid 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.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of your Oncidium Orchid need good air circulation.

The pot for your Oncidium Orchid should be only 1 size larger than the previous one. Use loose, free-draining bark soil for your Oncidium Orchid.

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

The large Oncidium Orchid (ones with about 6 or more pseudobulbs) should be divided, (leaving 3 shoots on each section) to propagate new plants.

How to Prune Oncidium Orchid

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 for your Oncidium Orchid, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom to encourage more flowers.

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchid) Propagation

Oncidium Orchid 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 Oncidium Orchid root-ball.

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

Bury the roots of the Oncidium Orchid 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 of your Oncidium Orchid section.

Place the set up in a shaded place until Oncidium Orchid 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 Oncidium Orchid when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.

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

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

Allow the new Oncidium Orchid to be well established before transplanting it afte which routine care can begin.

Oncidium Orchid Care, Dancing Lady Orchid Care

Oncidium Orchids (Dancing Lady Orchid) Problems Indoors

Why does my Oncidium Orchid have mold on the leaves?

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

Do not mist the leaves of your Oncidium Orchid as misting the leaves may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly. Ensure good air circulation for your Oncidium Orchid and stop misting it.

Why are the leaves of my Oncidium Orchid limp and drooping?

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

Water your Oncidium Orchid thoroughly, maintain the soil consistently moist and allow only the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Why does my Oncidium Orchid have brown soft leaf spots?

Brown soft leaf spots in Oncidium Orchid are an indication of fungal leaf spot disease.

Remove the affected leaves of your Oncidium Orchid immediately to prevent further spread and ensure there is free air circulation.

Why does my Oncidium Orchid have 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 your Oncidium Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine.

Why are the leaves of my Oncidium Orchid yellowish?

Yellowish leaves in Oncidium Orchid indicate that your orchid is getting too much light.

Move your Oncidium Orchid to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Oncidium Orchid that is receiving bright light should be light-green.

Why are the leaves of my Oncidium Orchid dark-green?

Dark green leaves in Oncidium Orchid indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light.

Move your Oncidium Orchid to a brighter spot. The leaves of a Oncidium Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.

Why are the leaf tips of my Oncidium Orchid 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 your Oncidium 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.

Why is my Oncidium Orchid not blooming (flowering)?

One possible reason why your Oncidium Orchid is not blooming (flowering) is too little light.

Move your Oncidium Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light.

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

Feed your Oncidium Orchid once monthly with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Is Oncidium Orchid (Dancing Lady Orchid) toxic?

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

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