While the winter season has us indoors, and most areas of our outdoor gardens are dormant, the spectacular blooms of an orchid are like a breath of fresh air.
If you’ve never experienced the beauty of an orchid in your home you are surely missing out, especially this time of year. Contrary to popular belief, orchids are also quite easy to care for. Bright, indirect light, weekly watering, and admiration is all your orchid needs to thrive, plus your blooms will last for months.
While moth orchids (Phaleonopsis) are the most common and widely known orchids, there are many other varieties to consider. The genus oncidium is one of the most interbred varieties and have offspring of hundreds of types, including ‘Dancing Ladies’, ‘Wildcat’, ‘Miltonia’, and ‘Twinkle’.
Distinguished by their false bulb, there is great diversity in oncidiums; some are smaller than your thumb and others can grow to 12 feet tall. They come in a plethora of bloom shapes, colors, and sizes. Some even have a wonderful fragrance; the popular ‘Sharri Baby’ emits a fragrance similar to chocolate.
In your home, oncidiums will thrive in bright, indirect light with household temperatures between 55 to 85 degrees. They usually are grown in a bark mixture in small pots—many times with their roots climbing outside the pot. Water the orchid thoroughly each week. When your plant is no longer flowering, you can repot it if needed. In order to get your orchid to rebloom, fertilize weekly with orchid fertilizer. Oncidiums look wonderful potted alone or mixed into a container with other plants and orchids.
Source: Atlantic Avenue Orchid & Garden Center