Oncidium Intergeneric (Dancing Lady)

Oncidium Intergeneric (Dancing Lady)

Intergenerics are a large group of orchids bred from several families (genus) in the group Oncidium, or dancing lady orchids. This group also contains the Miltoniopsis (Pansy Orchids), and Brassia (Spider Orchids). This group of orchids originates from Central and South America and is tolerant of a wide range of conditions.

Tropical orchids grow in the trees and on rocks in tropical rainforests. The conditions in these forests vary from  extensive dry periods, high humidity, misty conditions to heavy rainfall.

In our home environment we expect these orchids to grow in unfamiliar hostile conditions. To grow these orchids provide them with an environment similar  to their natural environment.

They require a sheltered position with approximately 50% shade . Oncidium  orchids will tolerate temperatures from 2 to 38 degrees celcius. Don't have a shade house, your orchid will grow on a sunny veranda out of direct sunlight, or in the garden where it is shaded by trees. 

Some varieties in the Miltassia (Mtssa), Brassia (Brs) and Oncidium (Onc) will happily grow as epiphytes on the trunks of trees such as Frangipanni, where they are shaded in summer and receive full sun in winter when the Frangipanni loses its leaves. As a general rule of thumb, they will prefer more shade during the summer months and less shade during the winter months.

Some types such as Miltonia (Milt) and Odontonia (Odtna) will prefer a shadier spot than other types like Brassia

Watering

Maintain regular moisture so that the bulbs are nice and full by watering regularly to keep moist allowing them to drain off excess water. Don't let them sit in water. 

Water every 3 to 4 days when kept inside, or every 2 days when outside. Increase the outside watering the heat of summer to everyday and decrease the outside watering to 3 to 7 days depending on the weather.  Miltoniopsis (Milt) and Odontonia (Odtna) varieties prefer not to dry out at all, so water regularly.

These orchids are epiphitic in their natural habitat, so roots will grow out of the pot in the open air if your growing conditions are right.

Fertilising

Orchids are fertiliser hungry. Use liquid fertilisers on a regular basis, at least weekly, at half strength. Rotate your liquid fertilisers. Orchid Den recommends Organic Boost, Silica and potash, MPB-1 Microbe Probiotic and 100% Aussie liquid seaweed in the rotation. Suplimented with regular applications of Organic Link slow release fertiliser. 

It is important to use the Silica and potash as this product will assist to counter any excessive acidity.

Re-potting

There is no wrong time to re-pot, re-potting maybe done most of the year when the plant is actively growing roots, or if the plant is struggling.  The best time, which will vary between each variety, is just after flowering and as the plant is producing new bulb growths. Oncidium hybrid orchids prefer to fill out their pot prior to re-potting, and if potted up do so into a pot only a little bigger than the old one. For example if your plant is in a 100mm pot,  go up to only a 120 or 140mm pot. Well drained squat pots are best.

For best results sprinkle Root Extender on to the roots prior to re-potting and after re-potting sprinkle Organic Link on to the surface of the potting media.

Potting Media

Orchid Den has two suitable potting mixes.

Orchid Den's Deflasking and Phalaenopsis mix,which is similar to that used by Sam Cowie a professional wholesaler of these Orchids.

Orchid Den's Alternative Mix, this mix has been developed and tested by Orchid Den we have found it to be an ideal mix for both the Oncidium Alliance orchids and the Phalaenopsis Orchid. This mix is a product of Orchid Den and is only available through Orchid Den.

Pests and Diseases

Slugs and snails, they will eat the roots and flower spikes.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (D.E)  on to the surface of the potting mix and around the area outside of the pot. Diatomaceous Earth also helps improve the stem structure of plants and over all health of plants. 

Grow your plant up and away from where slugs and snails cannot get to them.

Caterpillars, the caterpillars may be in the flowers or on the leaves keep an eye out and remove then. Tell tale droppings will usually alert to you the presence of caterpillars.

Scale, mealy bugs and aphids,  may  be controlled by a suitable botanical oil spray and/or with a recommended insecticide. Be careful to read the instructions and don't apply on hot days or during hot weather.

Orchid Den recommends the use of Sharp Shooter Insecticide containing Imidacloprid, together with 100% Pure Neem Oil for healthy insect free plants.

Fungal Disease  Orchids are susceptible to fungal diseases, these include, root rot, collar rot and bacterial leaf spots.  Fungus diseases will kill the plant. Prevention is better than cure spray monthly with a suitable fungicide, rotating your fungicides. Orchid Den recommends Mancozeb + Sulphur and Rid a Rot fungicide.

 Leaf spotting  It is not uncommon for Onciudiums to get little black spots on their leaves. Most are not threatening to the life of your plant, but do detract from the overall appearance. These spots are caused by the environment, especially cold weather. Fortnightly spraying with 100% Pure Neem Oil puts an oil coating on the leaves protecting them from the cold and from the black spotting on the leaves.

Use Plant of Health 100% Pure Neem oil for clean health orchids.

Flowering  Oncidium orchids flower at various times of the year. 

Some will flower even twice or three times a year.  When your plant starts to flower protect it from the weather to avoid getting water on the flower spike in the last weeks prior to flowering.