Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Oncidium



English Name:


Common Name:

Onc, spray orchids, Dancing Ladies

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Orchidaceae

Name in English: The Orchid Family

The Plant

Origin: widespread from northern Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of South Florida to South America

Growth Habit: Most species in the Oncidium genus are epiphytes, although some are lithophytes or terrestrials.

Flower: The flowers of the Oncidium genus come in shades of yellow, red, white and pink. The petals are often ruffled on the edges, as is the lip. The lip is enormous, partially blocking the small petals and sepals.

Blooming Period: Oncidiums will bloom on mature new growths, usually in fall and winter, given adequate light, water and fertilizers.

Leaf: Linear


Ornamental Plant and cut flower

Care and Handling

Soil: To prevent over watering, Oncidium are usually planted in a coarse, fast draining media

Amount of water: dry before re watering (usually takes about 2 weeks)

Nutrition: Fertilize at ¼ to ½ strength with 28-14-14 at every watering to promote new growth. When new growth matures, start fertilizing with 10-30-20 at half strength to promote flowering.

Special handling: During the growing season, these plants need several hours of direct sun every day to build up the energy to flower. Then, when the flowering cycle arrives (hurray!) and the first couple of flowers open, move the plant away from the direct sun to encourage longer lasting flowers. Hot sun deteriorates Oncidium flowers quickly. After the blooms have faded, cut back the flower spike and move the plant back to a sunny spot to begin the next growth cycle.

Special feature/remarks:

This is a complex, difficult genus, with many species being reclassified.

Oncidium species are characterized by the following properties : presence of column wings presence of a complicated callus on the lip (this can be used to separate the taxa). pseudobulbs with one to three leaves. several basal bracts at the base of the pseudobulbs.