Oncidium is a large genus of over 700 species of orchids found growing from southern Florida to Argentina. The name comes from the Greek word “onkos; tumor or swelling,” and refers to the warty growths on the lip.
While the size of the plants and the requirements for care vary greatly, most Oncidium orchids are epiphytic. Since they prefer to have their roots exposed to the air, let the roots hang over the edge of the pot. On some species, the flower sprays are over ten feet long. The long-lasting flowers are usually shades of yellow and brown with occasional touches of other colors. Some look like dancing dolls, and others look like showers of gold.
Oncidium orchids adjust well to indoor living. Generally, they prefer cool to intermediate temperatures, full sun, and plenty of water while they are actively growing. Keep them bone dry for two to six weeks after they finish growing and give them another rest period after flowering.
There are many small Oncidiums that like it warm and grow easily under lights. Some have flower sprays four to six feet long. It may be necessary to move the plant foliage out of the way so the flower sprays can get light when the plant begins to bloom.
Learn how to grow orchids: