7 Oncidium Orchids to Consider Growing


Oncidium orchids have massive flower displays that droop to the ground. Which ones should you consider growing?
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Oncidium orchids are among the most varied in the world. Oncidiums are excellent for beginner gardeners who want to grow orchids without much trouble. Because of the low humidity levels, these plants grow better indoors than in greenhouses.

The Oncidium is also known as the dancing lady because its large flower petal mimics long yellow skirts that sway in the breeze. Their massive flower sprays often droop to the ground with dozens of flowers.

Oncidiums are often propagated and hybridized. They originated in South America and Mexico but now flourish in Asia. 

1. Onc. Sharry Baby

Oncidium Sharry Baby orchids are ideal for both novice and seasoned orchid growers. It’s a great addition to any orchid collector’s inventory. Its stunning blossoms and sweet chocolate fragrance fascinate even the most experienced enthusiasts.

Sharry Baby orchids have small, flat pseudobulbs and long, leathery leaves. They produce towering spikes of brick-red and cream flowers, and plants that have attained maturity may generate numerous spikes simultaneously.

2. Onc. Twinkle

In 1958, W.W.G. Moir developed the orchid hybrid Oncidium Twinkle. It’s a cross between Onciscus cheirophorum and Onciscus sotoanum. It is referred to as a primary hybrid because it crosses two species. Oncidium Twinkle is easy to grow, compact, and disease-free.

Twinkle’s branching spikes erupt into a shower of flowers with a delightful vanilla aroma. It is a prolific bloomer, producing a wide range of flower colors; although this hybrid can bloom at any time of year, it prefers to bloom in the fall. 

small little white oncidium twinkle flowers

3. Onc. cheirophorum

Oncidium cheirophorum (Hand Carrying Oncidium) is a small epiphytic (grows on surfaces and not in the ground) orchid with lemon-scented waxy flowers. It has a small, conical pseudobulb with thin, elliptic-lanceolate leaves that produce 1/2-inch wide flowers. It blooms in the fall and winter.

Oncidium cheirophorum thrives in full sun and grows on huge branches in lower mountain rainforests in Central and South America.

yellow oncidium cheirophorum flowers under the shade

4. Onc. leucochilum

This orchid is distinguished by its delicate, thin roots. The plant takes its name from its distinctive white lip. Inflorescences, or clusters of flowers, can reach 10 feet, with waxy, long-lasting green and brown flowers and pinkish-white lips. The flowers have a spicy fragrance. The plants produce seven to ten 1/2-inch wide flowers in the spring and fall. 

colorful onc leucochilum flowers

5. Onc. longipes

The epiphytic Oncidium longipes have oval pseudobulbs and two delicate, oblong leaves up to 6 inches long. Short racemes produce 2 to 6 blooms in the spring.

The sepals and petals are yellow with greenish-brown streaks, while the lip is yellow with white calli. The plants grow branches quickly, so you’ll have stunning specimen plants in ten years.

yellow and purple oncidium longipe flower

6. Onc. sotoanum

The Birds Beak Oncidium, also known as the Oncidium sotoanum orchid, was formerly known as the Oncidium ornithorhynchum orchid. The name change was due to the new variants in Central America that produced pink, very fragrant flowers.

When fully developed, this plant produces several branching spikes with up to 300, vanilla-scented flowers. Each plant has two soft, linear to elliptic mid-green leaves and arching panicles of fragrant white, pink, or purple-pink flowers with dark pink lips.

blooming onc sotoanum in the garden

7. Onc. sphacelatum

One of the largest species in the genus is the Oncidium sphacelatum. A low-maintenance orchid, sphacelatum has 50 to 100 sweetly scented brilliant yellow flowers with maroon markings. Each blossom measures around 1 inch in diameter. 

Specimens are frequently grown in enormous hanging baskets. They prefer to be watered once a week during the summer and less frequently during the winter. They also thrive in lighting conditions ranging from partial shade to indirect sunlight.

bright yellow onc sphacelatum flowers
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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