Oncidium cheirophorum

General Discussion

by Jackie Hartter

Just purchased a Oncidium Cheirophorum.  It is my first Oncidium.  Any tips on caring for this plant would be appreciated.  Thanks

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  1. Alex Maximiano
    11 months ago
    This is out of OrchidWiz Software: LIGHT: 2500-3500 fc. Light should be somewhat filtered or diffused, and plants should not be exposed to direct midday sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 71-73F (22-23C), and nights average 55-56F (13C), with a diurnal range of 15-17F (9-10C). These temperatures reflect the average conditions under which this species should be grown. Because of the range in habitat elevation, plants should adapt to temperatures as much as 4-6F (2-3C) warmer or cooler than indicated in the preceding climate table. HUMIDITY: 80-85% in summer and early autumn, dropping to near 70% in late winter and early spring. WATER: Rainfall is heavy from late spring into autumn. Monthly averages then drop rather abruptly into a 3 month dry season that extends to early spring. Cultivated plants should be watered heavily while actively growing, but their roots must be allowed to dry rapidly after watering. Conditions around the roots should never be allowed to become stale or soggy. For oncidiums in general, some growers recommend a 2-3 day cycle of drying between waterings during summer. Water should be gradually reduced after new growths have matured in autumn. FERTILIZER: 1/4–1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are actively growing. Many growers prefer to use a balanced fertilizer throughout the year; but others use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to midsummer, then switch to one high in phosphates in late summer and autumn. REST PERIOD: Winter days average 69-70F (21C), and nights average 52F (11C), with a diurnal range of 17-18F (10C). Rainfall in the habitat is low in winter, but additional moisture usually is available from heavy dew and mist. Water should be reduced for cultivated plants in winter, but they should not be allowed to remain without water for long periods. Occasional early morning mistings between infrequent light waterings should provide sufficient moisture in most growing areas. Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until new growth begins and heavier watering is resumed in spring. Because new growths may be susceptible to rot, care should be taken to ensure that water does not lodge in the expanding young tip. GROWING MEDIA: Plants may be grown in well-drained containers or mounted on cork or tree-fern slabs. Mounted plants need high humidity, and during hot, dry weather, they may require several waterings a day. Many growers find it difficult to keep mounted plants moist enough, so plants often are grown in pots or baskets using a very open, fast-draining medium. Some use medium-sized fir bark or shredded tree-fern fiber and add chunky perlite to help keep the medium open and also retain some moisture. Including charcoal in the mix also helps hold the medium open and keeps it from becoming sour. Plants should be repotted immediately if the medium starts to break down or once every few years if the plant outgrows its pot. Repotting done just as new roots start to grow enables the plant to become reestablished in the shortest possible time.

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