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Arijit Poddar, a Salt Lake resident shares tips on gardening

The columnist shares innovative tips on gardening

Arijit Poddar | Published 13.01.23, 01:29 PM
Phalaenopsis orchid.

Phalaenopsis orchid.

Oncidium orchids, which are commonly known as Dancing Lady, Dancing doll, Golden Shower Orchid or Tiger orchids, are popular members of the Orchid family that are native to the regions of South and Central America including the Caribbeans.. They are known not only for their vibrant colours but their uniquely shaped and distinctive floral design. They have so many fluttering blooms on each spike that they seem to resemble branches covered in butterflies waving in the breeze. The plant belongs to the sympodial orchid family, an incredibly large and diverse genus that contains about 330 species of orchids.



Oncidium Alliance include Brassia, Miltoniopsis, Miltonia, Trichopilia, Psychopsis, Tolumnia and Odontoglossum among others.

Three musketeers: Olumnia, Oncidium and Trichocentrum

Three musketeers: Olumnia, Oncidium and Trichocentrum



Dancing Lady Orchids like warm temperatures and moderate humidity. They prefer a minimum of 26 degrees C during the day, with at least 40% humidity. At night, they can tolerate temperatures down to about 12 degrees C. However, if you can keep oncidiums in a warm place and provide extra humidity (setting the pot on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water), growing these orchids can become a possibility.


Oncidiums tolerate more direct light than some other orchids. They do well in 40% or 50% shade. Healthy Dancing Lady orchids have medium green leaves, but dark green leaves indicate that they aren't getting enough sun.


Watering oncidiums properly can be a  tricky issue. They are very susceptible to root rot, so like other orchids they should never be left sitting in water. In fact, it’s best to let the potting mix dry out about halfway down the pot before watering. Stick your finger or a wood stick down into the mix. If it still feels wet, wait a few days more. The time between waterings will vary depending on the time of year and the plant's growth cycle.

A good general rule is that Oncidiums with thicker roots and leaves will not need to be watered as frequently as those with thinner leaves. Plants should be watered thoroughly with lukewarm to room temperature water every two to ten days, when the planting media is half dry.


Oncidiums store water in their pseudobulbs, making them more tolerant of dry media than wet one. Orchids need quick-draining potting material. Bark Chips, Charcoal, Cinder and other loose fillers are ideal. Do not use traditional potting soil or soil from your garden. Ensure the pot has holes for good drainage. Oncidium grows rather quickly and may need to be repotted every other year.


Feed with a weak balanced fertilizer N:P:K (20:20:20) 1mg/L  once or twice a month for growth. Feed N:P:K with less nitrogen for flowering.  It's better to underfeed than overfeed when growing orchids.

Arijit Poddar, a GD Block resident and secretary of Bidhannagar Horticultural Society, shares innovative tips on gardening

Last updated on 13.01.23, 01:29 PM

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