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Old 05-06-2008, 12:39 PM
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Getting Oncidium Sharry Baby to bloom

I bought this beautiful plant in bloom and it scented the whole room for weeks. Since then it has fully grown two pb's and is growing a growth now. It has not bloomed since I bought it. The light it was getting was coming from a north window supplemented by flourescent lights. The two growths produced are as large as the original flowering growth. I think the problem may have bee temperature, as it was sitting on a shelf that never got below 70 degrees. I have it outside now. The temps drop to 52 degees at night and between 70 -77 during the day. I am fertilizing it now with blossom booster. Does anybody have any suggestions I could try to encourage bloom from the newest growth. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:51 PM
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Nancy, I copied the statement below from a copyrighted source under what I believe to be the fair use provision of the US copyright law...in this case a partial quote for educational purposes. So I expect the quote is totally legal, but I would not want you to requote it as my statement.

"Onc. Sharry Baby is composed of species of which 63% take cool temperatures, 63% take intermediate temperatures, 50% take hot temperatures and 25% take cold temperatures. Grow this hybrid in cool to hot conditions, or 58F (14C) to 85F (29C) at night. It may be tolerant of cold (50F to 55F or 10C to 13C) night temperatures."

That said, our Sharry Baby blooms its cotton picking head off. It is kept at 60F minimum night temperature and less than 85F daytime except for those rare hot, humid days usually in August when the cooling cell and fans cannot keep the GH below 85F. It might reach 90F in those circumstances.

I'm betting that you have too little light. The species making up the hybrid require medium to high light levels. If a plant is healthy looking, I always suspect light first in a non bloom situation. Give it some dappled sunlight outdoors and see if it doesn't respond.

I am not a fan of bloom booster fertilizers. It probably won't hurt the plant, but in my humble opinion, it won't help it either.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:17 AM
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Thank you for the reply. The color of the leaves is a very light green, which I thought was an indication of good light. I'lltry the dappled sunlight and give everyone interested a report later on.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:20 AM
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Light!!, lot's of it, i've always heard most oncidiums need some partly shaded situations to do well. Not! For weather convenience (panama), my sharry baby is always outdoors with sun most of the morning and partly shaded (by a lattice) in the afternoons. Light green leaves is not good, full green is better, but if the leaves start getting too many little (harmless) black spots like freckles it usually means too much light. Last year, by sept it just had one (beautiful) spike, Right now i have one in full bloom and two more spikes on their way. I'll try to get you a pic later for you to see how out in the open it is. In fact the spikes are supported by my "papilionanthe miss joaquim" which is a full sun plant.

manuel
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:14 AM
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mine's in S/H on an eastern windowsill; tree in front so dappled light. rebloomed once already, and growing a new growth, so i suspect it will bloom again. it would probably like more light, but well you know, that's how it goes.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:00 PM
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My leaves have gotten the little black spots. Since it's been outside the newer leaves on the newest growth do not have any. The light really is pretty strong in my window set-up. I hope I get the hang of this plant. It's so beautiful the way it gets sprays and sprays of flowers. Please post pictures of your Sharry Babys when they come into bloom again.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:04 PM
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Sharry Baby blooms once a year predominantly in late fall. Last year the weather was off and they were months late everywhere. Be patient.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:52 PM
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I'll try. I recently repotted the plant and all the roots look pretty good. I think I drastically under watered it because the latest growth compleated has nothing but wrinkled leaves. I guess you could call it watering paranoia. I potted it in a clay pot and now I feel better about watering it, so hopefully it will look better by the time the newest growth is complete and ready to bloom in late fall. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:14 AM
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There are several varieties of Onc. Sharry Baby. Perhaps the most common is 'Sweet Fragrance'. The primary reason for not flowering is inadequate light. Not only intensity, but perhaps day length also. We use anywhere between 75% to 30% shade cloth and it flowers regularly (in Hawaii). More light (up to a point) gives more frequent flowering, but the black spots also increase. The black spots are part of the 'Sweet Fragrance" genetics. There are some other varieties (much less common) that do not display this trait.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:09 PM
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Sounds like that is why my sharry baby is so spotty. I have only recently purhased it in full bloom, and did have concerns about the spots. The blooms were quite spectactular but have now finished.
Thanks for the advice.
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