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Old 04-06-2013, 09:58 PM
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Oncidium medium ratios


I'm extremely new to growing orchids. I recently purchased an oncidium from Trader Joe's. It is in moss and I want to repot. What is a good medium. I am willing to make my own. I am thinking of using coir, perlite, and charcoal. I also have CHC available to use. What is a good ratio to use? Does anyone have pictures or success stories of plants growing in this type of medium. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:15 PM
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Oncidiums aren't too picky in my experience. I have a couple oncidium hybrids that I keep in a general bark orchid mix that's around 60% bark, 20%perlite, 10% charcoal, 10% sphagnum, they seem pretty happy..
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:44 PM
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I agree that these will grow in a variety of mediums. I grow mine in 100% red lava rock.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:48 PM
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I use a mix that is similar to what xKTx uses but without the sphagnum. For oncidiums, which have pretty fine roots, you'll want fairly small-sized bark pieces, if that is what you end up with. Your climate in Arizona will be dry, so the sphag might be a good addition, as it will help hold water. Coir also holds water well, so it would also be practical for a desert area.

I agree, oncs are not picky about medium, but they do like plenty of moisture. You will just have to monitor how long it takes before your chosen mix begins to get dry, and water appropriately. You can do that by keeping a bamboo skewer in the mix, and when it feels more dry you need to water.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:51 PM
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For my oncidiums, I prefer using mostly finer bark mix, some chc and hydroton rock, no sphag. Can't give you ratios, I just eyeball it My observation with Onc, they like to be potted tight in a tighter container, they love diffused light, good breeze. Too much light or direct sun will bleach the leaves. The plants like being on the moist side, but still has to have good draining media.

Onc. pbs easily wrinkles, just because they like being very moist, such water hogs that they are, but I have seen them plump back a bit especially after a good rain. I over wintered them in my growcamp for the first time last winter, and they survived well, since our winters are mild, no snow, but we did get cold temps to 28F during some nights. Just have to close the plastic foils and watering at minimal.

I have photos here, one in a fabric pot, and another in a plastic container. Both came from one plant I divided. I did not want to mount that's why the other one is in fabric container to accommodate the climbing growth of the pbs; the other half is in a plastic container. The one in the fabric container sent me a flower spike in late Sept 2012 and blooms lasting till early Feb 2013, while the other one in the plastic container gave me a new pseudobulb which you can easily identify being the shiny new growth on the right side of the photo. Both has survived winter well.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:21 AM
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I just use the standard finer bark. Orchiata, to be exact. Also mix in a bit of horticultural charcoal (never hurts) and maybe a tad of perlite. I like the idea of the Orchiata, cuz I don't have to mess with repotting for quite awhile. Mine do very well with morning sun (not hot sun) and then bright shade the rest of the day. Pretty hardy plants as long as they get enough to drink.
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