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The Oncidium Orchid

This genus of orchid has been described as "difficult". It contains almost three hundred and fifty different species of orchid, many of which have been or need to be re-classified. It is debated amongst the leading botanists whether or not the Oncidium family should be split apart into two different genus instead. However, despite the difficulty the present to botanists, the flower itself, like many other orchids, is very beautiful. It received the name Oncidium because of the appearance of its flower as well. Oncidium was derived from the Greek word "onkos" which means "swelling". The swelling in the name was a reference to the shape of the flower; the callus that is located at its lower lip. The Oncidium orchid family does particularly well in sub-tropical rather than tropical climates; drier weather is better for the plant. In areas like Hawaii and Northern Mexico, or the Caribbean, the Oncidium orchid grows well outdoors.

Growing Oncidium Orchids

Just like any other flower, growing the Oncidium orchid healthily starts from at the bottom, and goes upward. The very bottom, of course, in the soil. An ideal soil for the Oncidium orchid contains finely cut bark - one half or one centimeter pieces, perlite, and charcoal. When watering the Oncidium, do not use water from the tap if you have a water softening system that relies on salt. Instead, use rainwater, or just tap water. Otherwise, if you have hard water, water the orchid often to flush the minerals through the soil. Later on, when the plant has matured, the plant should be allowed to dry out more and more in between watering, as the season progresses. You'll want to encourage the production of flowers rather than vegetation, and during the winter, the plant should be allowed to dry a bit more so that it can rest.

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