Monday, November 17, 2008

I believe species advice - NOW

Oncidium ampliatum grows in Central America and northern South America in hot lowland areas. It blooms from the fall into spring. It doesn't like to have its roots disturbed.

The genus Oncidium contains 600 species from throughout Central America and South America. They grow in a wide variety of environments. If you know a little about where the species grows, the do very well in cultivation.

An orchid friend gave this to me after having no success getting it to bloom or even grow well. The plant had declined to a single pseudobulb. It was potted in bark so I re-potted it in rock. I pot just about everything in rock.

The first year it did pretty well. It didn't bloom but it put out a new growth. I asked a local grower I know about its culture and got advice about water, light and temperature. She also told me that it doesn't like to have its roots disturbed.

Did I listen? You know the answer to that. I re-potted the plant during the new growth period because there wasn't room in the pot for it. The new growth promptly died.

I was tempted to toss it out. At that time I didn't have any other Oncidiums. Instead, I put it under the bench on the edge of the growing area and promptly forgot about it.

Last week I was doing a plant inspection and noticed the pot. At first glance I thought the pot was empty because the pseudobulbs look like mossy rocks. I pulled it out and was amazed how well it had done with no help at all from me.

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