Monday, December 22, 2008

Mounted Oncidium onustum

Oncidium onustum grows from Mexico to Ecuador and Peru. It is warm to hot growing and needs a complete dry winter rest from after blooming until new growth starts.

I got this division from a friend just about two months ago. At that time it had no roots but now it has a single green-tipped root growing along the pseudobulb rather randomly. The root needs guidance and I provided it by mounting the plant. The root will grow toward the moisture in the small amount of sphagnum on the cork.

Oncidiums do well in cultivation but have one interesting quality. Each new growth is higher than the last. It quite literally climbs up trees this way. This is the reason I mounted this extra low on the piece of cork.

In a pot I leave room for two years growth. On a mount I usually plan for about five years. I try to find a balance between having bare-looking bark and having to re-mount the plant too soon.

One other thing to point out about mounts in general that I got wrong at first. The new growth goes next to the cork. The plant attaches roots much better. It is much more attractive as time passes if mounted toward the bark.

The plant is attached with two loops of fishing line, one below the plant and one around the rhizome. I like this method because the plant is held firmly without being unsightly.

The sphagnum has been trimmed a little and I will trim it again in the spring.

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