Friday, January 23, 2009

Oncidium varicosum backbulb

Oncidium varicosum grows in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It is cool to hot growing and blooms in summer and fall with many yellow flowers on spikes up to 5 feet long.

I got an Oncidium varicosum last July, probably a raffle because I don't buy Oncidiums. As I almost always do when I get a new plant, I repotted it. I changed the medium to rock, removed two backbulbs and put it back in the same pot.

That plant is doing well with a spike over two feet tall. I can see buds starting to form, so perhaps I can show you flower pictures in about a month.

In the picture above is one of the backbulbs. It is doing very well with actively growing roots that are long enough to consider this plant in transition. The other backbulb is doing fine but not quite as far along.

I have to be really careful now. It is going to stay undisturbed for awhile longer but I will be sure that it starts to get fed and watered.


  1. Rock as a medium? what kind of rocks? what kind of orchids do you pot in rocks? how often do you water them?

    Thank you!

  2. I use different sized rocks depending on how much water I want next to the roots and how thick the roots are. The smallest is pea gravel and the largest is the limestone chunks in the picture. I water every day in summer and twice a week right now with some extra watering for plants that need to stay more evenly wet.

    Most orchids work in rock.

  3. Wow, thank you Richard I had no idea. I am just getting into orchid growing I have had practice phals, 2 killed out of ignorance the other two were really sick when I got them. Either way root rot has been the major cause of death in my greenhouse, so I am always looking for media that will prevent it better, I guess I could try rocks next time. :)

  4. that orchid, also grows in Argentina and Uruguay...