Orchids forum→Wrinkled pseudobulbs on oncidium orchids

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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 13, 2019 8:47 AM CST
I bought these plants in a hurry so I didn't see the condition they were in.

Some of the pseudobulbs are wrinkled and one is damaged.
The yellow one's leaves are hard/not flabby, but most leaves of the purple orchid are soft and flabby.

Unfortunately I am on a vacation at the moment so I am unable to repot the plants or check it's roots. The soil is still moist so I haven't watered it yet.

What would you advise me to do?

Could you also tell me if potting medium is alright, since I have a high humidity in my home.I have a few phals at home which I keep in bark (without any moss) and it has worked great for me.

So do you think I should repot these two orchids when I come home into the bark or should I keep them in this medium?

Pictures below are from purple one
Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/82eaf2


Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/9a824e


Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/575bd4

pictures below are from the yellow one.
Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/dde979


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Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/f7714d

photo below is the damaged bulb
Thumb of 2019-07-13/Klara333/e0b789

Thank you in advance.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 13, 2019 9:40 AM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jul 13, 2019 9:41 AM CST
It is impossible to grow Oncidiums with perfect pseudobulbs or leaves. They demand a lot of water, A LOT!!

If they are grown in sphagnum moss either plain or in a mix, they MUST be repotted every year. Why? Because their roots are very slender. A mix without sphagnum moss dries out too quickly and the bulbs shrivel. To keep them from shriveling, you add moss to the mix and keep them moist. If they dry out too much, the bulbs shrivel. Keeping them evenly moist keeps the bulbs plump.
The caveat is that in staying moist, the sphagnum starts to break down from being moist all the time. Acids build up and burn the roots. Roots die back, plant gets less moisture and bulbs shrivel. But if you repot every year, the moss never gets to the point where the roots die.
Oncidiums need bright light, not a load of sun. They don't need much in the way of fertilizer.
The key to growing them is to keep a healthy root system. AND that is not always easy.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 13, 2019 9:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 13, 2019 9:57 AM CST
Thank you for answering. Smiling

So, you're saying that with the regular watering and changing the media the pseudobulbs should recover a bit and that I don't have to worry about it current condition?

Another thing, would it be any difference if I use coconut coir(fine pieces) instead of peat moss, cause I have coir at home? I couldn't seem to find moss anywhere in garden centers, that's why.

From what I heard oncidiums need the same light conditions as phals, if that's true?
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 13, 2019 10:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 13, 2019 10:29 AM CST
LONG fibered sphagnum moss, NOT peat moss.
Severely wrinkled bulbs will plump up a bit with moisture but they will never be perfect. There is no need for them to be perfect.
Phalaenopsis need no direct sunlight, Oncidiums enjoy more light, on average maybe two hours a day.
Coconut coir is very stiff fibered. I am dubious whether or not it will hold enough water.
To have perfectly firm, smooth psuedobulbs means nothing. Just cosmetics!! If you grow them well, the bilbs will get as big as tennis balls in many cases. They will produce multiple spikes per bulb. AND when that happens, will it really matter that the bulbs are slightly wrinkled!!! Of course not!!!
Glad to help. Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
Cat Lover
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Klara333
Jul 13, 2019 10:39 AM CST
Thank You! Hurray!
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 13, 2019 11:00 AM CST
Any time.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
Cat Lover
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Klara333
Jul 14, 2019 8:22 AM CST
@BigBill sorry for bugging you again.
I just wanted to know are these two orchids above, in the first post, as well as this orchid, even oncidium?

The name tagg for all three said "orchid mix" so I kind of guessed they're oncidiums, but the odontoglossums and odontocidiums are pretty similar looking to me.

I wanna know which ones I have only so I can provide proper car for these guys.





Thumb of 2019-07-14/Klara333/762f47


Thumb of 2019-07-14/Klara333/5c5329

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 14, 2019 9:04 AM CST
Yes, those are Oncidiums too.
In the group you have Oncidiums, odontoglossums, Brassias, Miltonias, Miltoniopsis, Beallaras, Miltassias, Odontocidiums, Alicearas etc. etc. and etc.
Tags are often incorrect or not very helpful. You have found a very experienced Orchid Crazy Person, 'OCP', and that is me.
Cultural requirements are similar for
almost every type.

Hey Klara, no need to apologize! I love to talk about orchids! Please feel free to bug me anytime that you need to. I am only too happy to help!!! I tip my hat to you.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 14, 2019 9:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 14, 2019 9:13 AM CST
I'm glad to know. Thank You! Hurray! Smiling
So you,re saying all three ones are oncidiums?
I'll be sure to check those groups whenever needed.
The only concerns for me are that some orchids require low temperatures and brighter light than phals and oncidiums (if I'm correct) which I can't provide.
I have tons of cacti and succulent so I don't have space for more of "really bright light plants"
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 14, 2019 9:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 14, 2019 9:31 AM CST
Oncidiums take less sun then most cacti/succulents.
They are not all Oncidiums necessarily but they ARE ALL in what is known as the Oncidium Alliance. They all take pretty much the same care Klara.
All of your images show orchids within this group! Thumbs up
Their desired temperature range is from 55-85 degrees F. Or from 12C to 30C if that helps you. With temperatures outside of that range, temporary extra care is needed if those temperatures remain for a longer period of time.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 14, 2019 9:32 AM (+)]
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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 14, 2019 9:35 AM CST
Understood, big thanks once again! Thank You! Hurray!
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jul 14, 2019 9:36 AM CST
Just as a side note Klara, one that is very common is called Oncidium Sharry Baby!!! It is an easy grower and makes dozens of red and white flowers with a delightful CHOCOLATE fragrance. I guarantee that you would ❤️ that one.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
Cat Lover
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Klara333
Jul 14, 2019 9:47 AM CST
I just googled it, and it really looks stunning. Lovey dubby
Unfortunately I haven't came across that orchid in stores or garden centres, but if I ever do, this beauty is a must have.

Especially since for the last few months orchids seems to cost half of the price(starting price/not discounted) of what they usually are in my country(Still haven't figure it out why).

So it's a great opportunity for me to buy more orchids cause they're really cheep (these last few months) or at least cheep for the orchid prices in my area (6 US dollars) Hurray! Lovey dubby
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 14, 2019 9:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 14, 2019 9:55 AM CST
Oh you just never know. You might see it one day.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 14, 2019 1:29 PM CST
I love Oncidiums a lot! As water hungry as they are, I can adjust my watering for them easily. There was even a time, one of mine got quite wrinkly bulbs, and accidentally I had it sitting in water for there days. No damage, it even allowed the wrinkled bulb to restore its plumpness much better. It made me realize just how water needy this plant is.

I grow mine outdoors in my growcamp were they get daily watering here during the long dry months. We get into the triple digit range easily and very dry, so daily watering is nothing to worry about for them. But I have to bring them indoors during late Fall, when temps starts going lower than 50F. They hide indoors till Spring and got to adjust watering, with a bit more interval since they are indoors. They need to feel that cool temps of Fall it seems after enduring our summer period. Then I get more of their bloomstalks either in late Winter to early Spring. Sometimes if the Fall cool down comes in much faster, I may also get a Fall bloom show.

I use finer bark media for my Oncidiums and I was luck enough to find some containers that has coir material around, that helps hold moisture nicely while still allowing good dry out at the end of the day.. Unlike the Phals where I use the chunkier ones before and lately have moved to a different media that does not deteriorate.
[Last edited by tarev - Jul 14, 2019 1:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 15, 2019 12:47 AM CST
I think I might have to use similar media for them, since after hours of searching I can't seem too find sphagnum moss anywhere in this damn country. Angry Thumbs down

I guess I'll use mixture of finer bark and finer coir bark/chunks(for better moisture retention,and good air flow) since I just found snail crawling it the media of one of the orchids above, so I wanna repot them as soon as I get home.

I guess at least I have the advantage of high humidity in my home, so maybe bark and coir will seem to work for me, we'll see.The only thing I know is that I wanna repot them as soon as I get home, since I'll be staying on vacation for 2 weeks.
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 15, 2019 1:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Klara
Croatia, Europe (Zone 8a)
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Klara333
Jul 15, 2019 1:03 AM CST
@BigBill @tarev Since I wouldn't be able to use sphagnum moss for re-potting, would you advise me to use mixture of finer bark and coir pieces, or only smaller coir chunks?

I do not have experience with oncidiums, so I'd like to hear your advices. Smiling Thumbs up

As a side no,t I usually water my phals(their media consist of only bark/no coir) every 5-7 days during summer, if that helps in any way.
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
[Last edited by Klara333 - Jul 15, 2019 1:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jul 15, 2019 3:39 AM CST
With your Oncidiums, yes I would. Just keep those finer roots in mind. Imagine a small particle size in your media. The roots easily come in contact many times with a fine mix.
But with a coarse mix, the roots also come in contact with the media BUT with the coarse mix, more air moves through. More air makes it dry out much quicker then a fine mix! It is the very rapid drying that is not good for Oncidiums. The more time that they spend in contact with moisture, the more those roots absorb the water.

I have never used coir. Therefore I do not have experience with it in order to be able to recommend it.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 15, 2019 3:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Jul 15, 2019 4:29 AM CST
I have bought coir in compressed bricks, you soak the brick in water and it absorbs 20 times it's weight. I actually prefer it because I feel like it absorbs water more quickly than sphagnum but it never stays soggy and drains well. You can buy it finely ground or in chunks. You should experiment with some Bill.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jul 15, 2019 4:54 AM CST
I have.
I tried many different medias in my 45 years of orchids.
Bark
Sphagnum
Cork nuggets
Wine corks
Chopped tires
Stalite
Pea gravel
Aliflor
Sponge rock
Osmunda
Charcoal
Tree fern
Orchiata
I have used them individually or in mixes. In Florida it was aliflor/charcoal/sponge rock because in that environment bark broke down in 6-9 months making repotting mandatory!
On Long Island and Michigan it has been bark mixes.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 15, 2019 4:55 AM (+)]
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