Equitant Oncidiums is a species of the Oncidium genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. The miniature Equitant Oncidiums originated in the Caribbean.
They are easy to grow and are compact in size. These plants bloom more than once in a year. These come in many colors and shades. Their flowers have solid color, spotted or even barred.
Oncidium is abbreviated as Onc. in the horticultural trade. This genus is considered a complex and a difficult one. This genus was first described by Olof Swartz in 1800.
The name is derived from the Greek word “onkos” which means “swelling” and which refers to the callus at the lower lip. The species of this genus are epiphytes and lithophytes or terrestrials too. They are spread from northern Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of South Florida to South America.
Growing/Caring conditions for Equitants
- Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
- Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
- Indirect light is preferred in summer.
- Plant the orchid in the location.
- Water the orchid well.
- Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
- Keep the orchid moist.
- Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
- Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
- Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
- Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
- Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
- This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
- This plant needs well draining soil.
- Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
- Dead growth and branches should be removed.
The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
- Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium
- Leaf blight – caused by Pythium
- Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii
- Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium
- Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli
To avoid the above, fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
- More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
- All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
- The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
- They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
- These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.