Small, fragrant, lavender-purple flowers are produced in large numbers on multi-branched spikes from October through March on Oncidium Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance'. The leaves of this cultivar rarely grow more than 8 inches in height, but the spikes can reach up to 2 feet or more in length. This specimen is a rarity among Oncidium, since most of them are not fragrant. Grow this orchid in full sun, in well-drained, coarse bark or volcanic rock, and fertilize with a dilute solution of foliar feed every 2 weeks.
The orchid family consists of a large number of genera, each with its own unique characteristics. A common characteristic, however, is the basic form of the flower, which consists of 3 petals surrounded by 3 sepals, often in dramatic and contrasting colors and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although some orchids are native to temperate zones, most orchids tend to prefer a semi-tropical or tropical environment (USDA Zones 9-11) and have epiphytic roots, meaning they derive moisture and nutrients from the air and support from another plant; few orchids grow in soil. Orchids usually prefer a diurnal temperature fluctuation, meaning warmer days and cooler nights, though the absolute temperature range (cool, intermediate, or warm) varies by genus and is consistent with their natural habitat. While requiring adequate sunlight for a stunning bloom display, most orchids will not tolerate sustained direct sun.
Many varieties have pseudobulbs, a portion of the stem between leaf nodes that stores water to help sustain the plant through dry periods. Other varieties are monopodial, meaning upward growth is from a single growing point.
There is an exception to almost every general statement one can make about orchids. The family continues to challenge taxonomists.
January - February, March - April, September - October, November - December