Oncidium is a genus which is having about 330 species of orchids. It is belong to the sub-tribe Oncidiinae.  Dancing Lady is the common name used for this genus.  Most of these genus are epiphytes which means an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water (in marine environments) or from debris accumulating around it.

A few varieties found in the ‘Oura Anthos Flower Garden‘ premises

This orchid variety is found in colors of yellow, red, white and pink. The petals are often ruffled on the edges, as is the lip.  The lip is enormous, partially blocking the small petals and sepals.  This variety of orchid can grow under different weather conditions from sea level to highlands.  These varieties can have sometimes single flower and sometimes even 100 blossoms or more in one stem.  Therefore, plants of some variety of this genus can grow even up to 5m height. The life time of the flowers can range from 2 to 3 weeks.

For a proper growth of the plant and to have the beautiful flowers, this plants like to have screened (20% shade) but direct sun light from the above rather than having light from the side of the plant. A very bright east exposure that receives ample direct sun is ideal.  But, during the flowering period, the direct sun light can affect the prolong life of flowers.

Oncidium (Kandyan Dancer) in Natural Environment

Oncidium can grow well and give good flowers when there is a temperature difference of 10 to 15 degree between day and night temperatures.  The plant can tolerate temperature range generally during the nighttime 15°C – 18°C and daytime 21°C – 29°C.

This plant can grow naturally in wet and dry climate.  As a house plant, it prefers the roots to get dried before the next watering.

It is suitable to use slow release fertilizers with low nitrogen and high potassium during repotting. The yellow variety of Oncidium in Sri Lanka is popularly known as Kandyan Dancer.

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This is a very beautiful variety of Ground Orchid. Out of many varieties of Ground Orchids available in our Home Garden, this is the largest one. One sprig of flowers is giving a number of blossoms and they start blooming from bottom and spread towards top. It takes more than one month to bloom all flowers in one sprig. one flower will last only for two to three days. Flowers can easily damages when there is no sufficient water or when it opens to direct hot sun. Flower itself doesn’t have a market value, but many people like it as a house plant, specially when several plants are together as a shrub.

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Caterpillar is the worm-like larva of butterflies and moths, having numerous pairs of legs and powerful biting jaws. In our home garden, we frequently observe caterpillars of different nature. The specialty, we have observed is that a particular type of butterflies or moths lay their eggs and starts the life of that particular caterpillars always on one particular type of plant.

A caterpillar in my Home garden

Frequently, I have observed this type of caterpillars on this flower tree. During its period of life as a caterpillar, it eats up all the leaves of this tree. It is yellowish and shiny.