Mahogany plus cream make chocolate!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The hybrid orchid Oncidium Sharry Baby ‘Sweet Fragrance’ is blooming and

Onc. Sharry Baby now has many relatives,
some of them quite red in color.

releasing its wonderful chocolate aroma just in time for the Chocolate Festival. An easy orchid to grow, this Oncidium has round pseudobulbs that range in size from three to four inches, and long, strap-shaped leaves that are somewhat leathery. It sends out long spikes of mahogany and cream-colored flowers.  You can grow this in a mix of sphagnum moss and bark. During hot weather, the plants do not like to dry out, but watering twice weekly should be sufficient. Some growers like to allow the plants to almost dry between waterings during the winter.  Use a water-soluble orchid fertilizer weekly in the growing season, and every two weeks in the winter. Many of the leaves on this orchid are seen with brown spots rather like freckles, which the botany department at the University of Oklahoma says can be reduced or eliminated by growing the plant in lower light. Morning sun is quite acceptable, however. 

Since we’ve added coffee and tea to our festival, I’m waiting for someone to come up with an orchid that rewards us with the rich smell of morning coffee.