While we pot our Phalaenopsis plants in moss, they also do well in bark mixes, preferably finer mixes for seedlings and medium mixes for mature plants. The plants will require more water if planted in bark. Although the medium should never dry out completely, do not let the plants stay soaking wet or sit in water, as it will result in root rot. As a general rule, water only when the moss at the top is starting to dry (around every 7 days). The optimal time to water is during the morning, where rising temperatures don't lead to rotting. Try to keep water off the crown and leaves, as it may lead to rot as well.
Phalaenopsis do not require a lot of light, and will do well on most windowsills facing East or West. Filtered light is preferred, as direct sunlight will burn the leaves. If grown in a greenhouse, we recommend around 70% shade, which is equivalent to around ~1200 foot candles.
To encourage blooming, night temperatures are recommended to be around 65 F, and 75-85 F around the day. While Phalaenopsis plants can tolerate temperatures up to 90 F, additional air circulation and humidity will be required for them to grow well.
Around 50-60% humidity is optimal for Phalaenopsis plants, but they are fairly adaptable to regular home conditions, and will do fine in 30-40% humidity. Again, air circulation is very important (especially in humid conditions).
Our greenhouse currently uses a 16-3-16 fertilizer, but a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer is great as well. Fertilize weakly every watering or slightly more concentrated twice per month. Depending on the season, fertilizer needs will differ. During seasons of active growth (Summer), plants will require more fertilizer to grow well. Fertilizer can be steadily weakened as Fall and Winter approach. Some people switch to a high phosphorous fertilizer (10-30-20) around this time to begin promoting blooms.
Repotting is normally done after blooming, or during spring when the growing season is about to start. Plants typically require repotting after 2-3 years, when the mix starts to decompose.
Light for Oncidiums is recommended to be around 2000-6000 foot candles (20%-60% shade in greenhouse conditions). However, less light is needed for oncidiums with thinner leaves and bulbs. East, South, and West facing windows are all fine for windowsill growing.
Oncidums generally do well under nighttime temperatures of 55 F, and 80-85 F during the day. Like Phalaenopsis, higher temperatures up to 95 are tolerated if sufficient air circulation and humidity is provided (don't bake your plants!!)
Sufficient water is crucial during the Summer, as the plants are actively growing during this time. While some larger oncidiums (with thicker roots) require less water, they should generally be watered once the medium is slightly dry. Too much watering will lead to rot. If the leaves are crinkling, that means that watering is too inconsistent or there is a lack of humidity.
Oncidiums can tolerate slightly lower humidity levels, around 30-60%, which is usually fine in greenhouse conditions. If your home environment is slightly too dry, a water tray with pebbles (so that the plant isn't directly sitting in water) will do the trick.
A balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer works great, but many also use 30-10-10 (High in Nitrogen) to promote additional growth. Bi-weekly or twice a month is recommended during seasons of active growth.
Lycaste light requirements vary depending on the species/hybrid. Deciduous plants (leaves drop before flowering) require cattleya levels of light (2500-4000 foot candles, 50% shade), but Evergreen plants can grow in shadier conditions.
Temperatures for evergreen plants should be fairly consistent, which is easy to maintain in the home. Around 60 F during the nights and 75 during the day. Deciduous plants are more tolerating and can withstand nights as low as 50 F and daytime temps 95 F (with proper air circulation)
Watering should be abundant during seasons of active growth (Summer), and also fertilized to properly develop the pseudobulbs and store nutrients. A 30-10-10 fertilizer is best to promote growth, but a balanced 20-20-20 will work as well.
Humidity should be around 40-70%, combined with ample air circulation to prevent spotting or rotting on the leaves.
Deciduous hybrids/species go through a period of dormancy during the winter (when its leaves have fallen). During this time, the plant should be kept completely dry. Begin watering again in small amounts once the first signs of new growths have emerged in the spring. Evergreen species should also be kept slightly drier during the winter, but still watered enough so that the pseudobulbs aren't completely shriveled. It is also during the Fall where some switch to 10-20-10 fertilizer, which is high in phosphorous, to promote blooming.