Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?
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  #1  
Old 12-27-2020, 05:15 AM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?
Default Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?

I am struggling to make my Bigshot Hilo Sparkler happy and I can't seem to find what it wants. It's about three years old and when purchased was doing okay.

First I had it in 'too large' phal type bark (according to online advice) - but at least it was putting out roots - (but wasn't growing leaves) so then switched to small oncidium chips (proper mix according to online advice) with bits of sphagnum mixed in and put it under my grow light - got worse - switched back to coarser bark with moss and left it under the grow light; it's going to give up the ghost if I don't figure this out.

I've got two or three healthy roots, it's literally sitting on top of the bark all floppy, the leaves are light green, nothing 'plump' about it anywhere and it never was 'plump' and glossy when I bought it.

I mist the bark and roots from up top, I don't mist them, I do 10 minute nitrogen soaks, stop that and do quick baths and then heavy mist the medium every other day, every three days - nada - I can't find what it wants....

It seems like it's telling me it does NOT want to be 'planted' in ANY type moss, bark or chips, I already tried the 'for oncidiums' mixes, am at wit's end on how to nurse it back. I know I need root growth else it's done for....

Are there any oncidium wizards out there? I live where there is so little sun it's disgusting, I thought the grow light would help it as it's done wonders for my cymbidium and spider orchid (spidey was totally dead in the water until I introduced major light source). Can I try wiring this orchid onto something more 'fibery' and just mist the bejezuz out of it? More light, less light, where's the happy point? No balanced fert? Fert it? I just can't seem to find anything that gives it a growth spike.
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Old 12-27-2020, 07:47 AM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why? Male
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Thanks to taxonomists’ games, your plant is Shunkeara Big Shot ‘Hilo Sparkle’.

First of all, stop re-repotting it. Every time you change the medium, it is a setback to the plant. There is no such thing as a universal “oncidium” or “phalaenopsis” medium, as their applicability is more closely related to your growing conditions, and less to the plant itself. Oncidiums generally prefer evenly moist medium that stays airy, so choose one that provides that in your growing conditions and stick to it.

Your plant is a medium, to low-light grower that prefers intermediate temperatures.

No need to feed it until you get a decent root system on the plant. KelpMax can certainly help with that.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2020, 04:06 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Thanks to taxonomists’ games, your plant is Shunkeara Big Shot ‘Hilo Sparkle’.

First of all, stop re-repotting it. Every time you change the medium, it is a setback to the plant. There is no such thing as a universal “oncidium” or “phalaenopsis” medium, as their applicability is more closely related to your growing conditions, and less to the plant itself. Oncidiums generally prefer evenly moist medium that stays airy, so choose one that provides that in your growing conditions and stick to it.

Your plant is a medium, to low-light grower that prefers intermediate temperatures.

No need to feed it until you get a decent root system on the plant. KelpMax can certainly help with that.
Ooooo an asnwer! Thank you! Okay, since it's basically sitting on TOP of the medium and the roots are so shallow I can't exactly 'plant' it. What do you suggest? I have not been able to get lush root growth to go down into ANY potting medium - hence my confusion whether to mount or not. it's essentially just sitting there and can be lifted right off the top of the bark and moss. ugh.

Do you recommend soaking the few roots I have in a kelp max bath for a good long time in its current flopper state and then wiring the plant in to stabilize in the existing pot ? It has zero support unless I bury it down deep, the pot has tiny holes for air all around, that shouldn't be a problem for wet rot. The roots seem so fine for bulkier bark but yet they didn't take to the small chip fancy onc mix either. In fact it seems they hated it!


It does get air circulation and is about 20" from grow lights in a South facing window (but basically zero light coming in). I figured that was okay. I could move her back to be with the phals in the other South window but don't want to change too much in this survival phase.
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:26 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why? Female
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Could we have a picture please? It sounds like your pot is way too big. Could you wrap moss around it and put it in a smaller pot? (Although I agree w Ray to stop repotting.)
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:17 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?
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Sure! It's a sad creature, I feel so badly... it's only been repotted twice in about 3 years, the most recent was ummm 5 months ago I believe....too many family crises going on and no attention to it, last ditch attempt to save it....

Don't shriek when you see the pic. It's bad....
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:19 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
Could we have a picture please? It sounds like your pot is way too big. Could you wrap moss around it and put it in a smaller pot? (Although I agree w Ray to stop repotting.)
I'm willing to try anything, that sounds good to me. A smaller nest, moisture...those roots are just not what am used to with phals....
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:24 AM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why? Female
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Quote:
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I'm willing to try anything, that sounds good to me. A smaller nest, moisture...those roots are just not what am used to with phals....
My oncidium tribe does grow roots above the medium. Not all of them but, occasionally they do exactly what youre's is doing. Also, the pleated leaves show that at some point in time it's been underwatered.

This is what I would do: wrap it in some moss as best you can, put it in a smaller pot and leave it alone. Where do you live? Here I can flower them in a southeast window.

It's NOT going to have phal like roots. It's not a phal, it's a totally different tribe.

I'm sorry to hear about your family problems but, stop beating yourself up. Life happens to all of us and we do the best we can. Some plants just aren't as robust as others. Eventually we weed them out.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:02 AM
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I am not an expert grower like some of the others who have responded, but one thing I know, and it has been confirmed by those here, if it has roots growing, leave it alone. As far as the instability is concerned, get a stick (chopsticks work well for this size), put it in the pot near the center, tie the plant to it. Then just keep it watered until the roots take to the medium. If it has good roots, yes, even just one or two, it will be ok.
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:16 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why? Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Ol' Man View Post
I am not an expert grower like some of the others who have responded, but one thing I know, and it has been confirmed by those here, if it has roots growing, leave it alone. As far as the instability is concerned, get a stick (chopsticks work well for this size), put it in the pot near the center, tie the plant to it. Then just keep it watered until the roots take to the medium. If it has good roots, yes, even just one or two, it will be ok.
Thanks DOM. I was going to suggest that too but, as is the norm lately, I forgot! It might not hurt to lightly tent it too. IDK what twinkie's humidity level is.

An expert is someone who comes from out of town with a briefcase. 😆
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:29 PM
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Oncidium Hilo Sparkler not growing - why? Male
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Oncidiums like evenly moist roots. Most people use either small bark or sphagnum moss. They only grow new roots from new vegetative growth. It's best not to repot unless new roots have just begun forming. When you repot you damage roots. If the plant repotted at the wrong time doesn't make new growth and roots for a while, it will struggle to take up enough water to survive.

Next time it begins making new roots, consider repotting into a pot with no holes, and either small bark or sphagnum moss. If you tend to overwater use the bark. If you forget to water use moss.

Edit: I meant to write to use a pot with bottom drainage holes and no side holes. Oncidiums need air at the roots, but pots with side holes dry out quickly.

And don't move sick plants to S/H. Plants need to grow a new set of roots to thrive in S/H. Sick plants might not be strong enough for that.
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Last edited by estación seca; 12-29-2020 at 11:48 AM..
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