Oncidium sotoanum is also called The Birds Beak Oncidium.
Oncidium sotoanum f. albiflorum
Oncidium sotoanum subsp. papalosmum
It is a species of the genus Oncidium. This orchid has for most of the last 200 years been known as Oncidium ornithorhynchum, which with recent studies has been found to describe a yellow flowered species from Andean South America known commonly as Oncidium pyramidale. A new name was needed for the pink, highly fragrant flowers that occur in Central America. It was first described by R.Jiménez & Hágsater in 2010.
Oncidium sotoanum is native to the northern Central American. In Mexico, they are found in humid forests and mountain rain forests at heights of 650-1450 m, in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz. In Guatemala, they were found near the city of Guatemala and in the departments of Quiché and Sacatepéquez. They grow in damp forests up to a height of 1500 m and are reportedly known on the Pacific coast at lower altitudes. In other parts of Central America, they occur in damp and wet forests at heights of 1000-1700 m.
It is a medium sized, cool to warm growing epiphytic plant which can reach 20-50 cm. It has numerous fragrant long-lasting flowers.
Pink, purple or white flowers have a gold-yellow thickening on the lip, which is 1.3 cm long. The width of the flower between the ends of the inner whorl petals is 2 cm.
Oncidium sotoanum orchid loves bright sunlight and is able to tolerate direct sunlight (up to 45.000 lux). The windows of the south, south-west and south-eastern orientation are ideally suitable for the location, the western ones are slightly worse, and the eastern and northern windows are inadequate, here the orchid will grow long leaves and extremely rarely blossom, so if there are no other windows in the house it is recommended in addition to natural lighting to use artificial light lamps. The total duration of a day's light should not be less than 12 hours.
This kind of orchid refers to a moderately cold temperature regime, however, it can calmly adjust to the warmer conditions, so it is recommended that plants be kept throughout the year under the following conditions: The average temperature of the summer day is 24-25°C (75-77°F), and the summer night 16-17°C (61-63°F), which gives a daily difference of 8-9°C (14-16°F). In spring the average day temperature is 26-27°C (79-81°F), and the night 13-16°C (55-61°F) giving 11-13°C (20-23°F) daily difference. The average temperature of the winter day is 22-23°C (72-73°F), and the night 11-12°C (52-54°F), giving a daily difference of 10-11°C (18-20°F).
The humidity of the air should be 65-80%. Orchids of cold temperature conditions do not tolerate temperatures more than 28°C (82°F). If, however, it is impossible to avoid exposure to high temperatures, the humidity of the air must be increased together with the temperature. This will help Oncidium sotoanum to better survive the forced heat. The humidity of the air must be at least 70-80%. To increase the humidity of the air, you can use an air humidifier, saucers with water or wet claydite. To do this, take a large pallet, inside which is filled with expanded clay, the top is laid protecting the waterlogging of the roots of the grate and exhibited pots with orchids. Premises with orchids should be regularly ventilated, since too moist stale air is the ideal medium for the development of various kinds of fungal diseases.
Substrate and growing medium:
The Oncidium sotoanum can reach considerable size, so it is more practical to grow it in pots. Its roots are sensitive to excess water, so the substrate must be very breathable. I recommend using medium-large pine bark (3-5 cm), without any other addition.
It seems that plants grow best and it is most convenient to grow them if they are attached to tree ferns or cork. Such cultivation requires, however, maintaining high humidity and in the summer of daily watering. In the case of such suspended plants, during the dry and hot periods it may be necessary to water several times a day.
During the period of new growth, Oncidium sotoanum needs frequent and abundant watering. Excess water during watering should flow freely out of the pot, as the stagnation of water both inside the pot and in its pan can very quickly lead to decay of the roots and the lower part of the plant.
The amount of water in winter should be limited to the cultivated plants. They should dry between waterings, but they can not remain completely out of water for a long period of time. In most cases, sufficient moisture will provide occasional morning fogging between rare, light watering. However, the amount of water can be increased if the pseudobulbs start to wrinkle and leaves hang.
During the new growth period, Oncidium sotoanum is fertilized for every third watering, with 1/2 of the dose reported on the bottle of a special liquid fertilizer for orchids. Before fertilizing the orchid you have to wet it, to avoid the harmful contact of the fertilizer with the dry roots. During the resting phase the fertilizations are suspended.
Rest period and repotting:
To stimulate flowering, Oncidium sotoanum needs a clearly defined period of rest. It begins immediately after the maturation of new bulbs, i.e. when new young shoots reach the size of the old, and is that the orchids contain much drier and colder than usual, and do not fertilize. The temperature in this period should be 10-14°C (50-57°F). Watering, you should either refuse completely, or replace it with an easy spraying of the substrate and perform this procedure no more than once a month. After the emergence of new shoots, the rest period ends, irrigation resumes in the usual volume, and the temperature of the content rises.
Repotting or dividing plants can only be done at the beginning of the emergence of new roots, which enables the plant to quickly root in the shortest possible time and with minimal stress.