Light: Low to bright
The Nelly Isler can grow well in lower light levels as well as bright shade, it will, however, not appreciate hot direct sun. A sure way to tell that your Burrageara is receiving too much sun is the yellowish color of the leaves. Early morning sun will be appreciated, but it’s not absolutely necessary for a re bloom. Phalaenopsis light will suit this orchid as well, so an eastern exposure will do. Southern or western exposures need to be partially shaded to avoid leaf burns, while northern exposures might not suffice.
Temperature: 55º F (13º C) to 80º F (26º C)
The Burrageara Nelly Isler likes cool to intermediate temperatures, as its Miltoniopsis heritage is well present. It will tolerate higher temperatures, but not for long and its comfortable range is between 60º F (16º C) and 75º F(24º C).
Water: Keep constantly moist
This orchid will not tolerate hard water, as its more prone to root burns caused by salt built up’s, than other hardier orchids. Rain water, RO water and distilled water are the best choice, but if you’re tap water has a low mineral content it can be used as well, preferably combined with distilled water. The Nelly Isler will also not appreciate complete drying of the potting medium and will display accordion shaped leaves at the slightest delay in watering. Although not a very fragile orchid, its needs of constant moisture around the roots, but also good ventilation, make it a not so easy orchid for beginners. Water just as the media approaches dryness, but never let it completely dry for more than one day. Ensure good ventilation in the pot and use a water retentive potting mix, combined with perlite or sponge rock for aeration.
The Nelly Isler orchid thrives in high humidity, which in many cases cannot be obtained only with a humidity tray. The use of a humidifier, as well as growing this orchid in a greenhouse, will greatly raise the chances of healthy growth and spectacular blooms. Also ensure good air circulation to avoid fungal infections and other disease.
Burrageara (Oncidopsis) Nelly Isler is a complex inter-generic hybrid that is very well known for its intense red blooms. In some areas of the world it can be found under the commercial name of Cambria. It grows well in areas where temperatures are low and humidity is high, but in recent years it has made its way into many garden centers. With a bit of ingenuity this orchid can be grown in a windowsill, but it takes a high degree of observation before expecting lush growth and spectacular blooms.
Fertilizer should be applied moderately, as the roots are sensitive to salt built ups. Use half the amount recommended by the label, especially if you use tap water. Re potting should be made preferably once a year, or at least once every two years.
The fragrance is strong and reminds of lemons, but it might not be for everyone. It can get quite overwhelming in a small room, especially when the rays of the morning sun fall upon the orchid.