Oncidesa (Oncidium) Sweet Sugar

Oncidium Sweet Sugar 3 Orchid Nature

Oncidesa Sweet Sugar is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 1990 by M. Sato as a cross between Oncidesa Aloha Iwanaga and Gomesa varicosa. This orchid can still be found under the name Oncidium Sweet Sugar, but recent reclassification placed this orchid under the family Oncidesa.


The blooms are about 4 cm in height and 3 cm across, having a broad lip that resembles a skirt. The sepals and petals are thin and elongated, presenting orange brown markins on a yellow background. The lip is wider and bigger in size and presents a solid yellow color. The shape of the flower gave this orchid its commercial name, the dancing lady orchid.

Oncidium Sweet Sugar 1 Orchid Nature

The blooms are displayed on a thin flower spike that can reach 25-30 cm in height. Each spike can hold anywhere between 15 and 20 flowers. The spike can branch and, if left unstaked, can make for a beautiful cascading effect. A pseudobulb can produce 1 or 2 flower spikes once it matures.

This orchid cannot be described as fragrant, but it does seem to present a smell. It can resemble freshly cut grass and can be felt in the close vicinity of the orchid. It is usually more powerful during the morning hours and fades completely towards the night time.

Oncidium Sweet Sugar 2 Orchid Nature

Individual flowers are not very long lived, each flower can last for 2 to 3 weeks. But because they do not all open at the same time, the sheer numbers can make the total bloom time of this orchid last even 1.5 months. This orchid is free flowering, usually each new pseudobulb that matures can potentially bloom. The flower spikes emerge usually from between the pseudobulb and the first sets of leaves.


The pseudobulbs are about 5-6 cm in height and about 3-4 cm in width, with an oval shape. The normal color for this orchid is medium green. The leaves are long and slender, measuring about 20 cm in length and about 2-3 cm in width.

The roots are thin and healthy roots are white, but as they age, they can turn green when wet. When in active growth they have bright green tips. New growths usually appear from between the last exterior leaves and take between 6 to 9 months to fully mature.

It is not uncommon for this orchid to display shriveled pseudobulbs while it is in bloom. When the blooms fall the pseudobulbs usually regain their plumpness.

Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.

Soft spots: shriveled pseudobulbs if kept too dry, spider mites

Oncidium Sweet Sugar 4 Orchid Nature

Overall the Oncidesa Sweet Sugar is an easy orchid to grow. It is much more forgiving than other hybrids and quite easy to grow in a normal home, as long as the watering schedule is kept in check.

Oncidesa Sweet Sugar Basic care:

Light: Intermediate to bright

Temperature: Intermediate to warm

Humidity: Tolerant to low humidity, over 40% ideal

Water: Water as the media approaches dryness

Growth cycle: not deciduous, does not require a winter rest, does not regularly shed leaves, can bloom all year round

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