Odontoglossum – description and care


The genus Odontoglossum probably contains the most beautiful orchids of all. There are over 300 species, that originate from America. They are mostly mountain plants and very popular. The flowers seem to have teeth at the basis of their lips.

The early orchid nurseries started already in the beginning creating hybrids from this genus. Famous ones are Vuylsteke in Belgium, Charlesworth & Co in the UK and Duval in France.

There are currently many new orchids and hybrids available in this genus, which grow better are easier to grow than the original species. Those are better known as Cambria. That includes amongst others Vuylstekeara, Odontocidium, Odontioda, Wilsonara, Beallara, Sanderara, Colmanara


In their home-lands, these orgids grow in the mountains and do therefor need a lot of fresh air when grown in culture.

In Winter, the temperature should drop to around 9 oC. Summer temperature should never be above 20 oC and the plants should be protected well against direct sunlight. At night, temperature may drop till 12 oC.

One should be very careful when giving water. Especially during Winter, when the temperature is low. The best way to keep the roots healthy is to keep them quite dry. In spring, when conditions are better, one should immediatley start applying orchid dressing and put the sun-protection in place.

The summer period can be a tough time for these orchids because high temperatures can give problems. It is advised to sprinkle the plant and its environment daily, early in the morning.

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