Grow in a bright but shaded position in summer, with protection from direct sunshine. In winter, move to a position in bright light without shade, as high winter light levels are essential to ensure good flowering.
Odontoglossum is an intermediate temperature orchid, preferring a temperature range of 10-25°C (50-77°F). Many can be damaged if temperatures exceed 27°C (82°F). Depending on the species or hybrid, a minimum winter temperature 10-15°C (50-60°F) is required.
The peak flowering seasons are autumn to winter and late spring. Flowers last for five to seven weeks. Plants usually produce a single flower spike, although larger plants may produce several.
Watering, humidity and feeding
Water Odontoglossum hybrids all year round, about once a week, but reduce watering in winter, allowing the compost to dry out a little (but not completely) between watering. Never let the plant sit in water.
Apply proprietary orchid fertiliser every two or three weeks from spring until late summer
Mist with water to provide a humid environment around the aerial roots. See the advice in orchids: indoor cultivation for more information.
Re-pot between late winter and mid-spring or late summer and early autumn, using free-draining specialist orchid compost. Don’t re-pot into a larger pot than is needed; choose a pot that is just large enough to contain the roots.
Instead of re-potting into a larger pot, overcrowded plants can be divided and the divisions potted up separately. However, Odontoglossum resents frequent root disturbance, so this should not be carried out too often. See the advice in orchids: indoor cultivation for more information.
Most orchids sold as Odontoglossum are in fact complex hybrids between Odontoglossum and other types of orchid. These hybrids are more suitable for indoor cultivation than the species plants such as O. crispum, O. hallii and O. odoratum.
The hybrids listed below are not true Odontoglossum, but they are often sold under this name and are relatively easy to manage as houseplants:
× Odontocidium Purbeck Gold
× Beallara Tahoma Glacier
Odontoglossum 'Wild Cat'