Attractive terrestrial orchids, Zygopetalum orchids are relatively easy to care for and are much sought after by orchid enthusiasts.
Popular with collectors as well as the cut flower industry where the long lasting flower blooms are highly valued. Zygopetalum Arthur Elle (picture right) is a popular cultivar
Originally from South America these wonderful orchids can easily be grown outdoors in warmer climates.
They are tolerant of both heat and cold as long as they receive protection from frosts and have the correct lighting conditions.
In cooler areas indoor culture is recommended.
Zygopetalum River Murray
Zygopetalum Orchid Care
If we consider their natural, a terrestrial understory plant from a rain forest area we get some idea of the required growing conditions. Moisture and filtered light are the two key factors in successful growth.
n terms of shade you need to be careful not to deprive Zygopetalum Orchids of adequate light, a lack of light will lead to poor or no flowering. When in active growth and the plants are actually flowering they require more shade than at other times of the year.
- Watering – In terms of moisture we are looking for a moist but well drained position. Zygopetalums do not like to dry out completely, they also do not like boggy conditions. Water often enough to let the potting mix or sub strata dry almost completely between watering. Every week is a guide depending on temperature.
- Light – Protect from hot midday sun, Morning sun and filtered afternoon light is best.
- Temperature – A range of 60 – 80 degrees F from winter to summer. (15C to 29C)
- Humidity – 60% humidity is required for optimum growth
- Fertilization – Use a formulated orchid fertilizer one a month
Species and Varieties
Most Zygopetalum varieties for sale are hybrids, bred for flower form and color. A number of species are worth considering for enthusiasts and collectors.
Look for named species such as:
- Zygopetalum crinitum,
- Zygopetalum intermedium
- Zygopetalum mackayi
- Zygopetalum Blackii.