How to grow and care for Zygopetalum Orchid Indoors

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Zygopetalum Orchid Care

Botanical name: Zygopetalum spp
Tribe: Maxillarieae
Subtribe: Zygopetalinae

Zygopetalum Orchid Description

Zygopetalum Orchids are popular indoor orchids due to their colorful, fragrant, waxy, long-lasting blooms which occur in multiples in shades of green, purple, burgundy and raspberry with several patterns.

The blooms in Zygopetalum Orchids are held by tall, upright stems and will fill a room with a delightful fragrance.

The leaves in Zygopetalum Orchids are glossy and strap-like. They are deeply ribbed and light-green reaching about 2 ft long.

Zygopetalum Orchids have a robust growth form and bear large, ovoid-conical pseudobulbs which are deciduous.

The genus name 'Zygopetalum' is derived from the Greek words zugon meaning "yoke" in reference to the yoke-like growth at the base of the lip (lowest flower petal).

Zygopetalum Orchid Origin

Zygopetalum is a genus that occurs in humid forests at low- to mid-elevation regions of South America, with most species occuring in Brazil. Most are epiphytes but some are terrestrials.

Zygopetalum Orchids for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Zygopetalum Orchids from Etsy.

Zygopetalum Orchid Care

Zygopetalum Orchid Care Indoors

Zygopetalum Orchid Light Requirements

Zygopetalum Orchid grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine. Keep your Zygopetalum Orchid away from hot sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that your Zygopetalum Orchid gets adequate light on all sides. Check this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Zygopetalum Orchid

For lush growth and regular blooms, water your Zygopetalum Orchids thoroughly during the growing period and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for Zygopetalum Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Use tepid, chlorine-free water as your Zygopetalum Orchid is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid wetting the foliage of your Zygopetalum Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases.

Zygopetalum Orchids are more tolerant of dry soil conditions due to the presence of pseudobulbs and their thick leaves.

As such take care not to overwater your Zygopetalum Orchid as it may begin to rot. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Zygopetalum Orchid

The best temperatures for growing Zygopetalum Orchid indoors are between 10-290C.

Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for your Zygopetalum Orchid. Cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Ensure there is good air circulation as your Zygopetalum Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Keep your Zygopetalum Orchid away from draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Zygopetalum Orchid

Zygopetalum Orchid requires a humid environment. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Zygopetalum Orchid.

Do not mist the leaves of your Zygopetalum Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Zygopetalum Orchid by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Zygopetalum Orchid

Feed Zygopetalum Orchids every 2 weeks during the growing season with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Zygopetalum Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding your Zygopetalum Orchid as overfeeding your Zygopetalum Orchid may result in loss of roots thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed your Zygopetalum Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth instead of flower production. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Zygopetalum Orchid

Zygopetalum Orchids bloom best when they are pot-bound. Repot your Zygopetalum Orchid only when growth begins to suffer.

Repot your Zygopetalum Orchid when the orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge of the pot or when the soil has broken down completely.

Basically repotting your Zygopetalum Orchid every 2-3 years should be adequate.

Repot your Zygopetalum Orchid only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over. Do not repot an orchid that is in flower as it may shorten the flowering season.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of your Zygopetalum Orchid need good air circulation.

The pot for your Zygopetalum Orchid should be only 1 size larger than the previous one.

Use loose, free-draining bark soil for your Zygopetalum Orchid.

When repotting your Zygopetalum Orchid, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled pseudobulbs.

The large Zygopetalum Orchids can be divided to propagate new plants.

Soil for Zygopetalum Orchid

The best soil for Zygopetalum Orchid should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most orchid potting mixes are ideal for Zygopetalum Orchid.

Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix for your Zygopetalum Orchid from Etsy.

How to Prune Zygopetalum Orchid

Pruning Zygopetalum Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife.

When flowering is over for your Zygopetalum Orchid, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom.

Zygopetalum Orchid Propagation

Zygopetalum Orchid propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over by rhizome division.

How to propagate Zygopetalum Orchid by rhizome division

Gently split the Zygopetalum Orchid rhizome into sections while ensuring there are at least 3 shoots on each section.

Seperate the roots attached to each division from the mother Zygopetalum Orchid root-ball.

Remove the old potting soil attached to the Zygopetalum Orchid section roots and place each section in the center of the pot.

Bury the roots of the Zygopetalum Orchid section in the soil while ensuring that the bottom of the pseudobulb is level with the top of the soil.

The best pot for the Zygopetalum Orchid section should be about 1-2 in. larger than the pseudobulb.

Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot of your Zygopetalum Orchid section.

Place the set up in a shaded place until Zygopetalum Orchid sections have established their own roots.

Water the new Zygopetalum Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant.

Zygopetalum Orchid Care

Zygopetalum Orchid Problems Indoors

Why does my Zygopetalum Orchid have brown soft spots on the leaves?

Brown soft spots on your Zygopetalum Orchid leaves are an indication of a fungal disease.

Remove the affected leaves of your Zygopetalum Orchid immediately to prevent further spread.

Why does my Zygopetalum Orchid have brown hard and dry spots on leaves?

Exposure of your Zygopetalum Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry spots on the leaves.

Move your Zygopetalum Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine.

Why does my Zygopetalum Orchid have mould on the leaves?

This is an indication of Powdery Mildew Disease in your Zygopetalum Orchid.

Misting the leaves of your Zygopetalum Orchid may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly.

Ensure good air circulation for your Zygopetalum Orchid and stop misting it.

Why are the leaves of my Zygopetalum Orchid limpy and drooping?

Limpy and drooping leaves in your Zygopetalum Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out at all.

Water your Zygopetalum Orchid thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist.

Why are the leaves of my Zygopetalum Orchid dark-green?

Dark green leaves in your Zygopetalum Orchid indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light.

Move your Zygopetalum Orchid to a brighter spot. The leaves of a Zygopetalum Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.

Why are the leaves of my Zygopetalum Orchid yellowish?

Yellowish leaves in your Zygopetalum Orchid indicate that your orchid is getting too much light that is very hot sunshine.

Move your Zygopetalum Orchid to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Zygopetalum Orchid that is receiving bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine should be light-green.

Why are the leaf tips of my Zygopetalum Orchid turning black and dying?

The cause of black leaf tips in your Zygopetalum Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.

Use chlorine-free water only to water your Zygopetalum Orchid and flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.

Why is my Zygopetalum Orchid not blooming or flowering?

One possible reason why your Zygopetalum Orchid is not blooming is too little light.

Move your Zygopetalum Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light with some direct sunshine.

Overfeeding your Zygopetalum Orchid can result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.

Feed your Zygopetalum Orchid once weekly with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Zygopetalum Orchid pests

The common plant pests in Zygopetalum Orchids are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Slugs and Snails.

Isolate the affected Zygopetalum Orchid to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Zygopetalum Orchid (Zygopetalum spp) toxic?

Zygopetalum Orchids (Zygopetalum spp) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.

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