Alphabetical Plant Listing

Zygopetalum (Orchids)

Zygopetalum brachypetalum, Zygopetalum crinitum, Zygopetalum ghillanyi, Zygopetalum graminifolium, Zygopetalum maculatum, Zygopetalum maxillare, Zygopetalum microphytum, Zygopetalum pabstii, Zygopetalum pedicellatum, Zygopetalum reginae, Zygopetalum sellowii, Zygopetalum silvanum, Zygopetalum sincoranum, Zygopetalum triste


Becoming very popular in cultivation, Zygopetalum is a genus of about 16 species of terrestrial or epiphytic orchids found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru. Easy to grow in the home, as long as you follow an appropriate care routine, these cool to moderate growing orchids make ravishing houseplants.

Zygopetalum orchids have a robust growth habit with deciduous, ovoid-conical pseudobulbs bearing 2 or 3 glossy, strap-like, plicate leaves. The foliage can grow to be nearly 2 ft. tall (60 cm) and the inflorescence, which develops from the base of the pseudobulb, will usually grow even taller than the leaves. They have a large root system and need a fairly large pot.

Long-lasting, slender-petalled, wax-like flowers are borne on tall spikes that originate at the base of the new pseudobulbs. They are usually extremely fragrant and bloom in shades of green, purple, burgundy, and raspberry with several patterns.

Growing Zygopetalum Orchids

Light
Zygopetalum orchids are easily grown in a well-drained but humus-rich compost in fairly bright light to light shade, but not direct sun. If the leaves become dark green, your orchid is probably not getting enough light. If the leaves become yellow, your orchid might have been exposed to too much sunlight. Provide good air circulation year round.

Temperatures 
Zygopetalum orchids prefer daytime temperatures between 70-80°F (21-26°C), and night temperatures between 50-60°F (10-15°C).

Water 
Keep your Zygopetalum orchid evenly moist, never allowing the plant to completely dry out, but avoiding soggy conditions. Zygopetalum orchids are quite intolerant of poorly drained or soggy potting mixes. While the orchid is in active growth (warmer months), water more frequently (approximately once a week), and less frequently in the cooler months when the orchid is not in active growth.

Humidity
Maintain adequate humidity (40-60%) for most of the year by standing your container in a tray of damp pebbles.

Fertilization
Provide regular fertilization. Fertilize every other watering with a half-strength solution when the orchid is in active growth. When not in active growth, fertilize once a month. It is important to flush (once a month) with clear water to remove excess fertilizer, which can burn roots.

Potting
Repot in spring, once every year or two or once the potting medium no longer drains properly or if the orchid is beginning to outgrow the pot. Use a mixture of bark, coconut chips, and perlite. 

Propagation
Can be divided as long as you have at least 3 pseudobulbs per division.

Pests and diseases 
Zygopetalum orchids are generally disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, mealybugs, root rot (excess moisture).

Guide Information

Hardiness 9 - 10
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" - 2' (10cm - 60cm)
Spread 6" - 2' (15cm - 60cm)
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers

Svetlanko, Dhawan Dirksen, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 9 - 10
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" - 2' (10cm - 60cm)
Spread 6" - 2' (15cm - 60cm)
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.