Apartment plants

Zygopetalum - Zigopetalum

Zygopetalum - Zigopetalum

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this genus includes little more than a dozen species of orchids, both epiphytic and terrestrial, originating from South America, particularly the rainforests of Brazil. The pseudobulbs are ovoid in shape, and from them branch out long leaves, narrow and pointed at the ends, of dark green color. From the end of spring until the beginning of autumn they produce showy flowers, of considerable size, of a greenish color tending to yellow, with a white labellum, stained with brown or purple; usually these flowers give off a delicate fragrance.


Like many other orchids too zygopetalum they do not like the direct rays of the sun, they prefer quite bright, but shaded positions in the hottest periods of the year; in the summer months it is advisable to place them outside, in the shade of a tree or other plants, having the possibility, it is advisable to place them in hanging containers. They fear the cold, and the ideal temperature is around 15-20 ° C, so in winter they should be kept indoors or in a greenhouse, avoiding placing them too close to heat sources that excessively dry the air.
These orchids can survive even at temperatures close to 10 ° C, but in this case we should almost certainly renounce the spectacular flowering.


The best way to cultivate the zygopetalum и keep the soil of the pot constantly moistened, leaving it to dry a little before supplying additional water; it is advisable to keep the pots in saucers filled with clay and water, thus avoiding that the pseudobulb roots come into direct contact with water. About once a month provide specific fertilizer for orchids with irrigation water, the zygopetalum are very sensitive to fertilizer excesses, so avoid large doses.
It is essential to check that the substrate used allows proper drainage, as water stagnation is not tolerated. During the hottest days, then, it is good to proceed with the vaporization of water on the leaves to maintain the correct degree of humidity.


To plant these plants, use an orchid compost, inquiring first whether the zygopetalum we possess is an epiphytic species or a terrestrial species, in fact the composites in the two cases vary considerably. The terricolous species are cultivated in balanced, well-drained soil, while the epiphytic species require a compost prepared by mixing shredded barks, fibrous peat and sphagnum in equal parts.
All 2 substrates must however allow a high degree of drainage, because the roots of the plant are very sensitive to stagnation, which quickly cause rot.


In spring it is possible to proceed with the division of the rhizomes, taking care to maintain a well-developed root for each portion of the rhizome; the new plants should be immediately repotted in an orchid compost; following suitable cultivation techniques the new plants will bloom the following year.

Zygopetalum: Pests and diseases

If the vessels are placed outside in hot weather it is likely that the oziorrinco will cause damage to the pseudobulbs, pay attention to aphids and cochineal. To eliminate scale insects it is possible to intervene manually with the use of a wad with alcohol, while for aphids there are special products, or, it is possible to intervene with the use of natural products based on garlic or nettle.


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