Caring for your Zygopetalum

Caring for your Zygopetalum

Zygopetalum is a beautiful and unusual-looking member of the orchid family. Here's how to take care of it.

Native habitat
Tropical South America.

Light and position in the home
Place in a bright location, but avoid direct sunlight. Leaves should be a yellow-green colour. If the plant does not receive enough light, the leaves will turn a very dark green colour. Avoid placing this plant in draughty areas.

Zygopetalum is a humidity-loving plant, so it is very important not to allow it to dry out. In Summer, water every week by running water over the roots of the plant and allowing all water to drain away from the pot. Alternatively, water with 3 ice cubes once a week. In winter, watering can be reduced to every fortnight. 

Ideal temperature for this plant is 21-26 degrees Celcius during the day, and 10-15 degrees Celcius at night.

Flowering and blooms
The lighter the location, the more flowers you will see. Zygopetalum flowers are beautiful and waxy in appearance, and are also fragrant, which is unusual for commercial orchids.

This plant will bloom for 6-12 weeks, depending on location. When the flowers fade, cut the stem all the way back to the first 'notch' (seems harsh, but trust me on this!). This encourages new growth. Zygopetalum will flower twice a year or more.

Why I chose this plant
I chose this Zygopetalum as plant of the month because I'm a lifelong orchid lover. Phalenopsis orchids were the first houseplants that I was successful in keeping alive, and I was surprised at just how little care they actually need. They are the perfect plants for people with busy lives, but their beauty and variety is astounding! Zygopetalum is a relatively new orchid for me, but I've had my eye on this one since this time last year and was adamant that they would appear in the first year of Lazy Flora's indoor plant subscription. So here it is! I hope you love it!

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