this genus includes little more than a dozen species of orchids, both epiphytic and terrestrial, originating in South America, in particular in the rainforests of Brazil. The pseudobulbs are ovoid in shape, and from them depart long leaves, narrow and pointed at the ends, of a dark green colour.
From the end of spring until the beginning of autumn, they produce showy flowers, of considerable size, of a green tending to yellow colour, with white labellum, stained of brown or purple; usually these flowers emit a delicate perfume.
Like many other orchids also the zygopetalum do not like the direct rays of the sun, prefer positions bright enough, but shaded 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 opportunity, it is appropriate to place them in hanging containers.
They fear the cold, and the ideal temperature is around 15-20 ° C, so in winter should be kept indoors or in the greenhouse, avoiding placing them too close to sources of heat that dry up excessively the air.
These orchids can survive even at temperatures close to 10°C, but in this case we should almost certainly give up the spectacular flowering.
- Some species of orchids have very special flowers, with a curved labellum, closed to form a kind of shoe; orchids with cup-shaped lips belong to three main genus of orchids.
- The genus cattleya orchids counts about fifty species of epiphytes and lithophytes, native to South America; they are equipped with fleshy pseudobulbs, which may have dimensions close to the 5-7 cm, with a …
- It is a genus that includes many epiphytic orchids, originating in the wetlands and mountains of South America, from Mexico to Peru. They do not have pseudubulbs and the leaves are long and narrow, they are not…
- The genus Laelia includes about 50-60 species of orchids, mainly epiphytic, native to Central America, very similar to the cattleya. These varieties form dense tufts of pseudobulbs, which are often found in the…
The best way to cultivate the zygopetalum is to keep the mould of the pot constantly moistened, allowing in any case to dry up a little before supplying any more water; we suggest to keep the pots in saucers filled with clay and water, thus avoiding that the roots of the pseudobulbs come in direct contact with the water.
About once a month, to furnish specific fertilizer for orchids with the water of the irrigations, the zygopetalum are very sensitive to the excesses of fertilizer, therefore to avoid massive 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 advisable 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 if the zygopetalum we own is an epiphytic species or a terrestrial species, in fact the compost in the two cases vary considerably. The soil species are to be cultivated in balanced, well drained soil, whilst the epiphytic species need a compound prepared by mixing shredded bark, 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 rottenness.
In spring it is possible to proceed to the division of the rhizomes, taking care to keep a well developed root for each portion of the rhizome; the new plants are immediately repotted in an orchid compote; following suitable cultivation techniques the new plants will bloom the following year.
Zygopetalum: Pests and diseases
If the vessels are placed outside in hot periods it is likely that the otiorrhinchus causes damage to the pseudobulbs, pay attention to aphids and cochineal. To eliminate the cochineals you can intervene manually with the use of a pad with alcohol, while for aphids there are special products, or you can intervene with the use of natural products based on garlic or nettle.