Zygopetalum Orchids – Orchid Information

Zygopetalum Orchids

When living rooms were still being heating with coal or wood-burning stoves and the area around a window remained fairly cool, the 60-70 cm (24-28 in) tall Zygopetalum used to be a popular potplant.

Zygopetalum Orchids The first two species, Zygopetalum crinitum and Zygopetalum mackaii, arrived in Britain between 1826 and 1829. Sir William Hooker first mentioned this genus in the Botanical Magazine in 1827. The genus includes about 30 species, most of which originate from Brazil. They form egg-shaped pseudo-bulbs with two or more narrow, lance-shaped leaves. The flowers appear laterally along the pseudo-bulbs and are often strikingly patterned or coloured. Nearly all species form numerous thick roots and grow best in roomy pots. Their peculiar name is derived from Greek and refers to the thickened callus at the base of the lip which holds the petals together like a horse collar (Greek: zygon = horse collar, petalon = petal).


South America.

Temperature range:


Flowering time:


Colour of flowers:

brown, pink, red, green and violet. Position: bright to semi-shady.


room temperature. Cooler and airier during the winter (15-18°C/59-64°F).


keep constantly moist all year round. Make sure there is plenty of humidity but do not spray the leaves if possible as they will develop spots.


in low doses every fortnight from spring to autumn.


every year as Zygopetalum does not like its roots to be tightly confined.


See Essential Orchid Information – Repotting Orchids


from the division of bulbs bearing leaves.

Pests, diseases:

root decay or fungal infections of the leaves if too much moisture is present. Stagnant air will encourage infestation with thrips and red spider mites.

My tip:

The inflorescences may become quite heavy and I recommend propping them up with sticks to give them extra security.


Zygopetalum species


Z. crinitum or Z. mackaii (which are considered to be the same). Also Z. intermedium.


Zygopetalum hybrids

“Artur Elle”, “John Banks”, “Seagulls Landing”

09. December 2010 by admin
Categories: House Plants, Orchids, Orchids, Plants | Tags: , | Comments Off on Zygopetalum Orchids – Orchid Information


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