Welcome to Orchids of Los Osos
History: Sir William Hooker first described this genus
in 1827 from a plant given to him by Mr. Mackay of Brazil. The name refers
to the shape of the lip, the basal part which is very swollen and resembles
a yoke that links together the two petals. Greek zygon=yoke and petalon=petal
Humidity and Watering
Zygopetalums need filtered light or moderate shading or morning sun. Full sun in the afternoon can be harmful and will burn the foliage.
Repotting and Compost
Zygopetalums do best in a light compost which holds moisture and has good drainage. This might be a mixture of fine and coarse Douglas Fir Bark with a small amount of coarse perlite(10-15%). Containers should preferably be plastic and large enough to allow root to spread out freely. The roots, in fact, grow rapidly but are quite delicate and do not lend themselves readily to repotting. This should be done every other year in the summer months or during the rest period.
The simplest way is by division at the time of repotting. Repotting methods are the same way as cymbidiums. Other methods are seed production or mericloning
If it is too hot and dry there can be problems with spider mites which should not happen along coastal regions. A common trait is a Bacterial leaf spot which primarily affects the older foliage which is deciduous on many plants. Good air circulation and cooler temperatures are important to help reduce and eliminate the spots. If the condition persists or gets worse Antibacterial and fungal sprays are beneficial.