When you think Zygopetalum, think purple. There are dozens of Zygo species and hybrids, and every one I’ve seen has great purple color. The hybrid Zygo in these pictures has a spectacular purple lip, but that’s not its only distinction. The 3 inch (8 cm) flowers can last for months, and  have a strong fragrance. As an added bonus, this variety can bloom repeatedly during the year.

Zygopetalum flowerZygopetalum flowerZygopetalum flower

Zygos originate in the rainforests of Brazil, Argentina, and neighboring countries. In cultivation, they grow in similar conditions to Cymbidiums, enjoying cool temperatures, regular water during spring and summer, and regular fertilizer. The two make great companion plants since the larger Cymbidiums shade the Zygos, which need less light anyway. They like to be potted in deep pots to permit their large root systems to expand.

Zygopetalum flowerZygopetalum flower bud openingZygopetalum flowers and buds

Zygo leaves are often susceptible to botrytis, which is a type of fungal infection. In other orchids, this fungus can destroy the plant, but Zygos seem to tolerate it and thrive despite it. It can cause black spots on the leaves, but high humidity and good air flow help minimize its damage.

While my hybrid is a cool grower, some other Zygos like warmer temperatures. The Zygonisia hybrid in the last photo is a warm growing variety with beautiful purple flowers that advertise its membership in the Zygo family tree.

Zygopetalum flowersZygonisia flowers

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Fragrant Orchids, Growing, Photos, Problems

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5 Comments on “Zygopetalum”

  1. Zygopetalum | DEEP PURPLE Says:

    […] Go here to read the rest: Zygopetalum […]

  2. Saul Says:

    Da best. Keep it going!
    Thank you

  3. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Orchid Post Mortem: Sedirea Says:

    […] This year when I moved it back into shade for spring, I put it alongside a larger orchid, my Zygo. […]

  4. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Compost Happens Says:

    […] better than I ever expected. After a good shot of compost, some of my orchids, like this Laelia and Zygo, will quickly put up a new flower spike and bloom with a few weeks. My Cymbidiums, Sobralia, and […]

  5. Dana Says:

    I love purple! And thse flowers look like a work of art. Thanks for the great pics!