Zygopetalum Orchid

The Zygopetalum orchid genus is unusual in having its tepals fused at the base, so that sepals fuse to the adjacent petals. The fowers are quite showy, and they are very easy to grow. Most species are epiphytes, though Zygopetalum triste grows as a terrestrial orchid or lithophyte. Most species originate in Brazil.
Zygopetalum sincoranum
Zygopetalum sincoranum
Image courtesy of João de Deus Madeiros
Distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
They like high light, 3000-4000 footcandles, similar to Cattleya. If it's getting as much light as it can take, the leaves will become paler and slightly yellowish. More light will then cause sunburn. If adjusting the plant to higher light, acclimate it gradually.

Intermediate-to-warm temperatures, with daytime temperatures in the 70's Fahrenheit (21-27C), and a nighttime drop of 10-15°F (6-8C), are ideal. They are quite tolerant of wider temperature ranges, though: they'll deal with temperatures of 90°F (32C) fairly well, and are okay down to just above freezing. This makes it relatively easy to grow them outdoors for much of the year in most places.

Water these orchids as they approach dryness; they aren't very tolerant of drought, so make sure they have plenty of water while actively growing. They are unusually sensitive to salt buildup, so make sure you run plenty of water through the pot, or use distilled or reverse-osmosis-filtered water, and go relatively easy on the fertilizer. (Remember the mantra to fertilize "weakly, weekly".)

They'll do much better with 60-70% humidity than they would if the air was too dry.

They don't like to be pot bound, so repot when they start to fill the available space. I usually use plastic pots. I generally repot every two years or so, usually shortly after blooming. A mix of fine fir bark and rockwool makes a good potting mix for these orchids.

If growing these orchids under lights, you can reduce the day length by a few hours to trigger blooming.

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