Zygopetalum (Zygopetalum) is an epiphytic land plant belonging to the genus Orchidaceae. The place of origin of zygopetalum is considered to be the territory of Central and South America.
Zygopetalum is a sympoidal type orchid. Pseudobulbs are oval, thickened, each about 6-7 cm long. Each pseudobulb has folded leaves (2-3 pieces each). The length of the leaf reaches 0.5 m. The leaves are pointed, folded at the base, linear-lanceolate. The length of the peduncle reaches about 0.5 m. On each peduncle there can be about 8 or more flowers. The diameter of each flower is about 6-7 cm. The flower has a complex structure and consists of lanceolate petals and sepals. Their color is brown with spots and stripes. The lip has a wavy edge, its shade of purple is purple.
The flowering of zygopetalum is accompanied by a bright and memorable aroma. In general, zygopetalum is represented by a large assortment of shades and colors, but spots and strokes on the petals remain unchanged.
Zygopetalum is the most unpretentious orchid in terms of lighting levels. Under natural conditions, the zygopetalum orchid clings to the lower branches of trees, where the sun's rays practically do not fall due to the dense crown. For growing zygopetalum indoors, western or eastern windows are suitable. When exposed to direct sunlight, burns form on the leaves. Also, the plant can overheat and begin to bloom ahead of time, when the peduncle has not yet fully developed. In this case, there will be no more than 3 flowers on the peduncle. Such a hasty flowering takes a lot of energy from the orchid. This suggests that the next flowering will not be soon, and the development of the zygopetalum itself will be slower than usual.
It is very easy to understand if the lighting is enough for an orchid. At the optimal level of illumination, the leaves of the orchid are dark green; in excess, they become light green or even acquire a yellow tint.
Zygopetalum grows well only at low temperatures. The optimum daytime temperature should be between 16 and 24 degrees, and the nighttime - about 14 degrees.
Zygopetalum grows well and develops in a room with low air humidity. Additional hydration of the leaves is not required. If the air is too dry and hot, especially in winter, when the heating devices are operating, additional air humidification will still be required. For example, an orchid can be sprayed regularly.
Watering needs to be regulated depending on the stage in which the zygopetalum is. In spring and summer, with its active growth, as well as the laying of new peduncles and flowering, watering should be regular and abundant. The substrate should dry out between waterings, but not dry out completely. With an excess of moisture, the roots of the orchid begin to rot quickly, which leads to the death of the plant. All subsequent periods of the life of the zygopetalum, namely the period of building up new pseudobulbs and the root system, watering is reduced, but does not stop altogether.
For planting zygopetalum, a special substrate for orchids is used, consisting of a mixture of pine bark, charcoal and sphagnum moss. The base of orchids should not be deepened into the substrate, otherwise it will quickly rot.
Zygopetalum needs fertilization only during the period when new shoots begin to grow on it and until the opening of the first flower on the peduncle. For feeding, special fertilizers for orchids are used. During flowering, zygopetalum does not need fertilizers, so there is no need to feed the flower. After the orchid has faded and before the appearance of new shoots, fertilization is resumed. As soon as pseudobulbs begin to form on young shoots, feeding is finished again.
Zygopetalum does not need to be regularly transplanted into a new container. Transplanting a plant is boring only in extreme cases, when, for example, the old pot has become small and the root system already protrudes significantly from it. Or when the substrate has become unusable and turned into dust. The transplant time also needs to be chosen correctly. It is better to transplant zygopetalum when the new shoots reach 3-5 cm in length and begin to grow their own roots. If you transplant a zygopetalum at the moment when it just started to grow a peduncle, then, most likely, the flowering may not be seen. In the event of a stressful situation, the orchid will simply dry it out.
In order for the zygopetalum to bloom, it needs a rest period. This time begins from the moment of maturation of young pseudobulbs. During this period, watering should be reduced to a minimum, and the temperature should be reduced to 15-18 degrees. It is better to replace watering with spraying the top layer of the substrate. Compliance with all these conditions leads to the emergence of new shoots. After that, the temperature of the orchid content rises slightly, and watering resumes in the usual volume.
If the dormant period is not observed correctly, the zygopetalum will not please with its flowering. If conditions are created for an orchid under which the difference between day and night temperatures is 4-5 degrees, then it will bloom after 3-4 weeks of dormancy.
Zygopetalum usually blooms in the winter season. Zygopetalum bloom can only be observed on new shoots that have not yet reached their maximum size. After the end of flowering, young shoots will resume their growth.
You can propagate zygopetalum at home by dividing an adult bush into parts. Each new plant must have at least three pseudobulbs, as well as an independent root system.
Dry indoor air can cause zygopetalum to become infected with pests such as scale insects, spider mites and aphids.
Thus, we can conclude that zygopetalum belongs to the most unpretentious species of orchids, which has a stunningly beautiful flowering. Many flower growers are afraid to purchase it because of far-fetched difficulties with care, which is completely in vain.
Orchid ZYGOPETALUM. And how to look after.
Every lover of exotic indoor flowers has at least one spotted orchid in their collection. This species was first brought from Indonesia by the German traveler Georg Rumph in 1680. However, the orchid was included in the world encyclopedia "Types of Plants" only in 1752 by Karl Linnaeus. The genus was named "Phalaenopsis" ("moth").
Spotted orchids - description of different species
The choice of a garden grafting knife should be approached with special care. Gadgets have become very popular in recent years. Outlets offer several types of models from different manufacturers and at different prices. To choose the right tool, you should study all the subtleties and nuances, know exactly what to look for when choosing.
First of all, they look at the handles. The handles must be comfortable to use and made of a special durable material such as polyamide. Such handles will serve for a long time and are very convenient to use. It is better to refuse a device with handles made of aluminum, plastic or tubular steel.
The next step in inspecting the grafting pruner is the blades. You need to pay special attention to them. The knives should be made of good hardened steel. Such a blade remains very sharp for a long time, does not corrode and does not require regular sharpening. After working with a high-quality grafting pruner, the cuttings of the shoots remain perfectly even, smooth to the touch and do not deform.
The spring mechanism is also an important detail. It completely regulates the operation of the blades and is responsible for the quality of the cut. Before purchasing, you need to carefully inspect the structure from all sides. The parts of the tool must be well secured. During operation, there should be no extraneous sounds, and in a quality tool, the gap between the blades is always minimal.
The latest models of pruning shears are equipped with a step mechanism due to which the shoot cutting procedure takes place in several intermediate stages. When grafting is carried out on large branches, this function is very useful, since the use of pruning shears for grafting trees should be as convenient as possible.
The latest developments equip the tool with a lower pivoting handle. Such a mechanism reduces the efforts of the fingers, prevents the formation of calluses, and maximizes convenience during use. Thanks to this technical foresight, the hands do not feel tired even after long processing of the plants.
In order for the device to serve for many years, after use it must be cleaned of plant juices and adhering wood fibers that have fallen on the blade. A quality tool can be rinsed in water and then wiped dry. Secateurs of lower quality should only be wiped with a rag.
Carrying out regular maintenance of the garden device, it is imperative to lubricate the springs of the mechanism, this protects the material from rust and increases the period of use. All other components of the instrument are also carefully examined and put in order.
Summing up, we can conclude that grafting trees with a grafting pruner of the latest developments is an interesting, extremely exciting activity even for inexperienced gardeners.
Zygopetalum transplant should be carried out once every 2-3 years. At this time, the woody component of the soil becomes unusable and requires replacement. At the same time, a larger pot is selected for the plant or it is divided into several smaller orchids. The transplant time is also a good reason to examine the plant for root diseases and remove old, diseased and dead roots.
Soil for orchids and epiphytes is purchased as a ready-made substrate in specialized stores. Instead of soil, you can also purchase all the necessary components there and connect them yourself, following the instructions:
A correctly composed substrate should have sufficient air and moisture permeability, and have an acid-base balance slightly shifted towards acidity.
For planting a plant, you should choose plastic, transparent containers. Small roots of epiphytes can grow through wood, clay and any porous material, and this significantly complicates the planned transplantation of a plant, the roots of which, when removed from the pot, can be injured. The transparency of the container allows the owner to correctly assess the health of the horse system of the orchid, the mode of its watering and the condition of the soil.
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Zygopetalum prefers low humidity and low temperatures. During the day it can be from +16 to +24 degrees, and at night - about +14 degrees.
With regard to lighting, zygopetalum is one of the most picky plant species. In its natural habitat, the flower prefers to grow on the lower branches of the tree, where the sun practically does not fall. Leaves may be burned if exposed to direct rays. Because of this, zygopetalum can develop poorly and bloom ahead of time, which will adversely affect the general condition of the plant.
The flower itself can indicate whether it has enough light. Under normal lighting, the foliage of the plant has a rich green hue; with an overabundance, they can turn light green or even turn yellow.
Watering depends on the development of the zygopetalum. In the warm season, with intensive growth and formation of young peduncles, watering becomes regular. With excess moisture, the root system of the orchid will begin to rot and the plant will most likely die. The rest of the time, watering is reduced.
For the growth of zygopetalum, soil is used, which consists of bark, sphagnum moss, and charcoal. The plant should not be buried deep in the soil as it may rot.
When zygopetalum blooms, the room will be filled with a bright aroma. There is a wide variety of colors, but spots or stripes on the petals are an indispensable part of any kind. The plant prefers to bloom in winter exclusively on young shoots. About 8 flowers are formed on the peduncle, their diameter is 6 cm with a complex shape.
In a home environment, propagating this flower is quite simple. This happens in a vegetative way by dividing an adult plant into fragments. The shoot must contain at least three bulbs and an independent root for good nutrition.
Zygopetalum can be attributed to unpretentious plants that have incredibly amazing flowering. Most breeders are afraid to acquire it because of the invented difficulties, but this is completely in vain.