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Zygopetalum is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae.

Image of Zygopetalum plant at Google

Zygopetalum is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Zygopetalum belongs to the subfamily Epidendroideae, tribe Maxillarieae, subtribe Zygopetalinae. This genus comprises of fourteen species.

The name Zygon means yoked petal in Greek. This is in reference to the yoke-like growth at the base of the lip caused by the fusion of petals and the sepals. They are found in mid elevations of South America, with most species in Brazil.

They are known for their ease of culture. They have found to have demand as excellent cut flowers.

The species of this genus are:
– Zygopetalum brachypetalum Lindl.
– Zygopetalum burkei
– Zygopetalum crinitum
– Zygopetalum ghillanyi (Brazil).
– Zygopetalum graminifolium (Brazil).
– Zygopetalum hasslerianum (Paraguay).
– Zygopetalum maculatum Spotted Zygopetalum (Peru to E. Brazil). type species (formerly *Zygopetalum mackai (Hook.)
– Zygopetalum maxillare : Chin-bone Zygopetalum (Brazil to NE. Argentina)
– Zygopetalum microphytum (SE. Brazil).
– Zygopetalum pabstii (Brazil).
– Zygopetalum pedicellatum Mosen’s Zygopetalum (SE. Brazil).
– Zygopetalum reginae (Brazil).
– Zygopetalum rigbyanum (Brazil).
– Zygopetalum sellowii (SE. Brazil).
– Zygopetalum silvanum (Brazil – Bahia).
– Zygopetalum sincoranum (Brazil – Bahia).
– Zygopetalum triste Dark-purple Zygopetalum (Brazil – Minas Gerais) (terrestrial or lithophyte)

Growing/Caring conditions for Zygopetalum
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.

The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.
– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli

To avoid the above fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.
– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.

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