Zygopetalums are a mostly Brazilian orchid and are considered by many growers relatively easy to grow. Other members of this alliance such as Zygoneria, Zygocolax, and willwnara should also be treated the same as Zygopetalums.


Shade for this genus as a whole should not be too dense (50% to 70% shade-cloth). The leaves are slightly broader than those of Cymbidiums, with which they can be mixed.

Marking of the foliage is more frequently caused by cold than by heat. They are prone to develop black tips and large spots on the leaves if the humidity is to high and /or the foliage remains wet in cold conditions.


Water should be given only infrequently over the colder and dormant periods of the annual cycle usually in winter. During the warmer periods and /or growing season the pots should not be allowed to dry out completely. It may mean that during the hot/warmer weather watering may be done daily and perhaps once a week in the winter. Water generously letting the water run freely from pot drainage holes.


Blood & bone or similar can be applied to the surface at the commencement of the growing season. Pellets of slow release may also be used but should be completely finished by dormancy. Liquid fertilizers will increase the texture and size of the flower (a high Nitrogen fertilizer applied from July to November and a low Nitrogen fertilizer applied from December until June will enhance growth and flowering). All of this can be mixed with Seasol, which is a root food that helps absorb the fertilizers to the plant (Healthy root stock equals healthy Plant).

Potting Material 

Common ingredients for potting mixes are pine bark, marble chips, foam granules isolite perlite sand and peat moss. THE MIX SHOULD BE OPEN AND FREE DRAINING as the roots tend to suffer if the mix becomes blocked and continually wet. A mix of 3 parts bark to 1 part perlite is a common mix, using medium bark for the larger plants and small bark for smaller plants.