Zygopetalums, Promenaea, Lycaste


Light and Temperature : Medium to bright light throughout the year. They do best in an east or west window or a south window filtered by a curtain. Leaves should be a medium green colour. Yellowing leaves usually indicates too much light, while dark green indicates not enough light. These plants are eventually deciduous, so don't be alarmed about the eventual loss of old leaves. Intermediate temperatures. Ample air movement will help prevent spotting on the leaves. Do not mist these plants. Misting of the leaves will encourage spotting, and possibly rot as well.

Water : Keep evenly moist during the warmer months, but allow to approach dryness between waterings during the cooler months. Do not stand the pots in water. A good range of humidity is 40% to 60%, but plants will tolerate lower levels of humidity if necessary.

Fertilizing : Only fertilize plants during active growth. A high nitrogen fertilizer (ie. 30-10-10) applied at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 strength every other watering is beneficial from the start of new growth until August. Then switch to a high phosphorus fertilizer (ie. 15-30-15) from August to October. This will help to encourage a good blooming on mature plants.

Blooming : Most Zygopetalum species and hybrids, and some Lycaste are quite fragrant. Zygopetalums usually bloom when light exposure is suddenly reduced. You can trigger this by shortening the day-length by 2 hours for 3 to 4 weeks. I tend to do this at a convenient time of the year by altering the setting on my timers, starting in mid-November and continuing until mid-December. Then I return to my usual day-length and a few weeks later the new spikes will appear. Some species will bloom off of the last matured pseudobulb, while others will produce a spike along with the emerging new growth.


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