Are Zygopetalum Orchids easy to care for?

Saw a Zygopetalum Orchid Plant and wanted to buy it. My husband said that since I was just starting to care for houseplants, an orchid would be too hard for me. Do you think if I bought this kind of Orchid Plant, I would be able to keep it alive?

Hi Laurie,

A Zygopetalum Orchid, (“yoked petal orchid”) is not only beautiful, it also has a lovely scent and is really quite easy to care for. I think it would be a great Orchid Plant for a beginner.

Purple and yellow Zygopetalum Orchid
‘New Era’ Orchid

Here are some care tips:

bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. but no direct sun

High humidity (50% or more) if possible. If your home is dry, put a small humidifier near the plant

Water: This is the one area where you have to be a little careful. Try not to get the leaves or pseudo bulbs wet. These pseudo bulbs store water, so the plant does a lot better if you under rather than over water. Keep the soil barely moist and never soggy.

Temperature: Getting the right temperature helps a Zygopetalum Orchid Plant produce more flowers. 70-75°F/21-24°C during the day and 60-65°F/16-18°Cat night is ideal.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Feed your Orchid Plant twice a month when it is actively growing with a plant food made specifically for orchids.

That’s all there is to it!