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  • 4 Post By raybark
  • 1 Post By 78Terp
  • 1 Post By JDT

Where do I start? Zygolum

This is a discussion on Where do I start? Zygolum within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have never grown any orchids. I know absolutely nothing about how to care for ...

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  1. #1
    Mazehavoc is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Unhappy Where do I start? Zygolum

    I have never grown any orchids. I know absolutely nothing about how to care for them. I bought 2 today a Zygolum Louisendorf and something that says Mtdm. Pacific Paragon. I looked under "Orchid Genus specific care" saw two different Genus but not the kind I have. So where do I start? I don't even know the right questions to ask. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Oct 2012
    Buckingham PA


    OK. Beginner mistake #1 (and something we have all done) is buying something you like the looks of, without having any idea how to grow it.

    Another beginner (and not so beginner) mistake is thinking that knowledge of growing terrestrial plants means you can automatically grow orchids. While there are some basic parallels, the are some pretty important distinctions that you need to understand.
    • Unlike terrestrial plants, orchids do much of their respiratory gas exchange processes through their roots, rather than leaves.
    • Orchids are cultural "niche" plants. They are very highly evolved, so have much more specific needs than do the far more flexible plants you may be more comfortable with growing.
    It is a poor understanding of the first item that leads to the most orchid deaths- using a potting medium that is too dense, or waiting too long to replace it, so it holds so much water that it suffocates the roots, killing them. The myth that "orchids must dry out between waterings" is just a poor way of addressing that.

    The cultural specificity means that, unless chosen well, two plants may not do particularly well if you give them the same cultural parameters.

    Zygolum, the man-made hybrid of the genera zygopetalum and zygosepalum, will tend to require cooler temperatures and low- to medium light levels, while the miltonidium, being a miltonia / oncidium cross, may like it warmer and a bit brighter. I think those two are close enough though, that you'll be OK if your growing conditions can meet their needs.

  3. #3
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is online now An Avant Gardner
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    Hello and welcome!

    Ray speaks to some very good points for understanding the needs of orchids that are much different than more common, non-orchid houseplants.

  4. #4
    Chris in Hamilton is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from Canada!

  5. #5
    JDT's Avatar
    JDT is online now Senior Member
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    Welcome from Florida.

    I would agree with Ray, knowledge about an orchid before you buy is important! Now we all have bought before checking the requirements and all paid the price. I see that Kmac had a posting on the Zygolum Louisendorf back on December 4, 2011, you might want to get in touch with Kathi as she is still on this board. Here is the link for that;

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