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Zygoperalum mackayi spike died

This is a discussion on Zygoperalum mackayi spike died within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I recently purchased a Zygopetalum mackayi that was grown outside in an area slightly warmer ...

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  1. #1
    Mrobert's Avatar
    Mrobert is offline Senior Member
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    Default Zygoperalum mackayi spike died

    I recently purchased a Zygopetalum mackayi that was grown outside in an area slightly warmer than it is at my home.

    When I purchased the zygo it had two healthy spikes. No, after nearly two weeks one of the spikes has completely died and dried (totally brown and brittle). The rest of the plant looks healthy (roots outside the pot are plump and white, leaves blemish free) and the second spike appears to be progressing toward bloom albeit very slowly.

    Question: Why did one spike die in such dramatic fashion while one chugs along well?

    I suspected temperature, but a quick check of a very complete culture sheet for Z. mackayi shows that in its natural habitat it is exposed to similar (if not lower) temperatures.

    Thanks,

    Mateo

  2. #2
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I have no actual clue about the plant you are talking about, but I would think that just because I plant can live through lower temps, doesn't mean those are its favorite conditions. Which would seem to me to fit the picture fairly well with aborting one spike but keeping the other - the plant will live but it doesn't have enough extra energy for two spikes.

    But that's just my 2 cents and certainly not an informed opinion!

  3. #3
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    One of the main causes of spike deaths or bud blasts is the sudden change in environment.
    If the plant has been growing the spikes within certain conditions and a significant change is introduced then the spike could abort.
    Growing conditions are almost never identical between the growers and the buyers. Even a slight temperature or humidity difference could be enough to cause the spike to die.

    The culture sheets are general guides to inform us of the conditions in which the plants COULD grow. But orchids could be very slow when it comes to acclimating to a new environment and the flowers are always the first to be dropped in order to redirect energy to the plant in order to deal with stress.

    Once your plant has fully acclimated to your growing conditions and regimen, then it should start blooming again.

    Its natural habitat it is exposed to similar (if not lower) temperatures.
    That may be true, but the sheet is referring to the plant's wild counterpart.
    The particular plant you bought was probably propagated within more stable conditions inside a breeder's nursery where it could have been enjoying warmer growing temperatures and is more pampered than its wild siblings.

    ~John

  4. #4
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    I think you may be onto something regarding temperatures. These plants bloom in their native Brazil during the cool season when the temps are 45-48 F at night and high 60s during the day. I would say the spike death would have been caused by high night temperatures. These guys like it cool and can be grown with Cymbidiums as companion plants.

    Try this link for cultural hints: Zygopetalum mackayi Culture




    Quote Originally Posted by Mrobert View Post
    I recently purchased a Zygopetalum mackayi that was grown outside in an area slightly warmer than it is at my home.

    When I purchased the zygo it had two healthy spikes. No, after nearly two weeks one of the spikes has completely died and dried (totally brown and brittle). The rest of the plant looks healthy (roots outside the pot are plump and white, leaves blemish free) and the second spike appears to be progressing toward bloom albeit very slowly.

    Question: Why did one spike die in such dramatic fashion while one chugs along well?

    I suspected temperature, but a quick check of a very complete culture sheet for Z. mackayi shows that in its natural habitat it is exposed to similar (if not lower) temperatures.

    Thanks,

    Mateo

  5. #5
    Mrobert's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Molly Taco's Avatar
    Molly Taco is offline Re-member WHAT ??
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    Be glad that only the spike died, I killed the whole plant !!!
    Cin

  7. #7
    Sally K is offline Junior Member
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    I summered my zygo outside, and i got just one spike, but a big, healthy one with several beautiful blossoms. Maybe try the outdoor treatment next year? They like the cool, foggy clime of the California coast area, i think, though are said to be a little less cold tolerant than cymbidiums. I had a cym spike die on me, don't know why. Sad --

    By the way -- I am looking for a good home for two plants (impulse buys) that need more warmth and humidity than I can provide -- a Vanda sansai blue in a basket and a big old cattleya that I bought at the local orchid society meeting. Does any of the nearby California coastal folks want to have these? I may keep them alive but I doubt they will bloom for me.

  8. #8
    Mrobert's Avatar
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    thanks for the local info...check your PMs. The zygo is STILL no bloming, the spike and buds are just sitting there.

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