Zygopetalum James Strauss ‘Scentsation’
I’ve always had rather a soft spot for Zygopetalum, though I’ve never been good at growing them. This plant was obtained from my local branch of Dobbies for an undisclosed sum! As the name implies, the scent of this hybrid is very strong and most pleasant. I find many zygopetalums to have rather a soapy scent, but the fragrance of this one is nice and spicy, and really does fill the room.
This hybrid has Zygopetalum Artur Elle in its background, and so it produces sturdy, squat pseudobulbs and comparatively stiff foliage. I have read in numerous places that Zygopetalum is very prone to leaf-spotting and one should avoid getting the foliage wet, but I quite regularly wet the foliage (even going so far as to stand the plant in the shower) and have never had an issue with spotting. As with so many orchids, the key to watering appears to be to give the plant a really good soaking and then allow it to dry out before watering again.
I grow it in my now more widely-used mix of medium bark chips and chopped sphagnum moss, which it seems to like, and which encourages it to produce good root growth.
Since this plant is an intermediate to cool grower, I tend not to keep it in my warm growroom; instead, I have set up a cooler growing area in which to keep it throughout the winter, before standing it outside under shadecloth for the summer.
The flowers are produced alongside new growth, as you would expect, and are heavily textured and long-lasting.