ZYGO CACTUS
Temperature60-75° F. during the day, down to 50° at night. Tolerates 38-90° F. and perhaps occasional light frosts but not freezing conditions. Flowers last longer if plant is kept in cool environment.
LightMedium diffused. To regulate blooming time, see After Care, below.
WaterKeep moist but not soggy. Drain well after watering. Can tolerate some drought but don't overdo it.
FertilizerNone needed during blooming period. After blooming, light feeding with evenly balanced nutrient mix (time-release capsules are fine) is recommended.
SoilCoarse peat moss.
USDA Zone(s)Zone 10 and possibly Zone 9, best use as a houseplant.
AvailabilitySeptember - December
After Care
After the zygo has finished blooming, place the plant in semishade (patio area is good) where it will receive adequate light but very little direct sun. Unlike other cacti, the zygo plant should not be exposed to continuous bright sunlight since the "leaves" (technically called phylloclades) may blister if it gets too much sun. If possible, provide minimum night temperatures of 50° F., although day temperatures can be as high as 80-90° F. Keep the soil moist but never soggy; soak the soil well, then drain excess so plant doesn't sit in water. Wait until the top of the soil feels dry to the touch before watering well again. In a temperate climate, the natural blooming period is late fall or early winter; however, with a little cultural manipulation, the plant can be regulated to bloom almost anytime from November through March. About 7-8 weeks before the blooms are desired, lower the night temperature to 55-60° F. and provide 13-14 hours total darkness each night by covering it with a box or placing it in a cool dark closet. During the day, keep the plant in its normal well-lit warm area. Continue this until the buds are set and getting plump, usually 5-7 weeks. Unless the night temperature is lowered, the zygo will usually not form buds regardless of the shortened days. Be careful not to let the night temperature fall below 55° F. or the day temperature much exceed 70° F. since these conditions could also prevent bud formation. Keep the soil moist. Do not fertilize the plant during this or the blooming period. When the buds are nice and large, this procedure may be discontinued. Just remember to provide the plant with adequate light and temperature since any sudden change in environmental conditions may cause the buds and flowers to fall off. Even when a room is comfortably warm, if the plant is exposed to hot air from a heater vent or to a draft from a door or window, buds can sometimes drop.