How to care for jewel orchid. Whatever your opinion of orchids, I believe we can all agree that they provide a whimsical delight to every home. The same applies to jewel orchids and Ludisia discolor. While other orchards are literal showboats with their exquisite flowers and subtle smell, our Ludisia is proud of its velvety greenish-maroon foliage.
The jewel orchid is the ideal houseplant if you want to infuse your decor with a splash of vibrant tropical colors. It won’t require continual maintenance from you and isn’t picky about nutrients and water. So what should you know before allowing the diamond orchid into your home? And how would you take care of it and expand it? Continue reading to learn the answers to these questions.
Concerning the Jewel Orchid
The Southeast Asian native jewel orchid is frequently discovered in the understory of tropical forests and is also a common fixture in many houses. Even while it still produces tiny blooms that improve the visual appeal of the plant as a whole, the leaves are its most remarkable characteristic.
Jewel orchids have a long lifespan and grow and reproduce swiftly with good care. You might be surprised by this as it’s a prevalent belief that jewel orchids are difficult to grow and difficult to get in nurseries. Maybe the only requirement for this Ludisia is a hot, humid atmosphere that resembles its original habitat.
As annual flowering plants, it’s important to watch for the flowering season. The flowers emerge from the plant soon as buds on protruding, long spikes. The buds then open to display tiny white flowers that sparkle or look like little stars among the dark maroon leaves. Despite having no scent, the flowers will remain in full bloom for almost a month.
Varieties of jewel orchids
Two different types of jewel orchids are frequently offered for sale in nurseries outside of their flowering season, despite the fact that the Ludisia genus as a whole only has one species—the Ludisia discolor.
The dark green leaves of the Ludisia orchid known as the “Black Jewel Orchid” are its most distinctive characteristic. They are almost completely black until you put a bright light on them, which then reveals the light veins and pinstripes that crisscross the lush, green surroundings. The veins and leaves have rich, vivid undertones because to the maroon hue. The plant reveals its full beauty and majesty when the white blossoms are in bloom. Of the two jewel orchid kinds, this one is by far the more common and the one you’re most likely to find for sale.
Ludisia Discolor Alba: With the exception of colors, the Alba and the Black Jewel Orchid are quite similar plants. The leaves have a vivid green color and more noticeable pale veins. The white blossoms are not as noticeable as with the other Ludisia variety since it lacks maroon undertones. Despite being more difficult to locate than its darker cousin, it nonetheless has decorative significance.
The Orchid called Lightning Bolt Jewel has a name that is identical to another plant. However, as shown by its scientific name, Macodes petola, it belongs to a completely distinct species. Large leaves are present, but the veins are irregular, more complicated, and have brighter colors that resemble lightning bolts. This plant is smaller and doesn’t grow as quickly as the Ludisia.
Growing Jewel Orchids: A Guide
Heat and humidity are arguably the two components that the gem orchid needs the most, even more so than food and water. It requires a unique climate with high temperatures and an abundance of moisture droplets in the air because it is a tropical plant. Dry temperatures and chilly winds are harmful to the plant’s survival and growth.
Jewel orchids thrive best in containers because they are terrestrial plants. They can work with any type of soil, even one that is not very good. However, inadequate light and nutrition—more on that later—can affect a plant’s ability to grow and flower. With some success, some people have grown Ludisia in sphagnum moss. To provide the soil the proper balance that the plant need, I advise using perlite or pumice.
Water and moisture are both beneficial to jewel orchids. In fact, trying to keep up with this Ludisia’s irrigation requirements is one of the main difficulties in cultivating it. This means that the soil must always be kept moist. However, take care not to overwater it. In a perfect world, you would keep an eye on the dirt and water the plant if it became dry. The plant suffers from dehydration. The leaves turn red, and the vegetation takes on an unpleasant appearance.
Do not overlook the fact that this plant is tropical. As a result, it requires a lot of heat. Typically, a suitable indoor temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit is required for the gem orchard. Anything less won’t result in a healthy plant. Frost should never be used. Because you have more control over the temperature indoors, you should only grow the Ludisia there. By any standard, it is not a hardy plant.
To increase its general health, the richness of its leaves, and of course, its blossoming, Ludisia needs the occasional feeding and plant supplementation, just like all other flowering plants. Before you water the plant, you can either use liquid fertilizers or apply slow-release nutrients. You don’t need to use fertilizers in the wintertime after the flowers have faded.
Flowers Jewel orchids produce tiny but attractive flowers when given the right care, a comfortable temperature, and good nutrients. In the fall, the plant produces tall spikes from which the flowers emerge. A spike may have five to eight buds on it. When the buds open, the tiny white flowers brighten the otherwise gloomy and ominous foliage.
Care for Jewel Orchid
The Ludisia has to be kept comfortable in a warm environment with access to plenty of water, but you also need to be aware of its ravenous thirst for light. However, the plant is adversely affected by direct sunshine. Because of this, it may thrive in the shade but still requires light.
Do not forget that this plant only grows on the forest floors of tropical regions. Although it doesn’t require much light, the morning sun will be incredibly beneficial to its foliage. This is especially true for the Black Jewel Orchid in particular, whose maroon hues are enhanced by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Open any morning-sun-facing windows you have if you want to keep the diamond orchid content.
Dividing is the most effective method of jewel orchid propagation. A cutting should be made and placed in a glass of water until it develops roots. Up to two months may pass during this phase before the roots formally emerge. To stop the stem from rotting, frequently change the water. Handle the cutting carefully because the stems are quite brittle and snap quickly.
Transfer the plant to a pot with a mixture of soil and pumice as soon as the roots start to emerge from the cutting. To keep the soil moist, add a layer of mulch and water it. Jewel orchids develop quickly, and by the fall of the next year, they will be in bloom.
Jewel orchids require repotting practically every year despite being annual plants that live for many years. Not that their root system exceeds the capacity of your pot. It has more to do with maintaining fresh soil and altering it. There are visible indicators that the plant requires a new pot. These consist of:
turning yellow or even red in the leaves.
If buds do emerge on the spikes, they might not open or flowers don’t bloom as expected.
Even with lots of water and the right temperature, the plant appears stressed.
Roots emerge from the pot.
The leaves may fall in the worst-case scenario.
To repot the diamond orchid, you must carefully and gently remove the entire plant. Verify that the root ball is whole. You should plant it in a freshly prepared pot. Mulch, organic materials, and liquid fertilizer should be added. Give the plant water. Make sure the soil is well-drained and avoid packing the dirt and mixture too tightly.
Tropical plants called jewel orchids have made an admirable transition to indoor environments in cooler climates. The Ludisia orchid needs enough light and a temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to develop and bloom on schedule, even if you won’t intentionally create a hot, humid atmosphere for it to thrive.