Ludisia (group)
Common Name: jewel orchid 
Type: Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 0.25 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Colorful


Requires warm, humid conditions throughout the year and intermediate light. If outside during warm weather it should be in shade. Potting medium must be well drained and evenly moist, but not soggy, or rotting will rapidly occur. This orchid can grow in commercial potting mix or a fine fir bark mix formulated for terrestrial orchids. Shallow, wide pots are best as the jewel orchid has a spreading growth habit. Good air circulation is important to prevent leaves from spotting. Water with tepid water in the morning so foliage does not remain wet overnight. Fertilize weekly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted at quarter to half strength or a fertilizer specifically formulated for orchids. Easily propagated from stem cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ludisia discolor, commonly called jewel orchid, is a terrestrial orchid native to Southeast Asia and is commonly cultivated for its colorful foliage. The velvety, dark green to purplish-brown, elliptical leaves can reach 1.75-2.75" long and have gold to red veins and red undersides. The creeping, fleshy, and brittle stems can reach up to 12" long and 8" tall. The small, white flowers are held on upright, 1.25-3.25" tall, terminal flowering spikes.


Relatively trouble free. Overly moist, poorly draining soils will lead to root or stem rot. Watch for mealy bugs, thrips, and powdery mildew.


A relatively easy orchid to grow as a houseplant. Its foliage is especially attractive.