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

Culture

Ludisia is one of the easiest orchids to grow. It 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 regularly (weakly/weekly) with a balanced fertilizer diluted at quarter to half strength after thoroughly watering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ludisia is grown for its exquisite foliage with velvety, dark green to purplish-brown leaves with gold to red veins. The plants produce rosettes of elliptical leaves (1¾ to 2¾ long) at intervals along creeping stems that are fleshy and brittle. The upright flower spikes emerge from the center of the shoots. Many small, white flowers appear along each flower spike. The jewel orchid may be easily propagated from stem cuttings. The genus Ludisia has only one species, Ludisia discolor.

Problems

Relatively trouble free.

Garden Uses

Ludisia is an easy orchid to grow as a houseplant. Its foliage is especially attractive.