Ludisia discolor: The proper care guide for the Jewel Orchid Flower

The Jewel Orchid is an unusual flowering perennial plant that is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia. It belongs to the Orchidaceae family and is used as an ornamental plant for indoor spaces. 

Ludisia discolor

While most orchids are known for their blooms, the Jewel Orchid is known for its exquisite dark green foliage which features veiny pinstripe patterns. It also produces blooms of white color that are carried by tall thin stalks. 

These jewel orchid flowers bloom during the late fall and early spring season and they are terrestrial, meaning they grow on the ground, unlike their epiphytic orchid cousins. 

Botanical Name Ludisia discolor
Common Names Jewel Orchid, Black Jeweled Ludisia
Origin Southeast Asia
Family Orchidaceae
Plant Type Terrestrial flowering Perennial plant 
Full Size Ranges from 10 inches to 12 inches tall
Sun Exposure Partial, Indirect Sunlight 
Soil Type Well-draining, rich soil mix

Types of Jewel Orchids

 The Ludisia flowering orchid remains the sole member of its genus, but it does have two hybrid cultivars, which are;

  • Ludisia discolor ‘Alba’ or Green Jewel Orchid
  • Ludisia discolor ‘Nigrescens’ or Black Jewel Orchid 

Jewel Orchid Care 

To ensure a flourishing growth for your Jewel Orchid plant, you have to meet its various requirements which includes providing the right lighting, watering, soil, temperature, and fertilizer. 

Jewel Orchid Lighting Requirements

Keep your Jewel Orchid plant in a room with sufficient access to bright but indirect sunlight. When exposed to long hours of direct sunlight, the sun rays could damage the plant’s exquisite foliage. 

Too little sunlight could also be a problem as it could affect the plant’s blooms. A room with a northwards-facing window would be perfect for the potted plant.

You can make use of a light curtain to filter the intensity of the sun’s rays during the mid-day sun.  

Watering the Jewel Orchid Plant 

Watering the Jewel Orchid Plant 
Steve’s Leaves

Always keep the soil moist by frequent watering but avoid over watering the soil as the plant’s roots could suffer fungal attacks from being in soggy soil. 

To achieve this, you should water the plant once a week during its growing seasons. During the cold winter season, limit watering to once every 2 to 3 weeks. 

A good practice to avoid overwatering the plant is by letting the topmost part of the soil dry out a little before the next watering session. You can use a moisture meter to measure the soil’s moisture level. 

Ensure you use dechlorinated water or distilled water at room temperature to avoid stressing the plant’s delicate roots. 

Soil Requirements for the Jewel Orchid    

Being a terrestrial orchid, the Jewel orchid requires a rich, well-draining soil mix that also has moisture retaining abilities and is well-aerated. 

You can get this by mixing one part good potting mix with one part peat moss and one part perlite. 

Soil pH levels should be kept acidic. A range between 5.5 and 6.5 would be most ideal for a proper orchid ludisia plant. 

Temperature and Humidity Requirement for Jewel Orchid    

Both humidity and temperature for the Jewel Orchid should be kept at a moderate level. You can achieve this through light misting of the plant. 

Excess moisture on the Jewel Orchid could affect the blooms of the orchid. Also, try keeping the temperature in the range of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Extreme Cold temperatures are harmful to the Jewel orchid so do ensure you protect them against frost. 

Fertilizer Requirement for the Jewel Orchid    

You don’t need to feed your Jewel Orchid plant often, but a little fertilizer could help in promoting growth. 

Fertilize the plant with a special orchid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer. It should be done once every 2 months. Dilute the orchid plant to half its initial strength before use. 

Propagating Jewel Orchids

Propagating Jewel Orchids
The Spruce

Jewel orchids can be propagated in two ways, these are; 

  • Stem Cuttings
  • Root system division

Propagating through stem cuttings is a lot easier than root division and is the most recommended method.  

Repotting Jewel Orchids

Repotting should be done once in 2 years as the Jewel Orchid is a slow-growing plant. The new pot being used should be a little wider than the last pot as jewel orchids spread more than grow tall. 

Also, ensure the new pot has sufficient drainage holes at the base to help avoid wet soil during watering. 

Common Health Problems of Jewel Orchids 

The common health problems of the Jewel Orchid are often caused by overwatering. Some of these problems include; 

  • Root rot
  • Dry Leaves or stems
  • Little to no flowering 
  • Aphids
  • Scales

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a jewel orchid rare?

Yes, naturally grown Jewel Orchids are rare, but with new cultivars being produced they have become popular. 

What is the best potting mix for jewel orchids?

A healthy organic mix with peat moss and perlite should be good for a healthy jewel Orchid.

Is jewel orchid annual or perennial?

The Jewel orchid is a proud evergreen perennial plant. 

Do Jewel Orchids go dormant?

No, Jewel orchids do not go dormant, but they do require less watering during the winter season.

Are jewel orchids hard to grow?

Jewel orchids are low-maintenance plants that are easy to grow and care for.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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