How you can Plant, Develop, and Take care of Ludisia Orchids

Ludisia is a small orchid genus of solely two species. They’re prized extra for his or her engaging foliage than their flowers. It’s a flowering orchid; nevertheless, the blooms are smaller and fewer showy than most orchids. 

Generally known as Jewel orchids, they’ve totally different progress habits than most of their family, which makes their care totally different. This may be difficult for even the skilled orchid cultivator. With a little bit steering, although, Ludisia orchids might be simple to look after and quick propagators. 

Ludisia Orchid Overview

Close-up of Ludisia discolor plants in pots, indoors against a white wall. Ludisia discolor, commonly known as the jewel orchid, boasts lush and velvety foliage that is the highlight of its appearance. The leaves are elliptical, deep green with rich maroon undertones, featuring intricate silver veins that form a mesmerizing pattern.

Plant Kind

Terrestrial Perennial Evergreen


discolor, ravanii

Native Space

China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Indochina


Medium oblique mild

Watering Necessities


Pests and Ailments

Spider mites, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, root and rhizome rot, powdery mildew

Soil Kind

Properly Draining, Moss Based mostly

Historical past

Close-up of Jewel Orchid flower spikes. The Ludisia discolor, or Jewel Orchid, produces small and delicate flowers. The blooms emerge on tall, slender stems and exhibit a subtle elegance. Ludisia discolored flowers are white or cream-colored
Found in 1818, Ludisia orchids originate from Asia.

Initially described in 1818, Ludisia orchids had been thought to have been found in Brazil, and the title Goodyera discolor was assigned to the species. The title was modified to Ludisia in 1825, with the correction revealed by the Kew Heart of their 1870 bulletin. 

The true origin of Ludisia discolor orchids is Asia, the place they’re present in Malaysia, Indochina, China, Indonesia, and several other different adjoining nations. This orchid is especially prolific in Malaysia. The genus was thought of monotypic for a very long time, with just one named species. It wasn’t till 2013 {that a} second species, Ludisia ravanii, was described and found within the Philippines.

Native Space

Close-up of Jewel Orchids in the forest. The plant forms a striking foliage, featuring lush leaves with a velvety texture. The leaves are dark green, tinged with intricate veining of pale pink, forming captivating patterns reminiscent of jewels. The elliptical leaves have a pointed tip and a slightly tapering base
Ludisia ravanii is native to the Philippines, whereas Ludisia discolor is discovered throughout Southeast Asia.

Ludisia ravanii, the newly found species, is solely native to the Philippines. The initially found Ludisia discolor originates in Southern China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Northern India. These orchids are low-growing and might be discovered on tropical and subtropical forest flooring. 


Top view, close-up of Ludisia discolor orchid plant with mulched soil. The plant is characterized by its lush and velvety foliage. The leaves, a deep shade of green with subtle maroon undertones, showcase an elegant lance-shaped form. The leaves are adorned with intricate white veins that create a mesmerizing pattern.
Ludisia orchids are terrestrial, perennial evergreens with hanging foliage.

Ludisia orchids are a little bit of a shock within the orchid cultivation world. The place most orchids are epiphytic or lithophytic, Ludisia orchids are terrestrial or floor growers. They’re much like Spathoglottis orchids by way of their soil and moisture wants however are far much less tolerant of solar publicity than different terrestrial orchids. By way of care, they’re most much like Macodes orchids.

These orchids, like most others, are perennial evergreens. They don’t lose their leaves the best way a deciduous plant does. As a substitute, they maintain their foliage year-round. They bloom as soon as per yr and may dwell for a few years, so they’re thought of long-lived perennials. 

Ludisia orchids bloom as soon as per yr. Their blooming season is normally in winter, because the cooling climate initiates flower growth. When saved as houseplants, although, they will bloom at any time of yr. The flower stems are tall and skinny and produce small white flowers, which most contemplate unremarkable, though fairly. 

These orchids are greatest identified for his or her engaging foliage. They’re sympodial orchids, in order that they unfold horizontally alongside a central rhizome, sending up pseudobulbs that produce their pretty leaves. They will develop to nice lengths alongside the forest flooring however not often develop taller than eight inches. 

The prized foliage is hanging and, generally, is a deep crimson coloration beneath with a darker, greener tint to the highest of the leaves. It’s their distinctive and daring veining that units these orchids aside. The tops of the leaves even have a shimmery high quality and texture.

Makes use of

Close-up of a young Ludisia discolor plant, commonly known as the jewel orchid, in a large clay pot. This terrestrial orchid species features lustrous, elliptical leaves with a deep, glossy green coloration that serves as a stunning backdrop for contrasting patterns of gray-white veins.
Cultivated primarily for aesthetics, these beautiful orchids are extremely wanted and comparatively uncommon.

Ludisia, like most orchids, are cultivated virtually solely for his or her decorative worth. They’re lovely vegetation and fairly collectible, as any orchid fanatic is aware of. This lovely and fewer broadly out there kind of orchid tends to fetch a major value for a reasonably small plant. 


Cultivating Jewel Orchid in the green house. Close-up of three clay pots containing freshly transplanted young Ludisia discolor plants, on a tiled floor with a scattered layer of orchid potting mix. These are three different species of Ludisia plants. They have elliptical and lance-shaped leaves of dark green color with intricate veins of different colors: orange, pink and silver.
In zones 10-11, these orchids thrive open air however solely survive as houseplants in colder zones.

With a really restricted local weather vary, Ludisia orchids can solely be planted within the floor in USDA zones 10-11. Exterior of tropical climates, these vegetation should dwell indoors for at the least a portion of the yr. On this occasion, your Ludisia orchid will should be potted.

Due to their progress habits, Ludisia orchids want a special kind of pot than a typical orchid pot. Whereas they want good drainage to stop soggy roots, they may want a special soil kind. Orchid pots with their massive drainage holes is not going to maintain the kind of soil that Ludisia orchids want, so intention for a clay pot with a respectable drainage gap solely within the backside

Ludisia orchids are horizontal growers, and as soon as they get going, they will develop fairly rapidly. There isn’t any must maintain this plant pot certain. As a substitute, give it area by planting it in a vast, shallow pot with the oldest progress in opposition to the aspect of the container. 

How you can Develop

In comparison with different varieties of orchids, Ludisia orchids are thought of pretty simple to develop. Don’t deal with them like a Phalaenopsis; you should have a severely dehydrated plant. In my expertise, terrestrial orchids are typically much less finicky than their epiphytic cousins. 


Close-up of Jewel Orchid-Ludisia discolor with buds, planted in clay pots, outdoors, illuminated by sunlight. Its dark green, lance-shaped leaves are adorned with intricate patterns of silver and white veins, creating a striking contrast that resembles precious jewels. The glossy, velvety texture of the leaves adds to its allure, giving the plant a luxurious and ornamental quality.
Thriving in low to medium, subtle daylight, Ludisia orchids can’t tolerate direct solar publicity.

Ludisia orchids are floor dwellers that dwell on the forest flooring, so they’re used to quite a lot of tree cowl. If we had been speaking a couple of non-tropical plant, I’d contemplate these shade vegetation, however since they’re tropical, they do want some solar. They only can’t tolerate direct daylight

The best mild scenario for these orchids is low to medium, subtle, or oblique daylight. That sounds difficult, however it doesn’t must be. To attain subtle mild, one solely wants a sheer curtain or a privateness window. A toilet window with privateness glass could be a great spot for certainly one of these vegetation, so long as the window doesn’t get full solar all through the day.

Direct daylight will burn the leaves of your Ludisia orchid, creating white patches. These patches will ultimately soften and start to rot, creating different issues. Since orchids are extremely inclined to fungal an infection, avoiding leaving any rotting tissue connected is necessary. 


Close-up of ludisia discolor with focus on the stem and water drops. The stem is slender and bears a reddish tint. The leaves, elliptical and glossy, exhibit a rich dark green hue that serves as a vibrant canvas for striking patterns of deep burgundy veins.
Distinct from different orchids, this selection wants common watering when the highest inch of soil dries out.

Right here once more, Ludisia orchids are a bit totally different from different orchids, as they’ve a extra constant want for moisture. They need to be watered with about the identical frequency as another orchid, about as soon as per week. Nonetheless, their potting soil doesn’t must dry fully between waterings. 

Examine the highest inch of the soil for moisture. When this prime inch is dry, it’s time to water. So long as your pot has satisfactory drainage, Ludisia is harder to overwater than an epiphytic orchid could be. 


Close-up of a small garden trowel with a wooden handle in the soil mixture. The potting mix consists of soil, peat moss and perlite. It is loose, crumbly, dark brown with white and orange granules.
Keep away from normal orchid bark—create a customized combine with peat moss, perlite, and potting soil.

These orchids do not do properly in normal orchid bark combine. This sort of potting combine is made expressly to assist the wants of epiphytic orchids, so it gained’t mimic the pure surroundings of a Ludisia orchid. 

For these orchids, you might be prone to want to combine your individual potting soil to get the fitting drainage, density, and moisture retention. Combining equal elements peat moss, perlite, and potting soil ought to create a perfect surroundings to your orchid’s roots. Ludisia orchids additionally make wonderful terrarium vegetation. 

Temperature and Humidity

Close-up of temperature gauge on fresh moss in sponge stone with little Ludisia discolor (Jewel Orchid). The round temperature gauge features a compact and circular design, encased in durable materials such as metal or plastic. Its face is marked with a clear, easy-to-read scale, indicating temperature in degrees Celsius. The background color is blue.
Defend your orchid from drafts and keep away from temperatures under 50°F.

The best temperature vary for Ludisia orchids is between 70-80°F. Temperature fluctuations needs to be saved to a minimal, and the plant needs to be evaded drafty areas of the home. At temperatures decrease than 50°F, Ludisia foliage will undergo injury. These vegetation should not frost tolerant, both in roots or foliage; a freeze, even a gentle one, can kill your plant roots and all. 

Orchids are humidity-loving vegetation, and Ludisia is not any exception. In actual fact, they like extra humidity than most different orchids, apart from vandaceous sorts. These vegetation require a humidity stage of round 70% to maintain them wholesome. This may be achieved within the house with some added effort. 

A pebble tray is an efficient instrument to extend the humidity simply round your orchid, however provided that the ambient humidity is already on the upper finish. If your private home may be very dry, this plant will want a humidifier to fulfill its demanding wants for humidity. These orchids carry out very properly underneath greenhouse situations. 


Close-up of small clay pots full of chemical fertilizers. These fertilizers come in different colors and have a granular structure. The granules are yellowish, pink and white.
Fertilize each two months with diluted orchid or all-purpose fertilizer for optimum progress.

As a result of the Ludisia orchid’s denser potting soil retains extra fertilizer, it doesn’t should be fertilized fairly as usually as different orchids. 

You’ll be able to fertilize this orchid about each two months. You need to use a specialty orchid fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer diluted to about ½ energy. A slow-release fertilizer works fairly properly for these vegetation. 


Close-up of a beautiful Jewel Orchid-Ludisia discolor plant in a clay pot outdoors. The plant forms creeping stems with rosettes of elliptical dark green leaves with pointed tips. These leaves have mesmerizing silver and pinkish veins reminiscent of marble patterns.
Prune solely lifeless or diseased foliage; trim the spike above the bottom node after flowering.

Orchids don’t require pruning to keep up their progress or flowering. You’ll solely must prune your orchid to take away lifeless or diseased foliage or spent flowers after flowering. After the plant finishes flowering, you possibly can take away the flower spike to simply above the bottom node, closest to the plant. This helps the plant to redirect vitamins again towards new progress. 

As this orchid grows bigger, it’s going to should be re-potted sometimes. It’s best to provide your Ludisia orchid a large and shallow container. The basis system of this plant is dense and shallow, and it strikes horizontally. 


Close-up of Ludisia discolor cutting with some roots inside the clear glass of water. The stem is vertical, with a pinkish tint, adorned with large, elliptical leaves of a dark green color with intricate silvery-pinkish veins on the surface.
Simply propagate them by dividing the stem and planting a bit with at the least 3 inches of progress.

Ludisia orchids are simple to propagate by division – fairly a bit simpler than most orchids. Lower an outer portion of the stem from the father or mother plant and plant it in its personal container. So long as you could have about 8 cm (3 inches) of progress, your reducing ought to root. Cowl the reducing with a plastic bag whereas the plant develops roots to keep up constant moisture. 

Frequent Issues

Orchids, as with most vegetation, have their share of points that you could be come up in opposition to. They’re interesting to pests and generally have points with fungal ailments. Let’s take a look at a number of the extra frequent points you might face in cultivating Ludisia orchids. 

Not Blooming

Close-up of a young Jewel Orchid plant with a young bud. The plant forms an upright stem of pink color, adorned with medium-sized lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are smooth, glossy, dark green with intricate dark pink veins. Emerging from the base of the plant, the bud is a compact structure that gradually unfurls into a small, elegant white flower.
To set off blooming, create a cooler fall surroundings, cut back watering, and guarantee common fertilization.

In case your Ludisia orchid will not be blooming, the almost certainly offender is an inadequate interval of dormancy. The standard trigger is not any perceptible shift in temperature to sign to the plant that it’s time to bloom when it’s saved indoors. 

If you wish to provoke blooming, give your plant some cooler climate within the fall, inserting it in an area the place you possibly can create a temperature drop to about 60°F. Cut back the watering frequency throughout this time, and the plant ought to expertise a dormant interval. 

Lack of fertilizer also can inhibit blooming. Just remember to are often fertilizing your Ludisia orchid, at the least as soon as each two months. When your plant begins to develop flowers, use a fertilizer with a better potassium stage for a extra strong bloom. 

Dropping Leaves

Close-up of jewel orchid in terrarium. The plant produces lush elliptical foliage on upright green stems. The leaves are dark green in color with intricate thin silvery-white veins reminiscent of precious jewels.
Dropping older leaves is regular getting old, whereas extreme loss might point out fungal points from overwatering.

Leaf loss generally is a matter of the plant getting old for those who solely lose the oldest set of leaves. If the plant is dropping extra leaves than the very oldest, there’s a probability you could have some fungal concern, both root, rhizome, or crown rot. Overwatering is the principle trigger of those points. 


Close-up of a mealybug on a dark green orchid leaf. The mealybug is a tiny insect of the Pseudococcidae family, has a distinctive appearance characterized by its small, soft, oval-shaped body covered in a white, waxy secretion.
Bugs like aphids, mites, thrips, and mealybugs weaken orchids by sucking on their sap.

Bugs like aphids, spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs all wish to feed on orchids. They pierce the foliage with their mouths and suck out the candy sap, depleting the plant of useful vitamins and forming colonies that additional weaken the plant. 

Along with depleting the plant’s vitamins, these bugs depart behind a sticky, candy excrement known as honeydew. This creates an surroundings hospitable to black sooty mildew, which interferes with photosynthesis, additional weakening the plant.

Most pest infestations might be handled by isolating the plant and treating it with neem oil or different horticultural pesticides. Black sooty mildew have to be eliminated gently by hand with a smooth material. 


Close-up of a young Jewel Orchid plant with damaged leaves. The leaves are medium sized, elliptical, dark green almost black in color with intricate thin maroon veins.
Orchids are vulnerable to bacterial and fungal ailments, so guarantee good air circulation and watering practices.

Bacterial and fungal ailments might be a problem for orchids as properly. Their want for humidity creates an surroundings that many dangerous pathogens discover hospitable. To assist stop a majority of these ailments, guarantee satisfactory air circulation within the space and follow good watering hygiene. 

Whereas solely two identified species exist on this genus, a number of cultivars have been developed.


Close-up of Ludisia discolor 'Alba'. The plant has lush, green foliage with distinctive white veining. The leaves, glossy and slightly waxy, form attractive rosettes that enhance the plant's ornamental charm.
A uncommon and hanging Jewel orchid, ‘Alba’ has vivid silver veining.
botanical title

Ludisia discolor ‘Alba’
solar necessities

Medium subtle mild

hardiness zones


‘Alba’ is a beautiful vivid inexperienced number of discolor. The veining is vivid silver and fairly intricate, making this one of many lighter-colored Jewel orchids. ‘Alba’ is rarer than the darker-colored sorts, however collectors go nuts over it. Preserve a watch on retailers for this selection as a result of it sells out quick.

‘Black Velvet’

Close-up of three flowering Ludisia discolor var. Nigra 'Black Velvet' in black plastic pots on a gray background. The glossy, deep green to almost black leaves exhibit a lush and velvety texture, creating a striking contrast with the white veining that accentuates their intricate pattern. Ludisia discolor 'Black Velvet' produces delicate flowers on upright stems. These flowers are small and white.
This darkish number of L. discolor, additionally known as ‘Haemaria,’ options deep inexperienced leaves with minimal veining.
botanical title

Ludisia discolor var. Nigra ‘Black Velvet’
solar necessities

Medium subtle mild

hardiness zones


The title says all of it for this practically black number of discolor. The leaves are the principle attraction and are the deepest for greens, with barely any veining save for a single silver streak down the middle. Also called ‘Haemaria,’ this selection is a bit simpler to seek out than ‘Alba.’


Close-up of Ludisia discolor 'Jewel Orchid' against a blurred background of potted plants indoors. The leaves are dark green with maroon undertones, and they feature intricate patterns of pale salmon veins that create a jewel-like appearance. The leaves are glossy, slightly wavy, and have a rich, velvety texture.
This darkish L. discolor selection options virtually black leaves veined in pale salmon with hanging white blossoms.
botanical title

Ludisia discolor ‘Jewelyana’
solar necessities

Medium subtle mild

hardiness zones


‘Jewelyana’ is a dark-colored discolor selection with practically black leaves veined with a pale salmon coloration. The leaves have a shocking distinction look. Flower spikes maintain blossoms of white with a golden-yellow glow from the inside. 

‘White Heart’

Close-up view of Ludisia discolor var. Nigrescens x A. siamensis 'White Center' on a blurred dark background. The leaves are large, lance-shaped with a pointed tip and a slightly tapering base. TThe leaves of this orchid exhibit a captivating contrast with a dark, almost black background color and an eye-catching white central pattern. The dark hue of the leaves provides a dramatic backdrop for the intricate silver-white veining that extends from the center to the edges, creating an elegant and striking appearance.
This hanging Ludisia hybrid options deep inexperienced leaves with golden veining and a large white streak.
botanical title

Ludisia discolor var. Nigrescens x A siamensis ‘White Heart’
solar necessities

Medium subtle mild

hardiness zones


This excellent hybrid has a number of the flashiest leaves of the Ludisia genus. The leaves are very deep inexperienced with golden veining and, because the title suggests, a large, white streak within the middle. The white can usually seem pink as properly, because the underside of the leaves is crimson. A hanging specimen so as to add to your assortment.

Incessantly Requested Questions

No, orchids are edible and pose no risk to your furry pals. Many orchids are used as a culinary garnish.

Ludisia orchids require a perceptible shift in temperature to provoke the blooming course of.

Some bigger nurseries carry the extra frequent varieties, however on-line sources usually supply extra uncommon picks.

Closing Ideas

If you wish to problem your information of orchid care, Ludisia orchids will do exactly that. These terrestrial orchids might break many guidelines, however they’re a pleasure to look after with their charming flowers and gorgeous foliage. These orchids are simple to domesticate and add a particular aspect to the houseplant assortment. 

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