With such spectacular flowers, orchid leaves usually don’t capture too much attention. However, Jewel Orchids have foliage that steals the show. Many Jewel Orchid varieties are best suited for experienced orchid growers, but Ludisias are easy to grow. The American Orchid Society calls Ludisia “A Foolproof Orchid.” They sport dark green leaves with bright pink stripes.
In some parts of their native range in Southeast Asia, they’re so common that they’re considered weeds. Ludisias live in rainforests from India to Indonesia, and grow as terrestrials in sandy soil. They’re easy to root by placing cuttings of their thick stems into moss or water. Jewel Orchids enjoy the same conditions as African Violets: regular waterings, warm temps, high humidity, and shade. They’ll also grow under artificial lights.
In the past few years, new Ludisia colors and leaf patterns have appeared on the market. They’re also easy to grow. For all varieties, watch out for mealybug and scale, which may be a symptom of low humidity.
Their small, white flowers, standing on tall, fuzzy spikes above the foliage, are easier to appreciate with the benefit of Dave’s photography skills. They have a light, sweet scent. Of course, even when the flowers fade, the Jewel Orchid’s leaves continue the show.
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