Such an Orchid as Ludisia discolor is related to the monotype genus of the Orchid family and is its only representative. This plant in natural conditions can be found in the tropical rainforests of the continental part of Southeast Asia, as well as Sumatra.
Care of the Orchid Ludisia at home
This terrestrial Orchid is herbaceous. Its creeping shoots, branching and fleshy, are located on the surface of the soil. From them, up depart a lot of young stems, which reach a height of about 15 centimeters. Once the leaves are vaginal or planted on the broad and flat petiole of the vaginal.
Simple leaves have a broad-lanceolate shape and reach a length of 7 centimeters, and a width of 3 to 4 centimeters. “Sparkling”, the velvety front side is painted in a rich color shade, which can be from greenish-Burgundy to almost black or emerald.
On the leaf plate, there are clearly visible veins, which are parallel to the Central, but the original species form is difficult to see. The reverse part of the leaves is smooth and painted in Burgundy-brownish color. In the same color, shade painted stem and petiole. Each leaf plate lives about 7 years, and then it fades and dies, while the stem remains “notch” ring-shaped, which is painted in a lighter color.
This plant experienced orchids belong to the group called “precious orchids”. It is appreciated not for the flowers, but for the spectacular appearance of the foliage, which has a unique texture and unusual colors.
Blooms this plant, usually in late autumn early winter. Quite high (up to 25 centimeters) peduncle grows from the top of the stem and it carries a multicolored brush with very small (diameter of about 2 centimeters) flowers. The flowers themselves are painted white, while their anthers are yellow. If the environmental conditions are favorable, then the flowering will last more than 1 month.
Unlike other representatives of the vast family of Orchids Ludisia does not require any special conditions for cultivation. However, most gardeners have been seen sudden death of the plant for reasons that are not clear. In this regard, in order to try to avoid the sudden death of this kind of Orchid, you need to try to properly care for it.
Growing in natural conditions Jewel Orchid, able to withstand temperatures of 10-37 degrees. However, the flower growing at home, it is better to protect from this rather extreme temperature. So, experts advise summer day to maintain the temperature at 20 to 29 degrees, while at night it should be 3-5 degrees less.
This plant needs a difference in daily temperatures, as it is a necessary condition for laying flower buds. In winter, the flower is recommended to keep cool (about 18 degrees), then its flowering will be longer.
This kind of Orchid is shade-loving, so put it in a place with bright lighting is impossible. For its placement, it is recommended to prefer the Western or Northern Windows. And Ludisia can be placed in the depths of space, but in this case, it will need to highlight the special fitolamp. Daylight is quite long and it should be from 12 to 14 hours. Also, the plant needs lighting in the winter, when daylight becomes much shorter than normal.
How to water
This flower reacts negatively to dryness. In this regard, the substrate should always be slightly moist. However, the liquid also should not stagnate in the pot, as a result of this will rot Jewel Orchid.
For watering, you need to use well-defended soft water, which must be at room temperature. Watering is recommended by the method of full immersion of the container in water, which should be obtained in a few minutes.
Best of all, the plant feels at high humidity (about 70 percent). However, it is impossible to increase humidity by spraying foliage. The fact is that the dried water droplets leave on the velvety leaves ugly traces, from which it is almost impossible to get rid of.
For this purpose, it is recommended to place an open container filled with water in the immediate vicinity of the flower and also pour into a pallet of wet expanded clay. It is worth remembering that such a plant cannot be placed near heaters. The fact is that the flow of hot, dry air can cause drying of the tips of the leaves, and this will greatly spoil the appearance of Ludisia.
Forming pruning of this kind of Orchid is not necessary, because its short stems do not branch.
Suitable soil should be loose, have neutral acidity, and pass water and air well. There are several variants of compositions suitable for planting this plant mixture:
- Fine-grained pieces of pine bark, decayed foliage and peat (1:1:2).
- Riding peat, sphagnum, chopped roots of fern-Osmund, coarse-grained river sand, taken in equal parts.
- Sphagnum, pine needles, peat, leaf soil, birch charcoal, foam (4:4:4:4:1:1).
For planting choose wide, low capacity, it should not be forgotten to make a good drainage layer (suitable foam or expanded clay). At the end of planting, a layer of moss is laid on top of the substrate, which must be systematically moistened so that it does not dry out.
Feeding is carried out during intensive growth 1 every 2 weeks. To do this, use a special fertilizer for orchids. The rest of the time (including winter) to make the substrate fertilizer should be 1 every 4 weeks.
Features of transplantation
Transplantation is carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 years in spring. As a rule, by this time Ludisia grows and it becomes cramped in an old pot.
Methods of Ludisia Orchid propagation
When grown in room conditions can be multiplied by division. It should be remembered that separated from the adult plant part of the rooted aboveground stem should have at least three shots.
Pests and diseases
As a rule, this Orchid is sick because of improper care. So, as a result of constant stagnation of water in the substrate on the root system and creeping shoots formed rot. Because of the too intense lighting on the leaves formed burns, and the flower begins to fade. The plant often settles spider mite. Favorable conditions for it are heat and low humidity.
The main varieties
Thanks to breeders, not only a species plant was born, but also several varieties of Jewel Orchid. They differ from each other in the color of foliage. The most popular varieties are:
A distinctive feature of this variety is the lack of red pigment in the foliage. As a result, the leaves have been painted in a rich green color. On the leaf plate itself there are clearly visible small side veins and a large Central vein, as they are painted in contrasting color shade.
The front side of the foliage is painted in a very dark almost greenish-black color. On their surface are clearly visible painted lighter color shade longitudinal, as well as small side veins that diverge from the Central vein.
Ludisia discolor dawsoniana
Its greenish-black leaves with a Burgundy tint have a relatively large size. On the surface of the leaves are clearly visible pale red longitudinal veins.