Ludisia discolor (jewel Orchids)

Ludisia discolor with out Flower and with flower

Ludisia is a genus of orchids that contains just one species, Ludisia discolor, commonly referred to as jewel orchid. They are terrestrial orchids. in their natural setting would be found growing on the forest floor. They are known for their foliage, which is often velvety deep maroon with red veins that run parallel to the centre of the’s prized for its foliage rather than its flowers.

If you thought growing orchids was all about the flowers, you’ve never taken a look at the Ludisia, or jewel orchid. This unusual orchid variety breaks all the rules: it grows in the soil, not in the air; it likes shade instead of a sunny environment; and it gets its good looks from the velvety leaves it produces instead of its flowers.

It’s simple and easy to care for and does still produce lovely white little flowers to give it a little more interest than other houseplants which are only grown for their foliage. Flowers are white with twisting yellow columns. Individual flowers are small but grow in clusters on upright stalks. Flowers in cultivation last a month or more.

They need high humidity and warm temperatures with low to medium light, and they tolerate extremely low light levels.


Out in it’s natural habitat the Jewel Orchid is found growing down low, often in pretty shady places. For the best results try to replicate this in your home or office by avoiding placing it in direct sunlight. North facing rooms are perfect, but any other facing aspect is fine providing you can shield the leaves from any harsh sunlight that filters through during the day. Do not mistake this as a plant which likes darkness though, gloom needs to be avoided as much as direct sunlight.


Slightly damp conditions are what the Jewel Orchid wants for the majority of the time. It does not like to have bone dry or soaking wet soil, leave its roots sitting in water and it will rapidly die. If you are using a more porous potting mix you will need to water more often than if using standard potting soil.


Warm tropical temperatures above fifty degrees. Obviously, jewel orchids are not tolerant to frost.


A good orchid potting mix should be fine, ideally one that contains some organic material. Make sure the drainage is good to avoid rotting their roots.


These plants should regularly be fed with a balanced, diluted fertiliser like a 20-20-20. If their blooms are insufficient, up their feeding.

Klairvoyant orchids