'diamond in the rough'

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Mrs. Paph

I seem to have accidentally aquired a piece of a jewel orchid! I had been admiring the leaves on a scraggly potted plant at work, wondering if perhaps it was a jewel orchid because of the reddish leaves that looked like the veins were gold and bronze thread. It gets ignored a bit too often and seemed to want to root at the hanging ends of the succulent growths, and the pot fell over the other day and broke some pieces off! The root nodes already seem to be elongating now that it's sitting in a cup of water, and my co-worker confirmed that she did indeed buy "some sort of terrestrial orchid thing with interesting white flowers last year". :p I'll post a pic of it later if it roots nicely and starts growing (and hopefully blooms eventually!).
Does anyone have any general jewel orchid growing tips I should know about? I've only ever glance at one in person at OL, and I tried not to stop, since I try to limit my spending to Slippers! What media should it be in? The larger plant was potted in Sunshine mix, and aside from water neglect and being in a dark corner of a lab seemed to be surviving decently.
~Miss Paph

Jon in SW Ohio

Reefer, the legal kind
Jun 9, 2006
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Springboro, Ohio
Sounds like Ludisia discolor. I'm not sure there is a wrong way to grow it. I've grown them like cacti, in vases of water, and in terrariums. It's got to be the hardiest orchid known!

Unfortunately, few other jewel orchids I've raised have had half the endurance this species has.



I have a large Ludisia discolor that has been growing in potting soil since I bought it. But, there has to be a better media to grow this orchid in. I did root a cutting in sphagnum, and it did quite well; however, I think that this is not the prefered method (I don't think that it will give enough support to the plant once that plant grows larger). The plant tends to drape over the side of the pot, and I think that it needs a media that can hold the weight of the plant.

I am interested in hearing what others may use for this orchid. I would like to repot my soon.



Jun 9, 2006
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Mid Michigan
They aren't fussy about medium. Anything that holds some moisture is good. If you wanted to use a bark mix, you need some more water retention (adding in some old mix from another repotting project is probably ok). I've grown them in peat mixes and sphagnum, and bark.

Nothing is going to keep a larger specimen upright in the pot. It is the nature of the beast to drape over the sides. It makes an excellent hanging basket. When pieces get too long, you can snap them off and shove them back into the main pot, eventually you will have a very full basket.

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