Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jewel Orchid - Ludisia discolor

"Ludisia discolor

Growth habit: An upright to sprawling evergreen orchid growing to 12 inches
tall and twice as wide. The leaves are oval in shape with a velvety look;
they are red on the underside and deep green on the surface with pink
longitudinal stripes, and they grow to 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.

Light: Grow in filtered sun.

Water needs: Prefers moist soil; water when the surface begins to dry.

Feedings: Apply an orchid fertilizer monthly March through November or add
a slow-release product to the surface of the soil following label instructions.

Propagation: Start plants from cuttings inserted into containers of potting
soil or by dividing older plants.

Ease of culture: Easy.

Hardiness: Tender; protect from frosts and freezes.

Major problems: Avoid overwatering and dense potting soils to prevent root
rot. Leaf-chewing and scale insects are occasional pests. Control as needed
with natural sprays.

Pruning: Grooming is needed throughout the year to remove declining leaves
and shoots that grow out of bounds. Also, remove stems of faded flowers to
keep the plants attractive.

Uses: Gardeners like the colorful foliage of jewel orchids, but they also
get a yearly bonus of attractive winter flowers. The white and yellow
blooms form along long stems held well above the foliage February through
March. These are terrestrial orchids that need a loose soil mix added to
containers having good drainage. The plants can be hung under trees or
displayed on shady patios and balconies, but avoid areas with excessive and
drying winds. They also can be grown in the home.

... native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia."

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