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Plant Know-How: Ludisia discolor

Ludisia discolor close-up, deep forest green colored leaves with thin rust colored pinstripes on each leaf, and flower spikes with small white blooms
This beautiful dark-leafed plant is Ludisia discolor, commonly known as a Jewel Orchid! Don't let the fact that this beautiful plant is an orchid scare you away. Ludisia discolor is a little different than many other orchids, and is probably one of the easiest orchids to keep! Ludisia discolor is a terrestrial orchid, meaning unlike many other orchid species that are epiphytic and grow on the side of a tree in the wild, Ludisia discolor grows in the ground. In its native habitat Ludisia discolor grows creeping along humid forest floors, because of this growth habit your Ludisia discolor may begin to grow a little leggy and start cascading out of its pot! This is a striking and fun plant to grow and even a great choice for beginners! We have all the info here you'll need to grow a thriving Ludisia discolor!
Ludisia discolor from the side, deep forest green colored leaves with thin rust colored pinstripes on each leaf, and flower spikes with small white blooms

HOW TO CARE FOR LUDISIA DISCOLOR:

Light requirements for Ludisia discolor: Jewel Orchids will do best in medium to bright indirect (filtered) light. Be sure to protect leaves from any direct sun as they will burn.

Watering tips for Ludisia discolor: This orchid doesn't tolerate drying out very much, but you also want avoid soggy soil. Water your Ludisia discolor when the top inch of the soil has gone dry. If you need some help knowing how wet or dry your soil is, a moisture meter is a helpful tool that can take out some of the guesswork!

The best soil for Ludisia discolor: Because this is a terrestrial orchid, not an epiphyte, potting mix that doesn't drain super fast and can help hold onto moisture is best for Jewel Orchids. Our Thirsty Tropicals Potting Mix is a great choice, but any potting mix formulated for indoor plants should be fine.  

Is Ludisia discolor pet-safe? Ludisia discolor is non-toxic to cats & dogs, according to the ASPCA, so you don't have to worry about curious pets sneaking a bite. If you're looking for more pet-safe plants, be sure to check out the Pet Safe category of the Plant Care Compendium

How to style Ludisia discolor: We think this orchid looks amazing in terracotta or lighter pink/peach colored planters because those planter colors help draw out the fine pinstripes on the leaves. Find our favorite terracotta pots & planters in the Terracotta Dreams collection

Did you know? While Ludisia discolor is primarily grown for its striking foliage it does also flower! Its flowers aren't like the orchid flowers you may be used to. Instead they are small, white and a little unassuming. But we love them and think they make this already charming plant even more charming! Also, this is a very easy orchid to propagate- simply take a cutting with a few nodes (look for little lines along the stem or cut right under a leaf and remove the leaf before placing in water), place the stem in water, and wait for roots. 

Want to add this fun pin striped plant to your collection? We occasionally have Ludisia discolor available in-store.