How To Grow & Care For the Jewel Orchid

Jewel Orchid

The Jewel Orchid, a name that aptly describes its stunning appearance, is known for its velvety leaves with sparkling veins rather than its flowers. Unlike other orchids, which are typically admired for their intricate blossoms, the Jewel Orchid is cherished for its foliage, which shines like a gem.

Belonging to the genus Ludisia, this alluring plant is native to Southeast Asia. The deep green leaves, adorned with reddish-gold veins, grow on a strikingly textured surface, providing a unique visual appeal. When it does bloom, its small white flowers, though not as magnificent as the leaves, add to the plant’s beauty.

The Jewel Orchid is becoming increasingly popular as an ornamental houseplant. It’s a conversation piece that brings elegance to any room. But it’s not just eye-catching; the Jewel Orchid is also known for being one of the more user-friendly orchids, requiring less rigorous care than many of its cousins.

Common NamesJewel Orchid, Ludisia Orchid
Botanical NameLudisia discolor
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size6-8 inches in height
Sun ExposureIndirect Light
Soil TypeOrchid Mix
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaSoutheast Asia

Jewel Orchid Care

Jewel Orchid care is simpler than with other orchids. Its natural habitat is the forest floor, so it’s adapted to lower light and more humid conditions. Mimicking these conditions in your home will help this exotic plant thrive.

The Jewel Orchid’s leaves are its main attraction, so providing the right care to keep them vibrant and healthy is key. Maintaining proper lighting, water, and soil conditions is essential, along with occasional pruning and fertilizing.

Light Requirement for Jewel Orchid

The Jewel Orchid prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to lose their attractive coloring. North or east-facing windows or fluorescent lighting make ideal sources of illumination.

Soil Requirements for Jewel Orchid

A well-draining orchid mix, often comprised of bark and moss, will suit the Jewel Orchid best. The soil should retain some moisture without becoming soggy.

Water Requirements for Jewel Orchid

Keep the soil consistently moist, but never soggy. Water the Jewel Orchid when the top inch of soil starts to dry out. Using tepid water is advisable to avoid shocking the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Jewel Orchids thrive in temperatures ranging from 60-75°F (15-24°C). They also appreciate high humidity levels, around 60-80%. A humidifier or pebble tray can help maintain these levels.


Feed the Jewel Orchid with a balanced orchid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Pruning Jewel Orchid

Pruning is usually unnecessary for Jewel Orchids. If needed, remove dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant looking fresh.

Propagating Jewel Orchid

Propagating Jewel Orchids can be achieved through division or stem cuttings. Divide the plant during repotting, or take stem cuttings and place them in moist soil.

How To Grow Jewel Orchid From Seed

Growing Jewel Orchids from seed is a complex process best left to experienced growers. Orchid seeds require specific fungi to germinate, making this method challenging for home gardeners.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Spider Mites

Spider mites can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Fungal and Bacterial Diseases

Maintain proper airflow and avoid overwatering to prevent these diseases.

Common Problems With Jewel Orchid

Leaf Discoloration

Leaf discoloration may result from incorrect lighting or watering.

Weak Growth

Inadequate light or nutrients can lead to weak or stunted growth.

Pro Tips

  1. Avoid touching the leaves, as oils from your skin can damage their texture.
  2. Provide support to help the Jewel Orchid maintain an upright position if necessary.
  3. Repot every 2-3 years using fresh orchid mix to refresh the soil.
  4. Pay attention to the humidity level; too low humidity can cause the leaf tips to turn brown.