Lovely new purchase, blooming too

pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)December 1, 2013

Hi Folks,

Got this Ludisia discolor at my local Indoor Gardening Society meeting last week. Look what pretty leaves.

Happens to be in bloom & tho' folks say it's grown for foliage, I think the bloom's pretty nice too.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
val1(z4 UT)

It does have beautiful leaves! I agree that the blooms are very nice as well.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That's an awesomely unusual and pretty plant! A whole-lotta flower for that little guy, wow!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

Many orchid hobbyists cut the flower spikes off. The flowers are rather ... plain ... compared to many orchids. As such Ludisia is chiefly one of the few orchids grown for its foliage. Easy grower. One of the very few types of orchids that can be grown from stem cuttings.

Cracks me up when I see some of the ridiculous prices they sell for sometimes. At my old orchid society, we would regularly have plant auctions at meetings. (Plants were contributed by members.) Ludisia was such a common plant that it was difficult to get even a $1 or 2 for a multigrowth plant -- and that would be a "pity" bid. If there were any visitors or new members we'd often just give any Ludisia brought in to them.

Light: Low light. If your lighting is too low, the plant will get leggy. If the light is too bright, the leaves will turn an orange color.

Media: A light, fertilizer free potting soil mixed 1:2 with typical orchid media (bark, perlite, & horticultural charcoal -- or some similar combo) usually works well.

Water: RO or rainwater is best. Tap water tends to contain chlorine and/or fluoride and typically leads to problematic mineral/salts build up. Keep media lightly moist.

Temp: Typical household temps are usually fine. If your home gets chilly in the winter (for the northerners), decrease watering.

RH : IME, they aren't picky at all with regards to humidity.

Hmm, that reminds me ... I have a number of cuttings I need to get rid of.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
auron22(6b OH)

I love it! It is a very beautiful plant pirate_girl :)
You've rekindled my desire for jewel orchids....ludisia discolor and macodes petola were on my wishlist, but somehow forgot those beautiful leaves.....

Those white flowers look lovely amongst those intensely colored, soft looking leaves.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rooftopbklyn

Sweet little Ludisia pirate_girl!

I have recently acquired a jewel orchid habit ;) None of mine have flowered yet, but I don't really care if they do, I really like the foliage.

I put all of mine in Al's Gritty Mix, and I've been feeding them low doses of Foliage Pro. My understanding is that most (all?) jewel orchids are unlike a majority of orchids as they grow in the ground and are not epiphytes. I would think any well draining mix would be fine, but I don't think you need or want something as coarse as a typical epiphytic orchid mix.

So far I have a ludisia, two different macodes, a goodyera, and an anoectochilus growing with the same culture (gritty mix / 3-1-2 fertilizer) successfully. However, this is also new for me, maybe 2 months or so, but nothing has died yet ;) Many new stems and leaves.

Still trying to figure out the ideal light level. Had them about 12 inches from a T5 HO florescent light at first, and it was definitely too much. Moved to a lower light area and they look much better, many of their leaves acquire a sparkly sheen that they had begun to lose with too much light.

Daniel

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
meyermike_1micha(5)

Very nice Karen....I have one and it's not doing that great...

The leaves are a beautiful as the flowers..Enjoy.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

Daniel, a typical coarse orchid mix cut with some potting soil does quite well for Ludisia -- and if you are using Al's mix that would be even less water retentive than a coarse orchid mix + potting soil.

I wish you luck with the Macodes. IME, Macodes (especially M. petola) is quite the prima donna. If conditions are not just so, it can crash in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rooftopbklyn

So far so good for macodes petola in Gritty Mix. Don't want to hijack the thread, very sorry pirate_girl.

Daniel

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PlantzNThings

these are such lovely photos! I think i need to start collecting this type of orchid.. I love that the leaves are the showy part...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Well I would be thrilled to have those flowers in the house right now, and wouldn't detract from either plant by comparing it to Orchids. I've looked for this plant after seeing pics of the leaves in a book decades ago, whenever I've shopped for house plants, and have never seen one for sale. Maybe they were hidden away with the Orchids, which I've never been interested in because of the boring foliage. This one seems to be the best of the bunch, of the few I've seen. Most might think 'regular' Orchid flowers are prettier, but how boring of a plant are they when not in bloom? Very, in my eye.

"Many orchid hobbyists cut the flower spikes off." Maybe it's just me but this seems like an odd way to start a post in reply to someone diggin' the flowers on their new plant. I'm sure you didn't mean to be a wet blanket over the fire, but I always feel that way when someone says, "Hey look at my new plant with the flower on it" and the reply is to cut them off.

Rooftop, love those leaves too!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rooftopbklyn

Purple,

Poke around for "jewel orchids". There's a wide variety of them available, all with fabulous foliage and many with similar flowers to pg's ludisia.

The flowers are pretty, indeed (especially the ones at the top of this thread, bravo!), but some growers prefer the plant to put all of it's energy into leaves. The flowers on jewel orchids are similar to coleus flowers. Some growers love them, some growers pinch them because they love the leaves more. I don't know if jewel orchid flowers spread viable seed the way coleus does - I let a few coleus flower last year, and got a variety of coleus in about 10 different containers in the vicinity. And these containers were all subject to Hurricane Sandy with very full force, they were on a roof. But I digress.

Daniel

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 5:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rooftopbklyn

EDIT: gardenweb hiccup, or operator error.

This post was edited by rooftopbklyn on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 18:41

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I love these plant! I'm mesmerized by the foliage...I had a very good friend who had several that were displayed along with his many other orchids. I sure was drawn to the jewel orchids! He snipped off the floral stems, too. I believe that most do.

My friend noticed that if they went through the reproductive process the plants would get stemmier....leggier, and not as attractive in his eye.

But if I liked those flowers, I sure would keep them! I doubt very much that Karen's feelings were hurt by the thought of someone keeping their jewel from flowering.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Rhizo, IKR! If I made a list called "people who absolutely don't need assistance protecting their delicate sensibilities," K would be the first entry. And what's funny is I'm pretty sure she said something similar about some arcane blooms I had in the past, "most people cut them off." I didn't like it then either. Full-circle. LOL!

It's just *my* delicate sensibilities whenever there's a comment about removing flowers, like I said, I don't think Paul meant anything but to inform. And I wasn't trying to defend/aid Karen. Hopefully I haven't managed to cause upset where there was none already.

"My friend noticed that if they went through the reproductive process the plants would get stemmier....leggier, and not as attractive in his eye." That's a valid, unemotional reason to remove flowers, and could be behind Paul's comments, though unsaid. I still don't think I'd have the fortitude. (And would I then come here, whining that my plant lost some of its' luster? Probably. Would folks then say, "I told you so." Probably.)

Daniel, your roof garden sounds very cool. Invasion of the Coleus huh? I saved seeds from Coleus last year and didn't get a single plant sprouting this year. I used to follow the standard advice to cut Coleus flowers off too until I realized how prized they are by butterflies, and also visited by hummingbirds. Any flower that does that is welcome in my yard, even if they aren't stereotypically pretty.

If I've read before these are called jewel orchid, it didn't stick, so that's cool to learn. Apparently, though other plants are also called jewel orchids, this is one of those genuses with only 1 species. I'm always fascinated by those.
- Tiffany

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

' Morning All,

Na, no one can dampen my ardor for the blooms on this little lovely. But it's the leaves, I just love those leaves so much. To have bloom as well, icing on the cake to me anyway. I do understand about re-directing the plant's energy from blooming back to growing (like pinching Coleus blooms off).

Do note my opening comments said that I know folks grow these mostly for leaves (so I already knew the bloom is often cut off). But since my plant arrived in bloom, I'll enjoy every minute of it.

I am a pattern person (a recovering Textile Designer & Quilter), pattern & texture. These leaves speak to the little girl in me; velvety green leaves w/ pink & often gold thread-like lines on them. Little girl wonderland to my eyes, visual delight.

This plant seems like one of those not often seen around for sale, but more shared by those who love them. I used to get it at the Rusk Insitute, a burn center in NYC, which (until its recent closing) had a marvelous greenhouse where they offered horticultural physical therapy to burn patients. They sold some of their plants from time to time.

I've grown these several times before but haven't suceeded in keeping them long. This time I'm trying them in mostly bark, rather than soil, so we'll see. It seems in the mostly bark I've got to water it every 2nd or 3rd day so far. Makes me a bit nervous & I've misted inside the clay pot a bit, was also suggested I grow it in clay, not plastic.

A number of years ago, I went to an open house by an
orchid collector / grower in NYC. She had made party favors for her guests of individually potted blooming stem cuttings (such as mine above). I saw them all grouped together in a corner, waiting to be distributed, utterly charming.

These Ludisias were given to our Group by a landscape designer who came to give us a talk on her work with growing Green Walls. It was a lovely gesture on her part & raised a few bucks for the group (they sold for $5 a piece & she brought 6). Win-win-win.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Some more shots in detail, just to share their great looks.

a leaf detail

Maybe ordinary among Orchids, but among Houseplants or just in flowering in December in general, I think these blooms are fabulous!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_(z5 MI)

•Posted by purpleinopp
I've looked for this plant after seeing pics of the leaves in a book decades ago, whenever I've shopped for house plants, and have never seen one for sale.

That depends on where you have been looking, Tiffany. If you mainly frequent the BBSs or your average plant nursery that could explain it. I've never seen any BBS carry them (which considering how easy they typically are to grow coupled with the uniqueness of the foliage is rather mystifying -- to me at any rate). You might have slightly better odds at the average nursery but, again IME, a search would most likely be an exercise in futility. Now if you happen to visit an orchid nursery, finding a Ludisia would be highly probable -- perhaps just short of "guaranteed".

Feel free to drop me an email if you wish to try your hand at one.

•Posted by purpleinopp
Most might think 'regular' Orchid flowers are prettier, but how boring of a plant are they when not in bloom? Very, in my eye.

LOL. The same can be said for many of the typical houseplants. heh All comes down to personal tastes.

•Posted by purpleinopp
"Many orchid hobbyists cut the flower spikes off." Maybe it's just me but this seems like an odd way to start a post in reply to someone diggin' the flowers on their new plant. I'm sure you didn't mean to be a wet blanket over the fire, but I always feel that way when someone says, "Hey look at my new plant with the flower on it" and the reply is to cut them off.

You need to read my op a bit more closely, Tiffany, m'dear. (And since text so often fails so miserably at conveying the emotive content of what one says, I will add that comment is not typed with any sarcasm or snootiness in mind. Just a bit of gentle chiding.) At no point did I say that Karen should cut-off the flowers. Rather it was a factual point which I thought others -- unaware of it -- might find both a bit "shocking" and amusing.

Karen and I have frequented many of the same GW forums for years (I refuse to consider too deeply just how MANY years I have been a part of GW... heh) As such, I would hope that she has come to know me well enough to know that it wasn't my intention to lessen her joy.

As far as Ludisia getting "stemmier....leggier," due to being allowed to reproduce, I can't say I have ever noticed that myself. What does happen -- and it is impossible to prevent once a spike has been initiated -- is the death of that growth point. Ludisia exhibits strong apical growth -- as do many plants like Phalanopsis or pothos. They continually get longer. When a spike is generated, it "uses up" that apical tissue. As a result that growth point come to an end. Fortunately, the plant typically develops a new growth point on the side of the stem usually close to where the original growth point existed.

(Btw, Karen, if you want an extra Ludisia to play around with, feel free to email me.)

IMO, the most beautiful of the jewel orchids is by far and away Macodes petola. Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, I find it to be much fussier than many of the other jewels. Pictures often don't do it justice.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
puglvr1(9b central FL)

Very Nice...love the leaves (reminds me of some of the Hoyas).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 4:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

TY, Paul. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and know and said the offense was all on my part. Well, offense is far too strong of a word, but explained well above already. I know you meant no harm, certainly not to me! It's all good.

"a factual point which I thought others -- unaware of it -- might find both a bit "shocking" and amusing."
So true did that prove to be! Ya' got me! I took the bait bigtime.

"since text so often fails so miserably at conveying the emotive content of what one says"
Well said! Nothing was lost in your last post, I enjoyed every word. Thanks for your thoughtful and further informative response!

Through the awesome generosity of another GW user, I have some starts of this plant. Trading is a lot more fun than shopping any day, and there's never a worry about a rock-hard ball of nursery peat to deal with when they arrive. But this, you probably already well know.

I used to have a job that included visiting garden centers, and never shopped at BBS's besides occasional visits to L's while buying legitimate DIY items, until moving to AL, (which I now do as the alternative is not shopping at all besides the occasional visit to the one decent mom'n'pop place I've found within 2 hours.) Rarely would I see any plants there that I didn't already have (that I wanted.) I've been to Glasshouse Works twice, and any other place that sells plants in OH except metro Cleveland and Cincinnati, which were not part of my territory. Like said though, at the time, I was only interested in 'regular' house plants and outdoor gardening so never looked the C/S, orchids or other niche plants. It sounds like these pretty plants were just hiding with the orchids, though I was never out there with like a to-do list that said, "find Ludisia." Probably just asking would have led to a plant at many of the places I visited, the search has never been proactive, (until trading, but definitely one of those from an old house plant book that I've always thought I should have if I ever saw it.)

In retrospect, I would definitely have killed this plant back then. With peat, a watering can, and a drip saucer, for sure.

In case a peace offering is needed, I found a new batch (to me) of animated .gif files to play with. I put a copy of each here if you want to grab any.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your kind offer. If this Ludisia does't survive winter, I may take you up on your offer come Spring, OK? I DO appreciate your generous offer.

Certainly I knew you were speaking of general cultural practices (particularly among Orchid growers), not suggesting I remove my plant's bloom.

Thanks for the mix suggestions Daniel. I was more inclined to follow Paul's suggestions on bark based mix, given he's somewhat of an Orchid man already.

Just so you know Daniel, I think your Macodes is breathtakingly beautiful, (pattern freak that I am).

But btwn the volume & level of technical details you shared, combined w/ that STUNNING pic you shared, you kind of did overwhelm the thread. No harm, no fowl, but just so you know, that level of participation is more than worthy of its own thread.

Tho' I'm fairly thick skinned on somethings (like this) I just wanted to share the etiquette w/ you, since you joined this Spring vs. Paul & I who've been here more than 10 yrs.

Paul, it seems we've joined w/in months of each other. A lot of interesting & turned out long timers joined that Spring as well (of 2001). Don't know about you, but I wear my grey hair w/ pride of having earned it!

That Macodes pic really is gorgeous. I was a lap swimmer for many years & the squiggly lines on the pattern of the Macodes leaves you showed, reminded me of the pattern on bottom of the pool, made squiggly by the motion of the water. Maybe only other lap swimmers would get this. Either way, VERY cool looking leaves!!

FYI: don't know if you know this, but in NYC we've got a number of Plant Societies one can join, like Indoor Gardening (to which I currently belong & covers ALL plants types). There are also others: the Cactus & Succulents Society (where I belonged for yrs., but left due to 'political' & administrative differences). Also Orchid Societies, Begonia Society & Rock Garden Society, are others of which I am personally aware.

We always welcome newcomers for a visit (free) to see if they might be interested in joining. If you care to come later this month (which will also be our Holiday Party meeting), pls. drop me an EMail & I'll share the details.

Same is true for any other plant folks in NYC who care to come check us out. Just tell them at the Door that you met Karen online at GW.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teisa(6)

Very pretty leaves! I really like that PG. Also love the leaves on Macodes.

I have a var. vanilla orchid recently acquired. I wondered if it was a "Jewel Orchid"? So when I looked up Jewel Orchid, the definition was Orchid grown for leaves rather than flowers. (interesting)!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rooftopbklyn

Thanks for excusing my etiquette breach, Karen.

On media for these plants, I will add that they do seem to like to be a bit damp, so I water them more often than most might be comfortable with - every other day. I'm sure they would also be happy in a bark based mix. The main point I was trying to make is that they probably need something that holds more water than a traditional "orchid mix" designed for epiphytes. Paul's suggestion of bark + potting soil is pretty close to 5-1-1, depending on how you slice it. If mine every get big enough for new pots I may try 5-1-1 or something similar. As with most things - you can grow most anything in most any media, if you're willing to pay a lot of attention ;) And I definitely dote on these plants.

Daniel

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Teisa, I think that's interesting too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 8:53AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
It hursts so that my Pachira Aquatica "money tree" plant is hurting so
Hi all, love this site and I finally joined! I've read...
mobbsuit_beasley
Schefflera and corn plant sharing a pot?
Anyone tried planting schefflera and Dracaena Fragrans...
Peter
Do I have natural original Chlorophytum comosum?
I have bought Chlorophytum comosum but I don't know...
dert17
Advice for my almost dead aglaonema
Please help me nurse this plant back. It was given...
Kelby Miller
help me identify this plant
It's indoor, never flowers, has kind of waxy, viney...
princessasamuela
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™