An orchid like ludisia discolor (Ludisia discolor) is related to the monotypic genus of the orchid family and at the same time is its only representative. This plant in natural conditions can be found in the tropical rain forests of the continental part of Southeast Asia, as well as Sumatra.
Ludisia is also called hemaria. This terrestrial orchid is herbaceous. Its creeping shoots, branching and fleshy, are located on the surface of the soil. From them, many young stems extend upward, which reach a height of about 15 centimeters. The successive leaves are vaginal or planted on a wide and flat vaginal petiole. Simple leaves have a broad-lanceolate shape and reach a length of 7 centimeters, and in width - from 3 to 4 centimeters. The “sparkling”, velvety front side is painted in a rich color shade, which can be from greenish-burgundy to almost black or emerald. There are clearly visible veins on the leaf plate, which are located parallel to the central one, but they are difficult to see in the original species form. The seamy part of the leaves is smooth and colored in a burgundy-brownish color. The stem and petiole are painted in the same color shade. Each leaf blade lives for about 7 years, and then it withers and dies off, while a ring-shaped "notch" remains on the stem, which is painted in a lighter color.
Experienced orchidists classify such a plant in a group called "precious orchids". It is appreciated not for flowers, but for the spectacular appearance of foliage, which has a unique texture, as well as unusual colors. This plant blooms, as a rule, at the end of the autumn early winter period. A fairly tall (up to 25 centimeters) peduncle grows from the upper part of the stem and it bears a multi-flowered raceme with very small (about 2 centimeters in diameter) flowers. The flowers themselves are painted white, and their anthers are yellow. If environmental conditions are favorable, then flowering will last more than 1 month.
Ludisia orchid care at home
Unlike other representatives of the extensive orchid family, ludisias do not require any special growing conditions. However, most flower growers noticed the sudden death of the plant for completely unclear reasons. In this regard, in order to try to avoid the sudden death of this kind of orchid, you need to try to properly care for it as much as possible.
Ludisia growing in natural conditions is able to withstand temperatures of 10-37 degrees. However, it is better to protect a flower growing at home from such a rather extreme temperature regime. So, experts advise to keep the temperature at the level of 20 to 29 degrees in the summer during the day, while at night it should be 3-5 degrees less. This plant needs a difference in daily temperatures, since it is a prerequisite for laying flower buds. In winter, it is recommended to keep the flower cool (about 18 degrees), then its flowering will be longer.
This kind of orchid is shade-loving, so you cannot put it in places with bright lighting. For its placement, it is recommended to prefer western or northern windows. And ludisia can also be placed in the back of the room, but in this case it will need to be illuminated with special phytolamps. Daylight hours are quite long and it should be from 12 to 14 hours. Also, the plant needs illumination in winter, when daylight hours become much shorter than normal.
How to water
This flower reacts negatively to dryness. In this regard, the substrate must always be slightly damp. However, the liquid should also not stagnate in the pot, as this will cause the ludisia to rot.
For irrigation, you need to use well-settled soft water, which must be at room temperature. Watering is recommended by completely immersing the container in water, which should be removed after a few minutes.
The plant thrives best when the air humidity is high (about 70 percent). However, it is impossible to increase the humidity by spraying the foliage. The fact is that dried water droplets leave ugly marks on the velvety leaves, which are almost impossible to get rid of. For this purpose, it is recommended to place an open container filled with water in the immediate vicinity of the flower, and pour wet expanded clay into the pan. It is worth remembering that such a plant should not be placed near heating appliances. The fact is that streams of hot, dry air can cause the tips of the leaves to dry out, and this will greatly spoil the appearance of ludisia.
Formative pruning of this genus is completely unnecessary for the orchid, because its short stems do not branch.
A suitable soil should be loose, have neutral acidity, and be water and air permeable. There are several options for compositions suitable for planting this plant of soil mixtures:
- Fine-grained pieces of pine bark, semi-decomposed foliage and high moor peat (1: 1: 2).
- High-moor peat, sphagnum, chopped roots of osmund fern, coarse river sand, taken in equal proportions.
- Sphagnum, pine needles, high moor peat, leaf soil, birch charcoal, polystyrene foam (4: 4: 4: 4: 1: 1).
For planting, choose wide, low containers, while you should not forget to make a good drainage layer (foam or expanded clay is suitable). At the end of planting, a layer of moss is laid out on top of the substrate, which must be systematically moistened so that it does not dry out.
Top dressing is carried out during intensive growth once every 2 weeks. To do this, use a special fertilizer for orchids. The rest of the time (including winter), fertilizer should be applied to the substrate once every 4 weeks.
The transplant is carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 years in the spring. As a rule, by this time ludisia grows and it becomes cramped in an old pot.
When grown indoors, it can be propagated by division. It should be remembered that the part separated from an adult plant from the rooted aerial stem must have at least three shoots.
Pests and diseases
As a rule, such an orchid is sick due to improper care. So, as a result of constant stagnation of water in the substrate, rot is formed on the root system and creeping shoots. Due to too intense lighting, burns form on the leaves, and the flower itself begins to fade.
A spider mite most often settles on a plant. Favorable conditions for it are: warmth and low air humidity.
Ludisia. Simple Living Jewelry Care
Thanks to breeders, not only a species plant was born, but also several varieties of Ludisia. They differ from each other in the color of their foliage. The most popular varieties are:
A distinctive feature of this variety is the absence of red pigment in the foliage. As a result, his leaves are painted in a rich green color. On the leaf blade itself, there are clearly visible small lateral veins and a large central vein, since they are painted in a contrasting color shade.
The front side of the foliage is painted in a very dark, almost greenish-black color. On their surface, longitudinal colored with a lighter color shade are distinctly distinguishable, as well as small lateral veins that diverge from the central vein.
Its greenish-black leaves with a burgundy tint are relatively large. On the surface of the leaves, pale red longitudinal veins are clearly visible.
In this variety, the greenish-black leaf plate has a narrow-lanceolate shape, while longitudinal veins of a pale red color are clearly visible on its surface.
There are a couple more varieties of this plant that have a very unusual appearance - these are Rubrovenia and the larger Trilineata. Elliptical leaves are painted in a bronze color, while their veins are copper.
In addition to the species plant, breeders have bred several varieties of this orchid, differing in the color of the leaves. The most popular of them can be noted:
– Alba (Alba) - differs from all other varieties in the absence of red pigment in the leaves, due to which it has a bright green color. In addition, on the surface of the leaf, not only large longitudinal veins, but also many small ones branching from them, stand out in a light contrasting color.
– Odin (Odina) - the upper surface of the leaf is very dark, almost black-green. As in the previous variety, here not only the longitudinal veins, but also the short side veins extending from the central vein, stand out with a light contrasting color.
– Dawsoniana - has large black-green leaves with a burgundy tint, colored with pale red veins.
– Otletae - has narrow lanceolate black-green leaves, decorated with light red longitudinal veins.
Two more varieties of Ludisia discolor - Rubrovenia and the larger Trilineata - differ from others in the elliptical shape of bronze leaves with copper veins.
You can watch orchid bloom in the middle of summer. New arrows on the peduncle usually appear in June. The peduncle can accommodate about 30 pieces. arrows. They are usually formed from the tissues of new growths after the leaves reach their final length.
A beautiful bloom can be observed in most cases on hybrids. Spectacular flowers, such as Cymbidium Mix, can bloom for up to several months. There are two types of hybrids:
The color of the flower will delight others with its diversity, with the exception of blue.
Why the orchid doesn't bloom
The key reason for the absence of a peduncle on a flower is non-observance of the temperature regime. For an orchid to bloom, it is necessary to create conditions similar to its natural environment, thus making it bloom. After the flower has faded, it begins a dormant period. At this time, the temperature must be reduced to 10 ° C. The plant needs to build up strength for re-flowering. In a dormant state, the bush stays until April, then wakes up. It is advisable to move the flower to a warm place.
Subject to proper care and resuscitation, the orchid will delight others with its flowering for more than one year.