Ludisia Discolor

Ludisia Discolor

Such an orchid as 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 rainforests of the continental part of Southeast Asia, as well as Sumatra.

Ludisia is also called hemaria. This ground orchid is herbaceous. Its creeping shoots, branching and fleshy, are located on the surface of the soil. A lot of young stems go up from them, which reach a height of about 15 centimeters. The next leaflets are vaginal, or planted on a wide and flat vaginal petiole. Simple leaflets have a broadly lanceolate shape and reach a length of 7 centimeters, and a width of 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 green.

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 reverse side of the leaves is smooth and painted in burgundy-brownish color. The stem and petiole are painted in the same color shade. Each leaf plate 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 refer such a plant to a group called “precious orchids.” It is valued 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, in late autumn and early winter. A rather tall (up to 25 centimeters) peduncle grows from the top of the stem and it carries 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, Ludisia does not require any special conditions for growing. However, most flower growers noticed the sudden death of a 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 take care of it as correctly as possible.

Temperature regime

Growing in natural conditions, ludisia is able to withstand temperatures of 10–37 degrees. However, a flower growing at home is better protected from such a rather extreme temperature regime. So, experts advise in the summer during the day to maintain the temperature at a level of 20 to 29 degrees, while at night it should be 3-5 degrees less. This plant needs a daily temperature difference, as it is a necessary condition for laying flower buds. In winter, it is recommended to keep the flower cool (about 18 degrees), then its flowering will be longer.

Illumination

This kind of orchid is shade-loving, so you can not put it in places with bright lighting. For its placement, it is recommended to prefer western or northern windows. Ludisia can also be placed deep in the room, but in this case it will need to be illuminated with special fitolamps. Light day is 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 moist. However, the liquid should also not stagnate in the pot, as this will result in rotting of the ludisia.

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.

Humidity

The plant feels best at high humidity (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 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 also pour wet expanded clay into the tray. 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 the ludisia.

Pruning

Formative pruning of this kind is completely unnecessary for an orchid, because its short stems do not branch.

Land mixture

Suitable soil should be loose, have neutral acidity, and also pass water and air well. There are several options for the composition of soil mixtures suitable for planting this plant:

  1. Fine-grained pieces of pine bark, semi-decomposed foliage and high-moor peat (1:1:2).
  2. High-moor peat, sphagnum, chopped osmund fern roots, coarse-grained river sand, taken in equal proportions.
  3. Sphagnum, pine needles, high-moor peat, leafy soil, birch charcoal, polystyrene foam (4:4:4:4:1:1).

Wide, low containers are chosen for planting, while one 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.

Fertilizer

Top dressing is carried out during intensive growth 1 time in 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.

Transplant Features

Transplantation is carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 years in the spring. As a rule, by this time the ludisia grows and it becomes cramped in the old pot.

Reproduction methods

When grown indoors, it can be propagated by division. It should be remembered that the part separated from an adult plant from a 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.

The plant most often settle spider mite. Favorable conditions for it are: heat and low humidity.

Main varieties

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 the foliage. The most popular varieties are:

Alba

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 plate itself, there are clearly visible small lateral veins and a large central vein, as they are painted in a contrasting color shade.

Odina

The front side of the foliage is painted in a very dark, almost greenish-black color. On their surface, longitudinal veins, painted with a lighter color shade, as well as small lateral veins that diverge from the central vein, are clearly distinguishable.

Dawsoniana

Its greenish-black leaves with a burgundy tint are relatively large. Pale red longitudinal veins are clearly visible on the surface of the leaves.

Otletae

In this variety, the greenish-black leaf plate has a narrow-lanceolate shape, while longitudinal veins of 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 leaflets are painted in a bronze color shade, while their veins are copper.

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