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The Ludisia orchid is a rather unusual representative of orchids, but it is in no way inferior in beauty to its fellows in the family. The appearance of its leaves conquers florists at first sight.
At the same time, due to its decorative properties, it fits perfectly into any interior. And with proper care, it pleases with flowering. You can find out more information about this exotic beauty in our article.
History of origin and place of residence
The habitat of this species is quite wide:
- and even Brazil.
The beginning of the history of this flower in our country is associated with the name of E.L. Reggel, who mentioned him in his books, and at the end of the 19th century at a gardening exhibition in St. Petersburg F.I. Kehli introduced ludisia to the general public, which he cultivated in his home under a glass jar.
What does it look like?
The genus Ludisia from the Orchid family includes only one species - Ludisia bicolor. It is attributed to the category of "precious" because of the beauty of the leaves, since it does not differ in magnificent flowering.
This plant is small (maximum 30 cm in height), has fleshy, soft, fleecy stems that give many new shoots.
The rhizome is short, with numerous branches. Leaves are lanceolate or oval, 7 cm long, located on the stem in small rosettes of about 5 pieces.
The color of the leaf plates is very diverse:
- dark green;
- or even black.
A peduncle emerges from each leaf rosette up to 30 cm high. Flowers are small, white with yellowish stamens, grow about 3 pieces on one inflorescence.
What is the difference from other species?
- It has inconspicuous small flowers, but leaves unusual in their beauty.
- Its flowering period is autumn or winter.
- It leads a terrestrial life, attaching itself to mosses, occasionally on the walls.
- Does not tolerate hot air and direct sunlight.
- Tolerates fairly dry growing conditions.
- Loves fresh air, but does not tolerate drafts.
Varieties, their description and photos
All varieties of the Ludisia species have the same structure, but differ in the color of the leaves.
It has oval-shaped leaves, pointed at the end. Above, the leaf plate is dark green with red, yellow or white veins, below it is red-purple.
We recommend watching a video about the features of Ludisia Discolor:
The flower of this variety is very similar to the representative of Ludisia Discolor, but differs in the large size of the leaves, their greenish-brown color and pink veins.
Oval-shaped leaf plates, pointed at the ends, have an unusual black-green color with silvery veins. The stems of Ludisia Odin are creeping.
Leaves are bright green in color with a lighter tone, large veins that branch into small ones.
It features a very dark green foliage and longitudinal streak-like veins of red or orange flowers.
It is characterized by a wider leaf plate of a dark green color. And also with veins in the form of a mesh of light shades.
It has velvety emerald leaves with striped red veins.
Flowering at Ludisia usually occurs from autumn to late winter, although it does not cause delight. From each leaf rosette, a long straight peduncle grows (up to 30 cm), on which white nondescript flowers are formed, up to 2 cm in diameter, with yellow stamens. Blooming Ludisia from afar resembles a string of pearls, which is why it is called precious.
To ensure the flowering of the plant, it is necessary to prepare the buds for the bookmark since summer - keep the temperature from 20 to 29 ° C during the day, and at night 3-5 ° C below the daily norm, this helps even when Ludisia does not want to bloom.
When watering, it is necessary to avoid the ingress of water on the peduncles. At rest, it is necessary to reduce the amount of water during irrigation and the amount of fertilizer applied when feeding.
Premature flowering is detrimental for young plants, since the energy consumption of this process can deplete and kill the orchid.
Step by step instructions for home care
- Choosing a place. Since Ludisia does not tolerate direct sunlight, then it must be placed in a place where either they have no access at all, or it is minimal (a window sill with windows facing south-east or south-west is suitable, you can also put it near the battery) ...
- Preparing the soil and pot. A small transparent pot with large drainage holes is best suited for this plant. The bottom must be lined with vermiculite or brick chips, and a substrate must be poured on top, which can be bought in a store or prepared by yourself:
- chopped pine bark with the addition of needles (4 parts);
- pieces of sphagnum moss (4 parts);
- charcoal (1 part);
- peat (1 part);
- sheet land (1 part).
The soil must have good moisture and air permeability.
- Temperature. Ludisia belongs to heat-loving plants, therefore it is undesirable for the thermometer to drop below + 18 ° C in the room where it is located. The optimum temperature for her is + 20-23 ° С during the day, and + 18-20 ° С at night.
- Humidity. Since this type of orchid grows in tropical forests, the optimal air humidity for it is 70-80%.
- Lighting. Since ludisia is not a sun-loving plant, it must be shaded from direct sunlight, but it is better to place it where their access is minimal.
- Watering. Water the plant regularly throughout the year. The substrate should be sufficiently moist, but without excess moisture. Also, excess water must be poured out of the pan (30 minutes after watering).
Since ludisia needs moist air, it is necessary to spray the leaves (with the exception of velvet leaves), you can purchase a humidifier.
- Top dressing. For feeding this orchid, liquid purchased fertilizers are suitable (specifically for orchids), it is worth noting that it does not need frequent fertilization - it is necessary to feed the plant 2 times a month if necessary.
- Transfer. To transplant a plant, you need to take it out of the pot, remove the residues of the substrate and those roots that are empty or rotten from the roots, then rinse those that are healthy. Then the root system is divided and the divided plant is transplanted into different pots.
We recommend watching a video about caring for ludisia:
How to propagate this flower?
Ludisia multiplies in different ways.
You can reproduce in this way at any time of the year, but it is best to do it in spring or summer, since rooting is more likely to occur.
The stalk is the upper part of the stem, where several growth points remain and a cut is made, which must be processed with charcoal. The stalk is placed in wet moss or water with charcoal.
During the rooting process, inflorescences need to be cut off, since this resource-intensive process can destroy an immature young plant.
By dividing the bush
Thus, it is necessary to propagate the plant during transplantation, leaving 2-3 processes on each separate piece of the bush. Further, everything is as in the process of transplantation.
A stalk without leaves is cut into several pieces of 5-7 cm each, provided that several internodes should remain on each.
Then they are laid out on the surface of the moistened moss. After rooting, they are transplanted into separate pots.
Diseases and pests
- Direct sunlight can cause burns on the leaves.
- The appearance of various types of rot is facilitated by the constant waterlogging of the soil.
- Lack of moisture and dry air can cause ludisia to be affected by mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects and whiteflies.
Prevention of various problems
Correct and timely care of the plant is the prevention of various problems.
- direct sunlight;
The Ludisia orchid is a rather unusual plant that cannot impress with a gorgeous flowering, but surely among the readers there will be someone who will appreciate the unique beauty of its leaves and provide her with proper care and love so that Ludisia can delight its owner for a long time.