The Jewel orchid is known to have the most beautiful foliage of the orchid Family. The leaves are a blackish, red-green velvet with coppery red veins and wine-red undersides. The waxy white flowers have a yellow anther that twists to one side while the anchor-shaped lip twists opposite. The flowers bloom from fall to winter.
JEWEL ORCHID CARE
The Jewel orchid is a terrestrial orchid that grows on the floor of tropical forests, leaving it extremely shaded. It grows with the best results away from the sun, requiring diffused light only. A north-facing window is a suggestion.
Jewel orchids like the soil to be kept evenly moist at all times but not constantly wet. The rhizome is prone to rotting in too wet of conditions but if it is kept too dry, may burn or shrivel especially in hot weather.
Being a tropical plant, the Jewel Orchid requires high humidity. This can be provided by grouping plants together or filling a tray with gravel and water with enough room for the orchid pot not to touch the water in the tray’s bottom.
The Jewel orchid, like many others, prefers warm temperatures. Keep the temperature around 80-85 degrees during the day and cooler 60-65 degrees at night are ideal.
When fertilizing a Jewel orchid, using a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) is suggested at one-month intervals. The Jewel orchid is not a heavy feeder, so you do.
POTTING JEWEL ORCHIDS
Humus soil is recommended, such as osmunda fiber or fir bark, sphagnum peat moss with small amounts of perlite for drainage. The fleshy rhizomes should lie horizontally in the soil. They usually only need repotting every 2-3 years.
OTHER ORCHID SUGGESTIONS
PAPHIOPEDILUM ORCHIDS – Paphiopedilums or “paphs” are very easy to grow. They remain compact in their growth habit and have attractive foliage with long-lasting flowers in a wide range of colors. Although classed as terrestrials, they do not really grow in the ground. Rather, they grow in a layer of decaying vegetation found on the forest floor. It is helpful to know where an orchid grows in nature to more easily duplicate these conditions in our home or greenhouse.
ONCIDIUM ORCHIDS – Oncidium orchids have been nicknamed the Dancing Lady Orchids, and once you see a flower, you know why. Their blooms resemble a tiny dancer with a colorful outfit. Oncidiums are a relatively small plant and may bloom when planted in a smaller pot.
PHALAENOPSIS – Phalaenopsis is one of the easiest orchids to grow, and the blooms can last for many months. They are an excellent choice for a beginner orchid parent. Phalaenopsis orchids’ biggest threat is the risk of rot. Be sure to keep the crown of the plants dry, especially at night. Also, groom your plants constantly, remove all old leaves and flowers, and check for bugs. These orchids are an advantageous plant for the beginner due to their easy culture.