How to grow jewel orchids

Written by carlye jones
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How to grow jewel orchids
Jewel orchids are prized for their foliage. (Wikimedia Commons)

One of the only orchids grown for its foliage rather than the flower, although the flowers are beautiful, jewel orchids are not as difficult to grow as many other varieties. The lovely velvety leaves are outstanding by themselves, or even more stunning when paired with contrasting flowers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Premium sphagnum or commercial terrestrial orchid mix
  • Terrarium or humid space

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  1. 1

    Plant your jewel orchid in the right medium. Jewel orchids aren't particularly picky, but they will grow best in premium sphagnum or commercial terrestrial orchid mix. If you have a stem cutting, you can get it to root by placing it in water or vermiculite. Once your jewel orchid is rooted, gently pot it in sphagnum or orchid mix, making sure the roots are completely covered. Also be sure the soil can drain well. Although they like moisture, they do not like standing water.

  2. 2

    Choose the right spot to grow your jewel orchid. While not as finicky as many other varieties of orchids, jewel orchids do like warmth and humidity. Avoid growing your jewel orchid in a cool or draughty area. Be careful about putting it too close to windows where temperatures will fluctuate. Jewel orchids do well in some bathrooms since they love humidity and fluorescent lighting provides enough light.

  3. 3

    Provide plenty of humidity. Naturally growing in tropical rainforests, jewel orchids grow best in humid settings. While they will tolerate a variety of conditions, your jewel orchid will grow rapidly, flower more and look its best if you can provide lots of humidity. A terrarium is one great way to keep your orchid humid, but since jewel orchids will grow well outside a terrarium you may not want to use that option so you can enjoy your plant more.

  4. 4

    Water regularly. Jewel orchids don't like being dry, but they dislike standing water even more. Wait until the soil is just beginning to dry out before watering again. Be careful not to overwater. It's easier to "bring back" a jewel orchid damaged by lack of water than it is to save one dying from sitting in soggy conditions.

  5. 5

    Fertilise once a month. Following the directions on the package, fertilise your jewel orchid with a product made specifically for terrestrial orchids. This will give your jewel orchid everything it needs to really grow and be beautiful.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the pot and soil are draining well.
  • Plant your jewel orchid in a large pot and it will soon grow into it.
  • Don't over water your jewel orchid. It doesn't like standing water or soggy conditions.
  • Don't expose your jewel orchid to drafts or cool temperatures.

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