Caring for Jewel Orchids
Jewel Orchids are so named due to their beautiful patterned foliage. Some have foliage which is a dark almost black color and others are shades of green w/ gold variegation. Many species are included in this wide and varied family, though care for most is very similar. Jewel orchids such as the one you have received are terrestrial orchids and therefore should not dry out as completely as the epiphytic or ‘tree growing’ types. We grow them in one of three available mediums. The first is sphagnum moss, though you will need to make sure not to overwater. The other is a mix of equal parts of our seedling mix and peat moss. And lastly, our peat based Phalaenopsis mix works very well. To avoid overwatering, do not water until the mix is just dry to the touch and the pot feels light, then water until moistened but not dripping wet. (Be careful to not allow plant to stay dry for very long or you will dehydrate roots and leaves quickly.) Keep foliage dry whenever possible and when fertilizing always wash the leaves to keep burn from occurring. The root system on these plants does not grow very deep, so make sure to water evenly from the top of the pot. Anytime these plants change growing conditions, such as from our nursery to your home, expect a few lower leaves to drop as the plant acclimates. Unless most or all the foliage drops there is no need for concern.
Fertilize very lightly during the warmer growing months or when the plant is actively growing. Conditions are otherwise similar to most orchids you grow in your home. Bright, indirect light such as a Phalaenopsis might receive and temperatures about the same(65- 85 degrees). Blooms will appear from the center of the growths and will usually have an upright stem of small pale colored blooms. Usually, bloom stems will require staking to prevent broken stems.
Note: This guide is only applicable to Jewel Orchids. For other varieties, please click on one of these links: