Macodes petola care infographicMacodes petola from the Orchidoideae subfamily is hard to resist when you look at it at a garden store. Some say you need to be brave to bring one home. The tiny oval velvety leaves with a striking white web of veins are unique. When exposed to light, they brighten up and create even more interest.

Orchid lovers enjoyed indulging in growing Macodes petola mainly for its foliage and not for its flowers. The blooms that are tan and tiny grow on upright stalks.

Macodes petola likes temperatures between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day just like most Macodes genus orchids. Night temperatures should not dip below and not below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

The beautiful plant will grow well in pots in the correct growing conditions. In winters, keep it warm and cozy and bring plants indoors. It needs humidity but doesn’t need to be misted.

The stunning Macodes petola is a very attractive indoor plant that gardeners find rewarding. If you know how to take care of it, you can be very happy as a grower, just like your  Macodes petola plants.

How To Care for Macodes Petola

Macodes petola comes with specific care requirements. It is important to know each segment important for its growth before you bring in your plants. Although it is an orchid, it has some very different needs.

The following section will explain its soil, humidity, light, temperature, and water requirements. Next, we will explain its growing habits and propagation techniques. Later, the guide will answer questions related to the most common problems of Macodes petola.

Let us now look at its requirements closely. We hope the guide will help you understand your Macodes petola in-depth and provide it with an excellent growing environment.

SoilSoil Requirement

Because Macodes petola is a native to the forests of Malaysia, Sumatra, Philippines, Southern islands of Ryukyu, and Java, it naturally grows in loose soil along streams and river banks in the forest.

One can grow Macodes petola easily even in a soil mixture prepared by a mixture of ingredients or by buying a ready-made soil mix.

Macodes Petola grows in loose soil

Sphagnum moss can be mixed with perlite to create a porous substrate that is well-draining as well as retentive of moisture. It will be exactly what your jewel orchids love.

Even regular soil mixed with dried and crushed leaves, tree bark, and gravel can create a great potting mixture for Macodes petola. This soil mix will be close to the kind of soil they grow in the wild.

Remember, Macodes petola likes a well-drained soil mix that is high in organic matter. The nutrition of organic matter will boost its growth and give the right texture to the soil. Perlite or gravel will make it porous and help in water drainage. Excess water must be drained quickly.

For improving the drainage of Macodes petola soil, the pot or basket should have enough drainage holes.

Hack: Add crushed eggshells to the soil. Alternately, crushed oyster shells can be added to the soil too for added nutrition.

LightLight Requirements

Macodes petola appreciates bright indirect light. It is a shade-loving plant and prefers bright filtered light. The filtered light highlights the colors of the leaves. Low light will make the stems leggy and weak-looking.

In all conditions, keep the Macodes petola plant away from direct sunlight as it will make the leaves fade away and have sunburn. It is easy to manage the light by installing grow lights. It helps in maintaining the light and mimics its natural growing environment. Alternatively, you can place it a couple of feet away from a sunny window.

WaterWater Requirements

Watering Macodes petola is the most important factor in the care of the plant. Although it loves water, it will not appreciate drowning its roots in water.

Macodes petola is a native to the forests of Asian countries and grows beside the streams. In the natural setting, it gets an abundance of water. Also, it is not used to dry spells. Constant rain adds to its growth. The plant is never completely dry at the roots.

As a houseplant, Macodes petola likes to be frequently watered. Keep soil consistently moistened. Sphagnum moss and peat are most successful because they retain moisture and also don’t waterlog the roots.

It doesn’t mean that the soil should be wet and turn into a sponge. Water must always drain out completely. During warm months water Macodes petola on an alternate day and slow down on watering as winter arrives.

TemperatureTemperature Requirements

Macodes petola is a native of the warm and moist rainforests of Asia. Thus, it likes the warmth of the air from the organic matter around it. Replicating its natural environment is the key.

Macodes petola likes to be grown at the ideal temperature between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the day temperature. While at night, it prefers temperatures between 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit. In short, it loves summers all year.

Winters in the northern regions are a difficult time for the Macodes petola plants. Frost will kill it. We recommend bringing the plant inside for winters and keeping it cozy until cold months pass.  Also, try to avoid sudden temperature changes.

HumidityHumidity Requirements

While trying to mimic the natural rainforest environment for your Macodes petola plants, you must keep it humid around your plants.  A humidity level of more than 85 percent is perfect. If you give it high humid conditions, it will reward you.

Gardeners also highlight the importance of keeping the growing medium moist more than spraying the plant with water. Maintaining the right moisture levels for the soil is the key. In short, the plant will manage without a humidifier or a mister but will grow weak without proper humidity of the roots.

Hack: Place the Macodes petola plant on a pebble tray or in a bathroom for good humid conditions and warmth.

Never group this plant with others to increase humidity. Aeration is very important for plants. Increased moisture and closely placed plants will add more diseases to the plants.

Macodes petola grows well in terrariums as well. The method allows Macodes petola to grow effectively. The trick will be to manage the fungus in the terrariums. If you know how to do that, you will be happy.

FertilizingFertilizer Requirements

Macodes petola also needs a regular feed of fertilizers. A good quality organic liquid fertilizer is perfect. Alternatively, use an orchid fertilizer. You can use a balanced fertilizer or pick nitrogen-rich options both work well for Macodes petola plants.

A weekly treatment of a diluted fertilizer is suggested. You need to dilute the solution. For this, use a teaspoon of liquid feed and mix it with one liter of water before applying it to your plants. It will also help in discouraging the build-up of chemicals in the soil.

Alternately, add plenty of organic fertilizer to your potting mixture. It can compensate for the slow-release chemical fertilizer. The natural organic fertilizer can provide nutrients to your Macodes petola throughout the year. It needs to be refreshed every year.

  • How To Propagate Macodes Petola

Macodes petola is unique as compared to other orchids when it comes to propagation. It is very easy to multiply using conventional methods.

How To Propagate Macodes Petola

You can propagate Macodes petola from stem cuttings, rhizome division, offsets, or air layering. It may take time to see shoots and roots.

  • Growth

Macodes petola, being a native of a rainforest, likes to grow in a similar environment. Giving it the right amount of light, balanced humidity, warmth, and organic fertilizer will do the trick.

Macodes petola grows from a rhizome that sits on the surface of the soil. The short-height These plants have a slow growth rate, and  will not take much space in your garden.

The stems of Macodes petola are erect, but as they grow bigger, they begin to touch the ground. For best presentation, plant them in wide terracotta or ceramic pots. They grow about 6 inches in width and 3 inches in height in one year.

  • Potting

Macodes petola will be happy as long as it is not root-bound. The pot must be big enough to accommodate its roots. They may need a bigger pot as they grow each year. The moss in the potting mix will help it grow quicker but also will deteriorate over time.

Repotting and refreshing the moss should be an annual regime. The stems are tender and break while repotting, so be very careful. Add lots of gravel at the bottom of the pot to allow roots to be more strong and to keep plants secured.

Macodes Petola Propagation Guide

Macodes petola propagation is a fun activity if you know the right steps. Let us look at some methods in detail.

– Stem Cutting Method

For taking a stem cutting of Macodes petola, wait till June. It is the time when the growing season of the plant begins.

  • Select a healthy stem from a pest-free plant
  • It should have about three leaf nodes
  • Remove leaves from the bottom nodes
  • Use rooting hormone, but it is optional
  • Plant it in equally moist sphagnum moss and maintain watering throughout the growing season
  • Place the cutting in a bright sheltered space, alternately,  under grow lights
  • Maintain a temperature between 80 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Macodes petola needs high humidity
  • You can put the cuttings under glass for increased warmth and humidity
  • Avoid disturbing the cuttings until the roots are established

– Water Rooting

This method of propagation of Macodes petola has proved to be very successful. Follow the step-to-step guide to grow your Macodes petola from rooting it in water.

  1. Select healthy stem with three or four nodes and remove the leaves from the bottom nodes
  2. Fill a glass jar with clean water and a drop of rooting liquid
  3. Plae your cuttings in the water
  4. Maintain temperature at 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. Change water weekly
  6. It will take up to eight weeks to see shoots and roots
  7. Once the roots are visible, you can plant the cuttings in a new pot or hanging baskets.

Hack: A smart way to manage your Macodes petola is to multiply it into new plants instead of giving it a new and bigger pot each year.

Macodes Petola: Common Problems and Solutions

Macodes petola, like most plants, doesn’t respond well to root rot. The main problem is overwatering, bacterial and fungal growth on foliage, and pest attack. All of these problems can distress the plant and eventually kill it if not resolved. The following guide will help you find ways to avoid a total disaster.

– Macodes Petola Plants Look Limp

Macodes petola may look limp when it is suffering from root rot. Either you are overwatering it, or the water is not draining well from the soil. Check the soil condition and water patterns.

If the soil is wet, remove the plant, wash off soil, and plant it in new soil. If the damage is severe and roots are damaged, take a stem cutting and start a new plant.

The other reason for sluggish-looking plants could be dry conditions.

– There Is a Water-Filled Blister on the Leaves

Macodes petola may experience a blister on the leaves. It is a bacterial leaf spot. Usually, the spots are yellow or green. To solve this, first, isolate the plant. Next, remove the infected leaf using a glove to avoid the spread of infection.

Finally, place the plant in a place where it gets good ventilation. It will perform better with good air circulation like other orchid plants.

– Macodes Petola Has Brittle Leaves

Macodes petola leaves can become brittle when they are underwatered. If the soil is moist but the leaves are still brittle, it can be because the soil has lost its nutrients.

Delayed repotting also causes the Macodes petola curly leaves or brittle foliage. Change the pot and add fresh soil with organic matter to avoid this problem.

– Macodes Petola Leaves Are Scorched

Macodes petola gets sunburned and is directly exposed to light. Reduce the light, and put the plant in a location that gets indirect, filtered light to avoid scorched leaves.

– Macodes Petola Has White Webs Covering the Stems and Leaves

White webs appear on Macodes petola when there is an infestation of spider mites.  Spider mites like dry conditions and will appear with low humidity.

Increase humidity and avoid pest attacks. Aphids, mealybugs, and other pests can also be avoided by this trick. Alternately, it is a good idea to spray neem oil mixture frequently.

Tips and Tricks To Keep Macodes Petola Healthy

  • Macodes petola needs added warmth and moist environment as compared to other orchids
  • Maintain moisture of soil all the time
  • Create a mixture of soil that is porous and has plenty of organic matter
  • The soil must be rich in nutrients and well-drained at the same time

Macodes petola beautifil leaves

  • A sandless mixture is best. Prefer moss or coir as a growing medium mixed with perlite
  • Treat plants with additional fertilizers regularly
  • This can not tolerate direct sun
  • Macodes petola suffers from root rot if overwatered
  • Wash off the leaves weekly to avoid pest buildup
  • Keep plants where there is good ventilation
  • Do not water frequently in winters and stop feeding the plant too


Frequently Asked Questions About Macodes Petola

– What should a healthy Macodes petola root look like?

Macodes petola roots are plump, green, and tender when they are healthy. Overwatered roots turn mushy and brown. Healthy roots mean the plant will thrive while the mushy roots are an early sign of an unhealthy plant.

– How can I make Macodes petola bushier?

Macodes petola can be made bushier with proper growing conditions. Give them the right amount of light and nutrient-rich soil for healthier plants. Occasional pruning can also help.

– Can I grow Macodes petola under grow lights?

You can grow Macodes petola under grow lights. Keep it under the light for about 12 hours daily.

– Are Macodes petola toxic plants?

Macodes petola is a nontoxic plant. It is safe to have it around humans and animals.

– Should I use a mister for my Macodes petola?

Macodes petola do not need a mist on their leaves. It is more important to maintain the soil moisture of the plants than to spray it with water. Also, keeping plants together is not a good idea. Only wash off the leaves weekly to prevent pest buildup.

In case it’s very dry in your region, you can mist your plants early in the day.


Macodes petola is an orchid variety with stunning leaves. The patterned leaves are most loved by the growers. Its interesting foliage is the main reason for its popularity while the tan flowers are sometimes clipped off.

The exotic plant is also called the jewel orchid, and it is a rewarding plant if you give it the right growing conditions. Here is what we learned about it through the guide above.

  • Macodes petola is a native to the forests of Malaysia, Sumatra, Philippines, Southern islands of Ryukyu, and Java
  • It grows in loose soil along the river banks in the forest
  • The Macodes petola plant likes to grow in the soilless growing medium
  • Use peat moss mixed with perlite for a perfect mix
  • Macodes petola has most of the problems that are linked with over watering
  • Make sure the roots are not left wet and the soil drains well to avoid root rot
  • Healthy roots look green and tender which the infected roots look brown and soggy
  • The plant needs indirect light to grow and likes the warm and humid environment
  • Macodes petola likes large pots with enough space to grow its roots
  • The soil will need to be changed each year as it loses the nutrients
  • Macodes petola also needs a regular diluted feed of fertilizers each week during the growing season
  • Do not fertilize or propagate in winters
  • Propagation can be done in many ways. Stem cuttings and water rooting methods are simple
  • It takes about eight weeks for the stems to grow new shoots and roots
  • Unlike other plants, it doesn’t respond well to grouping together for humidity
  • It needs proper ventilation and will be happy growing indoors in a well-ventilated area
  • During winter, months bring the plants inside and keep them warm and hydrated
  • In summers, increase watering and begin fertilizing the plant
  • Change the pots annually and add fresh soil too
  • In case of plant roots are infected beyond repair, take cuttings and grow new plants
  • Yellowing leaves occur when there is overwatering or underwatering
  • The brittle leaves of Macodes petola indicate the soil is too dry or the soil has lost its nutrients
  • The tropical plants naturally grow in forests of Asia besides the streams of freshwater
  • It needs frequent watering but also well-drained soil for good health
  • It also requires organic matter in the soil
  • Macodes petola can be placed in a pot inside a bathroom or a couple of feet away from a well-lit window
  • Macodes petola grows under the grow lights too


While the Macodes petola is a bit tricky to grow as a houseplant, the striking foliage is refreshing to look at and surely a treat for every gardener. It may have special care requirements, but it is a keeper.

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