Vanda Orchids - How to grow and
care for Vandas.
The Vanda species orchids are normally found in quite
exposed places scrubby woodland in many areas of
South East Asia - stretching as far as Australia.
They are quite tolerant of a wide range of climatic
conditions, and prefer full light, but not direct
hot sunshine. They are not frost hardy.
Orchids grow on a single stout stem with pairs of
leaves having a strap-like appearance. The laves can
measure up to 8in (20cm) from stem to tip.
The flower stalks radiate from the axils of the
leaves with long sometimes arching stems that hold up to
10 flower buds.
The colour range of the hybrids is quite wide - and
The Vanda Orchids can be grown in a wide range of composts and
containers. In most of Asia, they are simply grown in open baskets with no
compost, forming long aerial roots soon form on the lower sections of the main
stems, and these can hang for up to 1 metre - or more. If grown in this
manner, then they will require spray liquid feed to keep them growing, although
of course like other epiphytic orchids, they will get much of their nourishment
from the air.
Vanda Orchids can be potted into a good open compost in a
slatted pot or basket, and allow the aerial roots to hang down. Do not cut them
off. The plants of some hybrids can reach up to about a meter in height, so will
need support in that case.
Water them regularly in the summer, with much less watering in
the winter months. Feed every week with a weak solution general liquid
fertiliser. Alternatively, you can add a few pellets of osmocote general to the
compost in early spring. This will normally last for around 3 months - the
copious watering will shorten the activity length of the osmocote fertiliser.
Vanda orchids are good flowering plants - often sending a
flower spike every couple of months in the summer.
Vanda Orchids tend to send out side shoots at the base, and
these can be removed from the parent plant and potted up to give you a few extra
plants. Alternatively, you can try stem cuttings in the spring. Place them in
pot with a mainly sphagnum moss content, and ensure humidity at all times.
Pests of Vanda Orchids include the invidious red
spider mite, aphids and the leaf axils are great hiding places for mealy bugs!
There are no real disease problems with Vanda Orchids - providing you care for
them well and do not neglect. Any fungal disease is normally a result of a sick
or dying plant - NOT the cause!
Main Orchid Pages
: x Ascocenda Orchids :
Dendrobium Orchids :
By David Hughes -