Vanda Orchids At A Glance
- Scientific name: Orchid Vanda
- Common name: Vanda
- Origen: India, Australia
- Orchid type: Epiphytic or lithophyte
- Flowering: All year round
- Location: A lot of lighting, without direct sunlight exposure
- Irrigation: Very frequent, up to twice a day if grown in baskets
- Humidity: High 70% -80%
- Level of difficulty to cultivate: High
|Temperature||Minimum of 50°C (10ºC) and a maximum of a bit over 90°F (35ºC)||During the day between 68°F (20°C) and 90°F (35ºC). Night temperatures recommended ranges between 59° F (15°C) and 68°F (20°C). I also recommend that there is a range of at least ten degrees Fahrenheit between night and day.|
|Humidity||The optimum humidity is 70 to 80% depending on the ambient temperature. At higher temperatures, the plant needs more moisture. Therefore, in summer you have to increase the temperature. It will hardly resist environments below 60%.||If at home we do not have enough humidity levels, we will need frequent sprays on the roots. It can help to hang it on top of other plants or near a fountain.|
|Light||Vanda orchids need very bright environments. Do not expose directly to the sunlight.||Have the Vanda orchid plant in a luminous place with a blind so it does not receive direct sunlight.|
|Fertilizer||Add fertilizers for orchids in the water that we use to immerse the roots.||We must also use foliar fertilizer for the vaporizations (in 50% of them) on the roots. The number of vaporizations will depend on the level of environmental humidity, increasing them when it is below 60-70%.|
|Substrate||Vanda orchids prefer aerial roots, which is why I will recommend wooden or other hanging baskets.||It is also possible to place them in pots covering part of their aerial roots. In this case the drainage must be perfect, with a base of pine bark, ceramic balls, coal, etcetera.|
|Others||Vanda orchids require good ventilation. It is one of the few orchids that can tolerate drafts. At home we should place it near windows that can ventilate.||Difficult plant for beginners. I would recommend you to start with a Cambria orchid if you decide to specialize in orchids.|
Vanda orchids are monopodial plants, which means that they have a single stem that grows from the tip or crown of the plant. These plants are known as aerial, because they do not need soil to grow.
They are part of the genus of the family of orcquidaceae (orchids), that is one of the genres most commonly found in the market.
The wands of Vanda orchids flowers usually carry between eight and ten blooms, which emerge from the base of the leaf. It has flat broad leaves, shaped like a belt, unlike other species of orchids that are usually fleshy.
This Vanda has, as we mentioned previously, a monopodial growth, with leaves that vary depending on the place of its habitat. Some of them have flat leaves, which are usually broad and ovoid; while others have cylindrical and fleshy leaves, which adapt very well to periods of drought.
Vanda Orchids Care
The Vanda are orchids that produce large bright and rounded flowers. It is possible that one of the best known Vanda orchids is the Vanda coerulea, for its exotic blue flowers, however, the colors of its flowers are very varied: yellow, red and also orange.
It must be said that the Vanda are not exactly orchids for beginners, there are other varieties of orchids easier to care for (Cambria orchid is a hybrid much easy to take care of for beginners). If you are an absolute beginner, there are easier plants to cultivate such as the spider plant, that I describe here in this article.
Vanda orchids are large and need very specific care in terms of humidity, temperature, light and air, conditions which are not easy to reproduce at home. They are rather greenhouse orchids, and not everyone can afford to have one.
Even among the most experienced growers, it requires certain conditions that can be difficult to supply in a house. They need high humidity and also high temperatures, bright light, and a good movement of air.
In spite of everything, for the true fan of orchids, owning and caring for a Vanda is a challenge that is really fun to undertake.
Many people strive for a long time, so that their orchids shine with some of the most striking and spectacular flowers of nature.
Vanda orchids are great for gardening enthusiasts, they are not easy to care for, but in no case is it impossible. They need very specific care , so that they can develop successfully, and we will see them in this mini-tutorial.
The natural habitat of Vanda orchids is tropical, and for this reason, these plants require a very high level of humidity. When not in their natural habitat, these orchids are grown in hanging baskets of wood or other materials, with little or no formwork.
Illumination And Exposure To Sunlight for Vandas
This type of orchid requires a bright light, but generally, it does not grow well under direct sunlight. I have seen Vanda orchids acclimatized in full sunlight, but these plants are often faded and not as healthy as those growing under a tarpaulin or a Venetian blind, that removes them from the exposure to the dangerous direct sunlight.
There are three types of Vanda orchids, which differ by the type of their leaf; one is in the form of a belt, which are wide and flat leaves, the other has rounded leaves like a pencil, and the last is a hybrid of both leaves.
However, despite this distinction, all of them require a bright light for their development and growth , but being careful not to be exposed directly to the sun, so that it does not burn its flowers and leaves.
We mention the leaves, because depending on them, the plant requires more or less intensity of light. The leaves that have the appearance of a pencil, need the sun full; while those that are a hybrid of both need less light, as well as those that have a belt shape, which are the ones that require less light of the three.
When growing Vanda orchids inside your home, or office, it is best if it is placed near a window, where it receives sunlight, but not directly exposed to it.
Vanda orchids, especially if we have them at home, will need optimal light and humidity conditions. Some of them can tolerate direct sunlight, although a large amount of light is usually sufficient (porches on the outside or in interior galleries with large windows).
What light needs do you have? The Vandas need to be in a well-lit place, and although some specimens can acclimate to live in full sun, they do not tend to look too healthy.
Ideally, keep them near a window facing south, but in which the light they receive is sifted through a blind or a perforated tarpaulin.
Irrigation And Watering Requirements In Vanda Orchids
Vanda orchids bloom more often between spring and fall, however, these plants can actually bloom at any time of the year.
I recommend you strongly to water the Vanda orchids in the first hours of the morning, with lukewarm water; because this will give the orchid the proper time to let the roots dry before the next watering.
The quantity of irrigation required is subject to the place where it is planted; if it is in a wooden basket for example, it is necessary to water it every day. But if the orchid is planted in a pot, it should be watered less frequently , since water and soil can rot the roots of the plant. The container must have a drainage hole.
Generally, this plant should be watered more frequently, in the warmer months of the year; and less frequently, in the colder months.
They require a large amount of water, and this is very important. In periods of high temperatures, Vanda orchids may need to be watered twice a day. When watering a Vanda orchid, first soak the plant until the white or silver roots change color. Then wait a few minutes before re-saturating the plant with water. In general, the plant should be watering for up to 8 minutes. Some growers leave their sprinklers on for 20 minutes, although dominant doctrine in the subject matter states that Vanda orchids cannot absorb water beyond 8 minutes.
A trick to be used if your orchid is seriously dehydrated is to put it in a bucket of water for a while so that it hydrates well.
For Vanda orchids, it is necessary to water frequently, reaching up to two waterings per day in the hottest periods of the year.
If we observe that their roots are whitish or acquire a silver hue, they should be watered until they change color. Once they have changed color, wait a few minutes and water again.
We can find ourselves in a situation in which we observe that the plant is very dehydrated, in these cases you can take the orchid and submerge it in a bucket of water, until it is rehydrated. We mentioned also before this advice.
Humidity Required For Vandas
Vanda orchids require high levels of humidity, between 70% and 80%. The way to get it in some plants hung in a basket is by means of a humidifier or in its absence, with constant sprays on the plant and its roots.
You can have a small device purchased in Amazon, to monitor constantly the levels of humidity of the room.
Maintaining a minimum humidity constant (60 to 80%, preferably 70 to 80%) is essential for Vanda orchids, especially those that do not have a pot as container. For this we must proceed manually with a vaporizer or an electronic humidifier that covers your needs daily (especially in summer) if the plant is indoors. In the water that we vaporize, it is also appropriate to dilute some foliar fertilizer since the leaves also absorb nutrients.
At home, it is especially recommended to dip the roots of the plant in a large enough container with the irrigation water (soft water) every week (or more frequently in summer) and leave it for 30 minutes. In this water we can also add specific fertilizer for orchids. In this way the plant can absorb the humidity it needs.
Fertilizers And Nutrients Required by Vanda Orchids
Vanda orchids need a large amount of nutrients , especially if we want them to flourish regularly.
In the growing season we must add liquid fertilizer for orchids, at least once a week.
To Vanda orchids that are growing in a pot, you can add slow liberation fertilizers, in addition to liquid fertilizers on a regular basis.
They need to be well fed. Well-fertilized plants bloom better. During the growing season, apply a liquid fertilizer weekly. Plants that are grown in plastic pots can be fertilized with controlled-release fertilizer granules, in addition to the liquid-based fertilizer.
A good fertilizer for Vanda orchids can be an organic compost prepared at home; and humus from worms.
Vanda orchids require high temperatures to thrive. The minimum must not fall below fifty degrees (10ºC) and the maximum must not exceed hundred degrees (37ºC).
The ideal temperatures should be moved between seventy degrees (20ºC) and a hundred degree (37ºC) during the day, and between sixty degrees (15ºC) and seventy degrees (20ºC) during the night.
Although they could tolerate lower temperatures at specific moments, a prolonged exposure would affect their growth and flowering.
Below fifty degrees (10ºC) there is a risk that the orchids will delay their flowering, even if they lose it for a year, with the exception of the Vanda coerulea, which is able to withstand significantly lower temperatures.
As with other orchids, one of the factors that stimulates the emergence of the floral bud in Vanda orchids is the difference in temperature between night and day and this usually occurs in winter so the flowering will take place a few months later. There may be more than one flowering per year. The duration of the flowers is several weeks.
Containers, Repotting and Propagation of Vandas
Vanda orchids are plants of great growth, so in a short time they will become incapable to stay inside a pot and will require a larger one.
Ideally Vandas should be kept in baskets, without any kind of substrate. The baskets do not have to be special for orchids, any container would generally be suitable for them.
It is possible to find Vanda orchids in all types of containers, even in planters without the need to add substrate, even some gardeners hold them from the stem and hang them, as in the picture below.
If we have the chance to have Vanda orchids or see them in nurseries, we can see how they are usually displayed in hanging baskets. This is the best option for the Vanda, although it is also possible to find them in transparent plastic pots.
In the hanging baskets and without substrate, we will see how their roots protrude and fall freely towards the ground.
Vanda orchids are large and robust plants that will quickly exceed the size of most containers. Its large aerial roots can meander through the air or cling to a substrate. I have seen them grow successfully on trees or buildings. The best way to grow this species is in open baskets without substrate. It is not recommended to plant them in pots unless they are well pierced to oxygenate the roots. Most nurseries prefer to grow Vanda orchids in slotted baskets, where their roots are free to hang onto the ground.
Large Vanda orchids may not need replanting many times. They will continue to grow beyond the edge of the basket. However, if your Vanda needs replanting, it is usually better to place the old basket inside the new basket and simply leave it so that the roots continue to grow.
As we mentioned earlier, these plants do not require soil to grow, since they use their roots as sponges to adhere to the trees to grow and develop. For this reason you must be very careful with them, because they are your only means of survival, because they not only use it to fixate on them, but also to feed on rain and air.
When grown inside the house, far from its natural habitat, it is convenient to attach its roots to a cork slab, and hang it on a wall, where they do not run any kind of danger, that can break them or affect them in any way.
Structural Characteristics of the Vanda Orchids
Unless you live in tropical areas, Vanda orchids are not orchids suitable for beginners, as we have already defined since the beginning of this article.
They need periods in which their substrate is well wet followed by a dry period. Larger specimens, if we include their hanging aerial roots, can easily grow from 5 to 6 feet long (1.50 meters to 1.80 meters long).
They are more suitable for growing in the greenhouse where they bloom under aerial irrigation and bright sunlight.
These plants are winning many awards and are the subject of great efforts for the improvement of the species.
Vandas are one of the most curious families of orchids. Normally, we find them in the garden centers in baskets hanging from those that protrude numerous roots that are exposed to the air. In their natural habitat they usually reach large size and feed on moisture and dissolved nutrients that reach their aerial roots. Most of them, then, are epiphytes (they live on other plants or trees that take advantage as a support) although there are also lithophytes (they live on or among rocks). They do not have pseudobulbs.
The stems of Vanda orchids also vary considerably in size, there are some that are literally miniatures, and others that reach a length of several feet high. These can become quite massive in their growing habitat, and epiphytic species have very large aerial root systems.
The flowers of this plant, an interesting feature of the Vanda orchid, are its crushed flowers, which grow in a lateral inflorescence. Most of them show a yellowish-brown color, with brown marks, but also appear in white, green, orange, red, and burgundy tones. The lip of these flowers have a small stimulus, and these Vanda, usually bloom every few months, and the best part of it, is that their flowers last for two or three weeks.
Its structure is monopodial and the plant develops from a single stem from which new leaves emerge. These usually have an elongated and narrow shape with a base that oscillates from flat to closed (folded) on the central nerve. The arrangement of the leaves, in addition, confers a peculiar configuration to him like small concentric arcs. It is likely that this configuration helps to retain and drive the water to its roots.
The roots are fleshy and develop strongly to provide nutrients to the plant. For this they have small pores where they absorb moisture or water and their dissolved nutrients. A harmonious and healthy development of the roots ensures a good state of health of the plant.
The flower buds of Vanda orchids are born from the stem and between the bases of the leaves. Each floral rod can normally produce around 10 or more flowers. The plant is growing throughout the year. The blooms can also be produced, according to environmental conditions, at any time of the year, although they tend to be more frequent in spring or early summer.
They are orchids with Asian origin, from Sri Lanka to New Guinea, passing through China, India, the Philippines and Australia. There are some 60 different species of Vanda, but it does not even come close to recognizing the number of hybrids created by man, of which there are thousands.
Vandas orchids are monopods, which means that they grow from a single stem. The roots emerge from the bottom of the stem. The leaves of the Vanda orchid alternate, climbing the stem. The plants with more truth branching frequently. If they are planted individually they can grow quite large.
Vanda orchids bloom from spikes that emerge from the central stem and poke through the leaves. These plants are known to have very large and robust roots that are difficult to contain in any type of pot or container. This orchid can be found with flowers of various colors such as purple, yellow or blueish.
The best known Vanda are the Vanda coerulea, Vanda coerulescens and the Vanda tricolor.
They are an epiphytic or lithophyte species: In their natural habitat it is possible to see them on the branches of trees and on less occasions (lithophyte) growing on or between the stones.
Its growth is monopodial, they grow from a single stem, from which appear robust and large roots provided with small pores, through which they absorb moisture and nutrients. The elongated and narrow leaves grow alternately, in a progression that resembles a staircase.
Older specimens usually branch out a lot, and if they do not divide, they can turn into large plants.
Its flowers appear from the central stem, protruding from the leaves. From a floral stick, more than 10 flowers may appear.
Vanda orchids are able to offer blooms throughout the year, to achieve this will depend on their growing conditions. If the growth conditions are optimal, with plenty of light, heat and adequate humidity, they will bloom at any time. Once the flowers appear, they can last several weeks without withering.
Within the group of Vanda orchids, there are 60 known species as explained already, but it is changing. Sometimes some of these orchids are reclassified and end up in a different group.
The leaves should be green, pulling light green, without dark spots. If we observe that spots appear on the leaves, it is the first warning of a problem, which may be the lack of water.
Since Vanda orchids do not feed on trees, they can also be grown in wooden baskets, even on a wire hanger, but always taking care of their roots. If you get to notice that the roots turn brown or soft, this indicates that they are about to rot.
In this case, you should cut the dead roots in the lower part, and place again those that are in good condition, in the basket or tree that contains them. You can also take the opportunity, to divide your orchids, if you want to get more of it. Once you realize that the plant has three or more roots growing in its orchid, cut between two of them to divide it, and get another new plant.
Types of Vanda Orchids
There is a great diversity of orchids within this genus, Vanda orchids are preferred by orchidologists, and by flower lovers in general, due to the beauty of their flowering, and the durability thereof. Among the different types of Vanda orchids we have:
Vanda Miss Joaquím or Singapore Orchid
Also known as the Singapore Orchid, and Princess Aloha, this is a cultivar of Vanda orchids; This hybrid is the national flower of Singapore, because the quality of its flowering throughout the year, and having a unique and delicate beauty, was chosen on April 15, 1981, to represent the uniqueness of this country, and its hybrid culture. In botany, this plant has been transferred to the genus Papilionanthe.
This is a flowering-free plant, and each inflorescence can support up to twelve buds; generally each of them, has four flowers at a time.
Each flower of the vanda Miss Joaquim is about 2 inches wide (five centimeters wide), and about two and half inches high (about six centimeters high). Its petals are twisted so that the back surface faces each other, with the previous one.
The two petals on the upper part, and the sepal, are of a pinkish violet color, while the two lateral sepals on the lower half, are pale mauve. The large lip of the orchid that resembles a fan is colored violet, and sometimes it is mistaken for a fiery orange, which manages to contrast very well, with the thin dark purple center.
It also requires a vertical planting, which allows it to grow straight and high, along with the movement of air, and the necessary humidity. This plant begins to bloom, once the stem has reached between 15,5 inches (forty centimeters) and twenty inches (fifty centimeters) above the support.
Ashkhen Hovakimian, better known as Agnes Joaquim, created this orchid that bears his name. This was recognized as a hybrid, not only by the expert orchidologist Henry Ridley in 1896, and by other contemporary cultivators.
This plant is a cross between the teres of Burmese vanda, which they now call Teres, and the Vanda Hokerian papilionante. It was not known which of the two species produced the seeds, and which one provided the pollen, only the expert Ridley, after examining it, wrote that Miss Joaquim, a well-known successful female horticulturist, had managed to cross these species, which were cultivated in almost all the gardens of Singapore.
Vanda Coerulea Orchid
It is a medium-sized plant that prefers cool weather; It has epiphytic habits, and is monopodal, which means that it consists of a single stem, where it has coriaceous, lingual, and distic leaves, with coblicually tridentate apices.
The orchid Vanda coerulea, is one of the kinds of Vanda orchids that flourish in an axillary inflorescence, and can be erect, or semi-erect, and can measure two feet long (sixty centimeters long), with several flowers that last between two and three weeks alive.
They can be found in India, Burma, and Thailand; in elevations of 2.500 feet (eight hundred meters) to about 5.500 feet (one thousand seven hundred meters) on the trees ,
This species is so special for horticulturists, for its striking vivacious and lasting blue flowers; besides that they have used it extensively in breeding, to produce deeper blue and purple hybrids.
This is an unusual feature for this genus, shared only with the Brassavola orchids, with a similar flowering, pigmented, closely related, but much smaller.
The spikes of Vanda coeruleas orchids are usually huge and notorious. They can easily carry between twenty and thirty flowers per plant, in multiple flower tips. All the characteristics plus the tolerance to the cold of the species, due to the elevation of its native habitat make it highly desirable to the orchideologists in charge of creating hybrids. Pink and white flowers also occur in nature, these being the purest white found in their kind.
Vanda Coerulea lilla
This species was considered extremely rare in the wild, having been recorded only in the Khasia Hills of Assam, where it was collected in excess, and put at greater risk by the local production of the firewood, using the oaks in which this plant grows
This flower is preferred by many people, to use as an interior decoration in homes and offices, so mostly indoors.
It is also widely used by orchid breeders, to produce a range of new hybrids,
According to the latest research carried out in the laboratories, they indicate that the extracts of the Vanda coerulea orchids may have a potential use in the treatment for anti-aging of the skin.
It grows in nature, at relatively high elevations. It adapts very well to low nocturnal temperatures, and can not be easily cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. This plant requires high levels of light to flower, and under optimal conditions, it can flower four or five times a year.
The hybridization of Vanda coerulea with pink and golden Vanda sanderiana species from the Philippines forms the basis of the modern breeding of this variant, which is extremely important in many countries of Asia and the United States.
Vanda Black Orchid
The reality is that this orchid has a purple color, actually it is not black. It is a dark aubergine that closely resembles the color black, and also has a bicolor natural appearance, with the cream color of its veins, which can sometimes be white. The intensity of the hue of these Vanda orchids can vary depending on mother nature.
The black Vanda orchid, like the Vanda coerulea orchid, blooms in an axillary inflorescence, and can be erect, or semi-erect, and can measure sixty centimeters long, with several flowers that last between two and three live weeks.
This species of Vanda it is famous because of its exotic, long-lasting black flowers and it is considered extremely rare to find in the wild.
It grows in nature, at relatively high elevations, however it adapts very well to low nocturnal temperatures, and can not be easily cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. This plant requires high levels of light to flower, and under optimal conditions, it can flower four or five times a year.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as recommended in general for all orchids.
Orchids like these one, are one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, not only for its delicate shape, but also for the variety of colors offered to those who have the fortune of having them at home.
But not only beauty is the only thing that characterizes this beautiful plant, but also its ability to adapt to climate changes in the area where it lives; As well as it can withstand a direct sunlight exposure very well, it also survives torrential rains, or short periods of drought.
The main enemies of this plant are fungi, bacteria, insects, and mites, so special care must be taken so that the plant does not succumb to them. The ideal is to provide the necessary care of water, and organic fertilizer, as well as liquid worm humus, so that our plant can develop healthily.
This plant usually blooms once a year, depending on environmental factors, such as the increase or decrease in temperatures, the increase in light, and seasonal changes.
Vanda Orchids from Thailand
This is a genus of tropical orchids that are of Asian origin , so they can be obtained by east and west of this continent, to the north of Australia, and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Like most of their species, they also grow on top of trees, adhering to its roots, not taking advantage of it, or damaging it.
The Vanda orchid from Thailand, retrieves water easily from rain, and morning dew, thanks to its roots that act as sponges to absorb moisture. That is why this orchid does not require too much surface available to grow and develop.
Nowadays this plant is sold worldwide as cut flowers, and many people want to grow them, because of their characteristics. They are slightly easier to grow and flowering.
This is one of the best options for interiors, because it does not need surface space to grow and develop, and also because it tolerates less favorable conditions than most other plants. Keep it indoors, but remember to have a temperature difference of about ten degrees between night and day.
Flowering Of Vanda Orchids
Vanda orchids will bloom throughout the year, depending on their growing conditions. Healthy plants with good access to light, heat and humidity will bloom at any time.
The Vanda flower from spikes that emerge in a predictable pattern between the leaves. The peaks have several flowers, depending on the plant, and the flowers will remain open for a few weeks. These orchids are usually chosen for their blooms with flowers in pink, red, blue, purple, or mottled color. The most select flowers are flat and round, with very bright colors.
Reasons Why Vanda Orchids Do Not Flower
Vanda orchids and their many hybrids and related species are instinctive plants. Their basic requirements (air flow, heat, bright light, high humidity, abundant watering) are well known, but only partially describe the good conditions for growth. Because they are typically grown without substrate, they are particularly sensitive to weather conditions.
The difference between a Vanda orchid cultivated in a good way and another in worse conditions, even in the same species, can be very large.
The well-cultivated ones reward their owners with good blooms several times a year, with flowers of vibrant colors. Those that are not properly cultivated begin to lose their leaves from the bottom until the stem gradually strips and does not bloom.
The leaves of a healthy plant should be green to light green and without spots. Black or yellow spots usually mean a problem. In my experience the number one problem with Vanda orchids is the lack of water. To grow them in a healthy way, make sure they are adequately hydrated.
Vanda orchids are endangered, and have never been commonplace because they are usually only found in their natural habitat, growing only in wooded areas, disturbed by high levels of light; however, they are seriously threatened, and vulnerable to the destruction of their home.
Because of the threat that affects Vanda orchids, the export of specimens of blue orchids and other vanda species worldwide is prohibited, and for this reason they are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
There are many people who want to grow Vanda orchids at home, or any of their species, and we do not mean professional orchidologists, but also all lovers of beautiful flowers.
These plants have an advantage, and this is that they grow from fleshy and thick bulbs, where they store the moisture and energy that the orchid requires for its growth.
Vanda orchids grow from thick fleshy bulbs, which store moisture and energy for the growth of the orchid . They use their aerial roots that help them cling to their chosen perch, and pick up moisture from the air. The importance of the flower has more to do with the ornamental arrangements, which are used not only in homes, but also in large halls for different celebrations, in offices, medical offices, and wherever, that the person wishes.
In most climates, the plant is useful only as an indoor plant because it has no tolerance to cold.
There are many breeders of the Vanda orchid because of its ease of propagation and production of hybrids, and because it is very easy to care for this plant.
In addition, as Vanda orchids do not require much specific care, and their flowers stay alive for more than two weeks, they make this plant the favorite of many people, to take them home.
Another of its advantages at the time of cultivation, is that you do not need to invest a lot of money to have several of them, because you can propagate them by dividing your bulbs, or by asking a friend to give you one of them; and in less than six months, you will surely get at least two additional plants.