Vanda orchid is one of the most extraordinary orchid varieties because of its vibrant flowers and beautiful foliage that grows in a cascade-like manner. Even though they are considered not to be high-maintenance, I wouldn’t recommend vanda orchids for non-experienced growers.
Let me introduce you to the most important items when it comes to vanda orchid care: They need high levels of humidity (around 80%) and abundant watering followed by drought periods. You can see them blooming two or three times a year, for six weeks or so. They like high temperatures, from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, which is why they are great for orchid terrariums. The potting mix should be soilless, bark, and peat moss-based. Fertilizing once a week is required during the growing period, while you can do it less often during the rest of the year. Repotting won’t be necessary for 3 to 5 years, even though the roots will overgrow the container pretty fast.
Still not sure whether you could be successful in growing vanda orchids? If you want to grow vanda orchids, carefully read the following article. I will try to boost your confidence and explain all the needed details when it comes to vanda orchid care.
Origins of Vanda Orchid
Vanda orchid plant comes from tropical Asia. There are over 80 different varieties of this orchid genus!
Vanda Orchid Appearance
Vanda orchids are epiphytes living on other plant’s surfaces. Frequently, you can see them living on tree branches and hanging from them.
They grow from bulbs that are used as water and nutrient storage. The roots are aerial (because orchid vanda uses them to hold onto the surface).
It also collects moisture through the roots. They have glossy green, thick leaves. Vandas orchids grow from one stem in a ladder-like manner.
You can buy mini vanda orchids, while in nature they can grow up to be pretty big, up to a meter in height!
Varieties of Vanda Orchids
There are three most commonly found vanda orchid subspecies: strap-leaves, semi-terete and terete. The first one has strapped leaves, while the third has long, round leaves. The second one is somewhere in between these two.
Vanda Plant Blooming
Vanda orchids bloom from a spike, a couple of times a year. Flowers are eye-catching because of their colors.
They aren’t very big, from 3 to 10 cm in length. The color of the flowers tells you whether your vanda is healthy enough.
If the colors are vibrant and strong, it means that the plant is well.
If you notice the color is becoming pale, your vanda may be exposed to too much direct sunlight, needs feeding, or is overfed.
Sunlight Requirements for Vanda Care
Enough sunlight is one of the most important items when it comes to vandas orchid care. It depends on the subspecies you have.
Terete variety is the most sun-loving of all of them. Place it in a very bright place with abundant sunlight.
You should shelter strap leaves variety from direct sunlight. Find a bright, but semi-shaded place for it.
The semi-terete one is again in between these two – it needs less sunlight than terete, but more than strap-leafed.
Keep in mind that too much sunlight may cause leaf yellowing and flower de-coloration.
Vanda Orchid Temperature Requirements
As a tropical plant, the vanda plant isn’t tolerant of low temperatures, and this is the reason why you should keep it as a house plant.
The like moderate room temperatures, around 25 to 30 degrees. Still, the temperature should never go below 18 degrees Celsius and above 35 degrees Celsius.
When it comes to the lowest temperatures vanda orchids can survive, some experts claim that they will be okay on temperatures over 13 degrees Celsius.
Still, being tropical plants, we know they rarely (not to say never) encounter such low temperatures, so I wouldn’t advise going below 18 degrees Celsius.
Watering Vanda Orchids
Vanda plants like to be watered moderately – never let the potting mix be waterlogged, but also never let it dry out completely.
They like to be watered abundantly, but also need a drought period after it.
In abundant periods, when the weather is very hot and the growing season is at its peak, they can be watered up to twice a day (this is uncommon for orchids in general).
During the winter, cut down the watering to once a week.
Humidity Requirements for Vanda Orchids Care
Vandas orchids care includes very high levels of humidity – up to 80%! Since it is a house plant, it is very hard to maintain that level of humidity in the room.
Instead, you can use a humidifier. Of course, misting is always welcome, as well, but you’ll have to be careful while doing it.
Make sure you only reach the leaves, while avoiding other parts of the plant, especially vanda flowers. Of course, you can always place the pot on a tray filled with wet pebbles.
Pro-Tip: Because the care of vanda orchids plants includes high levels of humidity that are hard to preserve, vanda orchids are often cultivated in orchid terrariums. I think this is the best solution since there are a lot of parameters you would have to align for the plant to thrive in regular room conditions.
Vanda Orchid Soil Requirements
As with most other orchid varieties, you should use a soilless growing material. The best solution is to buy a specialized orchid potting mix, which is based on bark and peat moss.
The pH value of the soil should be slightly acidic, from 6.4 to 6.8.
Since they are often found hanging from tree branches in nature, you can use a handing basket as a container for vanda, as well.
This way, the roots will have the needed airflow.
Fertilizing Vanda Orchids
Vanda, like most other orchids, needs feeding from time to time. Use a special orchid fertilizer, especially during the growing season.
Then, you can use it once a week. During the cold period, lower the fertilizing amount and frequency.
Repotting Vanda Orchid
Repotting isn’t a crucial thing when it comes to vandaceous orchid care. You won’t need to do it for three to five years.
Still, when the time comes, it is best to do it in spring. When repotting, remove all potting material and place the plant into a new container.
While doing this, try not to hurt any of the root stems since the process will stress out your vanda orchid.
Pro-Tip: Vanda orchids are unique because of their hard and steady roots that will overgrow any container in no time. Don’t be fooled by this and think that you might need to re-pot the plant right away! Feel free to let the roots get around the whole container!
Common Problems of Vanda Orchid Care
Just like many other types of indoor plants, Vanda orchid care is not immune to having certain difficulties. Lets explore what they are, and how to deal with them.
Leaf yellowing is one of the most important things when it comes to orchid care in general. There a few causes of it, such as overwatering, too much direct sunlight, and overfertilizing.
To take a closer look at the problem of leaf yellowing, read the article.
Mealybugs, scale, and aphids can appear. If they do, just use an insecticide soap to get rid of them.
Still, when buying the soap, keep in mind that orchids are sensitive to all kinds of chemicals, and try to use enough dissolved soap.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do Vanda orchids bloom?
Vanda orchids can rebloom during the same year, so you can expect them to flower two or three times during a year! The flowers are long-lasting, about a month and a half.
Do Vanda orchids like direct sunlight?
Vanda species tend to like being put in full sun. However, don’t expose the entire plant to the sun. Instead, consider having about 20-40% of the plant in shade during hot months, while lowering the percentage even further during winter.
Can Vanda orchid be grown without soil?
Vanda orchid grows in rocky places, where there is no much soil. This means that you shouldn’t use normal potting mixes to grow it, since it could hurt and eventually kill the plant.
Vandas orchid is extravagant and colorful. They like high temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius and high humidity levels around 80%.
This is why it is recommended to keep them in an orchid terrarium. They like a lot of watering during the growing period – up to twice a day.
Still, they also need drought periods after this. For example, watering them once a week during the winter will be enough.
The potting mix should be soilless and well-drained. When it comes to feeding, vanda needs to be fed once a week during the growing period.
During the rest of the year, you can do it twice a month. You should repot the plant every three to five years, not before that.
Common problems include the issues that usually appear with orchid care – leaf yellowing and pests.
Still, put some of the high demands vanda has, if you manage to cultivate it properly, you will be very proud of yourself and your green little friends, so give it a go and see how good you are in orchid care.