Vanda - Orchids - Cultivation techniques and main species of the Vanda Orchid

Vanda - Orchids - Cultivation techniques and main species of the Vanda Orchid



Cultivation techniques

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To the genre Vanda about eighty species originating from the Malay Archipelago, China, India, Australia, Indonesia, including some species originating in the Himalayan areas, belong.

Their name derives from the Indian language which means "pleasing to people for their fragrance, shape and color".

They are the most orchids EPIPHITE that exist and in some cases even LITHOPHITE to development MONOPODIAL and are devoid of pseudobulbs.

The leaves can have different shapes; in fact, according to their conformation, they are classified into three large groups which also correspond to different cultural needs:

  1. Vanda with flat leaves, ribbon-shaped: with a V section where we find theVanda sanderiana, the Vanda coerulea, Vanda luzonica,Vanda merrillii, Vanda tricolor, Vanda dearei etc. They are orchids that are better suited than others to be reared at home even if they need sun in the morning to be shaded during the rest of the day in the summer months;

  2. Vanda with cylindrical leaves: In this group we findVanda teres, Vanda hookeriana etc. These species of Vanda to grow they need a large amount of light and in fact grow very well in Hawaii and Florida. They are plants that must be grown outside. At home they have little chance of surviving;
  3. Vanda with intermediate leaves: between ribbon-like and cylindrical.

The roots of Vanda they are large and fleshy and develop from the stem and are rarely branched. They grow free in the air and this allows them, in their natural environment, to be able to access all the atmospheric humidity possible. Therefore they do not like vases.

They are the ideal orchids for hanging baskets.

The inflorescences of the Vanda they are spiked and produce from 10 to 12 flowers and appear along the flower axis in sequence and last several weeks.

Flowering can occur throughout the year with greater peaks during spring and early summer.

The flowers of Vanda their sepals are the same and very open, attenuated at the base. The petals are of the same shape as the sepals, the labellum is a spur, trilobed and of variable shape from species to species.

They are plants that grow continuously throughout the year and love the light. In fact, they need a large amount of light and if the conditions are optimal, they can flower up to three times a year with blooms that last several weeks.

The Vanda they prefer to be raised on suspended wooden baskets and with not too much soil between the roots and the basket and with constant humidity and fertilizations throughout the year.

Most of the Vanda loves direct sunlight and some can tolerate it all day long. In particular, the tubular-leaved Vandas prefer direct sunlight more and for a longer time than the ribbon-like Vandas.

There Vanda it can produce, usually from the main stem, lateral shoots that develop into new seedlings that will emit roots and develop independently from the mother plant (commonly called keiki) which, once grown, can be detached from the mother plant and raised independently.

The orchids Vanda they lend themselves very well to the crossings not only between the different species of the same genus but also with similar genera and this has allowed to create a great quantity of hybrids with the most varied shapes and colors.

Hybrids obtained from crosses between Vanda x Ascocentrum (fami (diorchid family that groups about a dozen epiphytic orchids originating from India, Nepal and Taiwan, similar in appearance to the Vanda, but with much smaller dimensions and less extreme cultivation requirements). The hybrids obtained are calledAscocenda, and have flowers similar to the Vanda but retain the size and cultivation needs of theAscocentrum which are very limited.


As a general principle, almost all species of Vanda they are warm greenhouses ie high temperatures and a lot of humidity.

The thermal limits are therefore temperatures between 28-30 ° C in summer and 20-25 ° C at night; in winter 15-18 ° C during the day and 12-14 ° C at night. They do not tolerate lower temperatures for a long time. Under these conditions they grow continuously throughout the year.
Considering the high temperatures the Vanda they need excellent ventilation to avoid damage to the leaves due to excessive heat.

(For more information on temperature and ventilation see the article: «Temperature and ventilation of orchids»).


There Vanda it is an orchid that needs a lot of light. The needs are different depending on whether it is Vandawith ribbon-like leaves or Vanda with cylindrical leaves Vanda cylindrical or semi-cylindrical in shape are those that more than any other need light, they have to stay in the sun all day. Vice versa the Vanda ribbon-like leaves require direct sunlight for a few hours in the morning, but not during peak hours. They can therefore live in a greenhouse or indoors if their need for light is respected.

The main reason for the non-flowering of these plants is the lack of light.

(For more information on light, see the article: «Orchid needs for light»).


TheVanda they require considerable humidity and frequent watering. If they are raised in suspended baskets, watering must be daily in the spring - summer period. During other times of the year, water more moderately to keep the roots moist.

It is a good idea to always water in the early hours of the day, to allow the leaves to dry when the evening arrives.

They need frequent nebulizations, with water at room temperature and possibly not calcareous. We keep in mind that the optimal humidity for this orchid is around 80%. Therefore it should be nebulized daily if not even twice a day.

(For more information on watering see the article: «Watering and humidity of orchids»).


There Vanda it must be fertilized with generosity. Once a week during the period of greatest growth, ie in spring - summer while during the other periods of the year once every two weeks.

For this plant that blooms, fertilizers with a higher nitrogen titre that would inhibit flowering should be avoided but balanced fertilizers of the type 20:20:20 (20 parts of nitrogen, 20 parts of potassium, 20 parts of phosphorus) in doses of 1 should be used. gr per liter of water.

To promote flowering once a month it is advisable to fertilize with a fertilizer with a title of 10:30:20.

Given the frequency of fertilizations it is advisable that once a week the plant is watered abundantly with water only in order to eliminate excess mineral salts.

It is essential that fertilizations are carried out with the substrate wet to avoid dangerous concentrations of mineral salts that could damage the roots.

It is important never to let the substrate dry completely as there would be an excessive concentration of mineral salts.

Another important thing for the Vanda is to follow a regular fertilizing regimen.

(For more information on fertilization you can consult the article: "Fertilization of orchids").


There Vanda it definitely does not like repottings and as they are plants with monopodial development they do not often require this practice. It repots when the basket or substrate deteriorates or when the plant has grown too large to fit in its container.

Their ideal arrangement are in very hard wood strips baskets such as teak or cedar that do not deteriorate easily or in any case in any support that allows the roots to breathe and stay free, not constrained or soaked in water. The ideal are suspended wooden baskets. They can also be grown on cork bark with the roots dangling in the air.

In order not to create too much stress on the roots and if the container is not deteriorated, it is advisable to put everything in a larger container without removing the plants from their original pot. At the time of repotting, with this solution, charcoal, bark and tree fern fiber are added between one pot and another. In this way the plant is not affected in the least.

However, if we must necessarily change the container because it is damaged or rotten, in this case to minimize stress, it is advisable to immerse the roots with the old support in just warm water in order to make the roots more elastic and remove them with the utmost caution. possibly using clean and disinfected tools (such as hands) and adding a broad spectrum fungicide to the water.

It is essential that the substrate is arranged so that the roots are not tight, that there is good ventilation and that it can retain the necessary moisture. We make sure to leave the roots free to settle and do not force them by wrapping them.

The pots must be hung and the roots must be left free to move in the air. If you place them on a shelf, the roots will stick to it and when you have to move them, they will be damaged.

The best time to repot is late spring and early summer.

After repotting, the plants should be kept in light shade until they have stabilized.

(For more information on repotting you can consult the article: «Type of substrate and repotting of orchids»).


The Vanda being plants that grow continuously, they can bloom up to 3-4 times a year with blooms that last several weeks.


As for the diseases of the 'Vanda see the chapter: "Diseases and treatments of orchids".


They are grown not only as pot plants but also as a cut flower.

There Vanda Miss Joachim (photo below), by Miss Agnes Joachim who discovered it in 1893, has become the national flower of Singapore.

Some species of Vanda they are very fragrant.


See: «Orchids - The language of flowers and plants».

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Video: 10 Growing Orchids Tips You Should Know. Best Fertilizer for Orchids to Bloom. iKnow