The Vanda orchid is an eye-catching plant native to the tropical regions of Asia. The foliage of these plants is thick, accompanied by prolonged and aerial roots.
The orchids are known for their flowers that are attractive, long-lasting, and fragrant; additionally used in cosmetics and medicinal purposes also, the plant usually grows between six inches to 10 inches when mature.
The orchids vary in size, color with a rare blue flower, and species. Read this article to learn the care requirements for growing your exquisite Vanda orchid.
- What Is Vanda Orchid?
- Vanda Orchid Plant Care
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Vanda Orchid?
The Vanda orchid is a unique plant that produces large flowers, thereby displaying vibrant colors all year round. The Vanda orchid is quickly grown in humid climates with plentiful sunlight and warm temperatures. The plant is a member of the Orchidaceae family, with over 80 species in the genus.
Vanda Orchid Plant Care
Also referred to as the Singapore orchid, the Vanda orchid is easy to care for as a houseplant or cut flowers. Learn more about the growth habits and requirements for this plant in this section.
– Water Requirements
You should water your vanda orchid regularly during the warmer months daily. Reduce watering during winter and fall by watering once per week. The roots of your plant should always be moist but not soggy so that they don’t get affected by root rot. Also, you should cut down on watering your plant after blooming so that it can rest for a few weeks.
The plant follows a monopodial growth habit, so it doesn’t retain water for an extended period. Therefore, the recommended time to water this plant is in the morning so that the foliage will dry by noon. During winter, only water the plant in the mornings when it’s bright and clear.
You should not leave the plant’s roots hanging directly into the water. Also, avoid watering the plant in the afternoons in any season. Please note, before nightfall, the plant should be dry, always.
– Light Requirements
The Vanda orchid thrives under bright solid light, which aids flowering. However, some orchids do not tolerate that much sunlight, especially in the summer. Therefore, little shade is needed to prevent the foliage of your plants from burning.
You could grow Vanda orchids in a shade house where 80 percent is covered under a shade cloth. However, take note that insufficient light will hinder flowering.
You should put your pots near windows in the direction facing sunlight as they need light to thrive. As lighting levels are crucial you need to determine what kind of Vanda you have to keep the plant within the required range of sunlight and protect the foliage during the day.
You should keep your seedlings in conditions that offer a slight shade than you would for mature plants. If you are growing your plants outdoors, be sure to provide them with sunlight during the mornings and requires some shade in the late afternoons.
– Soil Requirements
Vanda orchids naturally grow in rocky areas where there is little soil, while the roots grasp onto other nearby trees. Consider increasing your Vanda orchids preferably in a hanging basket to allow the roots to have good air circulation.
Keep in mind to avoid smothering the roots or plant base by soggy medium or tight potting. The best choice for potting the plants is wooden or plastic baskets, though teakwood could just do fine.
While growing Vanda in a more traditional pot could kill the plant, use a basket specifically meant for orchids upkeep for proper aeration. You could consider using a container or a vase equipped with holes to drain excess water to prevent root rot.
Additionally, the basket should contain a mixture of chunky bark, charcoal, or gritty soil so it does not hold water. The plant is considered epiphytic, meaning it doesn’t require soil to thrive. Instead, it favors material, either organic or inorganic.
If you’re repotting, disturbing the roots is unavoidable. Therefore, the best time for potting or repotting is from late spring to early summer.
You should first soak the plant in water just for a few minutes before carefully removing it from the old basket. Clean any debris from the roots, soak only once for five minutes in a mixture of vitamins and fungicide, and then pot into a new basket.
– Temperature Requirements
The Vanda orchids favor temperatures that are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and a maximum of 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Warm temperatures facilitate growth. The Vanda plants also tolerate colder spells if it is not windy. However, the winter night temperatures that are safe for the plants should be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prolonged stay in cooler temperatures affects the plants’ flowering and growth. Exposing the plant to temperatures that are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit delays flowering for about a year. Prolonged low temperatures cause damage to the flower buds and the root tips but not the plant. You should protect the orchids from wind during extreme colds
The Vanda orchids thrive in modest temperatures, but if it gets too cold, the plants could die.
– Humidity Requirements
You should place the Vanda plant on a tray filled with water to increase humidity, ensuring that the roots do not sit directly into the water. The plant requires high humidity levels to thrive as it loses moisture during the gas exchange process.
Therefore, be sure to maintain humidity levels of around 70 percent. Vanda orchid care requires adequate humidity levels for their growth and flowering. Sufficient humidity helps to prevent your Vanda orchids from drying out.
You can achieve this by using a humidifier or spritzing the air. Humidity levels differ according to the type of orchid that you have. Note that you must aim for humidity levels along the middle of the range which is between 60 percent to 80 percent if you’re not sure. You could consider buying a hygrometer, which is a must-have tool for any orchid grower as it’s impossible knowing the precise levels without it.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Consider feeding your plants regularly to promote blooms, as most Vanda orchids are heavy feeders that need to be fed all year round.
For adult plants the growth period is from September to the end of March, hence during these months you should provide the plants once per week following this routine: Use a fertilizer that is well balanced (30:10:10) for two weeks and the next week use a fertilizer with low nitrogen content (10:30:20). For the young plants, you should use a complete balanced fertilizer for one week and then use a fertilizer with low nitrogen the following week
High-nitrogen fertilizer is not recommended as it inhibits flowering. When the weather is cooler, you should reduce the amount of fertilizer that you apply to the plant. You should not water the vanda orchid plants days after fertilizing them as the water would cause the nutrients to leach out.
Once a week, you should water the plants to remove any possible built-up salts. It is crucial that you follow the feeding plan that you have well established to avoid shocking your plants with drastic changes.
– Pruning Requirements
When it comes to the pruning of this gorgeous plant, keep in mind that you must begin the process by sterilizing a sharp knife. By using this knife, start by pruning the leggy, dried roots so that the plant has space to grow further. By doing so, you will be decreasing the stress on the plant, and it will be happier to grow even more.
Most orchids are propagated from the cuttings, though they can be propagated from the seeds. You should cut your stems during springtime.
– Using Stems
Choose stems that have emerging multiple roots within the tip of the plant. The length of the stem should be around five inches. Wrap the cutting very tightly in sphagnum moss for one month.
During this period, you should avoid water-logging conditions and direct sunlight. Once the roots are approximately four inches long, remove the cutting from the moss and pot your cutting.
– Using Seeds
Seedlings are rarely used as they tend to be delicate. Moreover, obtaining and sowing Vanda orchid seeds is a lengthy process. If you manage to get the seeds, plant them in a transparent container and ensure that the base is covered in seaweed.
Only open the container when the roots are visible and are around two inches. Pour water to loosen the roots and put them into a two-inch pot that has grit soil. Be sure to maintain high humidity and bright indirect light to alleviate possible environmental shock.
The Vanda orchid is just like any other plant, and it’s prone to problems and diseases which affect the plant and its flowers. If the issues are not treated in time, your plant could die. You should first diagnose the problem and identify the right way to tackle the problem.
– Discolored Leaves
Discolored leaves or spots on leaves are a sign of disease infection. You should remove the infected leaves as much as you can. Always use a sterile cutting tool when cutting the diseased leaves, flowers, and stems.
After cutting all infected leaves, spray the tools and the plants with a bactericide or fungicide. Vanda orchids love light, but too much exposure to sunlight may cause the leaves to turn yellow-green or even red.
– Stunted Growth
The plant starts to grow slowly when there isn’t enough humidity. This also happens when exposed to little light.
– Flower Loss
The plant could lose its flowers when exposed to low humidity levels. Such humidity conditions could also result in deformed orchid flowers. Flowers of a Vanda orchid may also develop blisters and they swell when the plant is overwatered. Please remember, to keep the orchid’s roots evenly moist while orchids bloom as little hydration causes flower loss.
– Fungal Infections
The Vanda orchids are commonly attacked by fungus and bacterial diseases, which destroy the stems, leaves, or root systems. The diseases are mostly activated when temperatures are relatively high and they require high humidity for them to survive.
To combat these diseases, we recommend that you water the plants in the mornings, as to give them ample time to dry up when temperatures fall during the night.
You can also keep these diseases at a minimum by spraying the orchids with preventative fungicides. Practicing good sanitation and improving air circulation around your plants is also a great idea. For example, you could protect the plant by using Mancozeb fungicide periodically after such a prolonged rainy season.
The orchid is usually attacked by mealybugs and they often hide especially on the underside of leaves and roots. You should search for them mostly in the areas where the stem and leaf meet and remove them by hand. Please note that the mealybugs should be dealt with upon identification.
– Black Mold
Sticky leaves or black mold is a sign of insect infection on your plant, remove all visible insects, and focus on areas such as the underside of the leaves, cubbyholes, and also the flower stalks. You could clean the infected leaves using soapy water which removes the stickiness and kills any reaming insects.
– Aphids and Scales
Vanda orchids can be attacked by aphids, thrips, and scales, you should spray with a mixture of White Oil and Diazinon as a remedy, should the problems persist spray the plant with an insecticide that is safe for orchids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Growing and caring for the orchid plants require regular checks for any changes. Here are some notable questions people often ask.
– What Time of the Year Do Vanda Orchids Bloom?
Vanda orchids can flower any time of the year, especially between warm climates of the spring and fall seasons. You could encourage flower spikes by exposing your plant to adequate sunlight and cooler temperatures. The flowers usually bloom every few months for about four to eight weeks at a time.
– Can You Grow Vanda Orchids Indoors?
Growing Vanda orchids in indoor environments could be challenging due to their large and fanned-out roots, your best chance of a houseplant comes from much smaller orchid varieties such as the Vanda tricolor and Vanda coerulea.
Choose a spot where it receives a great amount of sunlight in the morning, but ensure that light is subdued for the rest of the day.
Let’s quickly go through the ultimate care guidelines so that you keep them at your fingertips.
- The Vanda orchid does well in direct sunlight, with minimal exposure.
- Your plant will thrive well in environments with 70 percent humidity and good air movement.
- The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.
- The common problems affecting the Vanda Orchid are mealybugs and scales.
Comprehensive care instructions for the Vanda Orchid have been detailed in this article. Enjoy your beautiful and healthy plants such as the Vanda sanderiana, Vanda tricolor, or Vanda coerulea, not to mention the dazzling blooms all year round!
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