These are some of the worlds most beautiful
orchids and contain some of the rare blue orchids seen in cultivation
today. They are naturally found in the Himalayas, Australia as well as
some parts of New Guinea. All of the Vandas are epiphytic and grow
on the trunks or branches of trees, this allows their aerial roots free
access to any moisture in the atmosphere. They can grow in to tall plants
up to 3 to 4' high and are generally grown in either baskets or on cork
bark with the roots hanging down. The flowers of Vanda are usually flat
faced and usually appear round as the petals and sepals are of equal size.
A well grown plant may flower two or three times a year and produce up to
3 or 4 spikes of 10 3 to 5 inch flowers which can last for over a month.
Quite a stunning display can be achieved from a well grown collection of
Vandas thrive on sunlight and should be
suspended from the greenhouse roof and positioned as close to the glass as
possible. Vandas can take full sun but prefer the light to be intense but
dispersed so as not to burn the evergreen foliage which surrounds the
central stem. In the living room Vandas should be kept in the brightest
window available and should be moved to other rooms as the seasons change
to obtain the maximum light possible.
Vandas like plenty of water during the
growing season and if your plants are grown in baskets or on cork bark
they should be watered every day from June through September. During the
remainder of the year Vandas should not be allowed to dry our but kept evenly
moist at all times. Once Vandas have flowered it is best to give them a
mini rest of 2 to 3 weeks, during this period allow the plants to dry
before watering them again - don't over do it though.
These orchids thrive on a balanced plant
food and this should be applied every two weeks at half strength from June
through September. Use a high potash feed again at half strength from
September through Mid October and this will help harden the current
seasons growth. From November through to the following June feed at
quarter strength using a standard food but only feed once a month.
These plants do not like to be disturbed
once they have established themselves. Plants may look untidy after a
couple of years due to the aerial roots but it is at this time that the
are at their most likely to become highly floriferous. Re pot these plants
sparingly otherwise you take the risk of no flowers
Vandas will appreciate being grown in
either a basket or on a large piece of cork bark, this allows the swift
drainage of water and the aerial roots to be exposed. If you are to be
planting in a pot use a very open large grade pine bark mix - not compost.
Again this will allow the free drainage of water and any aerial roots that
grow should be allowed to grow outside the pot and not be trained back in
to the compost.
Here's some equipment you may find
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges