How to grow and care for Vanda Orchid Indoors

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Vanda Orchid

Botanical name: Vanda spp
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
Subtribe: Aeridinae

Vanda Orchid Description

Vanda Orchids are popular due to their showy, fragrant, long-lasting and intensely colorful flowers where numerous flowers grow on a lateral flower spike arising from the central stem.

Most Vanda Orchids flowers show a yellow-brown color with brown markings but they also appear in green, white, red, orange, purple, pink and burgundy shades. The lip has a small spur. These orchids bloom every few months and the flowers last for 2-3 weeks.

The growth in Vanda Orchids occurs from a single stem and the leaves are highly variable and adapted to their habitat. The stems vary considerably in size with some growing up to 20 ft tall.

Vanda orchids are monopodial orchids which do not have pseudobulbs but they have leathery, drought-resistant leaves.

Vanda Orchids have very large root systems which may require that they be grown in hanging baskets inorder to suspend the roots for adequate room.

These Vanda Orchids do not tolerate disturbance or damage to roots and it can result in the orchids failing to flower and declining in growth for a season or more.

Vanda Orchids prefer very high light conditions, warmth, high soil moisture content and regular feeding. If a Vanda Orchid is provided with these conditions it will bloom at any time of the year.

Vanda Orchid Origin

Vanda is a genus that is widespread across East Asia, Southeast Asia and New Guinea. Most are epiphytes but some few are terrestrials. The genus name is abbreviated as V. in horticultural journals.

Vanda Orchids for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Vanda Orchids from Etsy.

Vanda Orchid

Vanda Orchid Care Indoors

Vanda Orchid Light Requirements

Vanda Orchid grows best in very bright light with some direct sunshine. Keep your Vanda Orchid away from hot sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that your Vanda Orchid gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth.

A Vanda Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green leaves. Dark green leaves in your Vanda Orchid indicate that the orchid needs more light.

Yellow leaves in your Vanda Orchid means the orchid is receiving too much light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Vanda Orchid

If you are growing your Vanda Orchid in a hanging basket, soak the plant daily until the white or silver roots turn color. Wait for a few minutes and again saturate the orchid.

If you are growing Vanda Orchid in a bark potting medium, water thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil consistently moist.

Reduce watering for your Vanda Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Drooping or wrinkly leaves indicate that your are underwatering your Vanda Orchid.

Use tepid, chlorine-free water as your Vanda Orchid is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid wetting the foliage of your Vanda Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Vanda Orchid

The best temperatures for growing your Vanda Orchid indoors are between 21-290C.

Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for your Vanda Orchid. Cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Ensure there is good air circulation as your Vanda Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Keep your Vanda Orchid away from draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Vanda Orchid

Vanda Orchids require a humid environment. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Vanda Orchid.

Do not mist the leaves of your Vanda Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Vanda Orchid by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Vanda Orchid

Feed Vanda Orchid every week during the growing season with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Vanda Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding your Vanda Orchid as overfeeding may result in loss of roots thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed your Vanda Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth instead of flower production. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Vanda Orchid

Repot Vanda Orchid only when growth begins to suffer which is when the lower leaves begin to die. They bloom best when they are pot-bound.

Basically repotting your Vanda Orchid every 2 years should be adequate.

Repot Vanda Orchid only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over. Do not repot an orchid that is in flower as it may shorten the flowering season.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of your Vanda Orchid need good air circulation.

The pot for your Vanda Orchid should be only 1 size larger than the current one.

Use a loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting of your Vanda Orchid.

While repotting your Vanda Orchid, remove all the soil from around the stems and roots and trim off any dried and shrivelled roots.

Remove any dead and dying leaves from the bottom of your Vanda Orchid as they are breeding ground for pests and diseases.

Remove dead roots from your Vanda Orchid to create space for the growth of new roots.

Water your Vanda Orchid thoroughly and ensure that both the soil and the roots absorb all the water they need.

Soil for Vanda Orchid

The best soil for Vanda Orchid should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most orchid potting mixes are ideal for Vanda Orchid.

Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix for your Vanda Orchid from Etsy.

How to Prune Vanda Orchid

Pruning Vanda Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife.

When flowering is over for your Vanda Orchid, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom.

Vanda Orchid Propagation

Vanda Orchid propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over from stem cutting or from keikis.

How to propagate Vanda Orchid from stem cuttings

Vanda Orchid produces aerial roots along the stem at the nodes. Take a stem cutting from the tip of the Vanda Orchid by cutting between the stem nodes.

Ensure the Vanda Orchid cutting has a healthy aerial root system. Healthy Vanda Orchid aerial roots are white in color with green tips.

Apply a fungicide on the cuts on your Vanda Orchid to prevent fungal infestations.

Feed the mother Vanda Orchid with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer to promote the growth of new shoots.

Pot the Vanda Orchid cutting in fresh orchid soil and place the set up in a warm shaded place.

Water thoroughly until water comes through the drainage holes and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

How to propagate Vanda Orchid from keikis

Vanda Orchids naturally produce "baby" orchids called 'keiki' which normally appear on an old or new flower spike. Keikis are identical copies of the parent plant.

Keiki growth can be triggered by prolonged exposure to high temperature during the final phase of spike growth.

The keiki can be detached from the mother Vanda Orchid when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.

Pot the Vanda Orchid keiki in fresh potting medium. Direct the roots of the Vanda Orchid keiki downwards and provide support for the keiki.

Place the set up in a well-lit, shaded place and mist the keiki regularly to maintain a humid enviroment.

Allow the new Vanda Orchid to be well established before transplanting it.

Vanda Orchid

Photo Credit: Dreamtime

Vanda Orchid Problems Indoors

Why does my Vanda Orchid have brown soft spots on the leaves?

Brown soft leaf spots in Vanda Orchid are an indication of a fungal disease.

Remove the affected leaves of your Vanda Orchid immediately to prevent further spread.

Why does my Vanda Orchid have brown hard and dry spots on leaves?

Exposure of Vanda Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry spots on the leaves.

Move your Vanda Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from hot direct sunshine.

Why does my Vanda Orchid have mould on the leaves?

This is an indication of Powdery Mildew Disease in Vanda Orchid.

Misting the leaves of your Vanda Orchid may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly.

Ensure good air circulation for your Vanda Orchid and stop misting it.

Why are the leaves of my Vanda Orchid limpy and drooping?

Limpy and drooping leaves in Vanda Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out at all.

Water your Vanda Orchid thoroughly and maintain the soil consistently moist.

Why are the leaves of my Vanda Orchid dark-green?

Dark green leaves in Vanda Orchid indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light.

Move your Vanda Orchid to a brighter spot. The leaves of a Vanda Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light-green.

Why are the leaves of my Vanda Orchid yellowish?

Yellowish leaves in Vanda Orchid indicate that your orchid is getting too much light that is very hot sunshine.

Move your Vanda Orchid to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Vanda Orchid that is receiving bright light with some sunshine should be light-green.

Why are the leaf tips of my Vanda Orchid turning black and dying?

The cause of black leaf tips in Vanda Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.

Use chlorine-free water only to water your Vanda Orchid and flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.

Why is my Vanda Orchid not blooming or flowering?

One possible reason why Vanda Orchid is not blooming is too little light.

Move your Vanda Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright light with some direct sunshine.

Overfeeding your Vanda Orchid can result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.

Feed your Vanda Orchid once weekly with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Vanda Orchid pests

The common plant pests in Vanda Orchids are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Slugs and Snails.

Isolate the affected Vanda Orchid to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Vanda Orchid (Vanda spp) toxic?

Vanda Orchids (Vanda spp) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.

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