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How to Grow Vanda

Vanda orchid
Vanda orchid

Vanda is a genus of epiphytic, evergreen orchids that bear large showy flowers with intricately colored sepals. Flowers appear on a long spike in succession which means Vanda produces fresh flowers over an extended period. Vanda usually blooms twice a year.

Vanda flower colors include blue, deep mauve and indigo, pinkish purple, violet-blue, and pale yellow. Flowers are usually patterned.

Vanda is a genus of about 40 species native to India, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines.

Get to know Vanda 

  • Plant type: Epiphytic orchid
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 11-15
  • Optimal growing temperature: day, 65° (18°C) or higher; night, 58° to 65°F (14° to 18°C). 
  • Height and width: 24 to 36 inches (60-90cm) tall, 12 inches (30cm) wide
  • Foliage: Strap-shaped to linear, leathery, semi-rigid, mid-green leaves; thick, simple stems, tips of stems bear leaves; aerial roots form on the lower part of stems
  • Flowers: Large, showy flowers intricately colored on their sepals, with small lips; the flowers open along the spike in succession, which means there are fresh flowers appearing over an extended period of time. Flower colors includeblue, deep mauve and indigo, pinkish purple,violet-blue, and pale yellow
  • Bloom time: Twice in a single year 
  • Uses: Houseplant, tropical garden
  • Common name: Vanda
  • Botanical name: Vanda
  • Family name: Orchidaceae
  • Origin: Tropics and subtropics India, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines.
Vanda orchid
Vanda orchid

Where to plant Vanda 

  • Light: Grow Vanda indoors in bright light from southern exposure; shade only during hottest part of the day. Good circulation of fresh air. 
  • Plant Vanda outdoors in a moist, shady location.
  • Soil: Grow Vanda in Osmunda fiber or orchid bark mix. Vanda grows well in baskets or slotted pots in the home; also, can be grown on section of tree limb, barn board, cork bark, or slab of tree fern fiber in the greenhouse. 

When to plant Vanda 

  • Set Vanda outdoors in a tropical or subtropical garden any time of the year.

Planting and spacing Vanda 

  • Space Vanda 12 inches (30cm) apart.

How to water and feed Vanda 

  • Water: Keep Vanda evenly moist; never allow growing medium to dry out. Mist aerial roots frequently. Humidity is best at 50%. Water Vanda moderately duirng the winter.
  • Feeding: Fertilize Vanda with an all-purpose orchid food every third watering.

Vanda care 

  • Plant requires no rest period. Prefers slightly cooler and drier conditions prior to flowering. 
  • Repot when plant overcrowds pot space, or when growing medium has deteriorated. Best done at outset of active growth, when new roots are first visible. 

Vanda pests and diseases 

  • Check Vanda for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, mealybugs, scale, slugs, snails, whiteflies. 

Vanda propagation 

  • Propagate Vanda by air layering, plantlets removed from stem, or stem cuttings. 
  • Remove offsets that grow from the base of the plant, or root cuttings of stem sections in spring.

Vanda varieties to grow 

  • Vanda coerulea, native to India, blooms from late summer to early autumn. Its 3 to 4-inch flowers come in shades of pale to dark blue. 
  • V. sanderana grows to 3 feet high; in autumn, it bears flat 3 to 4-inch flowers in combinations of white, rose, brown, greenish yellow, or red. 
  • V. teres, a Burmese native, is grown commercially in Hawaii, where it’s used extensively to make leis.Vanda tricolor. Grows to 36 inches (90cm) tall and 12 inches (30cm) wide; produces 6 to 12 blooms on an erect flower stalk; flowers have an odor reminiscent of grape juice and are pale yellow with brown spots; petals are twisted toward the back of the flower; fiddle-shaped lip is white with pink shading and purple stripes; blooms from spring to summer. 
  • V. tricolor var. suavis. Grows to 36 inches (90cm) tall and 12 inches (30cm) wide; bears 6 to 12 flowers on long and curving flower stalk; white blooms with purple stripes have twisted edges; white lip has pale yellow throat with purple stripes at base; flowers anytime throughout the year. 


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