Big, Beautiful Vanda Orchids

Vanda Robert's Delight 'Garnet Beauty' FCC/AOS, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda orchid flower, Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens, London, UKVanda Pachara Delight, orchid hybrid flowers and leaves, Pacific Orchid Expo 2017, San Francisco, California

Vandas are orchid royalty. These popular tropical beauties have big, round, colorful, long-lasting flowers. Called strap-leaf Vandas, they are best known in the tropics. In places like Hawaii, it’s easy for growers to accommodate these large plants with long roots and high light needs by tying them onto a tree. Outside the tropics, they’re tougher to grow.

Vanda coerulea v. compacta, orchid species flower, blue and white flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, CaliforniaVascostylis Roll on Red x Vanda denisoniana, orchid hybrid flowers, Orchids in the Park 2016, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda plants showing leaves roots and flowers in small plastic baskets, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, California

Their rainbow of colors includes blue, which is a rare orchid hue. They’re native to a vast area from India through South China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and northern Australia. The name Vanda comes from the Sanskrit name of Vanda tessellata, a species native to India and Southeast Asia.

Vanda sanderiana alba, orchid species flowers, Orchids in the Park 2013, , San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda orchid flowers, Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens, London, UKVanda Rothschildiana, orchid hybrid flower, Orchids in the Park 2011, San Francisco, California

Ascofinetia Peachy, orchid hybrid flowers, Vanda, grown indoors in San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda orchid flowers and leaves, Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens, London, UKVanda orchid plant hanging in greenhouse, Vanda leaves, OrchidMania, San Francisco, California

Many varieties can grow into large plants. Vandas need morning sun, warmth, frequent waterings, fertilizer, and high humidity. They dislike being potted at all, so they’re often kept in small wooden or plastic baskets, without any potting media, simply to anchor the roots. Most are warm growers, but there are some intermediate types, also. Hybrids are usually more temperature tolerant.

As with all orchids, diversity is the rule. There are strap-leaf Vandas which don’t share the big, round, flat flower shape. Many hybrids have been created with related species. Some smaller varieties include a genus like Neofinetia or Ascocentrum in their names. Home growers without a greenhouse can fit these more compact plants on a windowsill. Large or small, Vandas bring tropical beauty wherever they grow.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fertilizing, Growing, Photos, Warm Growers, Watering

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