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How to Grow Vanda

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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. 

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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