Houseplant Spotlight: Vandas
blumenbiene <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/47439717@N05/34837153745">Vanda Wild Cherry</a>
A true tropical with huge and long lasting flowers
Vandas want very bright light without being in full sun. They can be grown outside during the summer or year round in warm climates but will need protection and a sunny windowsill during winter in colder climates.
Vandas are true tropicals that enjoy water abundantly. They typically grow thicker aerial roots on the stem above the pot along with other roots within the pot. It’s very important all roots both in and the pot get watered regularly.
Fertilize Vandas twice a month year round with a 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer. Make sure to get the solution on the roots in the pot as well as the aerial roots
Vandas are typically grown in hanging pots or wood slat boxes that allow the aerial roots to hang down. Vandas do well as hanging plants and specific consideration should be given to locating them where it’s easy to water them with a hose to better reach all of their aerial roots.
Tropical jungles of South Asia, the Philippines and Australia.
Given enough light and water, Vandas will happily grow and bloom at home. They have a strong monopodial growth where new growth is constantly developing from the top. A healthy vanda will have green to light green leaves without yellowing or dark spots that signify a problem. An unhealthy vanda will slowly loose leaves from the bottom of the stem until it is bare.
Repotting and reblooming:
Healthy, happy vandas will bloom every year, sometimes several times a year. With their monopodial growth the bottom stem and roots will die off as new stems and roots emerge. A vanda is ready to repot when at least three healthy silver-colored roots with green growing tips can be placed in a new pot. To repot, water plant and carefully remove from the old pot avoiding damage to roots. Cut off any dead stems and roots at the bottom of the plant and place the plant in the bottom of a new pot that is tall enough for the roots to grow into. Use either sphagnum moss or large grade bark to center the plant and a strong bamboo stake to hold the stem upright.
Vandas are a high-maintenance but high-reward plant. A vanda owner who diligently waters a vanda adequately and provides the right, bright, habitat will be rewarded with an abundance of blooms, multiple spikes and extremely vibrant colors.