Orchid / Vanda

12 Interesting Facts About Vanda Orchid

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The Vanda orchid is one of the most popular orchid varieties grown by hobbyists and commercial growers alike. Known for their showy, vibrantly colored blooms and adaptability to warm environments, Vandas have captivated orchid enthusiasts for decades.

Here are 12 fascinating facts about these beautiful orchids:

Vanda orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory
Vanda orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory by Kew on Flickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 .

1. Vandas are epiphytes that grow on trees

Unlike many orchids that grow in soil, Vandas are epiphytic orchids, meaning they grow on other plants, usually on bark or tree branches. Their roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the air and debris around them rather than soil. This adaptation allows them to thrive in tropical areas.

2. Their name comes from Sanskrit

The name “Vanda” comes from the Sanskrit word for the species Vanda tessellata. “Tessellata” refers to the checkered or mosaic pattern on the blossoms of this orchid.

3. They come in almost every color

One of the most appealing features of Vandas is their incredible range of colors. Vanda orchid blooms come in almost every color, including solid pink, purple, yellow, white, red, and combinations like red and yellow or pink and white. Some have vividly contrasting colors on their petals.

4. Some Vandas are fragrant

While not all Vanda varieties are fragrant, some, like Vanda Mimi Palmer, emit a delightful citrusy scent. The fragrances of different Vanda orchids range from sweet to spicy. Scented blooms make these orchids even more enjoyable for growers.

5. Vandas can grow quite large

Given proper care and conditions, Vanda plants can grow very big, up to several feet wide. Their long aerial roots extend dramatically as the plants mature. Mature plants may have dozens of blooms open at once during flowering.

6. They need very bright light

Vandas originate in tropical areas with extremely bright sunlight. To thrive, indoor Vandas require very bright light, as much as 12 hours a day. Insufficient light leads to weak blooming and slow growth. Grow lights can supplement natural light if needed.

7. Vandas like high heat and humidity

As tropical orchids, Vandas prefer consistent warmth and high humidity. Daytime temperatures around 80-90°F suit them best. Their roots especially appreciate moisture. Vandas grew as houseplants benefit from pebble trays or humidifiers to raise moisture levels around the plants.

8. They are heavy feeders

With their rapid growth and frequent blooming, Vandas need plenty of fertilizer to look their best. Vanda orchids require heavy feeding with specialized orchid fertilizer, particularly when actively growing. Weak or undersized blooms can indicate underfeeding.

9. Vandas can bloom more than once a year

Thanks to their fast growth, Vanda orchids can rebloom quickly, sometimes more than once a year. Each flowering spike can remain attractive for up to two months before new spikes emerge. Remove old spikes near the base after the blooms drop.

10. They propagate easily from stem cuttings

Propagating Vandas from cuttings is relatively simple. Just cut off the tip of a stem with at least three nodes, plant it in a damp orchid mix, and keep it warm and humid. Root initials will begin to sprout in a few weeks. Then a new little plant is on its way!

11. Some Vandas have medicinal uses

In traditional medicine systems of Southeast Asia, various Vanda species serve medicinal purposes. The leaves and roots of some types are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. Modern research has uncovered antioxidant and antimicrobial properties as well in certain Vanda orchids.

12. Vandas can symbolize luxury

With their incredible colors, size, and delicate beauty, Vanda orchids convey luxury and elegance. Their rarity in nature adds to their exotic, prestigious image. Giving Vanda plants or cut blooms is a sign of respect, honor, or social status in some Asian and Indian cultures.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vanda Orchids

What are Vanda orchids?

Vanda orchids are a genus of colorful, fragrant orchids native to parts of Asia. They are epiphytic orchids that grow on trees.

How often do Vanda orchids bloom?

Given proper care and conditions, Vanda orchids can bloom more than once per year. Each flowering spike remains attractive for up to two months.

What kind of light do Vanda orchids need?

Vandas require very bright light, as much as 12 hours per day, to bloom well. Insufficient light leads to poor flowering.

What temperature is best for Vanda orchids?

Daytime temperatures of 80-90°F suit Vanda orchids well. Cooler temperatures below 60°F can cause them to go dormant and stop blooming.

In conclusion, Vanda orchids are among the most prized and popular orchids across the world thanks to their incredible flowers, adaptability to indoor growth, and air of exotic elegance. Their wide diversity of blossom types, colors, sizes, and growth habits give growers abundant choices for enjoying these orchid beauties in gardens and homes.

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