Growing Vanda Orchids

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Vanda orchids are epiphytic orchids. This means that they do not attach their roots to soil. Instead, they get their support from other plants, although they are not parasitic. In the wild, vanda orchids often attach themselves to trees, letting their roots dangle in the air. Vanda orchids are actually quite easy to grow at home, as long as they get enough light and water. They thrive in a basket or on cork bark, where their roots are allowed to dangle. In fact, if you purchase a vanda orchid at any garden center, it will be in a basket or on cork bark. They do not like to be transplanted, so leave them in the container in which you purchased them.

Light and Watering

Vandas are one type of orchid that really loves a lot of sunlight. Still, like all orchids, if placed in direct sunlight, their evergreen leaves could get scorched. Instead, place your vanda in an east or west facing window, or in a window where the sunlight is diffused through greenery. Vandas will bloom best when exposed to as much indirect sunlight as possible. Vandas should be watered daily from June to September, which is their growing season. From October to May, they should be watered enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy, which usually means they need to be watered once or twice a week. After the vanda has bloomed, do not water it for about two weeks. Allow the soil to get completely dry, then begin watering again.

Feeding and Temperatures

Vandas need to be fed more than most other types of orchids. They love a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10), and they should be fed every two weeks. Only give the vanda a half-dose from June through September. In October, feed the vanda a high potash fertilizer every two weeks at full strength. From November to May feed a quarter-dose of the balanced fertilizer again, only this time, do it just one time per month. Like all orchids, vandas need a difference in day and night temperatures to bloom. Try to achieve a 10-degree Fahrenheit difference between night and day in order to fully maximize blooms. You can move the orchid to a dark, cooler location every night to achieve this, unless your window naturally gets cooler at night.

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.

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Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Growing Vanda Orchids