How to Grow Vanda Orchids

Overview

Vanda orchids are a favorite for leis because their attractive 2-inch flowers are long-lasting, even without water. Placed in a vase of water, a Vanda orchid flower spike can stay fresh for weeks. Vanda is an orchid genus native to India, the Philippines and certain Pacific islands. The Vanda genus contains many different species, so you have a wide choice of flower types and colors. Although Vandas are tropical and require special care, you can grow them as houseplants in many United States climate zones. When you give them the conditions they favor and fertilize them correctly, they will present you with their lovely blooms twice a year.

Growing Vanda Orchids

Step 1

Re-pot your Vanda orchid into a basket or decorative pot if you wish. Use a special, coarse potting mix designed for orchids that is largely bark. Although the nursery pot in which Vandas are sold is not attractive, orchids do well in small pots where their roots are cramped, so it is not essential that you re-pot your Vanda when you first buy it.

Step 2

Give your orchid daytime temperatures ranging between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures no lower than 65.

Step 3

Keep your Vanda in an indoor location that receives full sun in the morning and some shade during midday, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. If you have an outdoor location where the temperature and light are suitable, you can grow it outdoors.

Step 4

Allow your orchid's soil to dry out slightly between once weekly watering.

Step 5

Fertilize your Vanda every two weeks during its summer growing season. Use a high nitrogen plant food designed for orchids. Food with an N-P-K ratio of 25-9-9 is ideal. Mix one teaspoon of plant food into each gallon of water you use on your plant. After September, reduce the fertilizer to once a month.

Tips and Warnings

  • Leaves should be light green. If your Vanda's leaves turn dark green, this can indicate that your plant is not receiving enough light.

Things You'll Need

  • Vanda orchid plant(s)
  • Orchid potting mix (optional)
  • Small decorative basket or pot with drainage hole (optional)
  • Temperatures from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Correct lighting
  • High nitrogen fertilizer

References

  • Beautiful orchids
  • How to grow orchids
  • Care for Orchids
Keywords: Vanda orchid, tropical plants, flowering houseplants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.