Vanda Orchids

This is an orchid that happily grows outdoors in many places but that you rarely see as a houseplant. It just needs too much light to do well as a houseplant. What makes it interesting as a houseplant is the vine like growth. You have a central stem with strap shaped leaves close together that will grow at least as long as 10′. All new growth comes from the tip.

Vanda Alliance plants come in three main groups.  Some of the vanda’s have a more pencil shaped leaf and many hybrids are combinations of the strap and pencil shaped leaf species.  The more pencil shaped the leaf, terete varieties, the more sun your vanda will require. Even down here in Houston I find my flat leafed vanda can handle the full sun for a few hours in the afternoon.

They rely heavily on aerial roots, keep them green and healthy by misting if your home is dry.

They are happiest climbing up a tree trunk. Do you remember in the 1970s the tree trunk sections we used to grow philodendrons up? Something like that would be perfect for this plant. Often you will see them in green houses grown in slated wood baskets.

They want a fair bit of sunlight indoors, a south or west facing bright window is good.

Plant them in bark if your home is humid, sphagnum moss if your home is dry. These orchids love humidity so bathrooms and kitchens are your best locations for them.

Vandas prefer temperatures 65’F – 80’F but can handle warmer weather and will tolerate and occasional night down to 55’F. Some will handle lower temperatures occasionally but you’d have to check your specific variety.