Vandaceous orchids include the genera Vanda, Ascocentrum, and Ascocenda (Vanda x Ascocentrum). It is important to remember that all Vandaceous orchids are of a monopodial growth habit. That is, they grow from the tip or crown of the plant. The inflorescences appear from the axis of the leaves. Flowers are long lasting and appear in a cluster along the spike.
LIGHT – Vandas like a lot of light and often do very well outdoors during the summer. They need to be shaded only if temperatures are high.
TEMPERATURE – Vandas will continue to grow any time of the year if given warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. Night temperatures should generally not go below 55 degrees although 40 degrees can be tolerated for short periods of time. Daytime temps should remain between 65-85 degrees. Of course the higher the temperature, the more important the air movement will be for the plant.
WATER – A high daytime humidity, especially on warm sunny days is essential for good growth. During summer months, plants may need to be watered as often as every other day. Water sparingly in winter, during cloudy spells, or after repotting.
FERTILIZING – Vandaceous orchids are very fast growing orchids and for this reason are heavy feeders. Fertilize once a week, during growing season and every other week during winter months. Vandas prefer a balanced fertilizer, one high in nitrogen tends to reduce flowering.
POTTING – This should be done in a very porous media with good drainage being essential. Vandas dislike having wet feet so be sure the roots do not remain wet for long. Many plants are grown in wooden baskets to ensure plenty of air around the roots. When repotting, it is best not to disturb the roots if at all possible. In baskets, it is easy to drop the old smaller basket into the new, larger one without disturbing the roots. This can be done by carefully removing a plant from a clay or plastic pot, too. Repotting can be done at almost any time of the year but April through July is the best season.