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 axils of the leaves. Flowers are long-lasting and appear in a cluster along with the spike.
VANDACEOUS ORCHID CARE
Vandaceous orchids like a lot of light and often do very well outdoors during the summer. They need to be shaded only if temperatures are high.
Vandaceous orchids like to be watered with high daytime humidity, especially on warm sunny days, essential for good growth. During the summer months, plants may need to be watered as often as every other day—water sparingly in winter, during cloudy spells, or after repotting.
Vandaceous orchids should be around 70% to obtain the best growth. This can be provided by grouping plants together or to fill a tray with gravel and keep a layer of water in the bottom of the tray, making sure the bottom of the orchid pots do not come in contact with the water.
Vandaceous orchids 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.
Vandaceous orchids are very fast growing orchids and, for this reason, are heavy feeders. Fertilize once a week during the growing season and every other week during the winter months. Vandaceous orchids prefer a balanced fertilizer. A fertilizer high in nitrogen tends to reduce flowering.
POTTING VANDACEOUS ORCHIDS
This should be done in a very porous media, with good drainage being essential. Vandaceous orchids 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. 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.
OTHER ORCHID SUGGESTIONS
PAPHIOPEDILUM ORCHIDS – Paphiopedilums or “paphs” are very easy to grow. They remain compact in their growth habit and have attractive foliage with long-lasting flowers in a wide range of colors. Although classed as terrestrials, they do not really grow in the ground. Rather, they grow in a layer of decaying vegetation found on the forest floor. It is helpful to know where an orchid grows in nature to more easily duplicate these conditions in our home or greenhouse.
ONCIDIUM ORCHIDS – Oncidium orchids have been nicknamed the Dancing Lady Orchids, and once you see a flower, you know why. Their blooms resemble a tiny dancer with a colorful outfit. Oncidiums are a relatively small plant and may bloom when planted in a smaller pot.
NOBILE DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS – The Nobile Dendrobium orchid is a genus of the Dendrobium orchids. Dendrobiums are native to the far east and grow epiphytically on tree branches from the warm lowlands to the cool highlands up to 4000 feet. Kept dry, they can survive in winter down to 35 degrees. Most blooming occurs from February to April.