Ascocenda & Vanda
How to keep your Ascocenda or Vanda healthy!
Vandas with their thick, heavy roots are epiphytes and will often grow with little medium. Water is retained then absorbed through the roots velamen (silver coating on the root). They are monopodial and will bloom once per year after their new leaves are fully grown.
Light: High amounts of bright, indirect light. Morning sun is ok provided the temperature is not above 80°F. South facing windows are ideal provided they are sheltered from the direct sunlight. The foliage should be medium green color, indicating the orchid is getting enough light to flower.
Temperature: The ideal temperature during the day is 80-90°F. Although the higher temperatures will produce the best blooms, it can cause the leaves to look spotted and damaged. Night temperatures can range from 60-70°F. Some of the blue colored hybrids prefer colder temperatures, as low as 52°F.
Watering: Watering should be done in the morning hours, heavily overhead. Potted Vandas should be watered two to three times a week in the winter and in summer 4-5 times weekly. If the Vanda is in a hanging basket, you may need to water daily depending on your temperatures. Watering with ice cubes in NOT recommended. Water is an essential nutrient for plant development.
Feeding: Vanda are heavy feeders and require fertilizing every second watering. Use Gubler’s Pro Blend Orchid Food 19-8-16. This formula is exactly what we use in our nurseries. By feeding every second watering, you will be feeding more during the longer days of summer when the orchid is growing faster, and less in the shorter days of winter.
Repotting: Should be done once every 12 to 18 months. It is best to repot after the Vanda is done flowering. Plants that have overgrown their container should be potted into a suitable container the next size larger. Carefully separate the Vanda from it’s container, trying to keep as few roots from breaking as possible. If the plant becomes too tall, you may gently cut the top half of the plant with a sterile punning shear and place into a new container using Gubler’s Orchid Grow Mix -Coarse Grade.
What to expect: Vanda flowers are vibrant in color and some have a soft sweet fragrance. Some of the most brilliant blue colored flowers are found in the Vanda genus. Flowers grow on long sprays and can be as small as two inches, but as large as five inches. Most Vanda hybrids bloom once per year, usually in the summer months. Flowers should last approximately four to six weeks, depending on your growing conditions.
Ascocenda & Vanda
I'm a relative of the Phalaenopsis, Vandas are in the Aerides tribe. The genus Vanda are best known for their free flowing, brilliant colors, and aerial root structure. Vanda flowers are large, long lasting and sometimes fragrant. Ascocendas are a more compact version of a Vanda with substantially smaller flowers. The culture requirements for Ascocendas are the same as for Vandas.