Plant DetailShow Menu

Vanda

Common Name(s):

Description

Vanda is an orchid genus in the Orchidaceae family.  It is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and the Pacific. In its native habitat, Vanda can be found hanging from trees or from cracks in cliffs and other rocky locations.  It is considered epiphytic, that is not requiring soil to flourish, it grows in a variety of organic and inorganic material. 

It grows from bulbs which are thick and fleshy.  They store moisture and the energy needed for the plant to grow.  Its roots are aerial, they grow above ground and attach themselves for support to a variety of structures such as a trellis.  These roots also gather moisture from the air.  Water sparingly, as overwatering will lead to your plant rotting.  Your planting medium can contain a gritty soil or chunky bark that does not hold moisture.

There are three varieties of Vanda.  Each variety has different lighting requirements.  The strap-leaved variety has broad, flat leaves, while the terete variety has rounded, pencil shaped leaves.  Semi-terete is a hybrid of the other two and has a leaf shape that takes on the characteristics of the others.  Each variety requires heat and high lighting conditions.  Ideal growing conditions includes warm and humid location.  The warmer the temperature, the quicker the plant will grow.  

It is one of the most commonly grown genera of orchids in the horticulture trade because the flowers it produces are fragrant, showy, and long-lasting.  The roots are long and thick, growing progressively with time, sometimes reaching several feet in length.  The plant itself will usually grow between 6"-10", though there are species as small at 2" at mature height.

These plants grow best in bright, indirect light, ideally a south-facing window.  3,000 to 5,000 fc should be sufficient (full, direct sunlight is approximately 10,000 fc by comparison).  In warm climates, they enjoy being outdoors during the summer in dappled sunlight.  They require high humidity and may need multiple waterings in summer months.  Use a quick-draining, fast-drying medium such as inorganic soil medium, coarse potted bark, or an open basket with no soil at all.

Quick ID:

  • Thick, woody, upright rhizome
  • Linear, bi-fold leaves with leathery feel
  • Thick, waxy. brightly colored flowers with large sepals and small lips

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Most of the diseases affecting Vanda are related to excess water being allowed to stay on the leaves and flowers or when poor drainage is present.  Among these are black rot, root, rhizome and pseudobulb rots, petal and southern blight.  

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennials#interiorscape#hanging baskets#dappled shade#long-lasting flowers#herbaceous perennials#orchid#partial shade tolerant#tropical#cold intolerant#container plants#hsc#hsc-fl
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#perennials#interiorscape#hanging baskets#dappled shade#long-lasting flowers#herbaceous perennials#orchid#partial shade tolerant#tropical#cold intolerant#container plants#hsc#hsc-fl
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vanda
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical and Subtropical Asia
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 10 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Unbranched inflorescence emerge from 1-2 year old leaf axils, the flowers alternating up the stem. The flowers are heavy, thick, and waxy with short lips. They bloom every few months and the flowers last a little over a month. Colors vary widely, and the size can range from 1" to 5" in diameter.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves in this genus are linear, alternate, bifold, and have a leathery feel. Depending on the species, the thick leaves can range anywhere from 3 inches to 2 feet in length.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems may have white speckles.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Rock Wall
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity