Vanda (Latin Vanda) is an epiphytic orchid of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). In nature, it grows in the tropics of southern China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia and northern Australia. Currently, about 60 species of this orchid are known.
Vandas habitat is tree branches, which are used only for support (epiphyte). Powerful roots are able to trap moisture from the atmosphere in the absence of precipitation. The flowers are large, of all sorts of colors, often with a pleasant aroma. The duration of flowering can reach one and a half to two months.
The orchids marketed as Wanda are mostly one of its hybrids.
Wanda - popular varieties:
Vanda blue (Vanda coerulea) - the name corresponds to the blue color of the flowers. Has a powerful and well-developed root system. On a peduncle, up to 55 cm long, an inflorescence of 10-12 large flowers with a diameter of 9-10 cm grows.
Vanda sanderiana is a large epiphyte with leaves 30-40 cm long. Pink flowers, 12-14 cm in diameter, are collected in brushes of 8-10 pcs.
Vanda tricolor is also a large epiphyte with inflorescences of 8-10 flowers. The flowers are fragrant, not large, 6-7 cm in diameter, star-shaped, white or light cream in color with red-brown dots. The stem reaches a height of 1.5 m.
Vanda teres is one of the largest orchids. On a long drooping stem (about 2.5 m) many aerial roots grow. Flowers are red or pink with a diameter of 8-10 cm.
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Vanda is photophilous, does not have a pronounced dormant period, responds well to feeding, loves moisture and at the same time requires constant air access to the roots.
It differs from most orchid species in that its root system is bare, i.e. usually not placed in the substrate. Typically contained in hanging baskets placed near windows.
If Wanda will stand in a glass vase, it is highly recommended to follow these conditions:
Important: The orchid must never be placed completely in the vessel!
Lighting. An abundance of sunlight is simply necessary for this orchid for normal development and successful flowering. It is best to place it near the south window, shading it, in the spring and summer, from direct sunlight.
A sign of excessive lighting (in spring-summer) may be the appearance of brown dots or yellow spots on the leaves caused by sunburn. As a result of excessive lighting, small leaves of a light green-yellowish color may appear. If there is not enough light, the leaves become too large and dark green.
In winter and cloudy autumn, supplementary lighting with phytolamps is recommended, because orchid daylight hours should last at least 12 hours.
Temperature. The optimal temperature regime for this orchid: during the day - 22-27 ° С, at night - 15-17 ° С. In the summer, this range can be maintained by hanging a basket with Wanda on the balcony. Temperatures above 35 ° C and below 5 ° C are dangerous for the plant. In winter, the temperature of the content should not fall below 14 ° C.
Air humidity. Indoors with hot or dry air, humidity is just as important to orchid leaves as ventilation. Partially, the problem of dry air is solved by regularly spraying Wanda leaves, however, care must be taken to ensure that moisture does not linger for a long time in the stomata (axils) of the leaves, this can lead to their decay.
In this case, you need to follow a couple of simple rules: do not spray Wanda in the evening, the water temperature should be 3-5 ° C above room temperature.
Watering. Instead of watering, you can spray the roots of the orchid abundantly, but it is best to submerge them completely in a container of water. It is the roots, and not the whole plant.
Watering frequency depends on indoor temperature and time of year. In spring and summer, it is enough to lower the roots in water for 20-30 minutes once every 4-5 days, in autumn and winter - once every 7-10 days. An indicator that Wanda is drunk enough is the roots, which become thick and green.
When bathing an orchid in the shower, it is important to ensure that the leaves, and especially the sinuses, are completely dry (to avoid further decay). Watering time (bathing, spraying) is in the morning or in the afternoon, so that the plant has time to dry in the evening.
Important: do not get carried away with watering. Water only after the roots are completely dry.
Top dressing. Especially important during the active growth of the orchid, i.e. during the active growth of its roots. Fertilizer concentration - 1 / 7-1 / 8 of that indicated on the package. Frequency: every second to third watering. The most useful is a special fertilizer for orchids with the same ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). If this is not the case, then you can alternate fertilizing with fertilizers for the 1st time - with an increased nitrogen content, the 2nd time - with an increased phosphorus content.
Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the water. It is ideal to take distilled or well-filtered, with a minimum amount of salts. It is useful to alternate root feeding with foliar feeding, spraying or wiping the leaves with a swab dipped in a highly diluted fertilizer solution.
Fertilizing is unnecessary if Vanda is dormant (usually in winter), during flowering, or if the plant is diseased.
Transfer. This orchid does not need a transplant. It is grown in hanging baskets, in glass vases (with the obligatory placement above the vase).
You can also plant it in a substrate of large pieces of bark, ensuring good air circulation around the roots. The latter method is rarely used, because does not allow control of the root system and can cause rotting.
Trimming and shaping. The orchid does not need formation. The used dry, rotten or broken roots and faded stems of the plant are cut off.
Bloom. The color of flowers is varied: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, blue.
Since this orchid does not have a pronounced dormant period, it can bloom at any time of the year. It mainly blooms once a year (in spring-summer), although under ideal conditions Wanda can bloom 3-4 times (depending on the lighting). The duration depends on the temperature and lasts from 2 weeks to 2 months.
If Wanda does not bloom, then the reason may be a lack of lighting or overfeeding with fertilizer with a high nitrogen content.
Reproduction. Rare enough for this indoor orchid. However, with good care, large specimens can grow babies - lateral processes. The babies are separated from the mother plant when they grow at least 3 roots 5 cm long. The cuts are sprinkled with crushed activated carbon.
The shoots are placed in small pots in a substrate made of 3/4 bark and 1/4 sphagnum moss. Humidity is maintained at 80-85%. When the plants reach 15-20 cm in height, they are removed from the substrate, placed in larger containers (or in hanging baskets) and tended as for adult orchids.
Diseases and pests. Most often, the orchid is not affected by pests (scale insects, aphids, spider mites), but by fungal infections and bacterial rot. And the main causes of diseases are excessive and improper watering, lack of lighting.
The most common Wand fungal disease is fusarium. It can be identified by the dark spots at the base of the leaves. For treatment, treatment with foundation is recommended. Antibiotic tetracycline will help against bacterial rot, 1 gram per 1 liter of water.
For the prevention of diseases, you need to regularly clean the orchid from yellowed leaves and worn out roots.
Wanda in winter. As mentioned earlier, Wanda does not have a pronounced resting period. In the natural environment where these wonderful orchids grow, daylight hours last at least 12 hours in all seasons. In our latitudes, in autumn, and especially in winter, daylight hours are reduced and the plant is forced to hibernate. This may not have a very favorable effect on the condition of the plant, therefore in the autumn-winter period it is recommended to supplement it with phytolamps daily for 4-6 hours.
By the roots, you can determine when the life processes of the orchid began to slow down - the roots stop growing, and their tips are covered with a white film.
During this period, it is better to take the orchid to the coolest room, rearrange it to the lightest window and reduce watering to 1 time in 10 days. Also stop feeding.