If you decided to grow vanda orchids, then you know it is not an easy task. These types of orchids require a little bit more orchid care compared to other species. They are considered among the larger types of orchids. They love a warm and moist environment. They are popular for their long and expansive roots that grow out of their containers.
Knowing what to do and how do go about it will certainly increase your success in growing these types of orchids. So to further help you with this, here are 5 potting tips that vanda orchids will unquestionably love.
1. Choose The Best Potting Medium
The species of vanda orchids are mostly epiphytes. This is why the best potting medium for these types of orchids is osmunda. Yes, there may be other types of mediums that experts swear work better. But for beginners, osmunda takes away all the combination of different mediums and simply makes use of itself. It’s the simplest, cleanest and easiest to manage, and vandas flourish significantly in this type of medium.
Osmunda is filled with fiber and nutrients compared to other potting mediums. It does not breakdown quite as quickly as others and can last for up to two years without being replaced. Although it is initially expensive, it is rather economical in the long run. Also because of its fibers it provides good air circulation for the roots that all epiphytes love. Vandas will just love osmunda in every way.
Before using osmunda, you have to soak it first overnight in a pail of water. Then the next morning leave it to dry in a cool and shaded place. That night it is ready to be molded and used. The osmunda must be a bit moist but not wet. Then it’s ready to be placed on either a basket or a pot for your vandas.
2. Decide The Perfect Home
Another sure way to make vanda orchids happy is by choosing the correct kind of container for it. These types of orchids are best grown in containers that provide lot of air circulation drainage.
Two types of containers that you virtually can’t go wrong with are wooden baskets and clay pots.
Wooden baskets are usually hung, and vandas are popular for this. Because of extensive roots, they have been popularly grown this way for years, which is commonly known as basket culture. Just be sure to provide proper support for the baskets to avoid them breaking and falling down. An advantage for baskets is that they make orchids less susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases.
Clay pots provide good protection against the heat and cold and can provide orchids with the adequate ventilation they need. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, so there would definitely be a pot that is perfect for you and your orchids.
Before potting it is important to clean the pot. Bacteria and insects might lurk inside causing damage to the plant. Soak it in water for a few minutes or so and you are good to go. The size of the pot may vary depending on the size of your plant. Remember though that vandas have extensive roots just like any epiphytes so it’s best not to suffocate them in small confined containers.
3. Provide Adequate Drainage and Air Ventilation
Although vanda orchids love moisture and humidity, one sure way to kill them is to over water them. So it is essential that any pot must have proper drainage. Baskets, because of their design, provide all the drainage you need. But when it comes to regular pots, it is essential to have a plan.
After cleaning your pot, fill it with rocks or pebbles, about a third from the bottom will be enough. This will act as the drainage for the pot. This will also provide good air circulation to these types of orchids, which is another requirement for keeping vanda orchids happy.
Naturally, the roots of the vanda orchids absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. This is why it is essential to provide adequate air circulation to their root systems.
4. Repot Them Only When Necessary
Of course after a few years with these amazing orchids, they may need to be replanted. Vandas are the type of orchids that grow into large plants. So if you notice that they are no longer comfortable in their current home, repot them. This could happen between every two to three years. Choose a larger basket or pot to house its extensive roots. Cut off any dead or rotten roots if you notice some. Don’t forget to use a fresh potting medium.
Repotting them untimely can have severe consequences to these types of orchids. For example, the blooming cycle may be delayed or even stop permanently. Be cautious and attentive. It is always better to be patient and wait for the right time. The perfect time would be after blooming and when new growth is starting.
5. Feed Them
In order for your vanda orchids to flourish and become as healthy as possible, one last step is to fertilize them. There are lots of types or plant food out there. Three of the most popular kinds for these types of orchids are manure water, commercial concentrates, and nutrient solution.
No matter what you choose, be sure not to overdo it. The general rule is to feed them not more than once a month. And before each application the following month, remember to wash out the possible mineral residue that may have built up. Also, make sure not to let the fertilizer touch the new shoots and stems of the orchids because it can burn them.
When you follow these 5 potting tips, your vanda orchids will be healthy and happy. Happy growing!
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