How to Care for a Vanda Orchid

I really want to have Vanda Orchids in my house, but I keep killing them. Could you PLEASE tell me how to grow them. Love your site!

Hi Michelle,

White cascading Vanda Orchid Plant

Vanda Orchid Plant

Here are a few care tips on how to grow a Vanda Orchid. The two most important things are not to keep the soil overly moist and provide good light and high humidity.

Light: There are strap leafed, terete and semi-terete types of Vanda Orchids. Terete varieties need bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. and full sun. Strap leaf can handle medium to bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. Light requirements for semi terate are somewhere in between the two.
Water: Keep the soil of a Vanda Orchid moist but never soggy. Soggy soil causes root rot and the plant dies. Use a chunky bark mixture or orchid soil that drains quickly and doesn’t retain moisture.
Temperature: Temperatures 55F (13C) to 95F (35C) are best
Humidity: Vanda Orchids like high humidity (80%). Placing a small humidifier near the plant or putting it on a wet pebble tray can help if the air in your home is dry.
fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Feed a Vanda Orchid weekly when it is actively growing with a well balanced plant food diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength.
Re-Potting: Don’t be in a rush to move your Vanda orchid to a new container. Vanda orchids should be re-potted every 3-5 years during the spring. Re-pot every three to five years in spring.
Email me at: AskJudy@Houseplant411.com if any of this is unclear.