The orchid belongs to one of the most ancient families of monocot plants on Earth. You can meet her on all continents, where the culture is represented by a wide variety of forms and species – perennial grasses, shrubs, lianas. The culture is used as a floral ornamental plant and as a source of raw materials (some species) for the production of medicines. A variety of Orchids – the Vanda orchid – has become widespread and is successfully grown at home as a flowering ornamental plant.
Information! The well-known spice “vanilla sticks” is the fruit of the flat-leaved vanilla creeper (a kind of orchid).
The stem of Wanda is straight, it can reach 1 meter in length – this feature is used when grown for cutting. Narrow, long leaves with a glossy surface and dense in structure are arranged alternately.
Grayish-greenish roots, up to 1 m long, are special in the plant – they are covered with cells of a porous structure, which makes it possible for them to feed on moisture from the environment.
On straight or drooping peduncles (30-60 cm) growing from leaf axils, 2-15 flowers (up to 10cm in diameter) are formed, the color of which depends on the variety. The flowers, as they grow, increase significantly in size and acquire a more saturated color.
The duration of flowering is 1.5-3 months. Subject to the rules of care, it can bloom more than once a year, since this species does not have a period of sleep (rest).
Information! The most common types of Vanda orchids are: checkerboard, lamellar, tricolor, roller, blue.
Buying an orchid in a store
When purchasing a Vanda orchid in a store, you should read all the information provided on the label and inspect the plant.
What to look for:
- the varietal affiliation must be indicated – this is important to know when caring for the plant;
- if it was brought from home (most often orchids are imported from Thailand), then acclimatization will take a long time;
- Vanda grown in Europe adapts quickly;
- the leaf plate should have a uniform color without spots, be dense in structure, and sluggish wrinkled leaves, as if folded in the center, indicate violations during care;
- the absence of leaves on 1/4 of the stem is normal for a plant, if there are no leaves on ½ of the stem, then it is better not to acquire such a flower;
- the roots should be whole, elastic, green or silvery in color.
How to grow a vanda orchid
There are several options for growing Vanda orchids and you can always choose the most suitable and convenient for yourself:
- In the substrate. A plastic container, preferably transparent, should be chosen of the appropriate size – the roots should not be cramped, and drill air holes in it. The substrate is purchased ready-made or made independently by mixing pine bark (2 parts), perlite and crushed foam (1 part each), peat (1/2 part), a little charcoal.
- In a glass vase. A wide glass container is selected so that the roots are placed inside and the leaves are outside. The shape of the container does not matter. You need to water twice a week in hot weather and 1 time when it’s cool, but watering should be carried out in an unusual way – pour water into a vase so that the water flows down the wall, completely covering the roots. After 30 minutes, drain it by tilting the vase.
Advice! The roots are better if they are dry, so you need to water and fertilize not in containers, but take the plant out, lower the roots into water (fertilizer solution), then dry it and place it back. The vase will be clean, no plaque will form on the walls.
- In hanging containers, in the side walls of which large holes for the roots are made. You need to water with warm water from the shower, then dry the roots and remove the accumulation of water in the leaf axils with a napkin. The shower can be replaced by spraying from a small spray bottle. Spraying frequency – daily in the heat, in cool weather – every 2-4 days.
Conditions of detention
The conditions for keeping an orchid and proper care are the key to flowering – if they are not observed, the plant stops developing, and flowering may not begin.
Temperature and lighting
In the natural habitat, the seasons change, so at home this condition must be observed – in warm seasons, the room temperature should be 22° -25° , in winter – 14° -16 °. In summer, you can arrange airing (without drafts), take the flower out to the balcony, into the yard.
A heat-loving plant is demanding on lighting and habitat temperature, so the choice of location should be taken carefully. Windows facing west or east, where diffused light is a good option for a Vanda orchid.
On the windows of the south direction, where the flower is too hot, light shading should be provided.
By the appearance of the leaves, you can easily determine whether the plant has enough light:
- the dark color of the sheet – there is not enough lighting;
- light green or yellowish – the light is too bright;
- too long last sheets – you need to add lighting;
- the last leaves are shorter than the previous ones – the light is more than normal.
The Vanda orchid is sensitive to the absence or excess of moisture, so the mode and volume of watering must be adjusted in accordance with the season – the substrate should always be wet in spring and summer, and in winter, with a cool content, it should be watered only when it dries.
Summer irrigation regime – daily in hot weather, in winter – with an interval of 2 days.
- place the container in the bath and pour warm water from the shower until the roots acquire a green tint, then let them dry for 30 minutes, after an hour remove the water from the leaves (wipe);
- lower the pot into a basin of water for half a minute, let the water drain;
- soak the roots in water for 30-60 minutes, repeat twice a week;
- pour along the edge of the container until water appears in the pan, then drain the water.
Important! There should be no water on the leaves (in the axils).
Wanda needs additional nutrition throughout the growing season, when the root system is growing. Ready-made mixtures for culture are suitable for top dressing, but water should be taken 2-3 times more than suggested in the instructions.
Fertilizers are applied by root method (when watering) and foliar method (when spraying). In winter, top dressing is not necessary.
On a note! Young leaves are characterized by the presence of a strip (about 1 cm) of pale green color, and if it is narrow, then nutrition is not enough, if it is wider than 1 cm, then the plant is overfed.
As a top dressing, an infusion of ash, water with the addition of lemon juice, or an infusion of banana peel has proven itself well.
It is necessary to transplant the Wanda orchid immediately after purchase, and later after the capacity becomes small for the roots – this happens after 3-4 years.
In some cases, transplantation is carried out involuntarily for one of the reasons:
- dense structure of the substrate, due to which water does not pass;
- excessive deepening of the root system;
- the roots started to rot.
At home, growing from seeds is not used due to the complexity of the procedure. The vegetative method is the most convenient and easiest option for breeding Vanda orchids.
For cultivation and reproduction, children are used – processes that appear at the base of the stem and in the leaf axils. The sprout is cut when it reaches 5 cm in length and there is at least one root on it (the cut is treated with a fungicide), placed in a small container with an orchid substrate and covered with a jar. After 2-3 weeks, you can begin to accustom to the conditions of the external environment, removing the jar for a while. A seedling 20 cm high is transplanted to a permanent place.
You can also use the top of the stem when it becomes too long – after cutting it is placed in the substrate for rooting.
Infection with various infections occurs when bacteria, viruses and fungi enter the plant with water, soil, from sick neighbors.
Signs of defeat:
- spotting – spots (like warts) from the bottom of the leaf;
- Fusarium – rounded black spots on leaf plates.
The cause of infections can be increased humidity in the room and waterlogged substrate.
For treatment, the drug Fundazol is used and favorable conditions are created for the plant: light shading, stop spraying, maintain the air temperature within 24 °C.
Bacterial lesions (rots)
The occurrence of this kind of infection is facilitated by a too humid substrate and cool air – the roots turn black, become soft, the stem turns yellow.
A transplant will help save the flower – all infected areas need to be cut off, the roots and stem should be treated with phytosporin or Bordeaux mixture, the old soil should be thrown away, the container should be replaced or well disinfected.
Advice! Treatment of the roots with a solution of tetracycline (1g per 1l), Fundazol, Topsin will help to cope with the infection.
With a strong lesion, you will have to completely remove all the roots by treating the cut with charcoal powder. You can reanimate the roots by placing an orchid in a basket woven from natural branches, hanging it near the window. It will be necessary to keep the flower in a humid environment, periodically spraying. New roots should appear in 7-10 days.
Infections caused by viruses are very difficult to treat, so it is better to get rid of a diseased flower in order to exclude the possibility of infecting other plants.
Important! In a warm environment, viruses are most active and aggressive.
What pests are dangerous for orchids
The culture is not often affected by pests, but if the rules of care are violated, a spider mite, mealybug, and scale insect may appear. Remove them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or soapy water. The procedure must be repeated, processing both leaves and stems.
In case of severe damage, you will have to resort to insecticide treatment.
It is quite possible to grow a Vanda orchid at home, having familiarized yourself in advance with the features of growing and caring for a crop, and then an unusual, beautiful and long flowering plant will delight you for more than one year.