1. This genus is one of the five most horticulturally important orchid genera, because it has some of the most magnificent flowers to be found in the entire orchid family. This has contributed much to the work of hybridists producing flowers for the cut flower market. Vanda coerulea is one of the few botanical orchids which can produces varieties with blue flowers (actually a very bluish purple), a property much appreciated for producing interspecific and intergeneric hybrids.
2. The color blue is rare among orchids, and only Thelymitra crinita, a terrestrial species from Australia produce flowers that are truly “blue” among the orchids, the other being Aganisia cyanea, a lowland species from Northern South America that is difficult in cultivation, but has metallic blue flowers. Both of these species, much like Vandas, also have a bluish purple tint towards the inner petals of the flowers. Occasionally, PDI applies Vandas in our indoor office locations.
3. The plants do not possess pseudobulbs but do possess leathery, drought resistant leaves, and some varieties terete leaf forms. Almost all of the species in this genus are very large epiphytes that are found in disturbed areas in habitat and prefer very high light levels, and the plants have large root systems. Some of these species have a monopodial vine-like growth habit, and the plants can quickly become quite massive.
4. These plants prefer consistent conditions day to day in cultivation to avoid dropping their bottom leaves. The epiphytic species are best accommodated in large wooden baskets bare root, which allows for the large aerial root systems. Disturbing or damaging the roots of large, mature Vandaceous orchid plants, and in particularly, Vanda and Aerides species can result in the plants failing to flower and going into decline for a season or more. These plants do not tolerate disturbance or damage of their root systems in cultivation when they become mature. The terete leaved terrestrial species are very easy to cultivate and care for in sunny interior office plantscapes.
When grown bare root, the epiphytic species require daily watering and weekly feeding and are very heavy feeders in cultivation. We at Plantscape Designs Inc. make certain that these orchids are in high light interior office situations with plenty of watering during the work week.