Resembling over-sized pansies, most vanda orchids can be recognized by the five rounded petals with a very small cup in the center. The lower petals of this cultivar are a rich violet-red. The three upper petals are pale pink heavily spotted with red. They usually bloom every few months, with long-lasting flowers that are more short-lived if cut. In the wild, there are 35 species of vanda orchid, native to India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, southern China and northern Australia. The Vanda orchid ‘Miss Joaquim’ is the national flower of Singapore. In the home, vandas require warm growing conditions with bright light, high humidity, and good air movement. Because vandas thrive in temperatures between 60 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, they can be placed outdoors during Midwest summers; during winter, they will thrive and bring color and beauty indoors.
The orchid family consists of a large number of genera, each with its own unique characteristics. A common characteristic, however, is the basic form of the flower, which consists of three petals surrounded by three sepals -- often in dramatic and contrasting colors and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although some orchids are native to temperate zones, most orchids tend to prefer a semi-tropical or tropical environment (USDA Zones 9-11) and have epiphytic roots -- meaning they derive moisture and nutrients from the air and support from another plant; few orchids grow in soil. Orchids usually prefer a diurnal temperature fluctuation -- meaning warmer days and cooler nights -- though the absolute temperature range (cool, intermediate or warm) varies by genus and is consistent with their natural habitat. While requiring adequate sunlight for a stunning bloom display, most orchids will not tolerate sustained direct sun.
Many varieties have pseudobulbs, a portion of the stem between leaf nodes that stores water to help sustain the plant through dry periods. Other varieties are monopodial, meaning upward growth is from a single growing point.
There is an exception to almost every general statement one can make about orchids. The family continues to challenge taxonomists.
January - February, March - April
Bedding or Border, Specimen Plant