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Growing Vandas, the Barrita way

The big blue ones

We have been growing Vanda since 2001, but it wasn’t until we moved to Kulnura that we really got into them. We chose to grow hybrids derived from V. coerulea, as this species comes from higher elevations and doesn’t mind the cooler winter temperatures.

If you look at how Vandas are grown best in Thailand, they are often grown without media of any sort or even a pot! As we are growing them as “pot plants” for us the pot is quite relevant. If you are going to grow in the Thai way, you need to be able to keep the roots moist in warmer weather. If you have them in a pot (the obvious way to keep a plant’s roots moist), you will not get the root development that you get with higher air access to the roots. Our solution to this is a basket pot of styrene, the same shape as a pot but with much better air penetration. This media holds a little moisture and allows excellent root growth without the need to repot, as Vandas hate being repotted.

Our plants are located at the northern end of the greenhouse to maximize light, as Vandas love bright light. In Summer they are watered at two-day intervals, which is extended to three to four days in Winter. In our experience, Vanda’s enjoy weak liquid fertilizing as often as possible.

Our plants have been sourced from Thailand in the flask, as this is our preferred method for buying plants. We believe you get a better feel for a plant when you grow it from the flask. This also means that our plants are acclimatised for our customers to grow on.

The Neofiettia group.

Neos are wonderful compact plants that bloom during the Summer months. The delicate, often fragrant blooms are commonly pristine white. There are other colours offered as Neofinettia, but these are usually Ascofinettia, the intergeneric hybrid of Neo and Ascocentrum. Either way, these compact Vandaceous are super cute and very popular.

Neos like well-drained media and pots that offer good drainage and airflow. We grow small plants in pots of styrene to give the best drainage. As the plant develops, we move into a 100mm pot. When they are approaching full maturity, we have found baskets with chunky styrene as a medium provide the best option for large plants to express their full potential.

Like all Vandaceous, a Neo plant does not have a lot of moisture storage in the plant. So, moisture must be supplied regularly. We water and fertilise regularly. We never allow our small plants to dry out. Larger plants can go a day or so between waterings. We only use liquid fertiliser and apply it every time we water.

Neos like good air movement and do well hanging to allow air movement around the roots. We find they do well in similar positions to our Sarcochilus. After all, Sarcochilus are Vandaceous! To gain maximum flowers Neos need strong light. They are capable of withstanding light as bright as Cymbidiums (very bright). If you have a plant not flowering, try giving it more light.

To view our Vanda clones and seedlings click here.