How do I care for the orchid Ascocenda, Vanda hybrid?

Answer

Thank you for your question abut the orchid x Ascocenda. It has an interesting naming journey! These hybrids were originally an intergeneric cross between a Vanda and an Ascocentrum orchid. Ascocentrum, however, has been reclassified as Vanda and the hybrids are now considered Vanda hybrids. The × Ascocenda hybrids are an obsolete name.

You can find full information on caring for Vanda orchids and hybrids in our culture guide Vanda Care. Vanda are native to humid forests in tropical Asia. They are epiphytic plants, that is to say they grow in fast-draining pockets of debris on trees. Vanda and related orchids are adapted to warmth, moisture and strong, filtered light with loose, fast-draining, growing medium. They can have large root systems and upright stems that reach many feet high, with two broad rows of evergreen leaves that require a fair amount of space.

In the New York City area, cold winters mean that Vanda and related plants are often kept outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and humidity in summer and brought inside to a bright window or greenhouse in winter.

Vanda likes humidity (65 to 80%) and very bright indirect light ( 3,500 to 4,000 foot-candles) from a southern exposure. Whenever you have humid and warm conditions, good air circulation is helpful too, in the form of small fan in the room (not directed at the orchid).

Vanda may be grown in baskets with roots exposed, in small pots, or hanging with no growing medium at all. Plants in pots should have a coarse, chunky orchid mix with outstanding drainage and air circulation, such as fir bark, lava or charcoal. You can grow one directly inside a special hanging cedar basket made for this purpose, available online and in garden supply centers. Then, by adopting just a few cultural habits, your orchid will put forth a beautiful display of blossoms periodically throughout the year.

1. Hang your orchid in front of an airy, sunny, south facing window. Vanda grown indoors require extended bright to very bright light to remain vigorous and produce flowers. In the New York City area, a south-facing window is best for all Vanda types. If the plant is spending summer outdoors, terete types with pencil-like leaves need full sun exposure and strap-leaf types and semi-terete types need some protection from direct light.

2. Maintain a relative humidity level of 65 percent or higher. In addition, Vanda grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85 degree Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees. Do not allow temperatures to dip below 55 degrees.

3. Water in by thoroughly misting the roots. During hot weather, you may need to water the roots two or three times a day, especially if the plant is growing outdoors. During the late fall and winter, water once every two days. Other times of the year, watering it once a day is usually sufficient, early in the day, not at night.

4. Vanda has a greater need for nutritional supplements than most orchids. A balanced, powdered fertilizer (20-20-20) is best, at ¼ to ½ of the recommended strength on the label, every time you water. Reduce frequency in the winter. Occasional feeding in summer with a high-phosphorous, organic fertilizer will support flowering.

5. Carefully lift and remove a Vanda plant from its basket and set it into a larger basket when it outgrows its container. You can also pull off any offshoots that develop in the spring to keep your Vanda contained in the same basket for years.

 

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

 

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  • Last Updated Jan 06, 2023
  • Views 452
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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