My Vandas have done amazingly well this summer. My four blue based ones have all flowered with big blue (and white) blooms. The unnamed blue one was a going cheap and had the remnants of a flower spike. It is deep purple in reality but my camera likes blue given the chance. I thought it was V. Princess Mikasa but I think the blooms are too big for it to be that. To give some idea of bloom size they are all about 13cms across with the V. coerulea a little smaller.

 I can only grow Vandas that contain a lot of Vanda coerulea in their background as that species is able to tolerate cooler temperatures. I have tried varieties originating from warmer places without being able to keep them through the winter when they go into a dormant stage towards the end of January. This is when the warmer ones don’t recover. My blue ones take a while to start growing but they come round and eventually flower in July, August and September-so far! They were all bought from Laurence at various times. I keep them with their roots in a glass jar which retains humidity without getting water all over the place. In very hot weather the roots are sprayed daily and the jar is filled with water, containing Rainmix feed if I remember, for about 30 minutes twice a week. This is reduced to once a week in cooler periods with less spraying. In winter this is reduced further to occasional spraying to avoid rotting off. They need good light but not too much direct sun as this causes scorching. Next year I shall shorten the white one which is getting very tall, by severing the stem below the good strong new roots that have grown this summer and placing the upper portion back in the jar.

The species V. coerulea had a tricky start to life and tried to die on several occasions. The roots were all crinkly, didn’t grow well and the flower spikes aborted for no reason. I spayed the plant with Provado which was what I was using at the time but eventually the plant dropped all its lower leaves and stopped growing from the top. The main stem was getting thinner and the compost heap looked as if it was beckoning. I was using Resolva Bug Clear Ultra by then and it seemed to do the trick. The plant started growing strongly from the top again, put out new roots and flowered after two years. It has flowered annually since then. I cut the old sick portion off as soon as it looked safe to do so. I think the culprit was probably thrips nibbling at the growing ends of the roots and causing the distortion. I have had Vandas not thriving in similar ways previously and think on reflection that they too had thrips.