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These beauties hail from steamy Southeast Asia so they are best suited for very bright light and humid growing conditions. Certain varieties are grown outdoors in the direct sunlight in Hawaii and Florida. The strap-leafed forms of Vandas and Ascocendas can be grown in the greenhouse with 25 to 50% shade. For home gardeners try a windowsill with a southern exposure. For fluorescent light gardeners, stick with the compact varieties of Ascocendas and keep them within a few inches of the light tubes.
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The relative humidity should be kept between 55-70%. Place the pot or basket on a tray full of moist sphagnum moss or pebbles to maintain adequate humidity around the plant. The temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees F. during the day and should not fall below 65 degrees F. at night.
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Vandas have no pseudobulbs, so they have no ability to store water. They are usually grown in very coarse, well-draining media or in no media at all in wood hanging baskets. They need to be watered frequently, sometimes daily, especially if no media is used.
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Vandas are heavy feeders during the months that they are in full growth, usually spring through fall. Fertilize once a week with several applications of fresh water in between to ensure there is no salt buildup on the roots and in the growing medium. During the winter months light feedings once a month are sufficient. Follow the directions on the fertilizer label for rates of applcations.
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Use a potting material that drains readily. Coarse grade fir bark, tree fern, lava rock, or no media at all are options. If you choose to not use a growing medium, the frequency of watering needs to be increased. Smaller seedlings should be moved to larger size pots or baskets as needed. Mature plants growing in baskets only need to be transplanted when the baskets disintegrate.