Vanda hindsii (Native Strap Orchid)

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Scientific Name

Vanda hindsii Lindl.

Common Names

Native Strap Orchid, Cape York Vanda

Synonyms

Vanda truncata, Vanda whiteana

Scientific Classification

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
Subtribe: Aeridinae
Genus: Vanda

Flower

Color: Brown with greenish to yellowish markings
Bloom Time: November to March

Description

Vanda hindsii is a large epiphytic or lithophytic orchid that forms large, coarse clumps with thick, white, cord-like roots and branching stems up to 3.3 feet (1m) long. There are many thick, leathery, glossy, strap-like leaves up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, arranged in 2 ranks along the stems. Between 3 and 7 brown, resupinate flowers with greenish to yellowish markings, up to 1.4 inches 3.5 cm) long and wide, are arranged on a stiff flowering stem up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. Flowering mainly occurs from November to March.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 12b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 60 °F (15.6 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Vandas are grown in teak baskets or in pots. For most household conditions, pots are best because they hold more moisture around the roots. Teak baskets are really best suited for high humidity areas such as greenhouses or growing chambers or outdoors where they could be wetted or misted every day. Plants in pots should be watered just as the medium dries out, approximately every 5 to 7 days for larger clay pots. It is best to use rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water.

Most Vandas grow on treetops on ridges along rivers and prefer bright light. When growing indoors a south window exposure is best. If growing under lights, LED Grow Lights provide adequate light to promote flowering 2 to 3 times per year provided the plant has reached a mature size. Vandas can be grown outside in the summer (or all year long depending on where you live) as long as the night temperatures are in the upper 50’s, degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C) or above. Grow under dappled sunlight such as a shade tree or an evergreen. Gradually they can be exposed to brighter light.

Origin

Vanda hindsii occurs in New Guinea and tropical North Queensland.

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