Vanda coerulea – 365 days of orchids – day 1021

Today’s ‘coerulea’ is not a grey blue but the dramatic bright blue of Vanda coerulea. This dramatic species flowers several times throughout the year but is usually at is best in October.

Our plant is nearly 3m tall and has five spikes of flowers.

Unfortunately the attractiveness of the species has caused it to become very rare in the wild and it is designated as CITES appendix 1 to help protect surviving populations. It is widely grown from seed although nurseries tend to focus on large round flowered clones (like ours) for propagation rather than embracing the natural diversity within the species.

The plant is native to deciduous monsoon forest from 800 to 1700m which means it prefers cooler temperatures than most large growing lowland Vandas although selective breeding has tended to focus on plants that tolerate warmer conditions to suit commercial orchid production. We grow our plants in Warm Asia where they do very well and eventually produce side growths that produce flowers at the same time as the lead growth.


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