- Nov 15, 2017
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Thrilled to present this first-flowering after 3 years growing in from deflasked Vanda coerulea sib. X self from Orchids by Hausermann in Villa Park, IL. Since reading about the species 30 years ago, I have been dying to see one in flower. Not the flat-petaled modernized line-bred flowers but a wild-type Vanda coerulea, which into the 1900s so thickly festooned scrub oaks as to make parts of the Himalayan Mountains match the blue sky above. I tried here and there and always failed with Vandas until I discovered The Orchid Whisperer’s YouTube channel. I devoured her lovely videos and when a hybrid Vanda didn’t instantly decline (it ultimately bloomed early this year!) three years ago I took a chance on V. coerulea seedlings at $6 each. I intentionally chose seedlings with different looks to the leaves; the widest-leaved one is this first plant to bloom, there’s a thinner-leaved, scrappier-looking plant that’s also in spike and the smallest, more pencil-leaved plant has not been as quick to grow as the others; guessing it will need at least another year. They have been my experiments and my joy and I could not be prouder than to achieve this blooming in my Chicago apartment. South window, grown right next to glass, regimen of misting/soaking in RO water, various fertilizers added (Jack’s liquid, Cal-Mag, KelpMax, bimonthly sprays with Bonide Copper Fungicide, which they seem to love as a nutrient (no fungus condition is present but the Orchid Whisperer notes that they love this foliage spray and I agree). Temps get to low 50s when it’s cold in Chicago. Maybe high 40s even, right there in the window. When I go away for some days, I leave 1/3 of the roots to soak in RO, have done this for up to 14 days with no problems. Hope you enjoy this “wild” Vanda.