YES, VIRGINIA, YOU CAN GROW AND FLOWER VANDAS UP NORTH!
We'll start this discussion with the shot above, the roots of a mature vanda grown in a plastic pot (omigosh! dial 911!!) - yes, a plastic pot. In this case, I've grown it this way for several years, and it had not been repotted for about 16 months. I grow all my vandas in plastic pots, with a mix of large cattleya bark (formerly including charcoal) and about half #4 sponge rock, gently shaken in and around the roots, with a little tapping of the pot to help it settle. They can then be watered normally with the other orchids. Before I began potting them up, I tried growing them in baskets (even with bark), they shrivelled and, ultimately, died from dryness. I just couldn't seem to water them enough. Nor did I have time to. Now, they flourish and don't take any more care or time than others. I do however have to be a little more careful with their nighttime temps; the plants are outdoors half the year, but the vanda season is a little shorter - nights can't go much below 45degF or so. Here is a pic of plants grown my way for several years, suffering through as best they can!
[Note the clear pots. I find it helpful when trying new potting methods or just to keep track of temperamental plants, to put a few of the group in clear pots. It provides a simple, fast, constant way to monitor moisture levels and root health without having to unpot all the time.] You can see more vanda evidence on my vanda pics page .
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