Vanda Sanderiana or Waling Waling Orchid, Care and Growing Tips

Vanda Sanderiana Orchid

Vanda Sanderiana is the “Queen of Philippine Orchids.” It is the rarest and the most beautiful of the more than 8,000 orchid species endemic to the Philippines. Its local name is Waling-waling and one of the most sought after orchids in the world. Vanda Sanderiana orchid discovery in Mindanao in 1882 has induced the evolution of over a thousand more vanda hybrids that are now being grown by thousands of orchid growers all over the world, either for commercial purpose or as plain hobby.

Vanda Sanderiana aka Waling Waling Orchid

Photo by Caloy and Myra

Waling-waling orchid is legendary for its beautiful and colorful flowers and its ability to pass on its vitality and floral characteristics to its “offspring”. It grows in the rainforest of Mindanao and blooms once a year during the monsoon season, between July and October, usually after three or more weeks of heavy rain. It has large four to six inch flowers with wonderful colors that includes pink, blue- violet, purple, and chocolate. A cluster of Waling-waling in full bloom is a beauty to behold.

Vanda Sanderaina orchid prefers high to medium light. In the tropics, particularly in the Philippines, Waling-waling is grown outside either in plastic or hardwood hanging baskets, fir barks or drift wood. Vanda Sanderiana or Waling – waling is very easy to propagate. The plant prospers in a slightly shaded location since it needs protection from the strong sun. It needs watering at least every two days but humidity should be kept high. They are potted in hanging hardwood or plastic baskets, slabs of tree ferns or in drift woods.

Waling Waling Orchid

Photo by Jun Acullador

When grown in temperate countries, Vanda Sanderiana can be grown in the home or in green houses with high to medium light. It should be placed in the south window during the winter months. It can also be grown outside during the summer months but it should be slowly adjusted to stronger light since it could easily burn under intense light. Vanda Sanderiana prefers the warm weather and could withstand temperature up to the high 90⁰s at day time and 70⁰s at night. High humidity is vital to the life of Vanda Sanderiana.

Rain water is what Waling-waling loves, but tap water low in alkaline will also do. They need to be watered everyday during the summer. Never allow the potting medium to dry out between watering. In winter, the plant should be slightly dry in between watering. Fertilize every other watering in the summer and every third watering in the winter.

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