Vanda is a tropical orchid genus whose species are found across East Asia, and Southeast Asia up to the Northern Territory of Australia including some Pacific islands. The Vanda is an epiphyte that grows high up in the trees of the forest with its air roots harmlessly attached to the tree. The air roots feed on rain and morning dew. The aerial roots act as sponges and can rapidly absorb a great deal of moisture. These roots also ensure that the plant remains firmly anchored to the tree on which it is growing. The plant therefore does not need any soil. Potting soil will even cause the roots to rot.
Today the Vanda is known and sold as a flowering plant as well as a plant for cut flowers. The Vanda varieties of today are actually all hybrids, specially bred for traits like easy growing and easy flowering, as well as for colorful and long lasting flowers that will let you enjoy their tropical flowering or a cut flower spike or a single flower for weeks at your home. The Vanda, because of its slow growth and because it is an epiphyte that needs minimal care and no soil, is a robust indoor plant that withstands less favorable conditions better than other plants do.
Under the Su-Su® label, a wide range of Vanda varieties in all sorts of colors and sizes are marketed. And new varieties with new unique properties are added each year! The flower of the Vanda is famous for its wide range of exuberant colors; their purpose is to attract insects. Although the color blue is rare in nature, in Vanda there are many varieties with blue flowers, in a variety of hues and color patterns!
All Su-Su Vanda plants are bred, selected, and cultivated in Thailand. The first part is done in a laboratory under sterile conditions. After that, the plants are cultivated for three more years in an open shade greenhouse, of which one year is as a young plant on a bench and two years hanging in a basket. When they are big enough, the last phase of their cultivation is completed in local greenhouses that are close to the consumer markets such as The Netherlands and the USA. Here the plants will be hanging in the greenhouse for up to one more year in order to produce a perfect flower on the plant. So the Vanda in the home of the consumer has already been living for years.
Until some decades ago, Vanda orchid plants were looked upon as “collectors’ items” and “rare plants” and prices were extremely high. Vanda plants were only available at special orchid plant shows or at dedicated small scale orchid growers.
The first large scale commercial grower of Vanda plants in EU was the company “Anco pure Vanda” that was introduced to the idea and knowledge of growing tropical Vanda orchids for plant sales and cut flowers in EU through Suphachadiwong Orchids, the Thai nursery behind the SU-SU label.
The word Su-Su® is actually a Thai expression. Su-Su is used to encourage somebody in an activity or in a performance. When you say “Su-Su!” to somebody is means: You can do it! Go for it! Keep going! And in Thailand they say Su-Su! while making the “peace sign.”
Su-Su® is part of the S-Family, one of four expressions from Thailand. Each product group from Suphachadiwong Orchids is connected to one Thai expressions.
Until some decades ago, tropical Vanda orchid plants were grown in Asia, the Americans, as well as in Europe, but only as very special orchids by small scale orchid nurseries for selling to hobby collectors as well as for showing at orchid shows where they were judged and received awards from orchid societies around the world.
They were rare and expensive and it was a mysterious dream to see a Vanda orchid plant grown only in a basket with its long air roots; they were the pride of their owners. The first generation of Vanda hybrids was mostly bred in Hawaii over 60 years ago. The breeders started with a combination of the many different species in the genus Vanda, getting more complex with each new generation, which takes up to six or more years from crossing to selecting flowering plants.
Then in the 1970s and 1980s, Thai breeders started to dominate in crossing new Vanda hybrids and the selection of the best of all the many new hybrid seedlings of every generation, because the climate in Thailand is ideal for Vanda orchids, and because Thailand is home to more than over 1, 100 native tropical orchid species including Vanda species in its forest areas. Thailand is an orchid paradise for tropical native species and hybrids.
If you think about Vanda orchid plants and flowers you have to think about tropical Thailand and all the Thai people who love all kinds of plants and those who love orchids the most. It is therefore also no coincidence, that there are many orchid nurseries in Thailand. One of these is Suphachadiwong Orchids, the breeder and producer of all Vanda Su-Su® plants and flowers.
Suphachadiwong Orchids and family with their special passion and visions for orchids belong to the larger and more professional nurseries in Thailand. The company has its own laboratory and several nurseries in central and eastern Thailand. For more than thirty years, Suphachadiwong Orchids has been breeding and selecting orchids. They are a grower and exporter of orchid plants, not just Vanda, but also other types of orchids such as Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis.