A lot of people don't even realize that a spice like vanilla, which has a unique, sweet odor, is nothing but the seeds of the vanilla orchid. The genus Vanilla orchid is quite extensive and includes approximately 100 species of different plants, with only two species being used to produce that very vanilla. This plant is native to Central America, but is grown in a huge number of countries and not only for spice, but also as a beautiful flower.
In room conditions this kind of orchid does not bear fruit, but it blooms beautifully. Thus, its delicate flowers can be colored in yellow, snow-white or light green.
The flower only lasts on the plant for a day. But in spite of this, flowering can last for several weeks, as many flowers are formed. During flowering from such a plant comes a very delicate fragrance and this is a kind of reward to the florist for careful care. Orchid vanilla has an obvious difference from other members of the orchid family, as it is a liana and in natural habitat grows to a length of 30 meters. However, this plant also has features in common with most orchids, namely it has many aerial roots as well as dense dark green leaves.
When growing in room conditions, such a liana does not grow much, and also do not forget that if necessary, you can make systematic pruning. Carrying out pruning has a positive effect on the condition of this plant. So, it is rejuvenated and it intensifies the intensive growth of lateral shoots. This makes it look more lush and showy.
This is a fast growing plant and needs a good support, which can be made with coconut fibre.
If you take care of a very small cuttings properly, in the third year of its life, it becomes a full-fledged plant, able to please others with its flowers. In 12 months, such a plant grows an average of 50-100 centimeters in length, and you should not forget that pruning will help keep the rapid growth of this liana under control.
Home care for vanilla orchid
Growing this kind of orchid is not as difficult as it may seem. The main thing to remember is that the "vanilla orchid" needs special indoor conditions for normal development and growth, which are very similar to those present in the natural habitat of such a liana. And it grows in a tropical forest where it is almost constantly warm and humid.
The orchid will feel best at a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees, all year round. It is worth remembering that the minimum allowable temperature in the room where the plant is located is 18-20 degrees.
It needs quite high humidity, which should be kept at 80-90 percent. To do this, the vanilla needs to be watered systematically and also moistened very often with a sprayer. Use mild lukewarm water.
The frequency of watering and moisturizing depends on the room temperature. So, the cooler the room, the less often these procedures and vice versa. At the same time it is worth remembering that overdrying the substrate is not allowed. Experts also advise such a plant to regularly arrange a shower under running a little warm water, while his leaves should be treated very carefully.
This plant is a light loving, but need only diffused light.
The same applies to most other orchid genera, which is definitely worth knowing for the inexperienced orchidist. For example, many flower growers have the opinion that plants of the orchid family prefer shady places, but it is the lack of light that is often the reason for the lack of blooming. Vanilla needs bright but diffused light all day long.
The earth mixture used to grow this liana is somewhat different in composition from that used for planting epiphytic plants. So, to create this kind of earth mixture it is necessary to combine coniferous tree bark, fern roots, sphagnum moss, charcoal, and also to add previously decontaminated garden soil.
The prepared earth mixture should be air- and water-permeable, as well as loose and light.
Precautions for repotting
Potting is done once every 2 or 3 years. This procedure is necessary for a plant whose roots no longer fit in the container. Remember that the growth of this orchid can become slower because of this. Transplanting the plant is advised by specialists in the spring.
To do this, it must be carefully pulled out of the old pot, while treating the roots very carefully so as not to damage them. If some of the roots are broken, they must be covered with crushed charcoal to prevent rotting.
Breeding is usually done by cuttings. Cuttings with 1 or more airy roots are the fastest to root. For faster rooting, you can also use rooting stimulants such as heteroauxin.
After the liana will be planted in the earth mixture, it should be covered from above with a cap of a polyethylene bag. Do not forget to ventilate the plant systematically and remember that at this time the substrate should be slightly moist all the time. Once the plant is growing again, remove the bag completely.
This orchid will generously reward the grower's efforts with pretty flowers with a very pleasant fragrance.
Vanilla orchid/Vanilla orchid