A large number of people do not even realize that such a spice as vanilla, which has a unique sweet smell, is nothing more than vanilla orchid seeds. The orchid genus Vanilla orchids is quite extensive and it combines about 100 species of various plants, while only 2 species produce the same vanilla. Such a plant comes from Central America, but it is grown in a huge number of countries and not only for spices but also as a beautiful flower.
In room conditions, this kind of orchid does not bear fruit, but at the same time, it blooms magnificently. So, its delicate flowers can be painted in yellow, snow-white or light green. The flower stays on the plant for only 1 day. But despite this, flowering can last several weeks, as there are a lot of flowers. During flowering, a very delicate aroma emanates from such a plant, and this is a kind of reward for the florist for careful care. The vanilla orchids have a clear difference from other members of the orchid family, since it is liana and grow up to 30 meters in natural habitat. However, such a plant also has common features with most orchids, namely, it has many aerial roots, as well as dense dark green leaves.
When grown in room conditions, such a vine does not grow much, and also do not forget that, if necessary, systematic pruning can be carried out. Pruning has a positive effect on the condition of this plant. So, it rejuvenates and activates the intensive growth of lateral shoots. As a result, the copy becomes more magnificent and spectacular.
This is a fairly fast-growing plant that needs reliable support, for the manufacture of which it is recommended to use coconut fiber. If a very small cutting is properly looked after, then by the third year of its life it becomes a full-fledged plant, capable of delighting others with its flowers. For 12 months, such a plant grows on average in length by 50–100 centimeters, and do not forget that pruning will help keep the rapid growth of this vine under control.
Vanilla orchids care at home
Growing this kind of orchid is not as difficult as it might seem. The main thing to remember is that for the normal development and growth of the “vanilla orchid” you need special conditions in the room, which are very similar to those that are present in the natural habitat of such a liana. And it grows in a tropical forest, where it is almost constantly warm and damp.
Best of all, the orchid will feel at a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees, and throughout the year. It is worth remembering that the minimum allowable temperature in the room where the plant is located is 18–20 degrees.
Needs a fairly high humidity, which should be kept at around 80-90 percent. To do this, vanilla must be systematically watered, and also very often moistened from a sprayer. To do this, you need soft lukewarm water. The frequency of watering and humidification depends on the temperature in the room. So, the cooler the room, the less often these procedures are carried out and vice versa. At the same time, it is worth remembering that overdrying of the substrate should not be allowed. Experts also advise such a plant to regularly arrange a shower under running slightly warm water, while its leaves must be handled with extreme care.
This is a light-loving plant, but only diffused light is needed. The same applies to most other genera of orchids, which should definitely be known to an inexperienced orchid. So, many flower growers have the opinion that orchid family plants prefer shaded places, but at the same time, it is an insufficient amount of light that becomes a frequent reason for the lack of flowering. Vanilla needs bright but diffused lighting throughout the day.
For the cultivation of this vine, an earth mixture is used, which is somewhat different in composition from that used for planting epiphytic plants. So, to create this kind of soil mixture, you need to combine the bark of a coniferous tree, fern roots, sphagnum moss, charcoal, and also add pre-disinfected garden soil. The finished earth mixture must be air and water permeable, as well as loose and light.
Transplantation is carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 years. This procedure is necessary for the plant whose roots no longer fit in the container. It is worth remembering that the growth of this orchid may become slower because of this. Experts advise transplanting the plant in the spring. To do this, it must be carefully pulled out of the old pot, while handling the roots very carefully so as not to damage them. In the event that some roots are nevertheless broken, they should be sprinkled with crushed charcoal to prevent the formation of rot.
Usually propagated by cuttings. Rooting of cuttings with 1 or more air roots occurs most quickly. In order to make rooting faster, you can use root stimulants, for example, heteroauxin. After the vine is planted in the soil mixture, it must be covered from above with a cap from a plastic bag. Do not forget to systematically ventilate the plant and remember that at this time the substrate should be slightly damp all the time. After the vine begins to grow again, the package must be removed completely.
Such an orchid will generously reward the grower for his efforts with lovely flowers that have a very pleasant aroma.