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Vanilla orchid care. Help!

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by DebiS, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. DebiS

    DebiS New Member

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    My sister in law gave me a tiny little vine & told me it was a vanilla orchid. I’ve never grown an orchid from this small before. I keep the moss moist & in indirect sunlight in the kitchen window. Should I leave it like this until it gets bigger?
     

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  2. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Active Member

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    Does the plant have live roots?
    Living roots should be turgid and greenish when wet. Live roots also have green or red tips.
    If the plant has live roots, keep it on the mount.
    If not (which is what it looks like), the plant should be put in a clear bag with moist sphagnum and checked weekly to make sure no fungus is growing.
    In any case, putting it in a clear plastic bag will help it develop roots and adapt to your environment. I don't think I could grow such a small plant!
    BTW, be careful not to snap it; too much handling can break shoots, new flower spikes, and roots and believe me, it is devastating to break your plant's last lead.
    Good luck!
     
  3. DebiS

    DebiS New Member

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    It does have a root. The root is as long as the vine. I accidentally pulled it out of the moss a few days ago. I tucked it back under the moss & haven’t touched it since. If I put it in a bag, should it be sealed? Thank you for your input!
     
  4. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Active Member

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    A root?
    As in one?
    Good luck saving that plant to you.
    Yes, close the bag, but check daily for mold, bacteria and fungus. I would also air it out for 30 minutes every day. If mold grows, take it out, cut off the infected parts, soak it in fungicide, and dust it with cinnamon, the most useful spice.
    I saw a vanilla plant twice, once a seedling larger than yours and once in bloom. Wow, was the scent strong. Usually they are potted in a more terrestrial medium and not mounted, but I wouldn't try to repot it for a year to a year and a half. Make sure new roots are developing when you pot any orchid.
     
  5. tropicbreeze

    tropicbreeze Member

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    Location:
    Top End, NT, Au
    If it has a root already it's not necessary to put it in a plastic bag. But it will need a pole or something to climb. They're a very tall growing vine that in nature get into the tops of tall trees. If you have the correct climate they're best grown outdoors as they need height to flower. Indoors they run out of room and don't flower. They like a lot of light, filtered sunlight is good. Potting mix should be moist but not wet. If it gets a bit long (indoors) you can cut it back, the off cuts strike easily if you want more plants.
     
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  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have been on a vanilla plantation in Guatemala and they are rooted in the ground and then climb up from there on trees. So potted up would be the way to go. You don't say where you are located so not sure that outdoors is a possibility. My understanding is they need to get long to flower, but they don't need to grow straight up. People tie they up once they reach a height and then let them grow horizontally. It may be the horizontal growth that encourages blooming.
     
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  7. tropicbreeze

    tropicbreeze Member

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    Location:
    Top End, NT, Au
    When I first started growing them I put them in soil at the base of trees. Roots came out of the upper part of the stem and went into the ground. But the part of the stem that was in the ground rotted away. Seems to be their normal way of growth.

    In some plantations they put them on posts to limit the height they get. Makes it easier for pollinating the flowers which is usually done manually in areas where natural pollinators don't occur.

    They like to zig zag their way up to great heights.
    n10011011.jpg
     
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  8. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Active Member

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    How is the plant doing now?
     
  9. J E

    J E Jaime Escobedo

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    Yes, the bottom grows from the ground up trees, they're semi epiphytic. Eventually the in ground part my die leaving the fully epiphytic vine in the tree. I have mine potted in fine bark and a bloom spike stake with sphagnum moss attached with twist ties in the pot that it grows up. Once it outgrows it I'll probably do something similar on a larger scale. They grow slow at first but get very large, they need to be at least roughly 10 feet long before you can expect blooms. Keep them very humid not wet and good airflow. They also can't take any cold they need warm temperatures, any cold dips below about 60f and the growth tips die and that will set it back.
     
  10. Bart

    Bart New Member

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    I had a couple of vanilla orchids which all died. It started with the roots becoming brown and rotten. Dying followed slowly. I was trying very hard to save them.

    My dad has one at his work. He doesn't pamper it too much. It stands in a office, but with a royal amount of indirect light, and regular watering. Humidity is very low, but he's keen on watering consistently.
    He wanted to give it to me, but I declined, as I could see that plant thrive there, and I will not give it such stable conditions. Maybe one day.

    I think my watering was too irregular, with too little light, in small (quickly drying) containers. I also expect that my plant cuttings were too small to give them a good start (6-10cm).