As the title says in this post I would like to talk about my vanilla orchid. I have acquired small vanilla plants recently and after doing small research I have realised that this plant is is really special and fun to grow. In a very short time, this plant showed new growth so, I have decided to repot it.
Fun fact: Did you know that vanilla is the second-most expensive spice in the world after saffron?
To get vanilla beans, workers need to hand pollinate every single flower by hand.
Vanilla grows best in hot and humid climate, at an optimum temperature from 15–30 °C (day time) and 15–20 °C (night time). Humidity should be around 80%. This can be an issue – especially during the winter, if it is hot indoor, but the air is dry. As a solution I put a big bowl of water on the heater and the water evaporates, so increasing the humidity in my room. Light is important. It likes bright places, but not strong full sun. During the summer watch out to keep these plants in a more shady area. Finally talking about the growing medium. The soil should be lose with high organic matter. This plant likes to be more on the wet side, comparing to many orchids, but never damp.
Fun fact: During a day a skilled and professional worker can hand pollinate up to 1000 flowers. WOW!
Now let’s talk about my adventure repotting this plant. At the beginning I thought it is just one plant being tangled around that pole, but much to my surprise there were three! It took me a while and much effort to take it apart and not to damage the plant. I also decided to change the pot to a transparent bigger one – even though this plant don’t photosynthesis through its roots. I also changed the growing medium to a more loose soil. This is a big risky, but in theory it should work out just as good, plus this way I can avoid the risk of overwatering the plant.
Finally after repotting the plant looks like this. More clean. More spacious and more opportunity for the plant to grow upwards. After I was done, I gave a good bath. Since the growing medium is more loose, I will water my plant more frequently (every 2-3 days), while it was in soil I watered it only (1-2 / week).
I hope my vanilla will like its new place.
Thank you for reading my adventure with my vanilla orchid, and as always I will keep you updated about the new and exciting plants I come across!