Not hard...just need practice
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This is a discussion on Growing Vanilla Planifolia within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; wow: you process them? I had read that that was very hard to do, a ...
wow: you process them? I had read that that was very hard to do, a lot of work and precise timing! I truly admire you!
Not hard...just need practice
That is encouraging. If I can grow my own vanilla, cocoa, coffee, grapes and hops I will be very happy because almost all of my needs will be met!
just planted a cacao tree...
First, I'm so happy to have found this forum. I'm the brand new "parent" of a Vanilla Orchid - literally 2 hours ago - and in reading the book I was gifted as well I can say I'm more lost now than I was before. The darn thing is too basic. How long can/should I keep it in the pot it came to me in? It's plastic (something I read that may or may not be right depending on the plant). Should I go with clay? A wooden box? For now I've got it sitting in it's pot inside a bowl with some rocks and the water level up to the top of the rocks to get the humidity factor going. I got back from my honeymoon just yesterday and am a little short on funding at the moment. Should be ok in a week or two to start investing in the care of this plant but in the mean time I wonder if it will be ok to sit there.
I'm confused on what the best living environment is for this thing - cork? wood? straight up in a pot with the orchid mix? If it is supposed to be mounted to cork/wood, do you put anything around the substrate, or just sit it in the pot?
I think I've got it in a good place where it will not sit in direct sunlight, but have plenty of indirect light. I get the water once a week thing, but what kind of fertilizer? Any specific brand? What about the right type of blend of nutrients? I read 20-20-20, but the book differs from what I'm reading online as well... everything is different!
I also read this plant takes FOREVER to blossom, and that the only way you're getting beans is to pollinate? How do you do that? And it's literally a 24 hour or less time frame?
I'm starting to feel like this was a bad gift idea - A for effort, E for execution... Help please! I don't wanna kill this thing.
First, take a deep breath. Now, welcome to our community. We will do our best to help you grow and bloom your new orchid. The members here grow all varieties of orchids and are very eager to help.
Let me see if I can address your questions in order.
1. How long to grow it in the pot it came in? - It really depends on the condition of the roots of the orchid. You will need to post up a photo if you would like advice on if you should repot it sooner or later.
2. Plastic, Clay, wooden box - all very good for growing orchids. The difference will be how often you water your orchid. If you like to water, then you will want to pot it in a plastic pot so that it will drain very fast. If you are moderate with water, then a clay pot would be fine. I would not grow it in a wooden basket, but many people do and are very successful with it. (That said, I have one piece of vanilla that is simply growing on a piece of chicken wire - no pot) The roots are hanging down and growing into the rock on the greenhouse floor.
3. Your humidity tray location sounds fine. Leave it there. Orchids are not too fussy as long as you don't drown them or burn them with sunlight.
4. Our large one that blooms is potted in potting soil, but it has long since left the pot. It now grows up the inside of the gh and hangs onto other orchids.
5. Fertilizer? Now that is a big question. I recommend a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength offered once a week after watering. Follow the next week with plain water.
6. Brand of fertilizer: Try Miracle Grow. It is readily available in most home improvement stores.
7. Yes, it takes a very long time for a vanilla vine to get large enough to bloom. AND if you want beans, you will either have to pollinate the bloom by hand or make sure it is out were normal pollinators can get to it. Growing it in your home in a closed environment or in a greenhouse where no bugs/ bees/ etc can get at your orchids means that you must do the duty of pollination if your want to see seed.
8. The blooms on our plant last for one day, yes. I have read other say they last longer, but after they fully open for us, they are quickly gone. I usually miss the open bloom and find the dying flower.
9. Never a bad gift idea! Orchids are great fun. Each one can be so different and there is so much to learn. Plus, you found a great community where you are free to ask any questions you have about growing them or their culture.
Sorry. I guess reading all this stuff and seeing conflicting information got me worked up. This is my first horticultural experience (outside of this, all I grow is mint for a sweet tea I make, so this is a big jump in my book).
Here's some pictures of the plant, it's root, the place it's sitting, and the "stuff" in it:
Hi, The photo did not come through. Perhaps you can upload it as an attachment?
Sorry about that. Guess the imageshack website didn't cooperate. See if this one comes through?
I'm sure I'll need more rocks and a better dish, but this little fella (or damsel, not sure yet) sorta dropped into my lap.
Looks to be growing in sphagnum moss. I usually kill plants that are planted in that stuff since they normally drown in my care. If it were me, i would repot. If it fits your watering schedule, then grow away. I think the humidity dish should be a shallow pan so that the roots are sure to get air. The bowl might block some air movement. JMHO.