Apartment plants

Vanilla - Vanilla


GeneralitŠ°


genus that brings together about 50 species of epiphytic orchids, mostly climbing plants, originating in Central America, also cultivated in most of the Pacific islands to use its fruits for the extraction of the well-known vanilla aroma. The flowers are large, fragrant, greenish-yellow in color, gathered in racemes consisting of 10-15 buds, they bloom one at a time at the axil of the long leaves, remaining open for about 8-10 hours; flowering lasts about a month, depending on the number of flowers produced by a plant. In nature, vanilla plants tend to grow a lot, climbing on tree trunks; in countries where a single plant is grown it can produce hundreds of flowers. The fruits are long greenish pods that contain hundreds of small black seeds.

Exposure




The vanilla orchid needs very bright positions, but far from the direct rays of the sun that could irreparably damage the petals and leaves of the plant. In winter it is advisable to keep the plant indoors, but always in a bright place, possibly near a window. During the summer it can be moved outside, taking care to place the container under a tree or a shrub, so as to keep the plant sheltered from the too warm rays of the season. It is advisable to place a brace in the vase so that the plant can develop better towards the other and show all its beauty.

Watering


These orchids grow in tropical, very humid places, so we will have to be careful to always keep the substratum moist, but without leaving the pot in contact with stagnant water; this is to avoid water stagnation and the formation of radical rot. Rather we place the vase in a tray filled with expanded clay that should always be kept moist. Vaporize the leaves often with distilled water to increase the environmental humidity. Provide specific fertilizer for orchids at least once a month during the period of greatest growth, from March to October, to be administered dissolved in irrigation water.

Ground



The species of vanilla orchid they are plants are epiphytes, that is they grow on the bark of other plants and this is one of their particular characteristics that distinguish them from other species. To obtain an ideal soil we must therefore use specific materials for orchids, such as osmunda fiber, sphagnum or the bark of non-resinous plants. It is advisable to repot the plant after flowering, at least every two years; moreover, to obtain a more vigorous and compact growth and a better flowering it is advisable to prune the vanilla immediately after flowering, shortening the branches of about ten centimeters. In this way our vanilla orchids can develop optimally showing their fascinating beauty.

Multiplication


The multiplication of the vanilla occurs by cutting, using, after flowering, the pruned branches, which must be rooted in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts. The new plants should be repotted in individual containers the following year. The cutting is in fact the most effective and economic method of reproduction of a plant as it is possible to obtain identical plants to that mother simply by using fragments of the branch of the original species.

Vanilla - Vanilla: Pests and diseases


Pay attention to cochineal and aphids that ruin the buds and leaves.