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Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla planifolia flower

Diary Of Vanilla Orchid

We have our new arrival of the vanilla orchid today.  This is being added to the herb pages. This is not my first try at this plant so we are crossing our fingers here...

We can expect to get a vanilla bean or so after the plant reaches a length of 20 - 30 feet long. In order to reach that length, it needs support, good potting soil, and high humidity.

We also need to fertilize weekly, weakly. Vanilla orchids are a member of the prima donna group, and has special watering requirements.

Lets Get Growin

June 11, 2017 - 1029 Days to Beans
Vanilla planifolia

Milla Vanilla is looking a bit yellow.  The potting soil may be too heavy and not airy enough for an orchid type plant.

We switched Milla to a netpot with a combination of pine bark compost, potting soil and pearlite to lighten things up and help the roots breath.  We'll see if Milla gets a bit healthier after this. 

We also added either some Dill or Basil stems from a plant we pulled out to help the orchid have something to climb on.  Better than nothing, for sure.  

All else seems to be going well enough with regard to Milla - continuous new growth is a good thing.  I'll try encouraging a more pronounced zig zag stem pattern to keep it tight.

May 20, 2017 -  1051 Days To Beans

I haven't been updating the vanilla orchid because I didn't think it had been growing much.  I counted the leaves and it looks like we are two leaves ahead already.  This is faster growth than I had anticipated.

Calculating a growth rate of 1.5 inches a month, we'll likely get an additional 18 inches growth each year.  This would be a super long time to get to the minimum 20' for beans.  I'm not sure where I got the three years from... I'll have to try looking that up again. It doesn't match up with the growth required for bean production and it wouldn't happen within three years.

I also need to check on the plant and see if it needs some acidity.  It is looking a bit yellow, but not sure if it is the lighting.

April 6, 2017 - Three Years To Beans

Vanilla planifolia

Our orchid arrived today and it looks great!  I dropped it into a small pot with our regular potting soil, but may need to rethink that plan. This may have been one of my mistakes last time.

We purchased this from WellspringGardens with the hope that we may someday have some vanilla beans that we grew ourselves.  And once that happens, we can cure the vanilla beans ourselves and we have a couple of options.  We can let them dry on the vine (probably my choice method) or a more complicated method that yields a higher quality bean.  Depending on what is going on, we may try our hand at a more complicated method.

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