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Vanilla planifolia

Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla planifolia

Habit: Climbing succulent stout vine producing aerial roots at the leaf nodes with medium-sized elliptic to lanceolate green leaves. Aerial roots will secure the vine to the climbing trellis and vines usually have to be looped around as they continue to grow. Plants usually don’t flower as indoor plants.

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C will result in the death of the plants.

Light Exposure: Vanilla plants will grow best in locations of bright, indirect light or areas with weak sunlight (early morning or late afternoon).

Watering: Plants like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great. Plants are also best watered with distilled or rain water instead of groundwater.

Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength once per month.

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing or dry leaves. Repotting can usually take place every three or four years into a well drained soil medium mixed with some compost.

Pests/Diseases: Indoors, mealybugs, aphids, spider mite and scale are all pests that can attack Vanilla vines. While rare on indoor plants, a few fungal and viral pathogens cause leaf spot and blight issues as well as stem rot of the plants.

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