Baby Vanilla planifolia in 3-inch pot, variegated

Baby Vanilla planifolia in 3-inch pot, variegated

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  • Easy to grow, instructions included

This tropical orchid plant is a vining and climbing terrestrial variety that roots in soil or moss, unlike most orchids. They are native to Central America and the West Indies. This is the variegated variety, with both green and white to off-white coloring. We grow them in sphagnum moss.

These start off in a small pot with the base roots in sphagnum or potting soil. Stake them so the vine has something on which to grow. These do well as house plants - they need bright indirect light, some humidity and a trellis or something to grow up on, but basically they grow like weeds. And they can be grown outdoors in warmer, moist climates.

We always ship the largest.

Keep this plant warm - above 55 degrees - and fertilize weakly about once a month. Keep them damp but not sopping wet. These like to be misted, as they have roots all along the vine. They flower only when mature, which takes a few years. The vines need to be at least 12 feet long. And it is possible to get a vanilla bean, but it's not easy - the yellowish-greenish flowers need to be pollinated by hand at the right moment. Vanilla extract is made from the seeds in a seed pod from mature plants.

You can propagate these by taking cuttings, however. Mature plants can get very big and have literally hundreds of flowers. We have a bunch of these and we'll pick out a nice one for you.

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