Vanilla orchid

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The source of vanilla, this unusual climbing orchid likes it hot, wet and sunny. Provide a tall coir pole or palm trunk to help it climb to its mature 3m height.

 Extra-large tubestock right now - see image gallery

Vanilla planifolia - vanilla orchid
APPEARANCE : Exotic climber/trailer with fleshy leaves and clusters of cream-green waxy orchid flowers which open for a day. Hand-pollinate flowers on mature (over 3m) plants to produce the long green beans which ripen and dry into the world-famous vanilla flavouring.
USE FOR : Unusual indoor plant, or outside in tropical gardens over 15C
PLANTING : Plant in free-draining compost or orchid mix in bright or dappled light in the garden or indoors. In Mexico vanilla is sometimes planted amongst citrus to support the vines and provide dappled shade. Avoid the sap which can be an irritant.
CARE : Mist regularly to maintain humidity if the air is dry.
Pick pods when the tips start to yellow but before they start to split for highest quality vanilla. (They are still ok to use after they have split.) Put the pods in a wooden crate, cover with a wet cloth, heat, and leave to ferment. Then uncover, lay out on mats in sunlight, to cure and air dry until they lose up to 80 of their original moisture. This process can take five months.
HEIGHT & WIDTH : 3m H x 0.2m W.
YOUR PLANTS: These plants are tubestock plants, healthy young plants with new roots that will establish quickly in your garden. The pot size is 80mm high and 42 mm wide.

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