English name:Vanilla Orchid
Latin name:Vanilla planifolia
About me:I am a climbing orchid and one of the main sources for vanilla flavouring. I have long trailing vines with narrow leaves that finish in a point. Vanilla Orchid's are relatively rare anyway, but especially those with variegated leaves like mine.
Useful to know:
I am native to Central America and Mexico.
I can climb to 30m tall in the wild! As a vine plant, I can be trained to climb up frames or waft down bookcases.
I like medium to shaded light conditions, never direct sun as it dries me out too quickly.
I like my soil to be lightly moist, but when I'm small I'm vulnerable to root rot so do not overdo it.
I like warm temperatures (up to 30 degrees C) in the day and cooler ones during the night (down to 10 degress C).
Fertilise me with diluted orchid fertiliser every two weeks.
You can prune my tips when I'm 2 years old to encourage me to produce flowers. Other than that, just keep my leaves dusted.
Because I like moist soil, I can be prone to root rot. Re-pot me yearly and check my roots. Also look out for spider mites and mealybugs.
As a rare plant, little information is available but its orchid relatives are listed as non-toxic.
The word 'Vanilla' derives from the Spanish 'Vainilla,' meaning small pod, specifically those on vines. You would also love to read about Jewel Orchid.