Orchids forum: Vanilla planifolia question

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 21, 2014 1:03 PM CST
I've had my Vanilla Orchid for about 7 years now. It's growing in a terracotta pot with orchid mix - it's been in the same pot for about 5 years. During the growing season I keep it on the side of the greenhouse in the shade where occasionally it will get dappled sun. Since it has to be over wintered in the house, I stuck the pot in a wire basket so I could hang it in a north facing window - it was a little over 5 feet long - that was about 3 years ago. Silly me kept winding the main shoot around and inside the wire basket to keep it compact and this year I realize the only way I could safely remove it from the wire basket is to literally cut the basket.

Somewhere I read that it will only bloom if it's allowed to stretch out and be tall. Is this correct? I'm really hoping it will bloom one of these days for me.

Thumb of 2014-05-21/Xeramtheum/6fcfc2

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Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
May 21, 2014 1:32 PM CST
There are so many varieties of vanilla orchid vines that I hate to answer this. Here is a good article from Fairchild Gardens that may help: http://www.fairchildgarden.org/livingcollections/tropicalfru...

Jim
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 21, 2014 9:34 PM CST
Thanks for the link ... I found the article interesting .. had no idea there were so many different species and it has me wondering if I do indeed have the planifolia. I received mine as an 8 inch cutting in a trade. I think understand now why what I had read had me thinking it had to be tall in order to bloom.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 22, 2014 7:34 AM CST
It's not so much the "tallness" of the plant, but the age and length of the vine that's important to have it bloom. In my experience a north-facing exposure provides far too little light to have (most) orchids bloom. If you have to have it indoors, an eastern or a southern exposure gives far better light. A western exposure is fine, but beware of the intense sun during the afternoon hours.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 22, 2014 8:43 AM CST
Thanks .. I guess in winter I'll keep it in a south facing window and for now move it over a bit so it gets more light.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 22, 2014 8:49 AM CST
Good plan, Anne. North facing is great for photography, but so much for growing plants.

My favorite exposure for best light is:

1. East - spring and summer
2. South - fall and winter
3. West, if that's all you have, but in the spring, summer, and early fall, watch out for that intense afternoon sun
4. North - you might have plants live but they probably won't thrive or bloom

Just my opinion, you understand. Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
May 22, 2014 8:52 AM CST
Well I certainly value your opinion! I always thought that orchids did not like bright or direct sun. I'm learning though!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 22, 2014 9:49 AM CST
I moved it to the Tropical Corner. It will get dappled sun pretty much all day.

Thumb of 2014-05-22/Xeramtheum/c471d9

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
May 22, 2014 10:06 AM CST
I am just a beginner at these, Anne, but I do know that the huge Vanilla at Selby botanical garden lives up in the rafters of the greenhouse pretty much year 'round, so it's getting some very bright light. It has huge, long leaves, at least 10in. and does bloom, although the flowers only last a day, so keep your eye on it!

There are a lot of orchids that do well with some direct sun, even down here in FL.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 22, 2014 11:38 AM CST
I WANT my tropical plants to get a few hours of early morning and/or late afternoon sun. I DON'T want them to get direct sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. That's spring, summer, and early fall. During the fall and winter months they can get a lot more sun, since the sun will be so far down in the southern sky, and the angle of sunshine is much less. Most orchids need bright, indirect light to grow well and to bloom.

P. S. I can post a picture of what sunburned orchid leaves look like. This orchid was high up in my oak tree last year and it got a few minutes of direct sun around 1:00 PM. I did not know the sun was shining on this one, isolated orchid until I was on a ladder one day and saw the damage. Though sunburn perhaps won't harm the plant, it sure is a black, nasty looking area and it will never go away.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
May 22, 2014 11:44 AM CST
Back in the olden days I used to go Swamp Trompin in the Florida Everglades on the weekends and shoot picture of the orchids and other plants I found in the hammocks (can't find hide nor hair of any of the pictures or negatives). I think that's where I got my preconceived notions about orchids, noticing how they grew.

Frankly I'm reluctant to put anything in full sun here unless it really likes blazing hot sun. I'll let my Vanilla get used to more light for a few weeks then move it again where it will get full sun in late afternoon for a few hours.

Thumb of 2014-05-22/Xeramtheum/3edc9e

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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - May 22, 2014 11:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 22, 2014 11:54 AM CST
Better to be safe than sorry, Anne.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
May 22, 2014 3:28 PM CST
Everyone I know who grows vanilla orchids either plants them in the ground at the base of palm tree or in large containers at the base of a large palm tree. The problem is we can get cold nights on occasion and if you can't move or protect it, it's game over. Too risky for me.

Jim
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
May 22, 2014 3:35 PM CST
That's why mine is in a pot .. I used to over winter it in my heated greenhouse but it was very unhappy so I bring it into the house in winter.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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