Does my Vanilla Planifolia need to grow upright?

blankpagesJuly 5, 2010

Hello all,

I'm writing to inquire as to whether or not I can let my vanilla orchid vines grow downward. I know many of them grow up around trees naturally, but the little stake I have doesn't really stay very sturdy in a pot full of bark mulch. I'm not looking to grow it 12 feet and have flowers or anything, I just like its vines and don't want it to die. It's about two years old and has stayed in good shape despite a couple of cold midwestern winters. Suggestions?

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I had one growing in my solarium I have 9 skylights in that room. I had it going from one skylight to the other. I tided some string and let it rest on the string from one skylight to the other. Yours looks good. Just don't break the tip. Unlight other plants when you break the tip they branch. Vanilla does not do that. My vanilla was about 40 feet long when I accidently broke it. It branched out about 5 feet back from the broken end. The broken end just stopped growing. When we decided on painting the solarium I had to take it down. The vine is very fragil it got broken into several pieces. Now I have made a log of rolled wire screen, filled with spagnaum so it looks like a moss covered log. As it has been growing I have been wrapping it around the log. The roots are wrapping around it anhd going thru it. Ot looks good.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:40PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

Change from a stake to a trellis. They make a nice fan where the plant can go over, under, around and through developing a big plant in a relatively small space.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Usually people just throw them under a bench and they crawl all over the green house. Mine is crawling up a trellis and I plan on letting it go wherever it wants. The pot and the bark become of relatively less value as they get their moisture and nutrient from the roots they use to attach to whatever. Your plant looks healthy, just let it do it's thing.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:37AM
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tstrombotn(z5 OH)

I'm sure hoping you can let them grow down! Mine is on a 4 foot square trellis, and is grown all up and around that, and now has a vine going all the way down, and an air root going all the way down also.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I noticed while taking this picture that the second vine (on the top picture it's the one to the left) has independently wrapped itself around the stake I put in the pot. To me, that says that the plant (or at least that vine) wants to grow up around something and I hate to take away the support just for my own aesthetic pleasure. I like the trellis idea as it would probably be less wobbly and look a little nicer. Would anyone mind posting some pictures of their vanilla orchids on a trellis? Or direct me to a thread where some pics are already up? I'd love to see how they look.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I'd just like to share that this is one of the first houseplants I bought for myself 2 years ago to celebrate passing my PhD exams. A friend had given me a bunch of cuttings that winter, and I had really enjoyed the ritual of watering my plants and watching them grow throughout the spring. This orchid, along with a dwarf jade, has great meaning to me. So many people have stories about killing their orchids and I was convinced I'd eventually kill this one too, but I've managed to keep this guy a live through two Indiana winters with a room heater and a humidifier. It's a great plant!
Thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:30AM
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