My vanilla orchid (?) is not doing well

manganmaggieOctober 10, 2013

I recently bought a vanilla orchid for my boyfriend - he loves this plant, but it is not doing well.

We've been trying to water it about once a week, and keeping it out of direct sun, but when a few leaves died recently, we moved it into more sun to see if that would work. Now even more leaves seem to be dying.

Any advice? Also - the store where I bought it said it was a vanilla orchid, but I'm not sure. If anyone knows differently, I'd be grateful!

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While I am by no means an expert I can offer what advice I do know.

First off you are probably watering too much. Apparently this is the number 1 cause of orchids kept in homes. I water mine once every 2-3 weeks and I make sure to not water too much.

Secondly mine do best in bright but indirect light. For example I have a counter below a window I set mine on. The window is maybe a foot above the counter so the orchid is shielded from direct sun light but it is still very bright in that spot.

Again I am just saying what has worked for me. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 8:03PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I never saw a varigated one. It looks like a wandering jew to me.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Vanilla planifolia 'Variegata'. There is a lot of information on the net if you Google that name. Or you could ask on the Orchid Forum here on GW. But the overwatering and light suggestions above are probably a good start.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:07AM
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keiki(10 FL)

Well my growing conditions are different than yours but I find vanilla to be a strong easy vine. I grow mine up my mango tree. Here in south Florida it gets a lot of water in the summer and a shot from the sprinkler system twice a week in the winter. It needs no protection in my zone 10. With good draineage it is happy with lots of water. I would try less light first but as I said at the begining we are invery different climates.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Not sure about LESS light. By the look of the pot the OP's orchid is being grown indoors which may well be part of the problem. Light is not the same as sun. More light but not direct sun seems a sensible suggestion. And in the ground a lot water more water can be tolerated than in a pot.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 4:19PM
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Thank you all so much for your help. My boyfriend and I are very appreciative :) We have some ideas about how we are going to change the way we care for our orchid thanks to you all.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:16PM
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