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Tropical / Vanilla Orchid (Vanilla planifolia)

Vanilla Orchid (Vanilla planifolia)
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Vanilla is made from the fruits of the vanilla orchid. A tropical climbing vine from Mexico that can be kept in a heated greenhouse.

Expected processing time

2 days

€ 7,00
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Family: Orchidaceae
Scientific name: Vanilla planifolia
Common name: Vanilla Orchid
Origin: South East Mexico

The vanilla orchid is a climbing plant from Mexico up to 15 meters high with fleshy stems and aerial roots as tendrils. It is a tropical plant that grows best at a daytime temperature of 30 ° C and a night temperature of 20 ° C, making this plant almost only suitable for a heated greenhouse. The variety produces greenish-yellow flowers 5 cm in size that smell like vanilla and only bloom for 1 day. They must be hand-pollinated outside of their native habitat in Mexico, as in nature they can only be pollinated by a specific bee species. This manual pollination is one of the reasons for the high price of vanilla. Fruiting is possible when the plant is at least 3 meters tall (2-3 years old), forming 20 cm long pods (actually long berries). These can be dried for vanilla production, after which they are soaked in an alcohol solution. On 1 liter, 35% alcohol and at least 100 grams of vanilla pods are used. Today Madagascar and Réunion produce the most vanilla: 70% of the world production.
It is possible to produce your own vanilla, but for that you need a heated greenhouse. In addition, germinating the seeds is very difficult.

Sowing description: Like all other orchids, the seeds of this species are very difficult to germinate. Most species only do this in conjunction with a fungus or in vitro on agar. The simplest method is described by a botanical garden in Thailand:

Sowing time: Year round
Difficulty: Challenge
Minimum temperature: 15 degrees Celsius

Photo 1: H. Zell (CCA-3.0 Wikipedia)
Photo 2: B. Navez
Photo 3: F. Palli

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Ankica Cvetkovska - 14-11-2021 14:52


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