Yes, vanilla comes from an Orchid – the Vanilla Orchid. More specifically, vanilla comes from the vanilla bean that comes from the flower of the Vanilla Orchid. The Vanilla Orchid is a vining orchid that makes a great house plant and equally, a great conversation piece. Vanilla planifolia is native to Southern Mexico and Northern Central America.
Vanilla Orchids enjoy bright filtered light and do well on an east or west windowsill. They appreciate their potting medium damp but not waterlogged. In the wild, Vanilla Orchids climb up trees using small roots to attach to their support host. As a houseplant, it is best to provide support to allow the orchid to climb. You can also allow your orchid to grow upward using the support of a windowsill. Vanilla orchids appreciate a daily misting to dampen the roots along the vine.
The flowers of the Vanilla Orchid only last one day; so, in order to produce a vanilla bean, you will need to pollinate the flower immediately. Although most publications suggest a Vanilla Orchid must be approximately 6 feet to bloom, they can bloom at any time once the plant reaches approximately 2 feet in length.
The plant you are purchasing is approximately 2-4 inches in length and will be shipped bare-root. Once you receive you plant, it can be planted in a 1:1 mix of Sphagnum Peat and Orchid Bark. Or, can be planted in pure Sphagnum Peat. Vanilla Orchids appreciate being fertilized year around using an orchid fertilizer. Remember to mist the plant with fertilizer to nourish the roots growing up with the vine.
We ship on Monday and Tuesday. Extreme cold weather may delay shipment of you plant. From October - March, please consider purchasing a heat pack.