How to get a rich bloom from a vanilla orchid
The better it is possible to generate the tropical warm and humid conditions at the location, the sooner the vanilla orchid can be motivated to flower. Cultivated as a normal houseplant, you will find it difficult to grow vanilla yourself. It is better to offer the plant a place in the year-round warm, light-flooded greenhouse with 25-28 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 70-80 percent. This care sets the course for a rich harvest:
- Water the plant moderately with lime-free water, whereby the substrate dries in the meantime
- Spray every 2-3 days with soft, filtered rainwater
- From March to September, fertilize every 2 weeks with a low-salt orchid fertilizer
- Is Vanilla Poisonous? - Information about the toxicity of real vanilla
- How to Grow Your Own Vanilla - Tips for Pollination and Care
- A journey through the world of vanilla blossoms
Tie the tendrils up regularly according to their growth rate. Each cut increases the waiting time for a first bloom.
Manual Pollination Guide - How to Replace Bees and Hummingbirds
Gardeners who want to grow vanilla themselves should be on their guard during the flowering period. Within a flower cluster, a bud opens daily in the morning hours. If it is not pollinated now, it will die by evening and the hope for a vanilla pod is gone. This is how manual fertilization works:
- Using a pointed stick like a toothpick, carefully slice open the flower on one side
- The male and female sexual components are separated in the hermaphrodite flower by a membrane
- Pick up the yellowish pollen and transfer it to the pistil below
After pollination takes place, between 6 and 9 months pass until the former flower turns into a long, green vanilla pod.
TV chefs always cut open vanilla pods to scrape out the seeds. In fact, the pods contain more flavor than the contents they enclose. If your efforts in your own vanilla cultivation are crowned with success, do not throw away the capsule fruits. Cut the shell into small pieces or, after drying, grind it in the oven to enjoy it as well as the pulp.