Getting started with vanilla orchids is exciting, but like so many things in life, it’s best to figure out what you need to do before you dive in. The internet is a brilliant place to harvest information, and here we’re bringing you exactly that knowledge. There are some concepts which are unique to vanilla orchids, but the majority of techniques for growing an orchid plant are common regardless of the variety. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take this information in conjunction with that relating to other varieties too, much of which you’ll find on our website. That includes the tools and supplies that you’ll need in order to grow the plants to the best of your ability, and the best of their potential. To get started, here’s a run down of the tools for the job that you’ll be needed so you can buy, beg, steal or borrow!
Before anything else, let’s start with the obvious – you’re going to be needing something to grow your plant. There are a number of types of container, but usually orchids are found in baskets or pots. Lonely as it sounds, vanilla orchids grow best individually. If you’re not growing on a one-per-pot basis, be sure to give them ample space to be comfortable. So, a place of their own is perfect, so ideally choose a pot where excess water can drain away. In other words, holes should be present for drainage purposes.
If you’re in the mood for buying, let’s also talk nutrition. while general fertilizers can do the job, you’re likely to get the best results from a specialized orchid product. These will cater for the needs of your plant specifically, and by using them, you should remove the risk that there’s anything in the product that your vanilla orchid will dislike. Of course, as with any specialized product, that means you need to pay a little more. Be aware, orchids have a large range of varieties, so be sure to get the right plant food. If you’re solely intending to grow the vanilla variety, then you might find a very specific product for your needs, otherwise check the details on the packaging to see if its suitable for your vanilla orchids, and make a mental note of what else for future reference.
Our next supply type is potting mix. Unlike in the wild where you can find orchids clinging to the strangest places, at home you’re talking growth in pots, and that means soil! Your soil mix is important as it will determine what nutrients are available to your future plant from the outset. When choosing these items, it can feel like a bit of a minefield, but the same rules apply as with fertilizer – just check you get the right ones. If in doubt, ask the experts at the store and they’ll likely point you in the right direction for orchids and any specific ideas they have for tending to vanilla orchids.
Our penultimate item is grow lights. You can get these in all good gardening stores, or buy them on the web. While natural light is best, the fact is we’re looking to at least start the life of the orchid indoors, and that often means it won’t get as much natural light as we might otherwise like. Worry not, that’s where grow lights come in. Simply order one of the huge range of lights designed to encourage plants that are available. Fortunately these are much of a muchness so you can’t go far wrong.
Finally, we’ll talk chemicals. Much as we all hate them, they’re very useful when it comes to protecting a vanilla orchid from harm. Pest control and avoiding disease are two areas many beginners do not consider, as they’re growing their prized orchid indoors. Sadly, as the plants can be delicate, it’s possible that flies and other insects can reach them in the house and bring in unwanted problems. That means that a simple treatment available from a local store is all you need – you don’t need to spend a fortune, but without them you’re taking an unnecessary risk!