Vanilla planifolia

Vanilla cuttings getting started outside[/caption]

I’ve grown this off and on for years and have yet to manage a single flower. As a vine it is easy to grow.

Grow in dappled shade to shade, burns easily in direct sunlight. Keep planting medium moist, loves high humidity.

Propagate from stem cuttings

Warm climate orchid 65’F minimum – 85’F. I keep it outside in the summer where it handles temperatures as high as 100’F. In the winters I bring it in and curl up the vine inside large terrariums

Native to Mexico, West Indies, Cuba where it grows wild in forests

Why One Island Grows 80% of the World’s Vanilla

Kew Science, Vanilla planifolia

Freeloading orchid relies on mushrooms above and below ground

Plants are well known for their deceptive ways, orchids being the worst of the bunch

The non-photosynthesizing orchid species Gastrodia pubilabiata mimics rotting mushrooms or fermented fruit, and is pollinated by fruit flies who mistakenly lay their eggs in its flowers. If there are rotting mushrooms near the orchid, its pollination rate increases. As well as using mushrooms to attract insect pollinators, G. pubilabiata survives by absorbing nutrients from the fungal hyphae of mushrooms. This is the first time a plant has been discovered to depend on mushrooms both above and below ground. more…

Read the paper:
Achlorophyllous orchid can utilize fungi not only for nutritional demands but also pollinator attraction


Zygopetalums are usually heavily scented. They are considered an easy growing plant and many hybrids are on the market.

Water enough to keep the roots from drying but don’t let it sit in water.

Moderate light, no direct sun, but bright indirect sun.

I plant all my orchids in semi-hydro now. Use a shallow glass container, fill it with pebbles ( usually clay ) and keep just a little water in the bottom of the container.

Zygon: means yoked petal

Native to South American ( Venezuela, Peru, Brazil ) rain forests about half way up the mountains, usually in recently disturbed locations that have an increase in light.

The flowers are often green with purple splotches. The lip usually has white stripes.The pseudobulbs tends to be rounder than most

I’ve found references as far back as 1839 on hybridization and care of Zygopetalums.


Researchers have identified the gene related to the greenish flower mutation in the Habenaria orchid