Variegated Vanilla Bean Orchid (Vanilla plantifolia)

Variegated Vanilla Bean Orchid (Vanilla plantifolia)

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Vanilla bean orchid (Vanilla plantifolia) is often known simply as "vanilla" because the seed pods from this plant are the source of natural vanilla flavoring used widely in desserts and beverages. While it's a challenge to coax this plant into flowering and producing the seeds from which vanilla is harvested, the glossy green and white vine is an attractive plant on its own.


Like many other types of orchids, vanilla bean orchid is a tropical species that requires high temperatures and humidity to thrive, so it's perfect for indoors and will do well with your other tropical plants. In its native environment, this vining orchid is an epiphyteΒ that lives on a host tree without drawing nutrients from it. The vine grows up to the treetops in a zigzag fashion, exhibiting long, succulent, lance-shaped leaves, which means that indoors it's a prefect candidate for a trellis. Each blooming branch will bear one to two dozen creamy blooms for a total of several hundred flowers on a mature vine.


Vanilla bean orchid is best grown as a houseplant by serious enthusiasts who already know how to deal with plants that require higher humidity and warmer temperatures.