Vanilla Bean Orchid
Thanks for writing. The vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) is a tropical vine that is only hardy in your area if you grow it indoors for the winter. As far as orchids go, it's actually pretty easy to grow --- give it bright light, keep it moist and humid, and fertilize regularly in spring and summer. Give it a support to climb on; moss "totems" are an ideal choice.
Unless the vine gets lots of bright light, you probably won't see blooms. If it does bloom, be on the lookout; each flower lasts only a day. It should be avaialable from a number of mailorder nurseries, including Andy's Orchids and Logee's.
I hope this helps!
---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com
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