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This page is meant to give you information and some useful tips about the care of the Vanilla. You will also find all the Vanilla species we offer in our assortment.

» Straight to care

Derivation of the name

The name of this gender derives from the Spanish word ‘vaina’ (sheath or pod), which refers to the seed pods of the plants. The well-known vanilla sticks also derive from the Vanilla. These sticks are dried parts of the Vanilla pod (capsule). From these pods, people used to create the vanilla flavour.

Features and origin

Vanilla is a gender with around 108 species spread throughout tropical areas all over the world, from tropical America to tropical Asia, from New-Guinea to West-Africa.
The Aztecs were already familiar with the taste of the fruits that these plants produce. These plants are creepers that create long, thin stems and can grow to be more than 35 metres long. The short, long, dark green leafs of the Vanilla are thick and leathery, even fleshy with some species.
There are also many species that have reduced leafs to even scales or completely leafless. It appears that they use their climbing stem for photosynthesis. Long, strong air roots emerge from every nod. The flowers grow in short, screen-shaped bunches. The flowers are predominantly star-shaped, the petals are 4-7 centimetres long and green-like to light yellow of colour.  


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Care tips


Vanilla need a very bright, but not sunny place.  


In summer, the temperature may be up to around 25 à 30°C. At night, the temperature should drop to around 17 a 20°C, so that the plants can cool down.
In winter, a constant temperature of in between 16,5 and 23,5°C is ideal.


We advise a humidity in between 40-75%. This varies per species within the gender.


Keep the soil constantly wet during the summer. This means you water the plant at the moment the soil has almost dried up.
In winter, Vanilla need less water, but even then the soil should never dry up completely.


During spring, the period of growth, you may use fertilizer lightly once or twice a month. In summer, you can fertilize once a week lightly. In winter, these plants don’t need fertilizer.
The fertilizer is important, because there won’t be enough sunlight for the Vanilla. Normally, the sunlight provides the Vanilla with sugars that are essential to create the growth of flower branches. Therefore it’s harder for the Vanilla to start blooming without the fertilizer.


Vanilla may be repotted every year in new peat or cymbidium mix. If the preference is another mix, bark fraction 4 and/or sphagnum are an option as well.