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sharon2079

help with a vanilia orchid.....

sharon2079
2 months ago

I have/had a vanila orchid that is probably 15 years old.... it was probably 15 feet long and it was attached to the wall of my house. It had flowered the past two years.....

My husband hired someone to clean the roof and they decided to pressure clean the sides of the house. They tore my orchid off of the wall and threw out the container his roots were in..... How can I salvage him or is it dead....

Comments (13)

  • Billsc
    2 months ago

    Sharon, Concerning your Vanilla plant, You caught me at a bad time, with most of my family enroute for Thanksgiving, but I will get in touch as soon as the smoke clears around our house. If you still have the pot your plant was growing in, with some of the potting mix and perhaps some of the plant still in it, keep that. Collect as much of the vine as you can, and give me as much detail as you can in another post here. If the plant was growing on the outside of your house, you are obviously in a warm climate...Tell me where, generally. If you have any of the original roots with plant attached in the pot, or, if you have several pieces of the original vine several joints long, we can probably salvage you a new plant. They are not that difficult to grow. I'll get back in touch as soon as I can, but it may be after Thanksgiving. keep the plants in the shade, and moist. just curious, have you ever bloomed it and gotten a bean? There's a real trick to that.

    Bill


    sharon2079 thanked Billsc
  • James _J
    2 months ago

    I think you have a good chance of it coming back. People grow them from cuttings all the time, if you think about it, what you have now isn't much different from someone trying to root a cutting. I think a lot of times with vanilla, the roots in the pot die off as the plant make aerial roots anyway.


    The roots on these are very fragile so would assume most were broken, but the vines are usually pretty thick so they should be fine. I would try as best as you can to put it back where it was. This might be a good opportunity to re position it, maybe bend the top back down to eye level or coil it around a trellis. There's something about bending the stems that encourages branching and flowering so maybe you can turn this accident into something positive.


    Good luck

    sharon2079 thanked James _J
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  • sharon2079
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Bill I live in south Florida zone 10. The orchid had been in a pot and it grew up and attached itself to the outside of my house where I let it grow. It seemed very happy there. It had bent over and touched the ground and rooted and had started up the wall again. So if I laid the whole thing out it might be close to 30 feet instead of just the 15 that I originally thought.

    I do not have the container it was in. It was just a plastic pot but had some kind of orchid bark that it had came with. I had added some bark over the year as it broke down. But the person pressure cleaning the hose just yanked it up and moved all of the pots off the sidewalk.... I have no idea where or what he did with it. He was in the process of tearing the rest of the orchid off the side of the house when I stopped him.

    I found some potting bark and put the orchid roots in the pot and then put the bark on top..... I think the roots that were in the ground would prefer soil, but I am just overwhelmed because besides trying to save the part that was rooted I am going to have to take the rest of it off the wall because it is just hanging there with no support. IT gets really windy here and if it is only attached at the top of the wall it will just blow around......

    What I am concerned about is saving the entire plant as a big plant. I do not want to cut it up and make rootings. It took so long for it to flower.... if I have to wait that long again I probably won't get to see it (age wise it is not realistic).... I just want to save this guy and get to see it bloom..... it had been such a happy plant putting out lots of vanilla orchids this past summer....


  • sharon2079
    Original Author
    last month

    Update on my vanaila orchard....

    I found the actual roots that had been torn off.... it was a massive root system. Now in the pot are just a few roots. I put it bark and added a little potting soil. I am trying to keep it moist but not wet.

    The part down next to the soil has some yellowing.... and further up is a lot of yellowing.... but the part that was attached to the wall that is just hanging, but now in the way of the door still looks green....

    I am afraid to cut it off down where it is yellow.... but afraid it will start just turning more yellow up the green part. I looked pretty close this part is not from being over watered, but where some of the roots had been ripped off (or at least I think)



    Roots that were torn off



    Showing some yellow after repotting .... it only has 3 or 4 roots now....



    This has lots of yellowing.... the worst is upper left corner.... I almost think it needs to be cut out, but then the entire part going up the wall will have no roots and afraid that part will die.



    This part is still green, but if you follow it back to the pot it is turning yellow down at pot level.....


    Thanks for any help

    Sharon

  • Billsc
    last month

    Sharon, let's just talk about the green vine that is hanging in front of the door for right now. 1. Is that plant actually attached to the wall and/or door by live roots? 2. I think I am understanding you to be saying that the base of that plant has roots in a pot, but the vine is beginning to turn yellow in the pot, and the yellow may be spreading up the vine? 3. Are the roots of the green plant that are in the pot live and healthy? A photo of the base of this green plant would be very helpful. The answers to these questions will determine my answer.

    Bill

  • sharon2079
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I took some more pictures as you asked



    This is at the top of the vanilia. I can't tell if that root is still alive by its color, The orchid still apears to be well attached to the wall of the house.



    A different part of the top that a root appears to have taken hold of the door and glass.... still firmly attached.



    Still at the top.... a plumper root and then some drier looking ones.

    As I follow the root back to the pot everything gets confusing.....



    It comes back to this kind of growth and then spilts in two.... I think this was where the mass roots were.... but not sure..... There are a couple of plump roots and a couple that are dried out. The plumb roots are in the pot but no cane with it.....



    A different view from that same location and a closer up.



    A this is where those roots are going into the pot.


    Then there is this other part.... I don't know where it came from.... if it broke off from the roots or if it came down off the wall and started its new roots.... it however did have roots that had dirt on them..... don't know if the roots were air roots that just got dirty because they were laying on the ground but I thought they were real ones so I put them in the pot..... This is the part that has started turning very yellow


    I pulled back the soil and bark.... it is not wet.... and barely wet but it not only looks moldy




    This part of the brown cane is very mushy.... and probably should be cut off..... the yellow part is not mushy.... but it has turned yellow up from the mush part.... don't know if it needs to be cut or not


    coming up the cane it is starting to still be green but the leaves are yellow.... not sure if any of this will be salvageable......


    following this up the yellow has turned into green, but this root was probably attached to the wall and when it was ripped off the wall it looks dead.... will it still root.... do I have to go up the cane.....

    I am not sure if this is going up or down at this point because as I said the part I thought it might have rooted.......

    If I have to root this, how do I know which way is up or down..... and is there a special rooting hormone that I should use to help it root faster so it doesn't lose all of its length.


    Thanks for any help.

    Sharon

  • Billsc
    last month

    Sharon, Thanks for the photos. They give me a better assessment of the situation, and based on your earlier post (13-14 days ago) where you indicated you wanted to move as much of the plant as possible to another location. I will proceed on that assumption. First, let’s make it easier for both of us to stay on the same page. I am going to assign the photos in your latest post numbers, in order as they appear in the post, 1 through 12. I will reference those numbers in my reply.

    Ok, you seem to be having some difficulty determining which way is up and down in the middle part of the vine. In Photo’s 1,2, and 3 the vine is pictured growing right side up. The roots would be somewhere below the bottom of the photo, and the growing tip out of the frame at the top of the photo. As the tip grows the leaf is wrapped around the vine, and when the leaf unfolds from around the vine, it begins to bend downward as it matures. The root/roots emerge from the vine at about 90 degrees from the leaf as shown in photo #12.

    Now that you have found the pot it was originally growing in, and put some of the roots back in that pot, the question arises, is there any vine attached to the roots that are in the pot. If there is no vine attached to any of the roots in the pot, you may not be able to get just roots to regenerate and grow a new vine.

    If there are parts of the vine still attached to some of those roots, you may get the roots to generate new growth, and make you a new plant. The more vine and roots you have the faster things should happen in that pot. I would still go into that pot and look for dead roots and cut them out of the root ball. Get a pair of sharp scissors, or shears, (sterile) and start cutting the dried up shriveled dead looking roots. Start cutting as far from the plant as you can, and at each cut look at the end of the root you just cut. If the cut is green, the root is still viable, stop cutting. If you make a cut and the root is brown inside and completely dead, cut again closer to the vine. If you find live tissue, stop cutting. If you find no live tissue, leave a couple of inches of root attached to the vine, and stop cutting. Keep the roots moist, and they should begin to grow you a new vine.

    The vine that is hanging over the door is another story. It has already attached itself to the edge of a window, and other parts of the door and frame. To move the plant you are going to have to cut these roots. Get a spatula or a putty knife and scrape as much of the plump roots off the walls and door as you can. When you get to the point where you can no longer get the roots off without completely destroying them, cut them off (clean sharp sterile blade).

    Purchase or build a wooden trellis or some kind of frame in the location you choose (strong light but lightly shaded) and place the pot with the roots near the trellis in anticipation of future growth.

    Lay your vine on the ground and cut away all dead roots, leaving a few inches of root attached to the vine, and save as much of the plump healthy roots as you can. Go to the base of the vine and find two or three vine joints that are green and healthy and that have good healthy roots. Cut the leaves off of these joints close to their base (rot prevention) and let them dry overnight, or use fungicide.

    Get some Sphagnum moss, or go out in a wet shady place (Southern FL is full of these) and collect some moss or lichens. Drape the vine over and through your trellis, and tie the vine to the trellis where necessary. Wrap the roots with the moss/lichens and tie them to the trellis also. Use cotton cord to tie the plant to the trellis because this material will hold the plant securely but rot away in a fairly short time. When the moss around the roots begins to get dry, you can water it with a garden hose. Do this until you see new root growth attaching the vine to the trellis.

    You can put the base of the plant in a large pot with a coarse potting mix (bark mix and soil) or bury the stump of the plant in the ground directly. In your climate the plants should begin to grow very quickly. The plant may become semi-invasive, and you will find yourself giving away pieces of it. Remember it blooms best on trailing growths, so let new growths hang down. Learn to pollinate the blooms, and collect the pods and cure them in the sun. What unique gifts for friends.

    Good luck… Bill

    sharon2079 thanked Billsc
  • Tyler Augustin
    last month

    How is the plant today ?

  • sharon2079
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Not sure how it is doing.... here are some more pics



    This is the roots of the part that is still attached to the wall..... it was hard to get back in a pot because I did not want to force it off the wall..... I have it in this and I sprayed it very lightly with water and seaweed hoping to stimulate some growth.



    This is the part still attached..... again sprayed with some seaweed.... I don't like the color of the ariel roots... too light in color.... but I do not want to over fert. it.



    A better pic of the roots..... one looks pretty good..... but not the other one.



    This is one of the 15 foot pieces that was yanked off the wall.... It had mushy parts on the stem so I cut it up (crying the whole time) and layed it a pot to keep it moist.... it is not buried. I did stray it also with the seaweed.....



    Part of the same 15 footer but this one was only a six inch piece when I got through getting rid of the musy part..... On this piece it is laying on top of the bark/potting mix, but covered with some moss.... not sure which way was best.... but trying to salvage it



    This is the rest of that 15 foot piece.... It had a bunch of brown soggy looking leaves on it this morning..... I cut those leaves off..... as you can see there are still some yellow leaves.... but nothing really green..... I sprayed it lightly this morning with seaweed..... I am not very hopeful on this....




    Hopefully on a brighter note the other 15 footer piece I left in tack. I put it in a large pot..... I did not bury any of it.... I am hoping the roots will grow into the pot if they want to.....




    I have him on a small trellis that I built out of wood and bamboo..... so far no real yellowing.... but no real growth either...... a wait and see game I guess

  • Billsc
    last month

    Sharon, Based on an earlier statement you posted, I thought you intended to take the plant off the wall......


    I think the roots that were in the ground would prefer soil, but I am just overwhelmed because besides trying to save the part that was rooted I am going to have to take the rest of it off the wall because it is just hanging there with no support. IT gets really windy here and if it is only attached at the top of the wall it will just blow around......

    ....and a lot of my response was based on that assumption. Sorry about the mix-up. In your post today, the third photo shows what looks to me like a healthy growing root. If you can gently move this growing root tip up against a piece of the glass or the wall, it should attach itself and continue to grow. You can do this with other roots that are near something that will support them. When moving live roots around, be especially careful with the very tips of the roots, that area is very much like firm jello, and you do not want to damage that area. You can pin the root to something, or tape it, but be very careful with that tip. Your pictures show what looks to me like a healthy green Vanilla vine. Give it time. securing the roots against something they can attach to and grow is about the only thing you can do to hurry up the growing process. Watch the growing tip of the vine for new growth. That and new roots are your best clues that the vine is happy.

    Bill

    sharon2079 thanked Billsc
  • sharon2079
    Original Author
    last month

    I did take part of the orchid off the wall.... and I did (am trying to save part of the orchid in which the people had already yanked off the wall....

    There is still some of the orchid still on the wall..... I am trying to wait for two things.... I wanted to see if it bloomed this year.... though it might be too stressed after having been "attacted" and now at less then a third of his original size..... and the 2nd reason is I did not want to kill what I still have in guess I fail at saving the pieces that were taken off the wall.

  • Billsc
    last month

    Sharon, I must confess, I grew Vanilla many years ago, but found it to be a particularly tough and resilient plant. I acquired a section of vine about 18 inches long while living in Kansas. I rooted it, as I remember, in water, and when root growth began, transferred it into a piece of palm trunk I had found on the beach (salt water) that had started rotting at one end. I dug out the center of the rotted end and filled it with old fir bark orchid mix that one of my Cattleya plants had been growing in.

    The crazy plant took off like a weed, and in less than three years I had my first blooms. From Kansas we were transferred to Jacksonville, FL, and my Vanilla covered log moved with us. I gave sections of vine to several orchid growers from time to time, and that did little or no harm to the plant. After 2 years in FL, we were transferred to coastal Virginia, and set the greenhouse up for a 2-1/2year stay.

    In VA my work load precluded me doing a lot of “greenhousing”, so my wife did her best keeping two young boys and a greenhouse full of orchids alive. From VA we returned to the coastal area of SC, and purchased our first real home (previously our home had wheels). I constructed a large Aluminum and glass Lord & Burnham greenhouse on the back of our garage, to make growing as easy as possible on Pat (wife), since the real life operational commitments of a nuclear fast attack submarine were keeping me at sea for the vast majority of the time.

    After about three years growing in a real greenhouse, I retired and took a job in the central part of SC at a large orchid nursery. They gave me greenhouse space to house my collection, while I built my own greenhouse. The job did not work out as anticipated, and the house we purchased had a completely shaded lot, and not wanting to cut the large shade trees, I sold most of my collection of plants and found other employment. I can’t get orchids out of my blood, so still grow some plants that have special significance to me, and try my best to convince people that orchids really are not the most mysterious difficult plants in the world to grow.

    Hopefully, from this you can see that, at least in my case, I consider Vanilla to be a really “tough old bird”, and my suggestion would be to be patient with your plant, because no orchid is a really fast grower, especially one that has been treated badly, as yours has. give it reasonable “orchid culture”, and it will respond for you. Bill

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