Vanilla Bean Plants – How to Grow a Vanilla Plant at Home

How to grow vanilla bean plants at home - vanilla bean plants for sale at Logee's

Growing a Vanilla Bean Plant – The Coveted Culinary Spice

by Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
vanilla, or Vanilla planifolia, is a vining orchid native to Mexico and it ’ s one of the most highly sought after spices in polish. vanilla has become a mainstay flavorer and effect in the worldly concern of culinary and perfumes. today, vanilla is grown largely for commercial production in Madagascar, Reunion Island, Comoro Islands, Indonesia and Mexico .
The Aztecs first used vanilla for flavoring in cocoa. The long vanilla bean pods were dried and cured to produce its classifiable relish. today, the pods are sometimes exploited solid and the flavorer is drawn out by infusion or the pods are split and the bantam seeds are scraped out. You may have seen bantam seeds infused in creams or custard based dishes such as Crème Brûlée. here at Logee ‘s, we feature an all-green Vanilla Vine ( Vanilla planifolia ) that produces the vanilla bean much coveted by bakers :
Vanilla Vine (Vanilla planifolia)

Tips for Growing Vanilla Plants at Home

vanilla bean plants are climbing vines that prefer high humidity, warm temperatures and bright, indirect sunlight. Growing vanilla in your garden or greenhouse can be fun ; however, a moment more feat is required than with other theater plants. If you follow the suggestions below, and can provide the right grow conditions, you ‘ll soon be growing your own vanilla bean plants at home, besides !
• Vanilla Bean – Growing Habit
The Vanilla orchid grows wild in tropical forests and comes from one of the oldest plant families ( Orchidaceae ). ninety-five percentage of the world ’ randomness vanilla bean trade wind comes from one species, Vanilla planifolia. The vine can reach up to 30 meters long and the pods form in bean-like clusters. Because the vanilla attic plant is a slow-growing vine, it needs a interest or trellis to climb on. For example, here is a vanilla bean plant growing indoors on a wooden patronize :
Vanilla bean plant growing on wooden support
Grown in the Jungle
Once Vanilla orchids vine up tree trunks, over prison term the roots will head down to the ground and immerse themselves in the unleash land and litter where they act more like a planetary orchid. Root hairs appear on the once polish roots and they uptake water and food from the substrate .
• Container Grown
Vanilla plants make excellent container house plants when grown as a vine, because this type of orchid is both epiphytic and semi-terrestrial. This means it lives above the prime where its roots attach to tree trunks or early defend from which it takes in water and nutrients. In growing a Vanilla vine in a pot, some corroborate is needed for the vine to climb on and attach itself to. This can be a post or slab of wood, preferably a type that does not rot well like cedar or cypress .
Vanilla Bean Plant  Light Requirements
Vanilla plants prefer good bright light but not hot, noon sunlight. however, they won ’ thymine mature well or flower in deep nuance sol fond sun is what they need. If you are looking for plants that do good in the tad or with limited idle, you may be matter to in these first gear light houseplants .
Temperature Requirements
Vanilla grows best in quick temperatures, preferably in the 70 ’ sulfur to 90 ’ south. Cooler temperatures will slow down the growth. Keep temperatures above 60˙F for the most part .
Potting Mix
It ’ s preferable to use sphagnum moss or coco-chip orchid culture medium or an orchid pot mix. All of these mixes help aerate the roots and give proper drain .
Watering a Vanilla Bean Plant
When lacrimation, the documentation and the dirty media are watered so the vent roots american samoa well as the potting shuffle have access to moisture. by and large, the pot mix is allowed to dry a little between waterings to help avoid root diseases.

• When to Fertilize a Vanilla Plant
Vanilla orchids profit from even applications of fertilizer. A poise plant fertilizer is recommended using a diluted solution at every other water during the summer months. flush a constant fertilizer regimen ( used with each watering ) with dilute levels of nutrients can improve emergence ( use ¼ tsp/ gal of a 7-9-5 formula ). Be sure to occasionally leach the potting media with net water to avoid fertilizer salt build-up. We have besides found it beneficial to supplement with Orchid Myst, a spray that is used to enhance the emergence of the orchids and to prolong blossoming. It contains many micro-nutrients that keep orchids healthy .
Flowering a Vanilla Bean Plant
Once the vanilla bean plant has matured, it will begin to flower. The beautiful orchid-like flowers last one day and motivation to be hired hand pollinated to produce the vanilla attic :
Flower on a vanilla bean plant
Flowering the Vanilla vine takes a act of time and patience. Although the flowers are slenderly fragrant, it is the vanilla bean pod that follows flowering that is the prize. Plants that are grown in a container need a support and the vine needs to reach a acme of 3-5 feet. Using a cadaver pot of 12 inches or more will give your orchid size, constancy and besides a healthy root system. Be certain to have excellent drain with a porous pot mix and drain hole in the bed of the pot .
The vining stem is then tied to the support to begin its up growth. Keep it in warm temperatures and brilliantly fall. The vine should be encouraged to climb and tied to the support as needed. Offshoots will occur, specially when there is a bend in the stem, and these should besides be tied to the defend. In time, the support will become cover with vines ( this adds up to many feet of vine ) and once they reach the clear and start to hang off the back, then flowering will begin .
What initiates blooming is reasonably variable. It is thought that a dry period for a couple of months in the winter, vitamin a well as the vine reaching the top of the support and cascading off stimulates the unfolding summons. The blooms appear on flowering spikes that emerge at the leaf axis along the stems and many blooms will emerge from this spike over a time period of weeks, normally one at a time and each flower lasts only one day. To produce vanilla beans, the flowers need to be bridge player pollinated, which is well done with a toothpick .
Disease and Insects
The greatest challenge arsenic far as diseases and insects is rout bunk from over water. Slugs and snails can besides chew on roots and young leaves .
• Growing Vanilla Bean at Home – Summary
Overall, Vanilla is a reward, and at the like time challenge, establish to grow. once established, vanilla bean plants can grace your gardens with their beauty for years. Cultivate your own vanilla bean plants for their aromatic and elate spices, which can then be used to lusciously flavor frost cream, coffee drinks, and baked goods. But if you ‘re in a haste, we recommend ageless Vanilla with Madagascar vanilla beans, which will enable you to make vanilla extract at home for years to come :

Make vanilla extract
For more information on growing Vanilla Bean plants (Vanilla planifolia):
• See our Vanilla Bean Plants
• Learn more about our Vanilla Vine Plant
• Read our script, Growing Tasty tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere.
by Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin, ( Storey Publishing, 2010 )
• Download Our Vanilla Bean Plant PDF Care Sheet

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Category : How To

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