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Vanilla- Tips For Cultivation and Fertilizer Application

Vanilla, a creeper in the orchid family is an agricultural crop. It is mainly cultivated for its nutritious fruits which give flavor and aroma to the food. Vanilla grows well in the tropics. Its birthplace is Mexico.

Priyanka Menon
Vanilla Planifolia
Vanilla Planifolia

Vanilla is an agricultural crop that is a creeper in the orchid family. It is mostly grown for its nutritious fruits, which add flavor and perfume to cuisine. Vanilla thrives in the tropics. Mexico is where it was born. Vanilla grows well in humid and hot climates with annual rainfall of 150-300 ml. High quantities of moisture, on the other hand, can cause sickness.

Vanilla grows best in loamy topsoil that is rich in organic manure. Vanilla may be cultivated in a range of soil types, including sandy loam and loamy soils. Vanilla may be grown in areas up to 1500 meters above sea level. There are two planting seasons for vanilla. During the months of May, prior to the monsoon, and September and October.

Cultivation method

Vanilla vines or saplings are utilized in the planting process. Planting with long stalks with 15 to 20 interstices will speed up flowering. The stalk's base should be planted in the soil at the base of the support tree. In addition, wet the soil to a depth of two to three millimeters. Only the wound at the base of the stalk should be slightly above the ground. This is done to keep the sickness from spreading. The stalk's top should be connected to the support leg. Mulch the bottom with straw, dry grass, dry leaves, or bark.

Fertilizer application

Compost, green manure, biogas, slurry, vermicompost, and bone meal are recommended. Pouring a solution of groundnut cake and cow dung at the base of the plant once a month helps in accelerating the growth. In summer, watering should be adjusted to 2 to 3 liters per plant per week.

For the four months from February to May, vanilla needs at least two times watering per week. About 80% of the roots of the vanilla plant grow on topsoil organisms. That is why mulching is of great importance. Mulch at least three times a year. Do not stir the soil at the bottom; Mulch should be slightly away from the vanilla stalks. 

Other care

Vanilla must provide a supporting tree in order to spread. This will provide partial shade and protect the vines from the intensity of the sun. Vanilla receives around half of the sunlight that passes through the supporting trees. In a typical day, only one flower blooms on the vanilla stalk.

It takes around three weeks for all of the flowers in a bouquet to bloom. Vanilla can be gathered at the same time if artificially pollinated. It will grow long and thick enough in 6 to 7 weeks at a rate of about 2 cm per week. However, the fruit takes 9 to 11 months to ripen. Fruits that are longer than six inches in length are the best.

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