Vanilla bean houseplant

Botanique1 at Botanique1 at
Mon Aug 18 19:36:11 EST 1997


Unless you have a very warm spot in a plant room or greenhouse, I do not
recommend that you attempt this one....  However, if you do decide to go for
it, here is some info for you to consider:

* Vanilla planifolia is your best bet, to grow and to obtain
* it is a vine with sticky aerial roots that will grow quite large in the
right conditions
      -- lots of light (at least 4 hours of sun a day)
      -- lots of water (keep soil continually moist)
      -- high humidity (at least 50%)
      -- pretty warm temp (day around 80F, night around 60F)
* it likes a rich, good draining, growing medium
      -- i.e. combo of peat moss, fine bark, and sandy soil
      -- fertilize often, i.e. 18-18-18
* the vanilla "beans" are seed pods which will be produced after a few years
of maturity
      -- hand pollinate the flowers
      -- at least 8 months to mature
      -- about 6" long
      -- to use, my mother likes to scrape out the "marrow" and use it (VERY
sparingly) as a seasoning.  I like to make any extract with the whole "bean"
by placing one or two in a small bottle with vodka.

Good luck!  For more information, you can visit the web sites I have listed
below, and there are plenty more out there if you do a search.

Stefanie Galgon

Stefanie Galgon
Department of Biology
Northern Arizona University
smg4 at
Botanique1 at

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