Humid tropical climate with an annual rainfall of 150 – 300 cm (well distributed for a
period of 9 months and dry period of 3 months). Elevation: 700 – 1500 m MSL and with
latitude of 100 N and 200 S. Temperature: 210C – 320C.
Train the vines to a height of 1.2 to 1.5 m. Then trained horizontally or allowed to
grow downward towards the ground. Horizontally trained vines are coiled round the pole
connecting the two supporting trees. Vines trained to grow downward is allowed to touch the
soil and allowed to root and again brought back upward on the same supporting tree and the
same procedure is repeated.
Flowering starts in the third year of planting during December – January. Pinching of
top 7.5 – 10 cm of vine 6 – 8 months before flowering seasons encourages flower bud
initiation. Pruning of older fruiting branches also encourages flower production. Each
inflorescence consists of 15 – 20 flowers.
The artificial pollination is useful in vanilla and pollination must be done on the same
day as flowers start opening from 4.00 am and extend upto 1.00 pm. About 10 to 20
inflorescences may be pollinated in a vine. Normally 5 to 6 flowers in the lower side of
inflorescence are pollinated. Hand pollination is done using a needle or a piece of pointed
wood or a tooth pick to lift the hood covering the anther cap so that the anthers are brought
into contact with stigma. A skilled worker can pollinate 1000 – 1500 flowers in a day.
The pods are ready for harvest in 6 to 9 months after flowering. The matured beans
change colour from green to pale yellow. The right picking stage is when the distal end of the
pod turns yellow. Daily picking of matured pod is essential. The pods are harvested by
cutting with a knife.