Vanilla-Inter cultivation

Being a surface rooting plant, manuring should be confined to the surface layer of soil. Provide heavy and frequent mulching to the vines.

Vanilla cannot withstand even the slightest root disturbance. Hence remove weeds from the plant base by hand weeding and use them as mulch.

Being closely planted, no intercrops are raised in a pure plantation of vanilla. But vanilla can be planted as an intercrop in coffee, coconut, arecanut etc.

Trail the vines on the live supports and when they attain a height of 135 cm trail them horizontally on bamboo poles tied to vertical supports or branches of support plants in loops touching the ground.

There is a tendency for some of the vines to maintain only vegetative growth. A light nipping off or pruning of the terminal shoots hastens flowering.

Due to the peculiar structure of the flowers, self-pollination is impossible. Hence hand pollination is adopted for fruit set. Best time for pollinating the flowers is between 6 am and 1 pm and a success of 80-85 per cent can be obtained. Successful fertilization is indicated by the retention of calyx and the stigma even after four days of pollination.