Caring for Your Vanilla Bean Plant Caring for Your Vanilla Bean Plant
The vanilla bean plant, native to Madagascar, is used to growing in humid and hot surroundings. However, you can grow vanilla bean in your own garden and use the pods in your cooking. Read on to learn how to cultivate this finicky and costly plant.
Harvesting the Vanilla Bean
To get a proper vanilla bean plant to grow, you must start off with a proper pod. Take a cutting from another healthy plant that is full established. Select a sprout that has at least one leaf.
Store your cutting in the dark for 2 weeks. Then remove the leaf and plant in a pot of loose soil. You can now begin to grow and care for your vanilla bean plant.
Creating a Tropical Climate
A vanilla bean plant grows in hot and humid conditions outside of direct sunlight. If you're lucky enough to live in a region with these condition, you can grow a vanilla bean plant outside. If, however, you reside in an area that gets cold, your work will be a little tricker. Use a heat lamp, but do not shine it directly on the plant. Spray the area with a fine mist of water. Cover the floor of the area in pebbles. The heat lamp will make the water evaporate, and the pebbles will retain the heat. These combined factors create a simulated tropical environment.
Sunlight is Key
The vanilla bean plant needs a lot of sun, but not direct sunlight. If you are not using an artificial heat lamp, position your plant by a shaded window where it can get 50 percent sunlight during the day.
The vanilla bean plant requires soil that is rich in nutrients. Create your own potting soil using mostly compost to help your plant grow.
The vanilla bean plant is from the orchid family and is a climbing plant. When you plant the seedling, place a post near the center so the plant has something to cling to.
The vanilla bean plant likes water. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Check it several times a week to make sure it is not drying out too much.