Vanilla Orchid Care

vanilla orchid

Vanilla Orchid Care

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is native to the humid tropical regions of Mexico and Central America, but is also found in the wild in the jungles of South America. The natives used it as a spice and also as a “perfume”. It is said that the perfumed fruit, called “tlilxóchitl”, was one of the tributes demanded by the Aztecs to conquered peoples in the eastern territories. During the time of the Conquest the Spaniards took it to Europe, later it reached Africa and Asia. Due to its aromatic flavor, it is oversized. At the end of the 50s, natural vanilla, which was expensive, was replaced by synthetic, cheap vanillin, which is made from eugenol or guaiacol, and succulent was almost completely abandoned. At the beginning of the 80s the demand for natural vanilla began to rise again due to its improvement. The use of synthetic vanilla as an ingredient is not allowed in the processing of products of organic origin (such as chocolates, ice cream, etc.). Currently, three quarters of the world’s production comes from Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, the Macarenas and the Sechelas, Java and some Pacific islands located west of Central America and the Lesser Antilles. Vanilla is the only orchid grown without ornamental purposes. Already appreciated by the Aztecs and later discovered by the conquerors, it was called vanilla, referring to the shape of the pod. The crop is propagated vegetatively and it is believed that there are only a few clones, although very old. It does not have parasites of importance1. In the eighteenth century, a French botanist tried to acclimatize the plant in the greenhouses of the Museum of Natural History of Paris, but this bellahermafrodita prefers the tropic and it does not happen to be an ornamental plant. In 1822, planifolia lavanilla is introduced in Bourbon, old name of the meeting. In the absence of pollinating insects that fertilize it, vanilla, like all orchids, remains stubbornly sterile until 1841. Lasuinas, in the form of green beans, hatch and are harvested in April. Serpareciso a year of constant care to obtain its aroma. Although the yellowish flowers of the vanilla are very fragrant, the pods that the pods give the plant totally lack aroma until the moment they dry and heal. A French botanist tried to acclimatize the plant in the greenhouses of the Natural History Museum of Paris, but this beautifulhermaphrodite prefers the tropic and is nothing more than an ornamental plant. In 1822, planifolia lavanilla is introduced in Bourbon, the former name of La Reunion. In the absence of pollinating insects that fertilize it, vanilla, like all orchids, remains stubbornly sterile until 1841. Lasuinas, in the form of green beans, hatch and are harvested in April. Serpareciso a year of constant care to obtain its aroma. Although the yellowish flowers of the vanilla are very fragrant, the pods that the pods give the plant totally lack aroma until the moment they dry and heal. A French botanist tried to acclimatize the plant in the greenhouses of the Natural History Museum of Paris, but this beautifulhermaphrodite prefers the tropic and is nothing more than an ornamental plant. In 1822, planifolia lavanilla is introduced in Bourbon, the former name of La Reunion. In the absence of pollinating insects that fertilize it, vanilla, like all orchids, remains stubbornly sterile until 1841. Lasuinas, in the form of green beans, hatch and are harvested in April. Serpareciso a year of constant care to obtain its aroma. Although the yellowish flowers of the vanilla are very fragrant, the pods that the pods give the plant totally lack aroma until the moment they dry and heal. lavanilla planifolia is introduced in Bourbon, former name of La Reunion. In the absence of pollinating insects that fertilize it, vanilla, like all orchids, remains stubbornly sterile until 1841. Lasuinas, in the form of green beans, hatch and are harvested in April. Serpareciso a year of constant care to obtain its aroma. Although the yellowish flowers of the vanilla are very fragrant, the pods that the pods give the plant totally lack aroma until the moment they dry and heal. Vanilla planifolia is introduced in Bourbon, former name of La Reunion. In the absence of pollinating insects that fertilize it, vanilla, like all orchids, remains stubbornly sterile until 1841. Lasuinas, in the form of green beans, hatch and are harvested in April. It was needed a year of constant care to obtain its aroma. Although the yellowish flowers of the vanilla are very fragrant, the pods furnished by the plant totally lack aroma until the moment they dry and heal.

, Vanilla Orchid Care

Capsules of Vanilla planifolia, the only species of orchid that produces fruits with commercial importance. 
After about 8-9 months of maturation, they will acquire a dark, almost black color and begin to emit a strong aroma. 
From them you get the natural vanilla. 
Photo taken from: http://nurseondeck.blogspot.com/2015/10/na-na-na-nineteen.html.

Natural vanilla is used mainly in the production of high quality sweets, in confectionery, but it also grows its importance for the industrial production of ice cream. Organic vanilla is also used in the production of fine chocolates and chocolates. The processed capsules (vanilla sticks), the ground fruit (vanilla powder), or the frutomezclado with sugar (vanilla sugar) are commercialized. Another commercial product is vanilla extract, which is used as an alcoholic extract (35% alcohol) mixed with sugar and fixative in different degrees of concentration. In addition to vanillin (0.75-3.7%), the vanilla also contains vanilla acid, vanilla alcohol, cinnamon acid esters, p-hydroxybenzoaldehydes, rich and tasty substances, as well as sugar, resins, phlegm substances, tannins and greases. In addition to vanillin, vanilla from Tahiti (Vanilla tahitensis) contains pepper, which is used mainly in the manufacture of perfumes. In the international market the demand for natural vanilla comes mainly from France, and its famous confectionery, Germany, Canada, Japan, and others; Although the largest importer is the United States, which consumes more than half of the world’s production, to use it -as some experts say- in the ice cream industry. The tendency of certain countries to return to natural products is an important factor for the cultivation of odozavaine. In addition to the economic aspect, other advantages should be taken into account. Lavainilla is associated with living trees, vegetation that contributes its own organic matter to the soil and prevents erosion, while allowing recharge of the aquifers. The vanilla, forests of trees dressed with the fragrant orchid, also a refuge for wildlife-birds, reptiles, insects-as well as other wild plants. The cultivation of vanilla is quite delicate. You have to know that it takes 1 kg of green vanilla to get 200 gr. of dry vanilla. In addition, it is necessary to wait almost 1 year and a half between fertilization and sale.Of one hundred species of orchids of the sort vanilla classified, only secultivan: -The vanilla pompona, also called “vanillon”, grows in the Antilles. Short whiffs and its musky flavor distance it from the aromas of the traditional vanilla, -lavanilla fragrans oplanifolia, a fleshy fruit that is found in Mexico and in Indonesia. -The vanilla “Bourbon” (from the name of the island from which it is native, nowadays called the Meeting), the “non plus ultra”, Finally, the vanilla from Tahiti, from the spicy tahitensis, is appreciated for its flavor of anise and pepper. Due to its appreciated aroma, the vanilla pods are used from bundles to flavor and refine the most varied foods. Its popularity is enormous, since the use of the vanilla pod is essential for the preparation of foods such as cakes, puddings, confectionery and ice cream.

Along with the citrus and mint aromas, the vanilla aromas are the most important in the food industry. The world production of vanilla pods is currently more than 1,800 tons per year, content to increase. Producing vanilla is something that requires patience. Without the hand of man, the fl ow can be fertilized. A small tongue prevents communication to the male and female organs. So, the vanilla planter should manipulate the flowers one by one. With the help of a fragment of bamboo, a tree rod or a needle, raise the tongue, releasing the pollen. Then it is enough to press the flower to effect fertilization. This delicate process, added to the preparation of the vanilla pods, limits the world harvest (barely 1,600 tons in prosperous years). This is too scarce, Given the growing demand for vanilla. It is very useful to carry out studies and permanent controls on pests and diseases that attack vanilla, and find more biological solutions than the large amounts of insecticides and pesticides that crop on crops. It is also necessary to create, well cared for, germplasm banks, which guarantee the conservation of the genetic diversity of the genus. In our forests there may be the necessary genetic information that contributes to the improvement of crops, increases their productivity and increases resistance to diseases.and find more biological solutions than the large quantities of insecticides and pesticides that crop up on crops. It is also necessary to create, well cared for, germplasm banks, which guarantee the conservation of the genetic diversity of the genus. In our forests there may be the necessary genetic information that contributes to the improvement of crops, increases their productivity and increases resistance to diseases. and find more biological solutions than the large quantities of insecticides and pesticides that crop up on crops. It is also necessary to create, well cared for, germplasm banks, which guarantee the conservation of the genetic diversity of the genus. In our forests there may be the necessary genetic information that contributes to the improvement of crops, increases their productivity and increases resistance to diseases.

General considerations

The vanilla plant is grown extensively in hot and humid climates. Trees or vines are used as support for the climbing stems. The pod usually measures between 15 and 23 cm. long; It is thin and contains an oily pulp and numerous seeds of tiny size. They are harvested when they are still green, but when cured they acquire a dark brown color and their outer surface becomes rough. Only 2% vanilla is obtained from each pod, the aromatic principle used to flavor various foods. Its extraction from the pods is done through a process in which alcohols are used. Even if it has been collected in full maturity, the vanilla bean does not release any color. It must undergo numerous manipulations to acquire the soft aromas that are known, its brown color and its light consistency. After a bath of very hot water, it is installed in quilted and lined boxes, where it remains for forty-eight hours. In them “transpira” and its color darkens. After a week of exposure to the sun, its aromatic force is released. And further on, it continues to be tuned into wooden bunches placed for eight months in a well-ventilated place. Only one third of the annual harvest (the largest pods) is sold at retail. The rest is used to make the natural aroma of vanilla and other derivatives. But since the irruption in the market of the frozen creams the development of the perfumery, each time it is used more to the vanilla. Since suprecio is high, substitutes are used produced by chemical synthesis. The best known are ethyl vanillin and vanillin. From there, Any product called “vanilla” owes its aroma to natural vanillin, that is, lavainilla; and any product called “a la vanillin”, “vanilliné” (or “vanilliné”) is artificial. Obviously, there is nothing that can match the aromatic richness of the authentic vanilla bean that are found in the morevagant, finer, more vivid and longer-lasting products on the palate.

95% of the vanilla that is produced in the world comes from  Vanilla planifolia , but in French Polynesia a vanilla is grown which the taxonomist who described it named  Vanilla tahitiensis and which is very appreciated for its fruits, meatier and richer in oils, and for the finest taste of its extract.  

3.1. Botany 

The vanilla species belongs to the family of orchids. It is the only species of orchids that produces edible fruits. Vanilla is a vine plant with sucking roots that sprout from buds, has fleshy leaves, yellowish-white flowers to cream and a single stamen. In the marketable varieties, the green capsular fruit reaches a length of 15 to 20 cm. When ripe it takes a yellow color and opens up lengthwise. Since the seeds are very small and the capsule contains substances that prevent germination, the reproduction for the commercial crop is made in vegetative form by means of seedlings. There are approximately 100 varieties of the vanilla species, of which 3 are systematically grown: • V. planifolia, the Mexican or genuine vanilla, of which there are different classes. It is grown in Mexico, in the islands of the Indian Ocean and in Indonesia. • V. pompona Schiede, vanilla from the West Indies that are cultivated in the Lesser Antilles. • V. tahitensis JW Moore, vanilla from Tahiti, which is grown on the island of the same name and on other islands of Polynesia. Organic-grown vanilla comes mostly from Madagascar, the Comores, the Borbona Islands, the Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, Uganda and small amounts of Mexico and Costa Rica. 

3.2. Aspects of its ecological crop

As it is a climber plant, in the systems of ecological cultivation, the dish is always subject to so-called support trees (the use of decking or frames is not allowed). As support trees are recommended, among others, the species Gliricidia sepium, Erythrina ssp. eInga ssp. You can also use different varieties of native palm trees. 9It is usually found in abundance in natural sites with open spaces (fallen trees, natural openings in the forest, such as rivers and other waters). Here it grows along with the nascent secondary vegetation, it is deciropen certain sectors of the systems located in forests derived from fluvial airplanes. Once well established, the vanilla grows up to the treetops of the middle strata of the forest. In an agroforestry system they respect these requirements to the site, because they are much more important than the choice of support trees. It is also important to integrate the greatest possible diversity of trees into the agroforestry system, combining trees of the low, medium and high levels. Combining vanilla with a single tree species, such as Inga ssp. o Glyridicia sepium, is not recommended. Systems like the latter are more sensitive to diseases, since after 15-30 years, secondary forest trees reach or surpass their life cycle. These trees produce a biological mass of inferior quality. It is a purely tropical species, it thrives well with temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C, both day and night, without great thermal amplitude, although it is favorable a slight decrease in the moment of the ripening of the fruits. The precipitations must be abundant (1,500 to 2,500 mm) and biendistribuidas, although a decrease of these are convenient in the beginning of the flowering and the maturity of the fruits. The relative humidity should be less than 80%. A light shade, around 50%, favors growth. The intense illumination reduces the growth and favors the yellowing of the leaves. During a brief period the plant can hold temperatures that go down to 5º C. Both the brief droughts of 2 – 3 months as well as the phases in which the temperatures go down, are phenomena that favor the induction of sufforescence Loose soils are favorable, with good drainage, slightly acid reaction, pH between 6.0 and 6.9 and good content of calcium and potassium. Vanilla usually grows on land that does not exceed 800 meters above sea level. Among the different varieties of vanilla, there are plants that put 80-100% of the fruit on the ground before harvesting. Others produce fruits with very low vanillin content. It is very important to select seedlings from healthy and productive plants that produce good quality vanilla. Before cutting the seedlings, the mother plants are subjected to control of their productivity and are marked accordingly. The healthy seedlings have a length of 80 cm. at least, if it were not, the beginning of its productivity would take much longer. The damaged leaves and the first three leaves of the lower part of the seedling are removed. After having been cut from the mother plant, The seedling is kept in the shade for 5 – 8 days to heal the wounds produced by the cut and thus prevent potential fungal infections. 10Vanilla seedlings are planted only 6 to 12 months after planting trees in the plot. The best time to plant is shortly before the start of the rainy season. Places are chosen a little high, where there is no stagnant humidity. Two seedlings are planted next to each support tree. To do this, they are made 30 cm long and 10 cm deep in which are placed the ends of the seedlings that are then covered with soil. The place of the planting is covered with a covering stubble layer, of organic matter covering a minimum area of ​​1m². The tip of the seedling is attached to the support tree (guardian tree). The density can vary between 400 and 1100 plants per hectare. There is no data available regarding the demand for nutrients, or derecommendations for the payment of vanilla. In conventional crops, vanilla can not be produced without the use of large quantities of organic matter. If you want to achieve a good production of vanilla it is very important to produce sufficient quantities of stubble within the same plantation. An important goal of organic farming systems is to maintain a high degree of transformation of organic matter from vegetation of sufficiently diversified accompaniment and produced in the same plantation. This will ensure the sustainability of the system and the production costs will be maintained at an acceptable level. The vanilla plant could achieve, if not controlled, a growth that would reach the top of the trees in the middle levels of the forest (15 m or more). Since vanilla is a crop plant, this height is not ideal for succumbing because it would make both artificial pollination work and the harvest itself impossible.Therefore, as soon as the tip reaches a height of 1.60 to 1.80 m, it is folded downwards so that a part of the stem returns to be covered with soil so that the plant can sprout new roots. The tip followed again upwards and is tied again to the support tree. This procedure makes the vanilla be renewed continuously, conserve its vitality and be less sensitive to diseases. It also allows you to treat any root diseases without suffering damage, because new shoots with their own roots appear every time. Another way to control growth is to cut the buds by keeping a 60 cm. of base The tip bud – once it has recovered from the cuttings – is immediately planted next to the same support tree. The buds that have already borne fruit can be cut, making it possible to use it as a new plant. The cut encourages the growth of new shoots, rejuvenates the plant and thereby improves its health. The root system of the vanilla is superficial, it is about 5 -10 cm deep, that is, inside the foliage layer and organic matter degraded. As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven The tip bud – once it has recovered from the cuttings – is immediately planted next to the same support tree. The buds that have already borne fruit can be cut, making it possible to use it as a new plant. The cut encourages the growth of new shoots, rejuvenates the plant and thereby improves its health. The root system of the vanilla is superficial, it is about 5 -10 cm deep, that is, inside the foliage layer and organic matter degraded. As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven The tip bud – once it has recovered from the cuttings – is immediately planted next to the same support tree. The buds that have already borne fruit can be cut, making it possible to use it as a new plant. The cut encourages the growth of new shoots, rejuvenates the plant and thereby improves its health. The root system of the vanilla is superficial, it is about 5 -10 cm deep, that is, inside the foliage layer and organic matter degraded. As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven being possible to use it as a new plant. The cut encourages the growth of new shoots, rejuvenates the plant and thereby improves its health. The root system of the vanilla is superficial, it is about 5 -10 cm deep, that is, inside the foliage layer and organic matter degraded. As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven being possible to use it as a new plant. The cut encourages the growth of new shoots, rejuvenates the plant and thereby improves its health. The root system of the vanilla is superficial, it is about 5 -10 cm deep, that is, inside the foliage layer and organic matter degraded. As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven As it covers an approximate radius of 1.20 m around the plant, the care and harvesting tasks are carried out with great care to avoid the trampling of this sector which is very sensitive to being damaged. eleven

3.3. Artificial pollination In order to ensure a good harvest of fruit artificial pollination is practiced. Between the third and fourth year the vanilla begins to bloom. Even though it is an autogamous plant, the plant does not self-fertilize due to the physiology of its flower. Then the artificial pollination is carried out to achieve a sufficient fruiting. To do this, fold the rostello with the help of a thin stick or a pin, then press the finger with the finger – the whole of the poppy found in the single stamen – on the stigma. The best flowers are those that are in the lower part of the inflorescence, inclined downwards, because they form fruit after pollination. Fruits formed from flowers that are in the upper part of the inflorescence usually form folded fruits. The amount of flowers to be pollinated – that is, the amount of fruit to be achieved – depends on the degree of development of the plant and the availability of water. It is between 5 and 60. It is generally assumed that an adult plant of 4 years or more, form between 30 and 40 fruits. During artificial pollination, care must be taken to avoid damaging the roots when stepping on the soil of the plants. If too many flowers are pollinated, the plants weaken. Succecimiento is slowed down, the fruits tend to a bad development or finally they are rejected. Under these conditions the vanilla becomes much more sensitive diseases and insects harmful. If the vanilla suffers a condition immediately after pollination, This is usually due to the pollination of too many flowers and / or damage to the roots caused by trampling. Once enough flowers have been pollinated, the remaining tufts are removed. About 15 to 20 days later, the plantation is checked again to carry out possible pollination reinforcements or remove buds and flowers that have grown in the interval. 

3.4. Harvest  The harvest of capsules is done by hand – as a rule when they are ripe and yellow – 6 to nine months after flowering. Care is required in determining the exact term of the harvest, since the fruit picked too early may have a low content of substances and, on the contrary, the capsules collected in too mature a state may burst during processing.

4. Diseases and pests of the vanilla crop Although they are not very frequent, the most common plagues for the culture of lavainilla are: torcedoras (Clysia vanillana), whose caterpillars are usually eaten to the capsules; chinches (Spinas floridulos, Nezara ssp.); beetles, cicadas, snails and slugs, which can cause certain damages. 12The control is carried out in the first place by suitable cultivation practices (shade thinning, pruning, rejuvenation). Only in some cases are officially authorized phytosanitary products used. Caldosvegetales are also used (based on Capsicum ssp.), Leaves of Gliricidia sepium, extracts ofSwingla sp .2 In the cultivation of vanilla, fungal diseases are mainly present. Below are the most important: •  Fusarium oxysporum It is the most frequent disease in the roots and buds. The infection can come from wounds suffered by the roots (trampling, for example) or by pruning the plants. Control : avoid puddling, adequate spacing (density of planting), use healthy organic matter, good light-shadow ratio, use stubble with lignin. Employ resistant hybrids. Sowing under secondary forest. Planting of various materials to heterogenize the plantation. Use vegetable defungicides: extracts deswingla sp., Broth bordelés. •  Burns spots or anthracnose (Colletotrichum vanillae) It affects the buds, leaves and fruits. It produces irregular brown spots, the affected tissue dies and cracks are produced. Appears mostly poorly maintained enplantations without shadowing.Control : avoid puddling, adequate spacing, use healthy organic matter, good light-shadow ratio, use stubble with lignin. Use vegetable fungicides: deswingla sp. Extracts •  Puccinia sinamononea (rust fungus, rust) Small dark yellow pustules on the back of the leaf. When the pustules are joined, irregular dark spots with yellow borosol are produced, then the leaves die. It affects especially during the rainy season, poorly maintained plantations. Control : avoid puddling, adequate spacing, use healthy organic matter, good light-shadow ratio, use stubble with lignin •  Virus (Vanilla Mosaic Virus (VMV), Cymbidium mosaic virus (CyMV), Tomato ringspot virus (TRV))It causes distortion in the leaves and mosaic in Vanilla fragrans, V. pompona and V.tahitensis. The virus is transmissible by the sap and is also expanded through the spaces used for propagation. Tests with vanilla have shown that the lynx Myzus persicae can transmit the virus VMV not so persistently. 13 Control : use clean genetic material, careful disposal of infected material •  Weed control: Weed control is advised to do it manually: the plants are removed, other weeds are cut with a machete before their flowering. All the resulting raster remains in the plantation

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