Being well known as the world's second most expensive spice, vanilla is a universally appreciated global delicacy, where a pound of vanilla beans can be easily priced for $70 or more. However, amid the popularity, most people are unfamiliar with the plants that these pods come from. Vanilla, a flowering plant genus in the orchid family, is widely distributed in neotropical countries. Despite having about 110 species in the family, only 2 species are cultivated for commercial use. Namely Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis. Vanilla planifolia, being the most widely cultivated, is commonly used for the manufacturing of authentic vanilla extracts. As herbaceous climbers, these plants climb on their roots, growing up to 15 meters in height, starting to flower when they are more than 5 meters tall. These plants bloom annually, with blooms that open in the morning and wilt by noon. Hand pollination is necessary for the formation of vanilla pods.
Interested in growing your own vanilla pods at home? We have cuttings that are 25-30 cm in length available at $10 each. These plants will start to flower after 3-4 years of growth. Thinking that the wait is too long? We have more matured plants available too, with 1 meter long cuttings for sale at $30 each.
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