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First vanilla buds of the year

first vanilla buds

first vanilla buds close

While the first vanil­la pods of the sea­son are com­ing in, the first flower buds are also appear­ing. Some of these spurts of new growth will result in new vines, branch­ing off of the mature vines, but most of these will form the flow­er­ing racemes. The ear­ly spring is when a lot of new growth occurs, and the vanil­la farmer (me) watch­es with some appre­hen­sion as the flow­er­ing racemes appear (or not!) deter­min­ing the size of the new sea­son’s crop. In a week or so, the morn­ing rit­u­al of the hand pol­li­na­tion will begin.

The flow­er­ing sea­son of 2014 was light for us, sev­er­al areas nev­er went to flower, so the 2015 har­vest sea­son will be small.  One of the things we’ve learned about vanil­la is that while it will grow lush and green in the shade, it requires part sun to come to flower. As the for­est grows around the vines, they can end up in shade too deep to flower. This year, I cleared branch­es above and around the for­est trel­lis­es to let more light in. We’re hop­ing for a bet­ter flow­er­ing sea­son this year, and indeed it’s start­ing strongly.

2 thoughts on “First vanilla buds of the year

  1. I moved to the West Palm Beach area in 2016, I bought a vanil­la orchid plant hop­ing to make my yard into a fruit tree and exot­ic fruit yard rare and fruits that aren’t com­mon of the South Florida area some­thing tasty. So I did not real­ize the vanil­la orchids needs so I hand­ed over to my sis­ter in law she’s a orchid queen she’s got sev­er­al hun­dred dif­fer­ent orchids. Now it’s April 1st 2024 and we now have three not­i­ca­ble vanil­la bloom’s, last year we did­n’t notice any bloom’s and found a vanil­la bean 10″ long! But only one maybe more but one was found. Finding that one vanil­la bean now we are aware to look in ear­ly spring for bud bloom’s.
    I’m tak­ing pic­tures of this vanil­la orchid’s progress for any­body who wants to see what nature has in-store for this year and forth.

    1. Nice going, I hope you’re pol­li­nat­ing those flowers!

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