Dissemination of vanilla can be achieved either by stem cutting or by tissue culture.
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For stem cutting, a progeny garden needs to be established. Mulching the trenches with coconut husk and micro irrigation provide an ideal microclimate for vegetative growth.
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Planting material should always come from unflowered portions of the vine. Wilting of the cuttings before planting provides better conditions for root initiation and establishment. Before planting the cuttings, trees to support the vine must be planted at least three months before sowing the cuttings. An average of cuttings can be planted per hectare 2.
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Tissue culture was first used as a means of creating vanilla plants during the s at Tamil Nadu University. This was the part of the first project to grow V. At that time, a shortage of vanilla planting stock was occurring in India. The approach was inspired by the work going on to tissue culture other flowering plants. Several methods have been proposed for vanilla tissue culture, but all of them begin from axillary buds of the vanilla vine.
In the tropics, the ideal time for planting vanilla is from September to November, when the weather is neither too rainy nor too dry, but this recommendation varies with growing conditions. Cuttings take one to eight weeks to establish roots, and show initial signs of growth from one of the leaf axils. A thick mulch of leaves should be provided immediately after planting as an additional source of organic matter. Three years are required for cuttings to grow enough to produce flowers and subsequent pods.
As with most orchids, the blossoms grow along stems branching from the main vine. Flowering normally occurs every spring, and without pollination, the blossom wilts and falls, and no vanilla bean can grow. Each flower must be hand-pollinated within 12 hours of opening. In the wild, very few natural pollinators exist, with most pollination thought to be carried out by the shiny green Euglossa viridissima , some Eulaema spp. Closely related Vanilla species are known to be pollinated by the euglossine bees. As a result, all vanilla grown today is pollinated by hand.
A small splinter of wood or a grass stem is used to lift the rostellum or move the flap upward, so the overhanging anther can be pressed against the stigma and self-pollinate the vine. Generally, one flower per raceme opens per day, so the raceme may be in flower for over 20 days. A healthy vine should produce about 50 to beans per year, but growers are careful to pollinate only five or six flowers from the 20 on each raceme.
The first flowers that open per vine should be pollinated, so the beans are similar in age. These agronomic practices facilitate harvest and increases bean quality. The fruits require five to six weeks to develop, but around six months to mature.
Over-pollination results in diseases and inferior bean quality. Most diseases come from the uncharacteristic growing conditions of vanilla. Therefore, conditions such as excess water, insufficient drainage, heavy mulch, overpollination, and too much shade favor disease development. Vanilla is susceptible to many fungal and viral diseases. Fusarium , Sclerotium , Phytophthora , and Colletrotrichum species cause rots of root, stem, leaf, bean, and shoot apex. Biological control of the spread of such diseases can be managed by applying to the soil Trichoderma 0. Mosaic virus , leaf curl , and cymbidium mosaic potex virus are the common viral diseases.
These diseases are transmitted through the sap, so affected plants must be destroyed. The insect pests of vanilla include beetles and weevils that attack the flower, caterpillars, snakes, and slugs that damage the tender parts of shoot, flower buds, and immature fruit, and grasshoppers that affect cutting shoot tips. Most artificial vanilla products contain vanillin , which can be produced synthetically from lignin , a natural polymer found in wood.blammaggedicast.cf
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Most synthetic vanillin is a byproduct from the pulp used in papermaking , in which the lignin is broken down using sulfites or sulfates. However, vanillin is only one of identified aromatic components of real vanilla fruits. The orchid species Leptotes bicolor is used as a natural vanilla replacement in Paraguay and southern Brazil. In the US Food and Drug Administration cautioned that some vanilla products sold in Mexico were made from the cheaper tonka bean which as well as vanillin also contains the toxin coumarin. They advised consumers to always check the ingredients label and avoid suspiciously cheap products.
In the United States, castoreum , the exudate from the castor sacs of mature beavers , has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a food additive,  often referenced simply as a " natural flavoring " in the product's list of ingredients. It is used in both food and beverages,  especially as vanilla and raspberry flavoring, with a total annual U. Harvesting vanilla fruits is as labor-intensive as pollinating the blossoms. Immature, dark green pods are not harvested. Pale yellow discoloration that commences at the distal end of the fruits is not a good indication of the maturity of pods.
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Each fruit ripens at its own time, requiring a daily harvest. Yellowing at the blossom end, the current index, occurs before beans accumulate maximum glucovanillin concentrations. Beans left on the vine until they turn brown have higher glucovanillin concentrations but may split and have low quality. Judging bean maturity is difficult as they reach full size soon after pollination. Glucovanillin accumulates from 20 weeks, maximum about 40 weeks after pollination.
To ensure the finest flavor from every fruit, each individual pod must be picked by hand just as it begins to split on the end. Overmatured fruits are likely to split, causing a reduction in market value. Its commercial value is fixed based on the length and appearance of the pod. Each fruit contains thousands of tiny black vanilla seeds. Vanilla fruit yield depends on the care and management given to the hanging and fruiting vines.
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Any practice directed to stimulate aerial root production has a direct effect on vine productivity. A five-year-old vine can produce between 1. The harvested green fruit can be commercialized as such or cured to get a better market price. Several methods exist in the market for curing vanilla; nevertheless, all of them consist of four basic steps: killing, sweating, slow-drying, and conditioning of the beans.
The vegetative tissue of the vanilla pod is killed to stop the vegetative growth of the pods and disrupt the cells and tissue of the fruits, which initiates enzymatic reactions responsible for the aroma. The method of killing varies, but may be accomplished by heating in hot water, freezing, or scratching, or killing by heating in an oven or exposing the beans to direct sunlight.
The different methods give different profiles of enzymatic activity. Testing has shown mechanical disruption of fruit tissues can cause curing processes,  including the degeneration of glucovanillin to vanillin, so the reasoning goes that disrupting the tissues and cells of the fruit allow enzymes and enzyme substrates to interact. In scratch killing, fruits are scratched along their length. Exposing the fruits to sunlight until they turn brown, a method originating in Mexico, was practiced by the Aztecs.
Sweating is a hydrolytic and oxidative process. Traditionally, it consists of keeping fruits, for 7 to 10 days, densely stacked and insulated in wool or other cloth. Daily exposure to the sun may also be used, or dipping the fruits in hot water.