Vanilla planifolia, a plant highly valued for its uses in the food industry

Vanilla planifolia, its most common name being Vanilla . It belongs to the Orchidaceae family and is native to the tropical areas of Mexico and Paraguay.

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Characteristics of Vanilla planifolia

Climbing orchid with roots in the air, which allows it to climb trees very easily.

The stems are cylindrical, brittle, thick and green in color.

The leaves are fleshy, large, oblong, slightly pointed, greenish in color with yellow margins. In addition, they have a transparent juice that is irritating on contact with the skin.

The flowers are full of aroma, large, soft green or yellow. They grow in inflorescences of about 12 to 20 flowers with very sharp bracts.

The fruits are pods that are used for the production of vanilla.

The seeds are tiny, numerous and blackish snapper in color.

Caring for Vanilla planifolia

It is a fast-growing plant  that requires good development, a warm, humid climate and some shade.

As for the soil, it requires that it be loose, slightly acidic with a pH of 6 to 6.9, a high content of Ca and K and well drained.

Irrigation should be sporadic during the first month, preventing the soil from drying out completely. Then water regularly, but without flooding.

The pests and diseases that could affect this plant are Calospora vanillae, Anthracnose, Rust, Hectria vanillae zin, Flusia aurífera, root rot, Concilia vanillana and Spinas floridules, among others.

It is propagated by means of seeds or cuttings. Although it is usually from cuttings 1 m long

Once the flowers have been pollinated, it would take about 9 months for them to mature.


Flowers live less than 24 hours. This happens throughout the year.

The flowers self-fertilize very easily, if there is the presence of pollinating insects.

Extreme care is proportional to the value of it.

Uses of Vanilla

Its demand is very diversified, whether in pastries, ice cream, soft drinks and even perfumes. In addition, it is used as a spice.

What do you think of this plant? Did you know about all its uses? And although Vanilla planifolia  is of considerable care, there is no doubt that everything in it is worth it.

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