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Agriculture > Spices > Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)

Crop Management

 

Planting

The ideal time to plant vanilla in south Indian conditions is August - September months when the intensity of the south west monsoon is low. By this time the support trees should have grown well. Good quality vines from disease free plants, sufficiently grown rooted cuttings or secondary hardened tissue-cultured plantlets can be used for planting.

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Stem cuttings selected for planting should be kept in shade for about a week prior to planting. Generally 3-4 basal leaves of the cutting are clipped away before they are put in shade. It is recommended to dip the basal tip in 1% Bordeaux mixture or Bordeaux paste or Pseudomonas paste before planting the cutting. While planting, the defoliated basal portion of the cutting is to be placed in the loose soil, near the base of the support, just below the surface, in a half loop in such a way the basal tip is above the soil surface. The top end of the cutting is to be tied to the support. Mulching the base of the support tree with partially decomposed organic matter is recommended. It takes about 4-8 weeks for the cutting to take root and to show signs of initial growth.

Tissue cultured plantlets or rooted cuttings should be planted at the base of the support after removing the polythene bag carefully and without dislodging the soil around the root zone. After planting, the soil at the base of the plant may be covered with a thick mulch of easily decomposable or partially decomposed material.

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If the support tree does not provide adequate shade, the same may be provided using palm fronds or such other material. Just as lack of shade is injurious to the vanilla plant too much shade and consequent lack of sunlight is also injurious to the plant. In mixed cropping with coconut and arecanut, shade regulation should take into account the shading provided by these trees.

The above prescription about proper shading from the beginning applies uniformly irrespective of the planting material used.

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