Thai and Lao vanilla is as tasty as the original

Vanilla is an orchid and can nowadays be grown without problems in Thailand and Laos. Naturally we also have vanilla plants on display and for sale at Discovery Garden Pattaya and Nong Khai. Historically Mexico had a vanilla monopoly until 1841 when a 12 year old slave had a very simple but effective idea.

Vanilla flowers are quite beautiful

Vanilla flowers are quite beautiful

The growing of vanilla is not so terribly difficult in tropical countries like Thailand and Laos. You just let them climb up a tree, pole or wall and keep them moist. This is easily achieved by regularly spraying them with water and fertilizer.

Vanilla for sale at Discovery Gardens for Thailand and Laos

Vanilla for sale at Discovery Gardens for Thailand and Laos

But you should not fertilize your Thai and Lao vanilla heavily near the ground since the roots there are easily damaged. And when they reach a height of about 2 meters you should turn them around so they will to grow downwards again.

Vanilla plants flower after about two years

Vanilla plants flower after about two years

Mexico had a highly profitable monopoly for vanilla, but with the beginning of the 19th Century other tropical farmers tried to grow vanilla in their colonies. That was not so difficult, the plants grew well and flowered too. But there was no yield. The vanilla spice is produced from the namesake seed pods, but outside of Mexico the growers were not able to grow those precious seed pods.

If there is not the right bee, take a tooth pick

If there is not the right bee, take a tooth pick

There is only one specific bee native to Mexico that can naturally pollinate the vanilla flower. Only in 1841 Edmond Albius in Reunion, a 12 year old slave, developed a simple and effective way of hand pollinating the vanilla flower which flourishes only one day. I have seen the method in Mexico where nowadays the commercial growers also use that simple trick since it increases the yield considerably.

Just slit open the flower sideways...

Just slit open the flower sideways…

So if you want to grow your own vanilla in Thailand or Laos you just take a tooth pick and cut the flower open on the side. Thus you enable the pollination of your vanilla plant.

The green vanilla seedpods can develop

The green vanilla seedpods can develop

Since you need to hand pollinate your vanilla plants, hinder them to climb higher than 2 meters by reversing them.

Now just dry the seed pods

Now just dry the seed pods

Now you just wait a while and you can enjoy your own home grown Thai and Lao vanilla. We always have vanilla plants for sale at Discovery Garden Pattaya and Nong Khai.

The final result: homegrown vanilla

The final result: homegrown vanilla

Inquire about availability and prices of vanilla: hansfritschi1957@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Thai and Lao vanilla is as tasty as the original

  1. How old are the Vanilla vines that are for sale?
    Cost per vine?
    Time frame from replanting vine to production?
    Cost of cinnamon trees?

    Cheers

    • Dear Keith,

      our vanilla vines are 450 Baht each and it will take two years until you can harvest.

      Cinnamon: We have small trees at 250 Baht and huge ones (about 2 meter) for 3000 Baht.

      Hans Fritschi

  2. Servus,
    wie lange dauert es bis zur Ernte, wenn man mit Vanille-SAMEN die Plantage startet ?
    Verkaufst Du hetrocknete soursop Blätter, wenn ja, wie teuer pro kg ?
    LG
    Franz

  3. Lieber Franz,

    wir haben noch nie Vanille von Samen gezogen, wir ziehen neue Pflanzen von unseren bestehenden.

    1 kg getrocknete Soursop Blätter kosten 2500 Baht.

    Alles Gute

    Hans

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