Vanilla planifolia variegata is a variety of climbing orchid, native to South America and the West Indies. It anchors itself against trees, shrubs, rocks and buildings, where it can reach heights as tall as 50 feet. The dried fruits of the vanilla plant are known as vanilla beans, which are highly fragrant and flavorful, making it a popular flavor in commercial products and scent in beauty products.
Determine your growing zone (click on the link in the Resource section). Vanilla thrives best in plant hardiness zone 10 and regions of similar climate. The plant requires moist soil, partial sun and very warm temperatures.
Place a few peat moss pods on a paper plate.
Place a vanilla planifolia variegata seed on its side in each peat moss pod. One seed per pod is all you need. Use as many seeds and peat moss pods as you want.
Drizzle water onto each peat moss pod, until the paper plate is flooded with about 1/4 inch of water.
Observe as the peat moss pods swell and expand around the vanilla seeds. Then, place each swollen, wet peat moss pod into the burrows of a cardboard egg carton.
Water the peat moss pods liberally, once every three days. Within eight to 14 days, the plants begin to sprout from the top of the peat moss pods. You can place the pods directly into individual containers of soil, against a surface on which the plant can anchor itself.
Water the growing vine every four days, preferably with a dripping hose system. The plant takes up to two years before it is mature enough to produce edible vanilla bean pods.