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How to Grow Vanilla Beans Indoors

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices; it is also one of the most popular spices, particularly for sweet treats. Many people enjoy the smooth and light flavor that vanilla beans impart to foods. Gardeners with a flair for the unusual may find it interesting to grow vanilla beans indoors in a container. As long as you can provide the vanilla bean plant with plenty of humidity and sunshine, your vanilla bean plant will thrive.

Prepare the small vase or container for rooting the cutting. Fill it with water and add approximately ½ tsp. of the fertilizer to the water. Stir the water and fertilizer to incorporate them.

Run water and place the bottom of the cutting under the stream of water. Use the paring knife to cut off the end of the cutting at a 45-degree angle while you hold it under the running water.

Place the cut end of the stem into the prepared water. Leave the cutting in the water for approximately 10 days.

Check the root development after 10 days. As long as you can see roots growing, the vanilla plant cutting is ready to plant.

Prepare the planting container by mixing equal parts of potting soil and compost in the container.

Make a planting hole for the cutting that is deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the new roots. Plant the cutting so that approximately one-third is beneath the soil.

Insert a stake 2 inches from the cutting and gently tie the cutting to the stake. Firm the soil gently around both the cutting and the stake with your hands.

Water the newly planted vanilla cutting to saturate the soil in the container. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times.

Place the container in a humid bathroom with natural sunlight. If you do not have natural sunlight in your bathroom, consider using a grow light. Vanilla plants need bright, yet indirect, light.

Pollinate the vanilla plant flowers when they blossom. Use the tip of a cotton swab to remove the pollen from a flower and rub the pollen onto the stigma of a different flower. Perform the pollination process as many times as you can with the available flowers. Watch for vanilla beans to begin forming within one to two weeks after pollination.


Things You Will Need

  • Small vase or cylindrical container
  • All-purpose liquid fertilizer
  • Cutting from vanilla plant (with one leaf and one node)
  • Paring knife
  • 12-inch diameter planting container
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Twine
  • Stake
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Cotton-tipped swab

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.