In Florida we have four native vanilla species (V. barbellata, dilloniana, phaeantha and mexicana). These Florida species are not edible. Vanilla planifolia has become naturalized throughout Southern Florida.
Our native Florida vanilla species are endangered and should not be collected from natural areas without proper authorization and permitting by regulatory authorities.
The vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) is one of the world’s most interesting plants. Of the nearly 35,000 species of orchid, the second largest botanical family of plants, vanilla is the only species that produces an edible fruit.
Vanilla is the second most valuable spice on earth. The first is Saffron. The world's second most expensive spice is vanilla. While it originated in Mexico vanilla is famously cultivated in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. Of course, it's market price doesn't compare to the outlandish cost of saffron but vanilla can earn a grower a very nice profit compared to other agricultural goods.
Some people have been exploring the commercial production of Vanilla here in Florida. It appears this may actually have merit in pursuing.
Vanilla has been cultivated domestically in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Florida since the early 1900s. V. planifolia was introduced from Florida into Puerto Rico twice before 1909. The USDA station in Puerto Rico conducted horticultural, breeding, and bean-curing research in support of the vanilla industry. The industry in Puerto Rico grew until the 1950s, when it declined after World War II as industrialization superseded agriculture. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/HS1348
Below we offer you this rare Tahitian Vanilla.
Description: Tahitian vanilla is unique among these hand-grown varieties, as it is a hybrid of two species, Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla odorata. It has a thinner stem and oval-shaped leaves, and is dark green in color. The aroma is floral with undertones of ripe fruit for a deep and rich taste of cherry chocolate, licorice, and caramel.
Here we offer you this rare Tahitian Vanilla.
Description: Tahitian vanilla is unique among these hand-grown varieties, as it is a hybrid of two species, Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla odorata. It has a thinner stem with oval-shaped leaves, dark green in color. The aroma is floral with undertones of ripe fruit with a deep, rich cherry chocolate, licorice, and caramel flavor.
Growing conditions best for Vanilla
Average temperatures around 77F.
A short dry period before flowering, usually during spring.
A humus rich free draining soil.
Part shade (dappled shade)
Lots of humus in the soil.
A good layer of compost like mulch
Summary Growing Conditions
Use orchid pine bark with 40 % good quality potting mix or instead of pine bark use sphagnum moss.
Dot not over-pot, keep the plants almost root bound.
Choose a position in dappled shade, however not deep shade.
Give the plants something to climb on.
Keep the root system in the shade, let the plant climb into the light.
Use a weak solution of foliar spray of seaweed and or fish fertilizer until the plant is established.