Vanilla as a crop is grown in high humid environs and rain fed irrigation systems and by the nature of its growing system is very much prone to fungal, and other infections from the surrounding tree canopy and biomass. Super clean maintanenece which should be a prcatice will help avoid costly losses. Stagnating water will be a great concern and problem and good drainage in the root system is a must. A proper preventive mainatanence schedule put in to practice help avoid major problems. Sunburn of the leaves and foligae should be avoided by proepr shading and care for the biomass.

A proper appraisal system and documentation will help mitigate problems of a recurring nature and any competing organisms or insect pests should be controlled befoer their population reaches enormous proportions. Secondary and consistent efforts at pest and disease management brings a good clean farm.

Plant nurseries having a high population of plants should be maintained with high hygiene and proper mulch should be used. Use of compost and leaf mould should be throughly investigated before being applied. Irrigation systems should be cheked for excess water and water logging as it can induce fungal infections. Proper ventilation and airsupply is a must in dense cultivation systems.
Crop Protection

Vanilla is susceptible to many fungal diseases. Rots of various plant parts such as root, stem, leaf, bean and shoot tip are the common fungal diseases. They are generally caused by Fusarium sp., Sclerotium sp., Phytophthora sp. and Colletotrichum sp., Judicious usage (spraying and soil drenching) of appropriate fungicides such as Bordeaux Mixture (1%), Bavistin (0.2%), Copper Oxychloride (0.2%), and Akomin (0.4%) has been recommended for their management.

Field symptoms of Fusarial cane blight

Causal Organism :

Stem rot is caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vanillae
Host range studies by Nurawan(1990) with F. oxysporum isolated from stem rot of vanilla revealed that the pathogen was specific to vanilla and it failed to cause infection in alternative crops such as tomato, potato, ground nut, cucumber, ginger and cotton.
In India, stem rot incidence is noticed mostly during monsoon seasons in the form of decaying of the lower portions of the vines touching the soil. As infection proceeds, rotting extends along the stem portions and resultings in the wilting of vines. Such vines perish off if they are not connected to the soil by adventitious roots emerging from upper nodes. The pathogen was identified as Fusarium oxysporum.
Control measures

The disease can be controlled by spraying 0.2 percent Mancozeb together with Carbendazim (Tombe and Sitepu, 1986). Bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of Allium sp. was found to be inhibitory the pathogen. Tombe et. Al. (1992) reported that pre-treatments of plants with non-pathogenic isolates of Fusarium sp. suppressed stem rot disease. A number of mutants of F. oxysporum have also been reported as biocontrol agents against pathogenic forms of Fusarium sp. (Tombe, et. Al. 1994).

Stem blight: Phytophthora meadii


Infection on the stem is often observed in the form of brown coloured blighted portions, sometimes extending several centimeters along the stem. It is often noticed in several vanilla gardens in India during summer months. The affected portion gradually shrinks, the leaves become yellowish and the vines dry off.
Causal organism :

The pathogen was identified as Phytophthora meadii (Suseela Bhai and Joseph Thomas, 2000). A similar type of stem blight caused by Phytophthora spp. Such as P. palmivora, P. capsici¸and P. parasitica was earlier reported from French Polynesia (Tsao and Mu, 1987).
Control measures :

The spread of the disease can be controlled by spraying with 1 percent Bordeaux mixture or Potassium Phosphonate (0.4%).

Bean rot: Phytophthora meadii

Symptoms :

A severe rot incidence affecting vanilla beans was noticed in many vanilla gardens of Kerala, Southern India (Suseela Bhai and Joseph Thomas, 2000). Disease appears during the months of June to August when southwest monsoon rains are in full swing. Initially, rotting symptoms develop at the tips of beans, which slowly extend towards the pedicel resulting in rotting of the whole bunch. Affected beans are soft, brown coloured and show abundant mycelial growth. In later stages, the disease advances to the stem, leaves, aerial roots and extend towards the basal portions. The whole vine shows decaying symptoms and the entire plant perishes.
Causal organism :

The causal organism was identified as Phytophthora meadii.
Excess shade in the plantations, continuous rains, crowding of vines, water logged conditions and presence of Phytophthora inoculum in the field are the predisposing factors for the advancement of this disease.
Control measures :

Phytosanitation and spraying 1% Bordeaux mixture or 0.2 per cent Copper oxychloride are the recommended control measures. Foliar spray with 0.4% Potassium Phosphonate (Akomin or Phytophos) is also effective in preventing the spread of the disease.

Integrated Disease Management

For Vanilla and Orchids

Orchids are affected with fungal, viral and bacterial diseases, particularly during monsoon season or due to over watering and poor ventilation. Pathologists who are on ‘cell’ visiting orchid farms and offering assistance to minimize disease problems. Pathologist carry out need based research work regularly and provide guidance for diseases and pests management for quality orchid flowers production. Disease forecasting can predict the likely incidence and outbreaks and pests and thus can offer, preventive holistic offer for orchid health care.
This also includes legal, cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical practices which can be feasible as also economical, integrated together for the quality production of exportable orchids.

Disease Management in Vanilla

Avoid excess organic manure, heavy mulch and excess irrigation.
Cut and remove disease affected plant parts and burnt off.
Spray vines with 0.2 percent Carbendazim and after one week spray 1% Bordeaux Mixture. Repeat this at one month intervals.
Do not transport shoot cuttings or planting materials from diseased areas.
Viral disease affected vines should be uprooted and burnt off or deep burying.
Do not take planting materials from mosaic affected vines.
Do not touch a mosaic affected plant with hand or knife and again to a healthy vine without washing.
Avoid close planting and over crowding of plants.
Avoid excess shade.
Regularly visit vanilla gardens to find out disease out break and take immediate control measures.

Symptoms of dry rot incited by Rhizoctonia solani

Post harvest infection of Aspergillus niger

Healthy and inoculated pods with Aspergillus niger


Fungal Diseases

A number of pathogenic fungi cause diseases in vanilla, some of which result in total death of vines. The pathogens affect almost all the plant parts like roots, stem, leaves and beans and occasionally inflorescence also.
The various fungal and viral diseases and their management strategies are described below.
In the vanilla pages you will find cultivation information from our grower farms located in the following places of vanilla cultivation which becomes our supply backbone.

Stem rot: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vanillae


The symptoms appear in the form of water soaked lesions extending to both sides of the stem giving a brown coloured appearance. Later, elongated patches develop on the stem which result in rotting of tissues. In advanced stages, the leaves turn yellowish and later dry off.
When the stem in the basal or middle portions of the vines are infected and shriveled, the remaining distal portions show wilting symptoms, if sufficient number of aerial roots are not fixed in the soil. In certain cases, the stem infection is followed by rotting of beans.

Infected vine

Root rot: Fusarium batatis Wollen var. vanillae

Symptoms :

The infection starts in the form of browning at the root tips, which later on decay and result in the death of the underground roots. The infection gradually spreads to the aerial roots also. The affected plants produce numerous aerial roots, but most of these die before they reach the soil. As a result of infection, stem and leaves become flaccid, stem shrivels and the vines give a drooping appearance. The symptoms become more conspicuous during dry periods especially in gardens with excess sunlight. During this period the vines become less capable of withstanding the infection due to lack of adequate uptake of water and minerals. Among the various species, Vanilla planifolia is found to be more susceptible.
Causal organism :

The causal organism has been identified as Fusarium batatis Wollen var. vanillae. Phillip (1980) reported a type of wilting of V. planifolia plants caused by F. oxysporum.
Severe root rot caused by F. oxysporum was observed in several vanilla gardens of Southern India.
Control measures :

The disease was controlled by soil drenching with 0.2% Carbendazim or 0.2% Copper oxychloride. The biocontrol agents Trichoderma viride, T. harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens were found to inhibit both the root rot pathogen viz; Fusarium oxysporum and Sclerotium rolfsii under in vitro conditions. Trichoderma application at the base of vines was found to reduce the inoculum build up and minimizes root rot incidence.

Disintegration of Xylum vessels

Shoot tip rot: Fusarium oxysporum. Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes

Symptoms :

As the name indicates the symptom of the disease is rotting of shoot tips of the main vine or its side branches. The disease is commonly seen in vanilla gardens of southern India during post monsoon periods (September to December). Visible symptoms of the disease start as rotting in the form of brown patches on the petiole and lower portions of the youngest leaf, which is just unfolding. At this stage, the leaf is usually a funnel shaped receptacle like structure which can hold rain water or dew making congenial condition for rotting. Within a few days, the rotting extends to the affected leaves and the shoot tip becomes soft and changes to brown colour and later fall off. The infection is confined to the shoot tips only.
Causal organism :

The causal organism has been identified as Fusarium oxysporum. Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes is also found to be associated with shoot tip rot disease.
Control measures :

The disease can be managed by spraying with 0.2% Carbendazim.

Leaf rots : Fusarium oxysporum

Symptoms :

Leaf rot is a minor disease which occurs sporadically. It is generally observed on mature or old leaves. The leaf tip becomes slightly yellowish to brown coloured following infection. Later, rotting develops and proceeds backwards and sometimes reaches upto the middle portions of the leaf.
Causal organism :

Fungal pathogen namely Fusarium oxysporum is found associated with the disease.
Control measures :

The leaf rot can be controlled by spraying with 0.2% Mancozeb (Indofil M-45), and 0.2% Carbendazim (Bavistin 50 W P) or a mixture of both.

Symptoms of leaf blight caused due to Fusarium sp.

Field symptoms of Colletotrichum vanillae

Inflorescence rot: Colletotrichum sp.
Symptoms :

Rotting of flower buds is observed in a few vanilla gardens of Kerala. The symptoms start in the form of development of brown colour on the flower stalks during the elongation period of the inflorescence. This discolouration gradually spreads to the flower buds and results in the shedding of the affected flower buds.
Causal organism :

The causal organism was found to be Colletotrichum sp.
Control measures :

Spraying the flower buds with (0.2%) Carbendazim was found to reduce the disease spread.

Bean Yellowing : Fusarium oxysporum

Symptoms :

This is relatively a new type of disease observed recently. The disease appears on immature beans of about five to seven months age, often during August to October months. The symptoms appear in the form of development of yellow colour at the tips of the beans which slowly extends towards the pedicel portions. As this proceeds, splitting of beans starts at the tip followed by brown colouration of the affected portions. Fully affected beans fall off from the peduncle before reaching maturity. Some times the brown colouration developes into rotting of bean tip, basal portion or even the entire bean. The disease is not observed on mature beans.
Causal organism :

The pathogenic fungus was identified as Fusarium oxysporum).
Control measures :

The disease can be controlled by spraying with 0.20% Carbendazim or 0.20% Thiophanate methyl (Topsin M) at 15 days intervals for two to three times. Spraying a mixture of Carbendazim and Mancozeb at 0.20% also is effective in controlling the disease.

Anthracnose: Calospora vanillae

Symptoms :

The pathogen infects almost all the plant parts like young shoot tips, leaves, roots and beans. The first symptoms are seen on tender parts such as immature beans and the tip of aerial roots. On the beans the symptoms appear as extremely minute dull red or amber coloured pustules springing in small groups form discoloured patches. They turn black at the tip and the middle portion and later wilt and fall off within two or three days. The pustules though appear on both sides of the leaves, the intensity is more on the upper side. As the disease progresses the leaves start yellowing and drying resulting in their death.
Causal Organism :

Anthracnose disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Calospora vanillae Massae. Excess soil moisture, poor drainage, prolonged rainy weather and over crowding of vines are the major predisposing factors (Purseglove et al., 1988). The diseased and dead leaves, beans and aerial roots lying on the ground are the source of fresh inoculum for the repeated infection.
Control measures :

Proper phytosanitation by collection and burning of affected parts is necessary to prevent further spread of the disease.
Black crust disease

The occurrence of this disease is reported only in very rare cases from vanilla gardens. The disease is characterized by the information of black lesions on the stem, leaves and fruits. It is caused by Mycoleptodescus indicus which belong to Moniliales of Hyphomycetes. The fungus was isolated from infected plant parts such as leaves, stem and fruits from the Taperoa regions and its pathogenicity was proved (Bezerra and Ram, 1986).

Symptoms of leaf blight

Viral diseases

Occurrence of viral diseases is common in several countries where vanilla is grown on a commercial scale. Mosaic disease affecting vanilla has been reported by Wisler et al. (1987) from French Polynesia. The virus is sap transmissible and produces local lesions on inoculated leaves of Nicotiana tabacum. The symptoms originate as mosaic or mild mottling with chlorotic specks or streaks mainly on the leaves and rarely on stems. Usually such mosaic is also associated with stunting, sterility and leaf distortions.
Vanilla Necrosis Poty Virus (VNPV)

Vanilla necrosis is the most severe of all the viral diseases affecting the crop both on symptoms expression and damage resulting in vine death. Wide spread occurrence of necrosis in V. planifolia has been reported from Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu (Pearson et al. 1990)
The disease symptoms develop in young leaves in the form of diffuse chlorotic patches followed by leaf distortion. Necrotic lesions are seen on older leaves and stems. In advanced stages, necrosis extends resulting in the death of affected vines.
Cymbidium Mosaic Virus (CyMV)

Wisler et. al. (1987) reported the occurrence of Cymbidium Mosaic Virus (CyMV) in vanilla grown in South Pacific Islands.) CyMV infection in vanilla causes only mild mottle or mild chlorotic streaks in the leaves. In most of the cases vanilla plants infected with this virus appear symptomless.
Pearson and Pone (1988) have reported the occurrence of the virus in vanilla from the Kingdom of Tonga) Vanilla plants infected with ORSV are usually symptomless. Mild mottling is occasionally observed on leaves. The virus is sap transmissible and also spreads through stem cuttings used for propagation.

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Commercial vanilla is propagated by rooted stem cuttings. In vegetative propagation, the cuttings should be taken from healthy vigorous plants and may be cut from any part of the vine. We trail our mother vines in areca or such trees without allowing them to flower for production of mohter stock for planting. We provide technical support for planting and also help in undertsanding the physiology and agro practices required to harvest pods from least gestation periods.


We present vanilla projects, visits, products, explorations in a journey. Do have our views entice you to a new beginning.

  • Vanilla Growing

    gifts Vanilla as a shade crop grown in support of Glyricidia as a tertiary crop in plantations. High density of 2m x 1m is possible with well matured planting stocks. Consulting for setting up farm available.
  • Vanilla Curing

    curing Process of Harvesting the ripe pods and convert them into gourmet beans through a process of bourbon -killing, sweating, drying and conditioning. Process techniques that make for quality and high grade vanilla end products.
  • Vanilla Products

    beans Vanilla Beans - Gourmet and extraction grades, vanilla paste, Vanilla pwoder, and vanilla extracts including vanilla absolute. Beans- A grade, B Grade and extraction. Vanilla paste for use in icecream, pastries and confectionery industry.


    A SELECTION OF ORCHID HYBRIDS TO CHOOSE. Dendrobiums, Mokaras, Arandas, Vandas, Cattleyas, Oncidiums and intergenerics.


    A 3D exploration of art objects to choose from different themes. Cast from special one of molds and made to order. Master art or prototypes are to client choice.


    selection of pendants, broches, keychains, penstands made out of fresh orchids and flowers these art objects any collections.