From orchid to spice – how vanilla is made
The fragrant, aromatic vanilla comes from a tropical orchid.
The orchid is a creeper, climbing up the trees in the rainforest, as high as 20-30 meters. The leaves are thick and fleshy and the flowers are usually yellow or green/yellow. The flowers exists only a day and opens just a few hours in the morning, which is the right time for pollination. The first flowers appears app. 3 years after planting.
If the vanilla keeps growing upwards, it will not create flowers (and rods).
You need to have support-trees, so the vanilla are looped and forced to grow downwards. Then it will flourish.