shopping Vanilla - one variety
Vanilla extract, powder image
[ 5050 ]Vanilla Plantfolia

Vanilla Extract Powder

1/4 Pound:  $9.13 Pound:  $20.29 
We offer discounted pricing on orders over 100 pounds. Contact Us

Wholesale Vanilla

Vanilla planifolia
plant overview
exotic, floral and sweet

Our whole vanilla bean bulk option is by the quarter pound. The vanilla extract most people are familiar with is obtained from the seed pods of a species of orchid native to Mexico. The exotic and floral fragrance of the tiny seeds inside each vanilla “bean” lend a spicy-sweet flavor to cakes, cookies, breads and other baked goods. Vanilla is also widely used in the cosmetic and perfume industries. When you buy whole vanilla beans a small bit of trivia you may not have known is that the plant is an important commercial crop and export of Madagascar.

Please note: There are approximately 24 beans per 1/4 pound.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.

A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on vanilla

Vanilla planifolia is a vine from the Orchidaceae family.

The plant's short-blooming flowers are greenish-yellow and are about 2 inches in diameter (5cm). There is less than 1% chance that the flowers will be pollinated in the wild, so in order to receive a steady flow of fruit when grown on farms, the flowers must be hand-pollinated. The flowers are pollinated manually in the morning hours, since they last only a day. The plants are self-fertile, and pollination simply requires a transfer of the pollen from the anther to the stigma. If pollination does not occur, the flower will drop the following day.

Only mature plants (generally over 10 feet in length) will produce fruit. The fruits are pods 6-9 inches long—and often incorrectly referred to as "beans".

common names & nomenclature
The word vanilla, is derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina which means "sheath" or "pod", and so, simply translates as "little pod".

Also known as:
vanilla, vanilla bean, vainilla, araco aromatico, banillenlen, flat-leaved vanilla, tahitian vanilla, west indian vanilla, vanilla fragrans

Vanilla, the exotic, floral, and sweet commodity

Where in the World

habitat and range for vanilla

Vanilla planifolia is a species of vanilla orchid that is native to Mexico, also found in Central America and the West Indies. It is harvested mostly in Mexico and Madagascar.

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting vanilla

Vanilla planifolia prefers hot, wet, tropical rainforest climates in indirect sunlight.

Vanilla plants begin growing in rich, fertile soil, but will soon climb and grow on nearby tropical trees and at some point the plant base will rot away and the plant will be truly epiphytic (a non-parasitic plant that grows on another plant).

Vanilla propagates readily from cuttings grown in a warm, humid greenhouse. Vanilla plants grown from cuttings will take three to four years to flower.

Fruits ("pods", "beans") mature after about five months, at which point they are harvested and cured. Curing ferments and dries the pods. Curing also minimizes the loss of essential oils. Vanilla extract is obtained from this portion of the plant.

Store cured vanilla in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The Rest of the Story

Formulas & recipes

Considered sweet, spicy, woody with balsamic notes, vanilla is a cherished flavor, standard in particular cakes and many other baked items, ice creams, coffees and chocolates, whipped creams, milk and grain milks, desserts, liqueurs.

How do you use whole vanilla beans?

Whole vanilla beans have a variety of options beyond culinary. You can make tinctures, candles, syrups, powders, perfumes, body scrubs, smoothies and more.

Lavender vanilla perfume recipe

  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
  • 1 cup dried lavender flowers
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops vanilla extract

Slice open the vanilla beans with a sharp knife. Place the beans and lavender flowers in a large mason jar. Pour the vodka into the jar and secure the lid. Let the mixture infuse for 7 days. Strain and discard vanilla beans and lavender flowers. Add the glycerin, lavender essential oil and vanilla extract to the reserved liquid and stir. Replace the lid and allow the perfume to age for four to six weeks. Strain the perfume once more through a paper filter and transfer to into decorative spray bottles.

How to store whole vanilla beans?

Store vanilla beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Health and therapeutic uses

There are a variety of wide-ranging therapeutic uses for vanilla. The aroma has a calming effect, may help curb sugar intake and can aid in the relief of gas. Furthermore a primary component of vanilla, Vanillin, may offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.