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Vanilla Technical Session | First Looping of the New Shoot

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Live mulch such as Desmodium heterophyllum (clover), offers good protection when the roots run out of the main mulch

By Piero Bianchessi, Former Owner and Operator of Venui Vanilla

Goal 1 : to keep the vanilla at reachable height

Goal 2 : to promote root formation at the nodes covered by mulch

When : as soon as the first vine is long enough to be redirected toward the ground, reach the mulch and shoot upward – approximately 10-12 weeks after propagation

Tools : (1) mulch  (2) bush ladder  (3) wheelbarrow

FACTS : Rooting of the new shoots every time the vines are looped helps the plant to grow faster and stronger. Receiving more nutrients, the plant will be able to flower early, support more beans, and be more resistant to diseases.


DO NOT leave the looped vine sitting on the old mulch uncovered. Immediately cover with new mulch!


  •  – Gently detach the climbing roots of the vine from the support branch.
  •  – Hang the vine over one of the support tree branches.
  •  – Direct the vine toward the old mulch.
  •  – Lay 2 or 3 nodes of the vine over the old mulch and cover with new mulch.
  •  – Redirect the growing apex upward and tie the vine (if necessary) with a bush twine (tree bark, banana or pandanus leaves or similar).

The vine will keep growing and eventually new buds will shoot laterally, soon multiplying the number of vines growing on a plant. Keep looping and mulching all these vines.

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