Tahitian vanilla plant needs a hot and humid climate, a support to latch on and some shade. In French Polynesia, it is planted in the field or under shade
Planters are in charge of cuttings, control or help the latching and ensure to fold the liana so that the beans to come are at man's height.
Fertilization (pollination or marriage) is made by hand, flower by flower. It is done in July and October, early morning (flowers only last a few hours) and during drier weather (rain not being good for fruit formation). The flower is delicately taken in one hand, one finger being the support under the column (central part of the flower). With a stylus, open the membrane separating male and female organs, pollen and stigma, to put them into contact.
Tahitian vanilla is special in the fact that it is harvested when ripe, unlike other vanilla plants, harvested while green because they are dehiscent. Therefore, it is the difference between a banana harvested green and a yellow banana...
To guarantee quality of the ripe vanilla bean harvested in French Polynesia, ripe vanilla beans surveillance committees have been set up in each commune and are in charge, at each ripe vanilla beans sale (May to November) of controlling ripeness, size and texture of the beans, required criteria for a quality vanilla bean curing.