Learn How to Grow Black Pepper (peppercorn) in your garden! It is one of the most popular and essential spices in the world.
The black pepper plant is native to South India and extensively cultivated in other tropical regions like Brazil, Myanmar, and Indonesia. It is one of the most commonly grown spices in the world. Keep reading this article to learn How to Grow Black Pepper!
USDA Zones: 10 -11
Other Names: Blanc Poivre, Extrait de Poivre, Grain de Poivre, Hu Jiao, Kali Mirchi, Kali Mirch, Kosho, Krishna, Marich, Maricha, Pepe, Pepper, Pepper Extract, Pepper Plant, Peppercorn, Pfeffer, Pimenta, Pimienta, Pimienta Negra y Pimienta Blanca, Piper, Piper nigrum, Piperine, Poivre, Poivre Noir, Poivre Noir et Blanc, Poivre Noir et Poivre Blanc, Poivrier, Vellaja, White Pepper.
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Right Growing Conditions for Black Pepper
Black pepper loves extremely hot and humid climates, where the temperature never falls below 60 F (16 C). So, if you live in a warm area, you can easily cultivate this spice.
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How to Grow Black Pepper Plant?
You can grow it from seeds, but ensure they are fresh as they are viable for a concise period.
- To propagate it from seeds, fill the container with a quality potting mix that contains a good amount of organic matter.
- Use your finger to poke holes, each 1/2 inch deep and about 1 to 1.5 inches apart.
- Drop a seed in each hole, then cover it with soil.
- Water the seeds often and keep the soil moist.
Note: You can also propagate it from cuttings.
Requirements for Growing Black Pepper
While planting pepper plants, always choose a location that remains humid and gets plenty of bright but indirect sunlight.
If planting in a sunny area, use a shade cloth that filters the sunlight to at least 50%. If growing in a cool climate, provide full sun.
The temperature must be maintained constantly at around 75 to 85 Fahrenheit (24-30 C) for the plant to grow well. However, the pepper plant can tolerate temperatures between 50 F-104 F (10-40 C)
Black Pepper plants do best in fertile and medium clayey soil that retains slight moisture. Good drainage is always essential when growing black pepper in a pot or ground.
Waterlogged soil can damage the plant. Soil pH level could be anywhere between 5.5 and 7; add lime if the soil is too acidic and sulfur if alkaline.
Be sure to always give the pepper plant plenty of water to keep the soil slightly moist. Ensure you do not allow the soil to dry out between watering spells.
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Black Pepper Plant Care
The Peppercorn plant loves humidity; the more, the better. For this, mist the plant often with water. If you’re growing it in pots, place them on a saucer filled with water, this will also increase the humidity level.
When growing in the ground, apply 10 kilograms of well-rotted manure or compost per year to a mature plant so that the soil remains rich in nutrients. In pots, side-dress the plants with compost.
Fertilize it with balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 slow-release fertilizer, according to the product’s instruction, at the beginning of the growing season. The application of Epsom salt is also beneficial.
Do mulching with organic matter to prevent evaporation and weeds.
Pests and diseases
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Harvesting Black Pepper
You can harvest black, white, or green peppers from a single plant. The color depends on the different degrees of maturation. When the pepper is left on the plant, it becomes red after ripening. At this stage, picking and drying them in the sun for 3-5 days make them black.
You can also remove the outer red covering of the pepper, which will reveal a white center. It can then be grounded into a white powder, i.e., white pepper.
Pepper fruit is harvested before maturity and dried in the hot sun. After drying, it becomes wrinkled and black.
To learn in detail about harvesting and processing, read this guide.