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BLACK PEPPER VINE

BLACK PEPPER VINE

Product Description:

Piper nigrum No spice cabinet is complete without Black Pepper, and here’s an opportunity to grow your very own! This vining, tropical plant will bloom and yield long strands of zesty peppercorns that start out green and ripen to a rich red. Harvested at various stages of ripeness and then processed, you can produce green, red, white and black peppercorns all from one plant. Each color of peppercorn offers a different flavor and aroma. The plants thrive in moist, well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. Provide support for the vines and sun to part shade exposure. These tender plants require protection when temperatures drop, so bring them in to a bright window during cooler months. Hardy to zone 12. Note: Peppers naturally produce exudates, tiny crystalline balls that form on the back of the leaves. These start our fairly clear and turn black with time. They are perfectly normal, do not harm the plant, are not a disease or pest, and should not be removed.

Black Pepper Vine plants ship in May in 3 ½ inch pots. Order early for best availability. Detailed planting information and growing instructions are included with each order. Available only in the contiguous US.
  • Key Features:

PLANT

$24.95

$24.95

  • Key Features:

Hardiness Zone 12
Bearing Age 2-3 years
Pollinator Required No

Initial Instructions
After unpacking, allow the plant a few days to gradually acclimate to full exposure. Select a location in full sun to part shade. In hot regions, give the plant some protection from hot afternoon sun. If you’re keeping your plant in a container, up-pot to a 6-8 inch pot using a good quality potting mixture and a support structure for the vine to climb. Test the soil pH and add an acidifying agent (cottonseed meal is a good organic solution) to lower the pH to 5-6.5 if necessary.

Cultivation
Black Pepper Vine is native to southern India, a very warm, tropical region with heavy rainfall. Care should be exercised to keep the plant in a warm, moist environment with a 60ºF minimum temperature and humidity at least 60%. The plant will appreciate the exposure to light and air circulation outdoors during the summer months and indoors in the brightest window during cooler weather. Water frequently but avoid allowing the plant to stand in water. Use a well-balanced, organic fertilizer during the growing season and top-dress with compost. A good option for fertilizer is a liquid food mixed in the irrigation water and applied each time the plant is watered.

Size at Maturity
Black Pepper vine will typically reach 3-4 feet when cultivated in a container. Plants may be pruned to maintain manageable size.

Harvest
Your Black Pepper vine may take 2-3 years before it produces fruit. The plants are self-fertile, and the berries appear in thick, draping clusters. They are ready to harvest for green pepper when they are all green. When one or two berries in the cluster begin to turn yellow, harvest them for black pepper, and when the clusters are fully mature with yellow-orange harvest for processing white pepper.

Processing Peppercorns
Handle the berry clusters carefully and manually remove the individual fruits. Wash the harvest and then soak for 1-2 minutes in hot (194ºF) water to sanitize and optimize the appearance of the peppercorns. For white peppercorns, remove the skin and flesh of the fruit at this point. The inner seed is then dried. Otherwise dry the harvest in a single layer in the sun for about 3 days or in food dehydrator set to a low temperature (below 130 ºF to preserve the volatile oil content).

Pests & Diseases
Black Pepper vines tend to have few insect pests, but if any infestations or disease arrive, treat with Neem. Follow label instructions for treating insects and disease. NOTE: Black Pepper vine plants naturally produce sugary exudations from pores on the back of the leaves. These crystalline beads are translucent when they first appear and gradually darken with time. They are a sign of a healthy, happy plant and not a disease or insect issue.

Soil Type
Acidic garden soil or acid-loving potting soil for plants in containers. Black Pepper vine prefers a pH of 5-6.5.

Light Requirements
Full sun to part shade.

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