Black Pepper Vine (Piper nigrum)

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Loved around the world, Black Pepper is a perennial woody vine native to southern Asia. Piper Nigrum can obtain heights of up to to 13 ft and is perfect for trellises, porches, fences, and poles with it's spreading vine. These vines will easily root and take hold to soil and surfaces, making this a great plant for cultivation. 

The fruiting vine bears small flowers which can produce long spikes (around 3-7 inches long) of dark red fruit.  These drupes are commonly called peppercorns and can grow in clusters of 20-30. These fruit are picked and dried in the sun or artificially, and crushed into pepper. Depending on when the fruit is harvested and dried can result in variations such as black, white, or green pepper. Black Pepper grows best in well drained and moist soils. It requires soil with plenty of nutrition, but isn't picky about altitude.  It even makes an excellent houseplant in temperate climates.  

Plant Type
Perennial Fruiting Vine

Harvest Season
Red berries ripen 9 months after flowering

Mature Size
Can grow to about 13 ft. long

Soil & Moisture
Well-draining, rich in organic matter with consistent watering.

Light Requirements
Part Shade

Self-Fertile
Yes

Growth Rate
Slow, Medium

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection.; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation

How to Grow Black Pepper

Plant Type: Perennial Fruiting Vine

Harvest: Red berries ripen 9 months after flowering

Mature Size: Can grow to about 13 ft. long

Soil & Moisture: Well-draining, rich in organic matter with consistent watering.

Exposure: Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: 9-11

Benefits of Growing Black Pepper

Everyone's familiar with the culinary use of Black Pepper Plants as a spice, but few are aware of it's medicinal uses. Research has found that the alkaloids, terpenes, and volatile oils in Black Pepper help contribute to many of it's purported effects, including it's proven antiseptic and antibacterial characteristics. Black Pepper is thermogenic, and can help increase body heat and metabolism.  Both the fruit and the essential oil can be used and Black Pepper is a great tonic for circulatory and digestive systems.

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