Peppercorn – Indoor Herbal Garden
The Peppercorn plant is a perennial woody vine growing up to 4 meters (13 ft) in height on supporting trees, poles, or trellises. It is the most popular, expensive and essential spice of the world and hence, it is also called “Black Gold”. It is a spreading vine, rooting readily where trailing stems touch the ground. The leaves are Almond-shaped, tapering towards the tip, dark green and shiny above, paler green below, arranged alternately on the stems. The flowers are borne in clusters along flowering stalks known as spikes. 50–150 whitish to yellow-green flowers are produced on a spike. You can grow Piper nigrum in a container indoors if you wish. It is an attractive indoor plant as long as it is a warm position and with good filtered light.
Scientific Name: Piper nigrum.
Common Name: Black pepper, pepper, peppercorn.
How to grow and maintain peppercorn:
Pepper plant requires at least 5-6 hours of filtered sunlight or partial shade.
Black pepper needs rich soil that drains easily. A fertile potting mix works great. Garden soil should be amended with lots of compost. Plant in raised beds for better drainage. Soil pH is optimal at 5.5-7.
Pepper plant can be grown at a place where the minimum temperature doesn’t fall below 18 C (65 F) and can tolerate temperature above 40 C (105 F) but the normal daytime temperature of 25 C (77 F) is great.
Peppercorn plant needs moist soil to grow. Make a point to give the pepper plant plenty of water to keep the soil slightly moist always. Try not to enable the soil to dry out between watering spells.
Black Pepper plants respond very well to organic fertilizer. Fertilise with a slow release balanced fertilizer every 4 – 6 weeks. Where the soil pH is slightly high (6,5), use ammonium sulfate as nitrogen source at about 600g/mature plant annually at 100g per application.
Peppers can some of the time be gathered starting about one year after planting, however, most will take 3 to 4 years to develop. To start with, flowers will appear throughout the spring and summer. Fruit will begin to form shortly after in clusters. They will ripen from green to red and can be harvested at these different stages. Most gardeners will harvest peppercorns when they begin to turn red. Dry peppercorns in the sun for about three days. They should turn black when completely dry. Grind them up to make black pepper.
Propagation is for the most part by stem cuttings and also by seeds.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to root rot, pepper weevil, and pepper flea beetle. Watch for aphids on indoor plants.
Benefits of Black Pepper:
The medical advantages of black pepper include relief from respiratory disorders, coughs, the common cold, constipation, indigestion, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and heart disease.
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