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Black pepper plant:

Hi, friends today we’re going to be talking about the Black pepper plant  , or the ‘Pepper of Commerce’ or the culinary pepper. And the botanical name of the pepper is Piper nigrum and it is an endemic species, and native to South India, in the lowlands, or humid and hot topics.

How to grow plant:

And this is a potted plant that we have; showing you the fruit, green fruit, here; then this is the ripening fruit. This is cutting taken from our mother plant, but this actually shows you the initiation of the flowers. So, they come out as a small stem, like this.

Flowers form along with the buds, and then as the fruit matures, it changes to these rounds, green corns, and eventually, as you can see here, it turns red. And it is at this point that the peppercorn can be picked, and dried for use.


The pepper, or Piper nigrum, makes a great container plant for moderate-light areas, east to west windows; where they can be grown on the windowsill, and prefer temperatures above 60 degrees.

So, one of the issues that growers or gardeners find with the pepper is that they have, on the backsides of their leaves, these small little beads that form, and we can see here, upon these leaves there are these black spots.


This is a question that we get continuously, thinking that it’s an insect and actually it’s not it’s part of the plant. There’s an exudate of sugar; a little bead of sugar that forms on the backsides of the leaves, and over time turns black. The sooty molds, or opportunistic molds, attack and feed on it.

It creates no harm to the plant at all. Another thing about the pepper is that is year-round fruiting.  So, we do have flowers and fruit coming, and so there’s an endless supply of peppercorns that one can harvest off of them.

Generally, in the Northeast, we have cooler temperatures and shorter days so things do slow down a bit, but we can pretty much count on the pepper being in fruit and in flower year-round for us. And they are a vine; they don’t climb and tangle over things but they do climb up things.

How to grow plant:

And, their culture can be either allowed to grow in a basket, where they may hang down, but then you have to deal with the vine tangling up — or, they can be staked, and an example of that is a stake, here, which is kind of pulling the plant together.

As in all plants, there is a need for fertilization, and peppers are what we could consider a low to moderate feeder. We generally would recommend fertilization of a balanced fertilizer.

Black pepper plant:

That would be a soluble salt that you mix with water, or a granular organic, which is top-dressed; just sprinkled on the top of the soil once a month, maybe in a dilute form every two weeks during the growing season.

They can have too much, so one needs to be cautious about that, and as a rule of thumb, if they have higher light, they need more, and the temperatures are warm. If they have lower light, then it needs to be reduced; and as we go into the winter months, make sure that you reduce or restrict the fertilizer so that they don’t burn from it.

Peppers are resilient plants to grow, and we have produced them now for a number of years. And they do have a few issues, in terms of their culture, if we violate some of their needs of watering, fertilization, and temperature.

Black pepper plant:

One would be root diseases, which they have a susceptibility to under cool, wet conditions. And as you can see, this plant is being grown in a clay pot. They are plants that prefer a little bit on the dry side; and also, a container like this, allows the plant to really fill it out before you re-pot it.

So, that drying down– that period of dryness between watering– is what’s going to maintain a healthy root system for you. The other thing is that they do have some susceptibility to insects. We’d consider them a low insect attracting plant.

One of the main ones that we see on it, from time to time. We don’t see it very often, is mealybug can get on them. They really have no problem with spider mites, or trips, or aphids. And many other insects that affect container plants.

Black pepper plant:

So, thank you for watching this video and try a pepper. It’s probably one of the easier fruiting plants you can grow in the windowsill.

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