Black Pepper Plant

Growing Zones in Ground: 9 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

Starting at $85.95

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Size Height Burlap Sack Price Est. Arrival
5L EverPot™ 2 - 3 FT Yes $89.95 Tuesday, December 13th
20L EverPot™ 2 - 3 FT No $99.95 Tuesday, December 13th
5L EverPot™ 2 - 3 FT No $85.95 Tuesday, December 13th
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The Black Pepper Plant (Piper nigrum) is the source for Green, Red, White, and Black Peppercorns which are used to grind into the popular cooking spice. Black Pepper, combined with its constant companion salt, forms a foundation for culinary seasoning that is used across worldwide cultures, cusines, and recipes. Black Pepper Plants are easy to grow vines that can be planted in the ground in USDA Zones 9 to 11, and in pots in Zones 4 to 11. They are fast-growing, like full to partial sun, and can fruit in their first year.

Black Pepper Vines grow to between 15 and 30 feet long, but ample amoounts of peppercorns can be grown on smaller vines in 8 to 10-inch pots. Black Pepper Plants do best when grown on a pole or a trellis. The vines can also provide cover on a fence, or shade on an overhead arbor. They have attractive, deep green leaves and the fruit hangs on long stems. Each stem is surrouned by about fifty berries that go from green to red, then deep maroon, and finally black once dried. Black Pepper Plants are self-fertile, so only one plant is needed to bloom and produce Peppercorns. Plant a few Black Pepper Plants in your edible landscape and grow one of the most popular and versitile spices in the world.

Black Pepper Plant Care

While commercial Black Pepper farms grow Black Pepper Plants on 10 foot tall poles arranged in groves of hundreds of plants, the home grower can enjoy cultivating this versatile spice in much smaller spaces. To grow a Black Pepper Plant on your patio or deck, or even indoors, use a 1 to 3-gallon pot with drainage holes and a moss totem or an untreated wooden pole for vine support. Place the totem or pole at the bottom of the empty pot and about halfaway between the pot center and side. Fill the pot halfway with a mixture of potting soil and 10% perlite. Position the new Black Pepper Plant root ball so that the root ball’s surface will be about one inch below the new pots rim. Continue filing the pot with the potting mixture until the soil is about 1-inch below the root ball top. Water in well and top the soil with mulch.

Position potted Black Pepper Plants where they get full sun for at least 4 hours per day with some breaks of shade, particularly at high noon. If growing indoors, put the pot in the sunniest window available. Water when the soil is dry to 1-inch deep. If growing in the ground, plant in full sun to partial shade, and in a place where the vines can grow upon a trellis, arbor, or fence. Both indoor and outdoor Black Pepper Plants like warm temperatures above 60ºF, and high humidity. Indoor plants can be periodically soaked in a shower, and outdoor plants can be watered with misters or overhead sprinklers when rainfall is infrequent.

Black Pepper Harvesting

Black Pepper Plants grow flowers at the leaf nodes and the plants can bloom throughout the year. After the flowers fall, tiny green Peppercorns form on the long bloom stems. The Peppercorns mature in size and will ripen to a bright red. Red and Green Peppercorns often appear on the same Peppercorn Chain and the berries can be picked at any time once the first red berries arrive on a given Peppercorn spike.

Black and Green Peppercorns are obtained by picking and drying the Green Peppercorns. Green Peppercorns are dried naturally, while Black Peppercorns are made by first boiling Green berries, then drying them until they turn black. For this reason, Black Peppercorns always appear more shriveled than Green Peppercorns. Red and White Peppercorns come from the harvested Red Peppercorns. In the much the same process as Green and Black Peppercorns, the Red Peppercorns are used sooner after drying, and the White Peppercorns are obtained by letting the Red berries dry further then removing the outer shell. Red, Green, White, and Black Peppercorns each have subtle differences in flavor, pungency, and culinary heat.


In addition to growing in pots upon totems, and in the ground on fences or arbors, Black Pepper Plants do well in hanging baskets with drainage holes. Black Pepper Plant Hanging Baskets placed in the sun hanging from the eaves of a south-facing porch, or on a shepherd’s hook in partial sun, will produce large amounts of flower spikes and hundreds of peppercorns at multiple times throughout the year. Be sure the Black Pepper Hanging Baskets get mostly direct sun and some shade, and water them at least once per week or when the soil starts to dry at the surface.

Cut Black Pepper Plants back by trimming the original vines back to one foot for potted plants and three feet for in-ground vines. Cut the plants back in early spring and compost the trimmed away vines. In colder areas, bring potted Black Pepper Plants indoors before the first frost and place outdoors again in spring. Black Pepper Plants being grown or overwintered indoors require periodic soaking and should be placed in the brightest windows available.


What is the best temperatures for Black Pepper Plants?

Black Pepper Plants do best in warm locations where temperatures are above 60ºF. In cold Zones, grow potted Black Pepper Plants and over-winter them indoors.

How are Black Pepper Plants propagated?

Black Pepper Plants are usually grown from green vine cuttings that are rooted in sphagnum moss and then planted in larger pots or in the ground.

What are the black spots on my Black Pepper Plant leaves?

Small crystals of sugar form on the backs of Black Pepper Plant leaves and, over time, turn black. These black spots are not insects or a fungus, and are a normal part of the plant.

How much Black Pepper will a Black Pepper Plant produce?

A mature Black Pepper Plant can produce several hundred peppercorns each year.