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.