I’d like to grow a black pepper corn plant indoors. I understand it’s an annual vine. Where can I purchase seeds?
Peppercorn plant (Piper nigrum) is a tropical, perennial woody-stemmed evergreen vine native to India, and Sri Lanka and commercially grown in a number of tropical areas. The peppercorn plant is the source for black pepper, a prized spice used throughout the world. They can be grown as a houseplant or in a greenhouse in Canada but it is a challenge in our climate to provide the conditions that will bring the plant into flower and then produce pepper corns.
If you are game to try growing peppercorn plant from seed, seeds can be ordered online from nurseries in the US and the UK. I couldn’t find a Canadian source for seeds but I did find an Ontario nursery that offers peppercorn plants for sale. The Tropic of Canada nursery is located in Wainfleet in the Niagara peninsula and they will deliver to Toronto.
Prior to planting peppercorn seeds, be sure to soak them overnight to soften the seed coats. Plant the seeds ½ cm deep and 8 cm apart in a well-draining, potting mix. Cover the seed tray with plastic wrap and spray frequently to keep the potting soil moist. Store in a warm location (between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius) such as the top of a radiator. At this temperature, the seeds can take up to 30 days to germinate. At lower temperatures, they germinate more slowly or not at all.
For more information on growing and harvesting peppercorns, have a look at ‘The Ultimate Guide to Growing Black Pepper’ on the Off The Grid News web site at the following link
The Missouri Botanical Garden web site provides detailed information on the peppercorn plant and it’s preferred growing conditions. Click here to reach their site.
Logee’s Tropical Plants, a nursery in the New England area of the US has produced a series of videos on tropical plant care. Click here to view their video on peppercorn plant.
Enjoy the challenge of growing Piper nigrum.