Black Pepper Vine
Betel Leaf Vine
days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant every 2 feet, trellised
sunlight requirements: partial sun, shade loving
look out for: leaf and foot rot
harvest notes: can take years to produce berries
Black pepper vine is not grown commercially in the US because very few areas have the right growing conditions. We are super lucky in South Florida to have the heat, humidity and lack of frost that this vine likes. In addition to its culinary value, pepper makes a lovely houseplant or landscaping plant with its glossy, evergreen leaves and large flowers. Pepper plants have long, vigorous vines and can reach twelve to fifteen feet high and are shade loving. The plants need a strong trellis or structure to scramble over. Growth will slow somewhat during the winter as temperatures cool. Continue to water the plants occasionally to keep the soil slightly moist. In the Spring make sure to fertilize with composted chicken manure and/or kelp meal to encourage new growth. Once you get berries they can be eaten ripe and pack quite a bunch, or they can be dried for use as white or black peppercorns.