Black Pepper Growing in Texas
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Nyoka
Posted on: July 13, 2007

I live in Texas, USA. Can I grow pepper? I mean table pepper, peppercorns.

Black, or white pepper, Piper nigrum must be grown with a minimum temperature of 15 -18C(59-64F), which means, unprotected, it can only survive in tropical climates. This means that you could grow it in a large pot in rich, well-drained soil. Keep it outside in summer in light shade, but to do well it also needs high humidity. We have this during the summer in the Great Lakes area, but I am not sure about Texas, especially since you do not specify where in Texas. Winter indoors.

Supply the plant with a frame, since it is more like a vine. To get lots of fruit the young vines are cut back to 30cm (12 inches) several times a year to get lots of secondary shoots. The ten strongest are kept and tied to the frame. Mature vines are regularly pruned to 4m (12 feet). The fruits are picked unripe and pickled (green peppercorns) or dried (green and black peppercorns), or peeled and dried (white pepper) for use. (Reference: Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses by Deni Bown, Richters catalogue #B2730).

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