How to Grow a Pepper Tree From Seed

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Pepper trees are known for their attractive, pinnate leaves and reddish-brown fruits developing from clusters of tiny white, yellow, green or pale pink flowers. There are over 30 species of these striking trees. They belong to the schinus family and the most common species grown in the United States are S. molle and S. terebinthifolius. All grow well in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. Once established, they are drought tolerant and like well drained soil in full sun. They are fast growing and make excellent shade trees.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed pots
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Remove the seeds from the berries and wash them, making sure you get rid of all the pith.

  • Fill seed pots with commercial potting soil, tamping it down firmly. Water the soil until the water drips out the bottom of the pots.

  • Plant the seeds, covering them with 1/4 inch of soil. Water them in, making sure they are soaked. Keep the soil damp.

  • Place the pots in a warm area, at a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds will germinate in two to four weeks. They will be ready to transplant into the garden when they are 12 to 14 inches high.

Tips & Warnings

  • All schinus species are easily grown from seed.
  • Plant them in the fall when the seeds are ripe.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, S. terebinthifolius has been deemed a noxious weed in Texas and Florida.
  • There are separate male and female flowers. They can occur on the same plant or on different plants.

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