How to Grow a Plant From a Peppercorn

Peppercorns contain the seeds of the Piper Nigrum plant.
Peppercorns contain the seeds of the Piper Nigrum plant. (Image: peppercorn tree image by rrruss from

Peppercorns are most commonly known as an herb used to make black pepper but are actually the dried fruit of the Piper Nigrum plant. Inside each peppercorn is a single Piper Nigrum seed that will grow if it is planted. The plant is a vertical growing vine that reaches an average height of 10 to 30 feet and is native to India. Although often black, the peppercorns can also be yellow, white and red.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Bucket
  • Garden spade
  • 5-gallon plant pot
  • Trellis
  • Gardening tape

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Pour potting soil and peat moss into a bucket in equal parts. Mix the two items together well using a garden spade.

Place a 5-gallon plant pot on a flat surface and insert a small trellis all the way down to the bottom of the pot. Push the trellis as far against one of the pot sides as possible.

Fill the pot with the soil mixture until it is three-quarters full. Pack the soil firmly around the base of the trellis to hold it in place.

Create two to three 1-inch deep holes in the top of the soil and drop a single peppercorn into each hole. Cover the holes with additional potting soil.

Place the pot in a location that maintains a constant temperature of between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit until the peppercorns germinate. If you live in a mild climate the pots can be placed outdoors during the warm months.

Water the new peppercorn plants two to three times per week and do not allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Unlike other plants, peppercorns actually prefer constantly moist soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not plant peppercorns purchased at the grocery store since they have been dried and treated to prevent germination. Instead, order peppercorns from a garden supply center or harvest them from an existing plant.
  • If you place the peppercorn pot outdoors bring it in before the temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Secure the vine to the trellis using gardening tape as the vertical height of the plant increases.


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