Black pepper has been valued through the centuries for its many uses and medicinal applications. However, black pepper also has beneficial qualities for plants as well. Plants that need protection from insects and ants can benefit from the spicy nature of black pepper. Easily damaged plants, such as herbs, can be ant free with a little black pepper sprinkled around the base of the plant. Black pepper is able to do much more than just flavor food.
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Black pepper can be added to water and sprayed on garden plants or household plants as a natural insecticide. The pepper does not harm the plant but smell lingers on the plant long after the water has evaporated. Insects don’t like the smell or the irritation that pepper can cause to them. Consequently, insects stay away from the plant.
Black pepper is a fatal substance for ants. However, ants can cause serious damage to garden plants. By placing a thin line of black pepper around plants or at the edge of flower beds the number of ants in the area will be reduced. However, if pepper is used to repel the ants it would be wise to spray the plants with a pepper spray to repel the other insects as well. Pepper can also be mixed into the soil of an outdoor potted plant. When mixed into the top three inches of potting soil the black pepper will keep ants from entering the pot and creating channels to the roots that can cause damage to the plant.
Many plants are susceptible to fungus or bacterial infections. Black pepper is a natural antibacterial which can help build plants resistances to bacterial infestations. When ground black pepper is mixed into the plant soil it will begin to break down and become nutrients for the plant. The antibacterial qualities are then passed to the plant as well as helping to hinder the growth of any bacteria in the soil.