Saturday, June 13, 2020

Planting white pepper

White pepper is obtained by removing the outer skin, namely pericarp and outer portion of the mesocarp of the ripe or matured green berries or dried black pepper (Piper nigrum L.).

Pepper belongs to the piperaceae family. Among the 700 different varieties there are bushy types, as well as tree-like, creeping, climbing and epiphytic sorts. Piper nigrum is a climbing plant, which, so long as it is not trimmed, can reach up to 10 m in height. The plant has small white flowers that grow in groups of about 50 blossoms that form dense slender spikes. The berry-like fruits are round, about 0.5-1.0cm in diameter and contain a single seed.

It is usually cultivated under home garden or homesteads. Trailing on available shade trees like coconut and arecanut palm and other standards can raise black pepper.

Pepper is a branching perennial vine that grows to about 10m in height. It is often grown over other ‘live’ supports such as kapok or gliricidia or as an intercop in tea or coffee plantations.

For optimum growth, the plant requires a long rainy season (over 2000mm annually), fairly high temperatures (20-40°C) and partial shade. It grows best in coastal areas or at elevations lower
than 1200mm. The plant is usually propagated by stem cuttings, which are set out near a tree
or a pole that can provide support for the vine. The vines begin to bear fruit 2 to 5 years after  planting and continue to bear fruit every three years for up to about 40 years.

On traditional pepper cultivations, the plants will produce around 2 kg of green  peppercorns per year. On intensively cultivated conventional plantations, this can be increased to a yield of around 10 kg between the 5th –7th years.
Planting white pepper

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