Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.) ; Piperaceae


Panniyur 1, Panniyur 2, Panniyur 3, Panniyur 4, Panniyur 5, Panniyur 6, Panniyur 7, Panniyur 8, Karimunda,  Sreekara, Subhakara, Panchami, Pournami, IISR Thevam, IISR Malabar Excel, IISR Girimunda, IISR Sakthi, PLD-2.

  • Lower elevation and less shady areas- Panniyur 1
  • Higher elevation and more shady areas – Karimunda
  • Intercropping in Arecanut and Tolerant to shade – Panniyur 5
  • Field tolerant to foot rot and drought – Panniyur-8

Soil and Climate

Black Pepper is a crop of humid tropics requring 1250 to 2800 mm rainfall with a relative humidity of 60% to 95% with a little variation in day length throughout the year.  The optimum temperature is 20-30°C. Thrives best on virgin soils rich in humus. The optimum soil pH is 5.5 to 6.5 . It can be grown at elevations up to 1500 m.

Establishment of Black Pepper Plantation

Planting live standards is to be taken up in April-May with the onset of monsoon showers.  Seedlings of silver oak can be planted 2-3 years before planting Pepper.

Spacing – The spacing recommended is 3m X 3m on plain lands and 2m between plants in rows across the slope and 4m between rows on sloppy lands.

Field Planting

For planting black pepper, prepare pits on the northern side of standards, 15 cm away from it.  The pit size should be 50 X 50 X 50 cm. Fill the pits with a mixture of topsoil and  compost or well rotten cattle manure @ 5kg/pit along with recommended products of bio control agents such as Trichoderma harzianum or Trichodrma viride (50g/pit) with the onset of southwest monsoon in June – July, plant 2-3 rooted cutting in the pits at a distance of about 30cm away from the standards.  Press the soil around the cuttings to form a small mound slopping outward and away from the cuttings to prevent water stagnation around the plants.  The growing portions of the cuttings are to be trailed and tied to the standards. Provide shade to the plants during dry period to ensure good field establishment

Application of Manures

  • Apply cattle manure or compost @ 10 kg along with 200 g of VAM, neem cake @ 500 gand50 g of Azophos / vine before the onset of South West monsoon. 
  • Top dressing of vermicompost @ 5 kg / vine in 2 equal splits during May-June and October- November. 
  • The manures are applied around the vine at a distance of 30 cm from the base and incorporated into the soil.

Irrigation – Protective irrigation in basins during December – May at 10 days interval.

After Cultivation – Two weedings are given during the months of June – July and  October – November. The vines are to be trained to the standards. Excessive foliage of the standards may be pruned and the height of the standards may be limited to about 6 m. To increase the berry size, spray NAA @ 40 ppm at the berry set stage.

Plant Protection


Foot rot


  • Apply Trichoderma asperellum or Pseudomonas fluorescens@ 1 g/ kg of pot mixture
  • Mulch the pot mixture with 150 gauge polythene sheet for 30 days before use

Main field – Any of the following packages can be adopted twice (May – June and October – November)

  • Neem cake @ 500 g/vine + swabbing of Bordeaux paste upto one meter from the ground level
  • Trichoderma asperellum @ 20 g/vine + FYM or Bordeaux mixture 1% drenching
  • Neem cake @ 2 kg/vine Pseudomonas fluorescens(50 g) (pre and post monsoon)+ neem cake @2 kg (post monsoon) 

Anthracnose – Foliar spray with 1% Bordeaux mixture  

Nematode – Soil applicationBacillus subtilis (BbV 57)or Pseudomonas fluorescens  @ 10 g/vine is recommended for the management of root knot and reniform nematode population in black pepper.


Harvesting commences from third year onwards. The harvesting season is from November to March. Harvest is done by hand picking the whole spikes when few berries in the spike start turning red. The berries are separated and dipped in hot water (80°C) for one minute and sun dried for 7 to 10 days.

Yield2 to 3 kg/vine/year.

Bush Pepper

Planting material – One year old lateral branches with 2-3 nodes with the bit of orthotropic portion intact.

Planting –  3-5 well rooted cuttings per pit or pot

Manures and Manuring

  • About 2-5 kg of FYM or compost along with 2 kg of vermicompost may be given per bush at 3 months interval.
  • 25 and 50 g of groundnut cake and neem cake per pit.

Pruning – Pruning of hanging shoots to maintain the bushy nature, repeating at every two years interval.

Yield1.5 kg of green pepper in a span of 2-3 years.

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