Growing Black Pepper From Cuttings

Black pepper plants are quite easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Growing black pepper from cuttings may look difficult, but with the right conditions you can grow and propagate it at home. Other black pepper propagation methods include growing from seed [1] and layering method. Black pepper or peppercorn or Kali Mirch, known as piper nigrum, is mainly used for spices and traditional medicine. 

Black pepper plant can be grown from cuttings
Black Pepper in Pot
Propagating black pepper from cuttings is done commercially with a rapid multiplication method, trench method and Serpentine method [2].

Black Pepper Plant Propagation From Cuttings

Following are simple steps to grow black pepper plant from cuttings at home, as I have used in Australia.

When to Propagate

Spring to summer is the best time for taking cuttings when the black pepper plant is growing.

Before taking cuttings, you should sterilize your cutter or knife with rubbing alcohol or dilute bleach solution.

Taking Cuttings

  1. From a healthy black pepper plant that has strong stems and healthy leaves, identify a secondary runner on the plant. From this using a sharp and clean cutter, take cuttings just below a node having two or three leaves.
  2. Select a healthy stem, look for stems that are green and free from pests and any disease.
  3. Remove the bottom leaf, leaving the top 2-3 leaves. You may cut the top leaves into half.
  4. Before propagating the cuttings, leave them in shade for 1-2 hours to let the cut end callous to prevent rot, because the dry leaf will help bacteria in the soil from entering the leaf.

Rooting Medium

A well-draining moisture retaining soil is good for rooting black pepper cuttings. Prepare the propagating medium by mixing 60% garden soil, 20% compost and 20% coarse river sand or perlite.

Propagate Black Pepper Cuttings in Water

You can root cuttings in water quite easily. 
Take a small bottle and fill it with clean water to about 1 inch height, preferably rain water or distilled water. You can use your tap water, just boil it and let it cool and then use it.
Apply some rooting hormone at the cut end and put the cutting in water.

Propagate Black Pepper Cuttings in Soil

  1. Take small pots having drainage holes and fill them with the potting mix as made above.
  2. Apply rooting hormone at the cut end on and around the node of the cutting to promote root growth. Research has indicated that applying 2000 ppm of IBA (rooting hormone) produces the maximum number of roots and sprouts as well as maximum root length and sprouts length [3]. This study is useful to farmers for commercial black pepper propagation.
  3. You may apply aloe vera gel instead of chemical IBA hormone.
  4. Note that, the cuttings may root even without any rooting hormone, but will take longer to produce new leaves.
  5. Enclose the pot in a clear plastic bag to make a mini greenhouse that will help retain moisture. environment
  6. Open the bag every week and spray some water to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Overwatering can rot the cuttings.
  7. The cuttings will root in 4-10 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity. Once roots have formed, you can remove the plastic bag, but continue the pot in shade.
  8. You can transplant the rooted cuttings when they grow  3 to 5 leave

Video on Black popper Propagation

How to Grow black pepper from seeds youtube video


3. Sandesh HJ, Lakshmana, Shankar M and Chaitanya HS, Performance of single node cutting on propagation of black pepper, The Pharma Innovation Journal 2021; 10(10): 293-294.