December 27, 2022
Hey Plant Friends!
This week we are talking about Piper crocatum, commonly known as Celebes Pepper. This vining plant is native to Peru and South America and belongs to the Piperaceae family along with pepper plants. Yes, you heard that right! This Piper is sometimes confused with its close relative Piper ornatum. The difference between the two is beneath the leaves; P.crocatum has deep purple backsides while and P. ornatum has pale green. You will love the striking, pink-veined leaves that vine or climb up a trellis or support. Keep in mind, your Piper plant will need a bit more attention than your easy care houseplant, but with these tips and tricks you’ll be on your way to Piper paradise!
Let’s talk about care. Place in bright, indirect light. Direct light in the morning will be just fine, but watch out for hot afternoon rays which could cause leaf burn on these delicate leaves. Piper prefers to dry out between waterings, but not all the way like a Cactus. When it’s time to water, give it a good soak. When repotting, use a good houseplant mix like the Espoma’s All Purpose Organic Potting Mix. This mix has good drainage but also helps retain a bit of moisture. Piper crocatum will surely appreciate extra humidity, especially during our dry winter months. Use a Continuous Spray Bottle to easily mist your plant and increase humidity. You may notice small, crystal-like balls on the backside of the leaves. This is normal and is a way for the plant to release excess sugars through its leaf tissues. As always, keep an eye out for common pests such as mealy bugs and spider mites. Check for pests weekly when watering and keep a bottle of Bonide’s Insecticidal Soap on hand for easy treatment. Piper crocatum is not pet friendly, so keep away from your furry and feathered friends.