Tuesday, March 18, 2008

black pepper

I'm all atwitter - my black pepper plant (Piper nigrum) is actually blooming! I grow it as a houseplant here in zone 5 in New York state. I've had this plant for a few years and was wondering if it was happy. Growth hasn't been stellar. It lives outdoors on the porch in the summer and comes inside for the winter. But, noticing the blooms, I believe it is adapting well to this climate. Hopefully, the blooms will lead to peppercorns. You can bet dinner spiced with that black pepper will be a special occasion!

The ground outdoors is still completely frozen and any sign of spring and growth is cause for celebration. Right now, green growth is the houseplants and the seedlings I have been sowing indoors. I use a grow light and my south facing windows. Right now I have seedlings of ginseng, tomatoes, white sage, bupulerum, hot peppers, hyssop, lemon balm, ashwagandha, adafetida, roselle, angelica (archangelica and sinensis) and a lot more. When you are a plant nut, it's amazing how a little seed can bring such happiness.

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