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Cuidados de la planta Piper auritum u Hoja santa.

Care of the plant Piper auritum or Mexican pepperleaf

The genus Piper, family Piperaceae, comprises 2,000 species of shrubs, trees, and climbing plants distributed throughout tropical regions on all continents. Some species are: Piper auritum, Piper nigrum, Piper longum, Piper bogotense, Piper kadsura, Piper cenocladum.

Common names: Mexican pepperleaf, Sacred pepper, Vera Cruz pepper, Root beer plant. This species is native to Central America.

They are evergreen shrubs (sometimes trees) that reach 3-5 meters in height. The large and elegant ovate-heart-shaped leaves reach 60 cm in length, have a velvety texture and are slightly aromatic. The flowers are small, white or light green, and appear in axillary spikes. They can bloom from mid-summer to early fall.

They are used in undergrowth, in shady areas of the garden and in pots. Its leaves with a peppery and aniseed flavor are appreciated in Mexican cuisine and in traditional medicine as a stomachic and analgesic.

Piper auritum can grow in full sun exposure if watered enough but prefers a semi-shaded or shaded exposure. They are tropical plants that do not resist temperatures below 9 ºC.

They prefer well-drained soil that contains abundant organic matter. Transplant in mid-spring if the pot has become too small.

Water regularly with lime-free water so that the substrate never dries completely but does not flood. They do not resist drought.

Fertilize once with compost or manure in autumn and twice with mineral fertilizer, once in spring and again in early summer.

Prune lightly after flowering to control growth and expansion from the rhizomes.

If they suffer from drought they can be attacked by aphids, mealybugs and mites.

They are easily propagated from the suckers they produce on the rhizomes.

Images of the plant Piper auritum or Mexican pepperleaf

Piper auritum
Piper auritum
Piper auritum
 

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