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Piper auritum

Pronunciation: Pip-er aw-ry-tum
Family: Piperaceae
Common Name: Vera cruz pepper, root beer plant, hoja santa
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 6'
Width to: 6'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Vera cruz pepper (piper auritum) bears cylindrical spikes of small white flowers
Soil Type: Fertile, well drained soil
Plant Perks:
  • Edible
  • Fragrant
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
Pests and Diseases: Fungal root rot, pepper weevil, pepper flea beetle
Propagation: Sow vera cruz pepper (piper auritum) seed in early spring or take semi ripe cuttings in early summer
Native to: Mexico
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification: Vera cruz pepper (piper auritum) an evergreen, shrub or small tree with heart-shaped, velvety leaves that smell like root beer when the leaves are bruised or crushed. When grown indoors, grow in soil based potting mix with added sharp sand. Needs humid conditions so misting is a benefit. Source: various sources including the american horticultural society a to z encyclopedia of garden plants and the usda
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Herbs
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