Piper Crocatum | Uses, Origin & Propagation


Piper Crocatum

Often we use different plants to decorate the indoors and outdoors of our houses. Piper crocatum makes a beautiful decorative plant, attracting us with its gorgeous pink veins and pointy green leaves tailing down its stems.

Whether it is a hanging pot, a regular pot set beside a wall, or something to climb on, this plant will rise on its own and make a nice view. If you are thinking of getting climbers to decorate your house, here’s an all-in-one guideline about the Piper crocatum for you to decide if it makes a perfect fit for your home or not.

What is Piper Crocatum?

What is Piper Crocatum

Piper crocatum is a tailing or climbing vine plant which is widely used for decorating households, restaurants, parks etc places to decorate. Its beautiful waxy green leaves with pink vines make it so demanding. The plants usually do not give flowers when groomed indoors or outside of their own habitat. Besides its beautiful and colorful leaves, it is also not very difficult to plant and take care of.

Where Is It Found?

Piper crocatum usually originates from South American regions and Peru. It is a rare one to find in your local markets, where you usually purchase indoor plants. It is not purchased on a regular basis by commercial buyers; rather, plant collectors like to purchase it for their collections. Although the species is not endangered yet, it still remains rare and on the threat of getting extinct or endangered day by day.

How Is It Used?

how piper crocatum used

Although it is mainly known for their uses in households as decorative climbers, these plants can also be used as medicinal plants.

Decorative Plants

Piper crocatum makes a very beautiful decorative plant for households. It is a tailing or climbing vine, so when it climbs up the walls of the houses or hangs down the hangings pots, it looks so gorgeous. 

Vegetable Insecticides

It is found that the piper crocatum has some compounds in it which acts well as vegetable insecticides. Compounds like flavonoids and some essential oils are found that could work as insecticides. Insecticides made out of piper crocatum are also found to be eco-friendly and a great alternative to chemical insecticides.

Dental Care

From ancient times. Piper crocatum was found beneficial for aiding dental problems like toothache, gum swelling, etc. Later on, it was also used as an element inside the mouthwashes prepared clinically.

How To Cultivate It

How To Cultivate Piper Crocatum

You can cultivate or propagate the Piper Crocatum in either soil propagation or water propagation method. Propagating this plant is straightforward like other home plants.

First, take a pot and fill it up with soil. The soil requirement for this species is like the normal soil used for plants to grow in households. You can mix 20-30% perlite, which would help retain water and keep the soil moist, just as the plant wants it to be. 

Now cut a piece of Piper Crocatum from below a node of the plant and plant it in the pot full of soil. Immediately water the plant after planting it in the soil. Soon the roots will take hold of the soil and start to grow as an entirely new plant. You need to water this plant more than usual as it demands its soil to be moist, unlike most climbers.

For this method, you need some clean water and a jar. Take a jar filled with clean water and put a piece of the Piper Crocatum inside it. Cut it similarly below the nod as you did for the soil propagation. Now, after a few weeks, you will get to see some roots coming out of it. When some roots are visible in the jar, transfer it to a pot filled with soil.

Can You Eat Piper Crocatum?

The answer to this is both yes and no. Most people would advise you not to eat it. Although some people enjoy eating the leaves for the nice flavor they get from them, but some would advise you not to eat them as it has some moderately toxic elements which might cause slight skin irritation.

If you still feel like trying or tasting it just out of curiosity, make sure to intake a little bite to see if it irritates your skin or not.

Is It Toxic?

Piper crocatum is considered moderately toxic. There are a few elements inside it which might cause skin irritation, which is why it is considered toxic. That is why it is advised to keep the plant away from children and pets to avoid any kind of intoxication.

Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Tips For Piper Crocatum

Piper crocatum is not a very high maintaining plant. You don’t need anything extra to take care of it. Just like other climbers or plants in your house, this plant also has minimal requirements for maintenance.

Proper Watering

Watering requirements for this plant are quite more than usual plants. It needs its soil to be moist. So, it needs to be watered just when the soil is about to get dry. Watering is very important for this species.

Proper Sunlight

As it is a tropical plant, it requires adequate sunlight but not too much. You can filter out the sunlight falling directly towards it using curtains. If you keep the plant outdoors, then make sure not to plant it somewhere where the sunlight falls directly. If the temperature is too higher or lower than 15C, it will start shedding its leaves.

Proper Potting

The pots you choose must be within 5-6 inches big. Unnecessary big pots or containers would hamper its growth. Only consider transferring it to a bigger pot when it starts to grow too much, and the container cannot hold it in anymore.

Final Words

Piper crocatums are tropical plants, and to grow them healthily, we need to replicate their habitat as much as we can. Although it is not that difficult to maintain this plant, it sure is sensitive and delicate, for which you must take good care of it to make it last for a long time.

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Mohammed Rujel

Over the Years, I have gained a lot of experience in different aspects of gardening. I actively learned about plants and how to care for them, and also have a lot of experience in dealing with pests and diseases. My expertise is on teaching how to grow healthy plants and make them look their best.

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