Soil and Climate


Climate Black pepper is a plant of humid tropics requiring adequate rainfall and humidity. The hot and humid climate of sub mountainous tracts of Western Ghats is ideal for its cultivation. It grows successfully between 20 North and South latitude, and from sea level up to 1500 m above sea level. The crop tolerates temperatures between 10o and 40 C. A well distributed annual
rainfall of 125-200 cm is considered ideal for black pepper. Black pepper can be grown in a wide range of soils with a pH of 4.5 to 6.5, though in its natural habitat it thrives well in red laterite soils.
Rainfall An annual rainfall of 250 cm is ideal for the proper growth of the crop. It can also come up well in low rainfall areas, if the pattern and distribution of rainfall are conducive. About 70 mm of rainfall within a period of 20 days may be sufficient for triggering of flushing and flowering process in the plant.  Once the process is set on, there should be continuous, though not heavy, rainfall until fruit development starts. Any dry spell, even for a few days, within this critical period will result in substantial reduction of yield. Very long spells of dry weather are unfavorable for the crop growth.
Soil Pepper prefers a light porous and well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Water stagnation in the soil, even for a very short period, is injurious for the plant. So, heavy textured soils in locations where drainage facilities are inadequate should be avoided.


Kerala Agricultural University. 2002. Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops. 12th Edition
(eds. A. I. Jose et al.). Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur. 278p.