False pepper

False pepper

Question: false pepper

I have been planting a false pepper for about 5 years now, which has grown very well, the only problem is that it has so many flowers that fall and therefore never grow to become berries.

What can it depend on? or what precaution can I take?

Thanks for your availability, I look forward to hearing from you.


False pepper: Answer: false pepper

Dear Vincenzo, first of all thank you for writing to us and for proposing your question to the expert of our website. The false pepper it is a small, evergreen plant that develops a large crown with 20-25 cm leaves and not very large white flowers. It needs a place where it gets a lot of sun even if in semi-shade it resists well as long as the soil is not excessively humid or subject to water stagnation.

Although it has no particular problems when the temperatures in winter go below zero, in places with particularly cold and prolonged winters, the Schinus molle must be protected and repaired.

As for her false pepper problem she should try to prune the Schinus in due time, in order to reduce the number of flowers brought from the canopy in the summer. The plant is certainly doing well and for this reason produces a large number of flowers, perhaps even too many and since it would not be able to bring all those fruits to maturity, it drops the flowers to avoid "taking on a task that it would not be able to complete" and to this the flowers do not ripen and do not become fruit.

Another precaution to take that is often the cause of the abortion of flowers are winter watering. In winter, although the plants go into vegetative rest, they still maintain a minimum of activity and therefore it is advisable from time to time, if the season is particularly low in rains, to water the plants with a little water. If in this period the plants go into water deficit, the following season will easily occur an abortion of the flowers, which instead of blooming will inexorably fall to the ground one after the other to the great frustration of the gardener.

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Schinus molle (False Pepper): characteristics, cultivation and harvesting

Botany always offers different species, each of which with its own peculiarities.
In this case, Schinus Molle, also known as false pepper, is a particular tree native to Latin America.
The original name of this particular tree is "schinus molle", and belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, of the genus Schinus.
Contrary to what one might think, false pepper is widely used in cooking, thanks above all to its similarities with pepper.
Pink pepper, in fact, is used as a spice to season many dishes.

False pepper cultivation: how it works
Growing false pepper is not a daunting task, and it can be done safely.
Thanks to a series of tips and tricks also dictated by experience, it will be possible to obtain the maximum result from this wonderful tree.
First of all, it is important to underline the fact that the false pepper does not require particular attention: it, in fact, has the ability to adapt to any type of soil, and for this reason it is used to reclaim the areas affected by erosion.
It is possible to plant false pepper during any period of the year, however, it is important to avoid planting it in case of too cold weather, or in excessively wet soils.
A useful advice to start the cultivation of false pepper, can be to use sand to try to stem the phenomenon of water stagnation as much as possible.
In fact, water stagnation is one of the main problems to be avoided in botany, since such a problem would lead to root rot.
The roots of the false pepper, then, have the ability to reach very deep points: it is therefore advisable not to plant it in correspondence with pipes, as the roots could attack them and cause serious damage to the water system.

Pruning false pepper: is it really necessary?
Pruning is an indispensable operation to be carried out, in order to safeguard the life of the tree as much as possible.
In fact, pruning prevents the branches from rubbing together, since excessive rubbing would lead to the onset of annoying wounds that would give the green light to the entry of bacteria and fungi: the death of the tree, in these cases, it can happen much more easily than usual.
The false pepper, fortunately, does not require who knows how many pruning interventions: however it is important to carry out some small interventions every now and then, to give the plant more air.

False pepper fertilization
As already mentioned, the false pepper does not require particular care on the contrary, thanks to its enormous adaptive abilities, the false pepper is able to survive the most adverse climatic conditions, managing to adapt to any type of soil.
However, if you want to keep the soil alive, it is recommended to fertilize it twice a year with mature floured manure.

False pepper: a natural pesticide
False pepper is a real natural weapon against parasites: thanks to the strong smell that this tree gives off, in fact, it is able to keep parasites away, at the same time attracting bees, thus favoring pollination.
If you want to keep any pests at bay and if you want to protect your garden as much as possible, it may be an excellent idea to plant a false pepper tree to counteract the attack of any parasites as much as possible.

The flowers of the false pepper
False pepper flowers begin to appear between June and July and their color ranges from light white to light yellow.
Both the leaves and the flowers, when rubbed, release a resin-like odor that acts as a natural repellent against mosquitoes and other annoying insects.
In this case, therefore, it is possible to wisely combine both the useful and the pleasant: if on the one hand the pepper tree provides pink pepper berries to be used in the kitchen, on the other hand its presence in vegetable gardens and orchards keeps multiple pests away, thus avoiding the massive use of chemical herbicides.

Some characteristics of the false pepper
False pepper has a number of particular characteristics, such as a great resistance to attacks by parasites, and a considerable resistance to diseases.
False pepper is not a deciduous tree, so it is covered by its foliage practically all year round, showing off its magnificent colors in every season.
Pruning, as already mentioned, must be carried out only to keep the tree in order, making only a few changes where necessary.
The soil does not require particular attention, however it must be well drained and it is necessary to avoid water stagnation as much as possible.
From the historical point of view, however, it was considered a sacred tree by the Incas: it is no coincidence, in fact, that its typical place of growth can be circumscribed around the places where once the Mesoamerican peoples lay.

Pink pepper: a fruit with a thousand properties
Pink pepper has multiple properties, many of which are unknown.
The berries of pink pepper, in fact, contain up to 10% of essential oils, and have a high concentration of sugars.
They are particularly known for their antibacterial properties: from a medical point of view, in fact, the ancient Mesoamerican populations used pink pepper berries as a real panacea (ie a remedy practically extendable to any type of physical discomfort).
Pink pepper berries are perfectly capable of aiding digestion, and are also used to treat any mouth ulcers and toothaches.
Even today, in Latin American popular culture, it is used to treat menstrual and rheumatic pains, thus underlining the great importance that this tree still holds today.
From a culinary point of view, however, pink pepper berries can be easily found on the market both dried and in brine.
Its flavor is very similar to that of juniper berries, which is why they are widely used in cooking.
Whether it is to season a risotto, vegetable soups or fish, pink pepper berries prove to be very good for flavoring dishes.
In Latin American countries, however, the berries are still used today to distil liqueurs or vinegar.
Pink pepper can be easily combined with black pepper, green pepper and so on and turns out to be excellent also as regards the seasoning of pork or roasts.
However, despite the certainly full-blown natural remedies that this type of plant provides, it is still necessary to consult a doctor before replacing the administration of a drug.

In definitive, therefore, the false pepper is a tree that can be easily planted and cultivated in the vegetable garden of your garden: thanks to the particular scent that its flowers and berries emanate, you can keep away any parasites, thus combining in a single shot all those who are the trappings of useful and delightful.
The fact that it requires little care, then, makes it practically perfect for any type of soil: following small tips dictated by experience, then, you can have luxuriant false pepper trees, able to return many berries.
The berries deserve particular attention: if properly dried, in fact, they can be used in the kitchen as a valid replacement for black pepper, benefiting from a considerable aromatic power.
By following small tips and indications, therefore, you can start the cultivation of this fantastic tree.

Generality Schinus molle tree:

The Schinus soft is a small evergreen tree native to South America, the false pepper it is also widespread in North America and Africa. It has an erect stem, single or multiple, very branched, with a slightly pendulous posture and wide crown, quite disordered the bark it is gray in the young specimens, with the passing of the years it tends to detach in scales, and to show red-bronzaceous areas the leaves are large, pinnate-compound, 20-25 cm long, with leaflets lanceolate, dark green in color. In summer it produces panicles of small whitish flowers, which bloom at the leaf axil in autumn the flowers give way to fruits: small, round, bright red berries, very similar to pepper. All parts of the plant contain a essential oil very fragrant, with a smell similar to that of pepper, used in herbal medicine.
L'aroma it is similar to pepper, but with a sweeter note. It goes very well with i cheeses fresh, poultry, fish, vegetables and is excellent for flavoring sauces. In Latin America they are commonly used to flavor wines and edible oils. He also becomes part of the bouquet of many perfumes and is widely used in aromatherapy.

Schinus molle tree cultivation and care:

These plants love the locations very bright and sunny, they can be planted even in partial shade, the schinus molle trees can bear a few degrees below zero, but during particularly harsh winters it is good to protect them, especially as regards young specimens. even long periods of drought, to have an abundant flowering it is however advisable water regularly, especially in the first two to three years after planting the plant.

How to best grow Skimmia

As we said, Skimmia is a very resistant plant so it does not require special care, which makes it even more popular. Of course, however, as with all plants, this too must be placed in the right place, it needs a specific soil and to grow at its best it must be irrigated according to precise indications. So let's see what are the secrets to best cultivate this winter variety.

Where to place the Skimmia

Dome we mentioned, this plant resists cool climates very well so you can place it both in the garden and in pots on the balcony and leave there for the whole winter. In summer and spring, as temperatures tend to rise, you should move it to a shaded area so that it does not get too hot. In winter, however, if temperatures drop below freezing and it starts to freeze, to protect the plant it may be necessary to place it under a cloth or in a particularly covered area.

How often should you water the plant?

This plant does not need a lot of water, so be careful not to overdo it with watering because it could die. In summer, you can water the Skimmia every day, in small doses, while in autumn and winter rainwater may be sufficient. In all cases, to be sure that the plant receives a fair amount of water you have to feel the ground: when it is dry then it is time to irrigate it!

Diseases of Skimmia Japonica

The Skimmia Japonica could show signs of malaise: among these one of the most frequent are the yellowed leaves. If your plant has this problem, it is most likely due to the fact that it receives too much sun try moving it to a more shaded area: should recover soon.

Care of the soft Schinus or the false pepper plant

The genre Schinus belongs to the family of the Anacardiaceae and includes about 15 species of trees and shrubs originating in South America. The name of the genus comes from the Greek “skinos”, name given to the stucco, due to the resinous nature of both plants.

The main species of this type they are Schinus molle, Schinus latifolius (Molle), Schinus terebinthifolium (Chichita), Schinus polygamus (Huingán), Schinus dependens.

It is also known by the common names of Falso pimentero, Aguaribay, Especiero, Mastic of Peru, Gualeguay or Anacahuita.

It is a dioecious tree evergreen with hanging branches. Leaves they are long and thin and alternate between bright green and whitish. The flowers are small and appear as white or greenish-yellow spikes. They bloom in spring. Their fruits , similar to peppercorns, reddish or purple in color, they are interesting from an ornamental point of view because they give the tree a nice touch of color in autumn and winter.

They are used as single specimens in large or medium-sized gardens. It is an ideal tree for coastal areas with a mild climate (in Barcelona you can see many specimens in parks and squares).

The faux pepper plant needs to be exposed in full sun or in the shade . It does not tolerate frost.

The terrain it can be a normal garden plot, it is not at all demanding from this point of view. For planting (in autumn or winter) we need to make a deep hole in which we will put a layer of manure on the bottom.

water moderately throughout the year by increasing the intake of water in the summer. These trees they are resistant to drought and easy to grow .

They do not need pruning or special subscribers .

Peruvian mastic is a very hardy plant to parasites and diseases.

It's possible propagate in different ways: by woody cutting in summer (August), by seed or semi-woody cutting in early spring or by stratification in late spring.


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Schinus Molle is an evergreen tree usually 5 to 7 meters high and equally broad, commonly known as pink pepper or false pepper. It is native to the highlands of Bolivia, Peru, Chile in our latitudes it grows to medium size.

It is very appreciated for its shape, similar to that of the willow, with supple branches that harmoniously almost reach the ground, it is also very appreciated for the fragrant essence that characterizes every part of the plant. The stem can reach, over the years, a diameter of 40 cm - the leaves, aromatic and lanceolate, are pendulous, alternate and pinnate, can reach up to 30 cm in length. It is not a demanding species as far as the soil is concerned: it also grows in poor soils, and does not require fertilization for these reasons it is considered a rustic species. However, it prefers light soils not impregnated with water. The species is often used as an urban furniture tree, along avenues and in parks. It has no problem tolerating direct sunlight, as is obvious given the plant's geographical origins. The numerous berries have a very aromatic and intense smell. The cracked bark sheds a sticky latex.

Everything is used

Similarly to pepper, the fruits of false pepper are rich in essential oils with beneficial properties (antibacterial, antifungal, digestive, ...), which is why they have been exploited since ancient times by South American populations. Even today they are used in herbal medicine for the production of natural preparations. THE bunches of pink pepper, when ripe, can be collected from the plant and grouped into bunches: hung in the kitchen to dry give a touch of color. The grains can be used to flavor some recipes, thanks to their scent similar to that of pepper, however, be careful not to overdo it, as use in large quantities is toxic!

Of the Schinus soft other parts are also used. The resin, for example, extracted by carving the wood of this plant, it is used as a putty. Finally, wood is highly appreciated for its aesthetic qualities and for its hardness and used for the creation of furniture.

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