Features of growing allspice at home
It is difficult to find a person who is not familiar with the aroma of allspice. This spice gives piquancy and improves the taste of ordinary dishes. Not everyone knows that allspice can be grown right at home or in the office. Read about how to grow it, as well as about the features of caring for it in countries with cold winters, in this article.
The origin and description of the culture
The homeland of allspice (Jamaican, clove) is the Caribbean island. Christopher Columbus brought culture to the European continent, who mistook this pepper for Indian black. Thanks to its rich aroma, spice quickly gained popularity among Europeans. Today, allspice is widespread in Jamaica, which is why it is also called "Jamaican pepper." In addition, it is actively cultivated in countries and regions such as India, Turkey, Cuba, Central and South America (mainly Brazil).
Did you know? The essential oil contained in allspice is often used in perfumes - it is part of perfumes and toilet soaps. And with the help of a sachet with peas of pepper, you can deal with unpleasant odors.
Allspice, unlike black, does not belong to the Pepper family, but the Mirtov family. These are dried unripe berries of Pimenta officinalis or dioecious pimenta. The plant is a beautiful perennial tropical tree with dense and shiny leaves. Under natural conditions, it grows to 20 m. When harvesting, the fruits are removed unripe, after which they are dried for a week either in special ovens or just in direct sunlight until the color of the berries changes.
Find out the difference between allspice and black peas.
The components of fragrant peas do not dissolve well in water, so sweet pepper is rarely used in ground form - as a rule, this seasoning is added to teas and pastry dough (for cookies, gingerbreads, muffins). With regular use in cooking, the supplement improves well-being, gives vitality. Spice helps to eliminate bloating, it is used as an antiseptic (copes with infections). The valuable qualities of this pepper are due to the concentration of resins, fatty oils and tannins in it.
Pros and cons of growing
- Here are the most frequently observed advantages of Jamaican pepper:
- high decorative plants;
- fruits of a rich spicy aroma;
- universality of application in cooking;
- long shelf life.
- The disadvantages of the culture are insignificant:
- the plant does not withstand transplantation due to the structural features of the root system and the fragility of the stems;
- fruits will have to wait at least 6-7 years.
Planting and growing allspice
Before you start growing pimento, you need to find out how it grows in a natural environment. This is a southern plant that prefers a hot and humid climate. Therefore, the apartment will need to create similar conditions. So, consider the stages of cultivation.
Since pimento reacts very sharply to transplanting, it is better to use peat glasses or tablets for sowing seeds for seedlings. Individual cups are very convenient because sprouts can be directly transplanted into a permanent pot.
From the dried peas of allspice you need to extract the contents - this will be the seeds of pimento. It is advisable to use seeds from several fruits to increase the likelihood that they will germinate. First, it is necessary to soak the seed in warm water (about 50 ° C) for 10-12 hours, and preferably for a day. Since the seeds of allspice are quite strong shell, to improve germination, you can pierce it with manicure scissors.
Did you know? Wax pepper is not a relative of black or allspice - these are completely different cultures. Bright juicy fruits belong to the Solanaceae family.
Next, the seeds should be placed in wet sand for germination. It is necessary to ensure that the sand is always wet, and the air temperature is kept within +22 ... + 28 ° С.
The soil for planting can be made from a mixture of garden soil, peat and humus land, or you can buy ready-made soil mix - a suitable substrate marked "for palm trees" is suitable. This is quite loose and nutritious soil.
When the seeds germinate, and the sprouts reach 3 cm in height, they should be transplanted into separate flowerpots with fertile soil. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the delicate roots. The root must be deepened by 2 cm. The earth does not need to be heavily tamped.
The cultivation of allspice in a living room or greenhouse differs little from caring for other crops - the plant needs to be watered, fertilized, cut and transplanted if necessary, protected from ailments. At the same time, pimento care has its own characteristics.
Read also about how to grow chili peppers at home on the windowsill.
Watering and feeding
Cloves require frequent and moderate watering. It is especially important not to flood the soil under the young shoots, as their roots are still very weak. Drying of the soil should also not be allowed. The best option is to maintain an air humidity level of 60–70%.
Important! If the tips of the leaves of the pimento blacken - this is a sign of water shortage. And with yellowing of the foliage, the plant responds to an excess of moisture, a lack of nutrients in the soil or to too dry air.
A tropical tree does not need pruning. However, when the pimento begins to bloom, it is necessary to remove the faded inflorescences. This will extend the flowering period of the plant.
Heat-loving pimento can be bred not only in the apartment - the plant can be bred in a greenhouse or in containers on a glazed loggia. When transplanting, you need to carefully transfer the tree to a new pot along with the soil in which it grew. This will facilitate the adaptation process. If there are several seedlings, then the distance between them should be at least 10-12 cm. It is advisable to transplant an adult tree 1 time in 3 years.
Pest and Disease Control
With waterlogging of the earth, a tree can become ill with late blight or root rot. If you find brown or black spots on the leaves, you need to treat the foliage with a preparation with copper as soon as possible. Another symptom that the bush is sick is the wilting of leaf blades. You can save pepper by extracting it from the old soil mixture and completely transplanting it into the new soil. Pests such as scale insects, whiteflies, aphids and spider mites are dangerous.
Important! Allspice peas must be stored in an airtight container or container so that the spice does not lose its aroma and useful properties.
The latter attacks only the root system, because of this it is almost impossible to identify the problem at the initial stage. It is quite difficult to deal with a spider mite, therefore it is advisable to prevent its appearance by disinfecting the soil mixture before sowing a potassium permanganate solution (1-2%). The earth taken from the garden must be watered with a fungicide solution (for example, “Fitosporin”). In case of severe tick damage, emergency measures are required.
Recommendations for the cultivation of allspice
To summarize, here are the tips of professional plant growers on the cultivation of clove pepper:
- You should not plant this culture in the country or in the garden if the air temperature in winter drops below + 10 ° C.
- Sowing seeds of allspice is necessary in March, so that the bushes have time to get stronger before the onset of a sultry summer.
- Pimento needs crop rotation - you can return it to its original place only after 5 years.
- Young seedlings should be pinched on the third leaf to stimulate the growth of lateral shoots
- It is important to determine a warm place for the plant with an abundance of light, since pimento does not like cold. Keep in mind that direct sunlight and complete shade can also harm the tree. You can create a greenhouse effect for a plant by installing glass on top or covering it with polyethylene. But do not forget to remove the cover for a short time in the morning and evening to ensure the flow of oxygen.
- Pimenta likes fresh air, so the room where it grows needs to be ventilated.
Familiarize yourself with the beneficial properties and features of the application of allspice.
So, cultivating allspice at home is a doable task. With proper care, the pimento blooms with stunning colors on your windowsill or balcony, and also brings a crop of healthy spicy fruits.