Pepper vine is a deciduous bushy vine that grows as a ground cover or a vine growing 35 feet or more. The dark green compound foliage is up to 6 inches long and wide and turns pale yellow in fall. The leaflets are toothed, dark green on the upper surface and lighter green on the lower. Flat-topped clusters of tiny green flowers are followed by clusters of pea-sized, bluish-purple, inedible berries up to 5/8 inch in diameter, which are attractive to birds.
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year.
- Place the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Store the bag in a refrigerator for 2-3 months.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Fill a pot with a mixture of half potting soil and half sand or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the container and leave it to drain.
- Put the pot in a warm, sunny area.
- Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet.
- The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.