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Root beer plant   

Piper auritum

Root beer plant is a plant which belongs to the Piper genus. The origin of this plant's scientific name epithet (auritum) means 'with long ears'.

Is commonly used in Mexican tamales, as an ingredient in Mole Verde, as well as a flavouring in fish, meat, and egg recipes. A Texan goat cheese wrapped with hoja santa leaves that takes on its flavour is called Hoja Santa cheese.1 In Oaxaca, Mexico it is used as a flavouring in chocolate drinks.

Avocado leaves are sometimes suggested as a substitute where hoja santa is not readily available. Only Mexican avocado types (Persea drimy­folia) are suitable, as avocados from other regions tend to be Persea americana with insipid leaves.2

This plant can be considered as invasive in some areas with tropical climates but with an absence of natural predators.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Cream and   Floral white. A type of semi-edible herb / houseplant, it mainly grows as a perennial plant - which means it typically grows best over a long period (from 3 years+). Root beer plant is known for its bush-like habit and growing to a height of approximately 3.00 metres (9.75 feet). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer.

Mexico is believed to be where Root beer plant originates from.

Root beer plant is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Root beer plant have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Root beer plant

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A frost will kill of the leaves, but the rootstock will remain alive if properly mulched and protected.

Remember to water Root beer plant often. Use Zone 8 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Ensure your soil has a ph of between 5.6 and 6.5 as Root beer plant is a weakly acidic soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Root beer plant is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Root beer plant to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Root beer plant from seed

Transplanting Root beer plant

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 0°C / 32°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Root beer plant is a tender plant.

Common Root beer plant problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Root beer plant plants:

Other names for Root beer plant

Mexican Pepperleaf, Hoja Santa, Veracruz Pepper, False Kava, Yerba Santa, Sacred Pepper, Hierba Santa, Acuyo, Tlanepa, Anisillo, Hinojo Salalero, False Kava (Hawaii), Vera Cruz Pepper

Piper auritum Kunth, Piper sanctum (Miq.) Schltdl., Artanthe sanctum Miq., Artanthe caladiifolia Miq.

Misspellings: Mexican Pepper Leaf, Mexican Pepper Leaves

Root beer plant care instructions

How long does Root beer plant take to grow?

These estimates for how long Root beer plant takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


Popular varieties of Root beer plant

View the complete variety list for Root beer plant »

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