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Black Pepper: Crop Stage-wise IPM

Management Activity


Common cultural practices:
•Deep ploughing of fields during summer to control nematodes population, to expose pupae and popagules of soil borne pathogens.
•Soil solarization can be done for sterilizing the nursery mixture
•Timely sowing should be done.
•Field sanitation, rogueing.
•Destroy the alternate host plants
•Crop rotation with non-cereals.
•Adopt ecological engineering by growing the attractant, repellent, and trap crops around the field bunds.
Nutrients •Prepare pits of the size 50 x 50 x 50 cm before the onset of the monsoon at a spacing of 2 to 3 m in either direction. Slopes facing West and South should be avoided.
•Fill it up after the onset of monsoon with FYM @10 Kg + Neem cake1 Kg + bone meal and Rock phosphate 70 g + top soil. Wherever possible a large pit filled with alternate layers of coconut husk and the above mixture is preferable. This will help in conserving soil moisture and help the young plants to survive the hot summer. Plant rooted cuttings in June – July.
Weeds •Destroy all the weeds from planting area by ploughing during summer.
•Remove all the perennial weds and their rhizomes/suckers before onset of monsoon.
Soil and seed borne pathogens, Pests and nematodes Cultural control:
•Planting material must be collected from disease free garden or nursery raised preferably in fumigated soil.
•Well drained level land and hill slopes are suitable for growing pepper, slopes facing south and south western side should be avoided and north and north eastern slopes should be preferred.
•Cultivated varieties such as Naryankodi, kalluvally, Uthirankotta and Balancotta which are tolerant to quick wilt
•Press the soil around the cutting to form a small mound slopping outward and away from cuttings to prevent water stagnation around the plants
•Adequate mulch with green leaf saw dust or coir dust or organic matter should be given towards the end of the north-eastern monsoon.
•Injury to root system to be avoided at any cost.
•About 10 Kg of well rotten cattle manure or compost to be given in April may in order to support antagonistic fungi.
•Growing cover crops like Calapogonium muconoides, Mimosa invisa are also recommended under west coast conditions to provide an effective soil cover to prevent soil erosion as well as spread of soil borne pathogens in rainy seasons and for thick organic mulch during summer.
•Planting materials must be collected from disease free garden and nurseries raised preferably in fumigated soil.
Mechanical control:
•The affected cutting along with defoliated leaves should be removed from nursery and destroyed.
Biological control:
•Alternatively, Rhizobacteria like IISR 853 can be applied @ 1 g (formulations containing 108 - 1010 cfu/g) at monthly intervals.
•Apply neem /mustard/castor cake


Nutrients •In addition, organic manure application before planting, apply 50 g Azospirillum + 50 g PSB + 200 g VAM per plant at the time of planting.
Weeds •Hand weeding around the plants is to be done according to necessity
•Adequate mulch with green leaf or organic matter should be given towards the end of north east monsoon.
•Recommended dose of fertilizers is to be applied. Care should be taken to avoid direct contact of fertilizers with the roots of pepper.
•Water logging is to be avoided.
Nematodes/Borers Cultural control:
•With the receipt of the first rain in May-June, primary stem cuttings
of Erythrina sp.(Murukku) or Garuga pinnata (kilinjil) or Grevillea
robusta (silver oak) are planted in pits of 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm size filled with cow dung and top soil, at a spacing of 3 m x 3 m which would accommodate about 1110 standards per hectare (Seedlings of Alianthus malabarica (Matti) can also be planted and the black pepper vines can be trailed on it after 3 years when they attain sufficient height).
•Pits of 50 cm 3 at a distance of 30 cm away from the base, on the northern side of supporting tree are taken with the onset of monsoon.
•The pits are filled with a mixture of top soil, farmyard manure @ five Kg/pit and 150 g rock phosphate. With the onset of monsoon, two-three rooted cuttings of black pepper are planted individually in the pits on the northern side of each standard. At least one node of the cutting
Should be kept below the soil for better anchorage.
•Follow the spacing recommended 3 m X 3 m in plain lands and 2 m X 4 m in sloppy lands.
Botanical control:
•Neem cake @ 1 Kg /vine may be mixed with the soil at the time of planting.


Common cultural practices:
•Provide irrigation at critical stages of the crop •Avoid water stress and water stagnation conditions.
•Enhance parasitic activity by avoiding chemical spray, when larval parasitoids are observed
Common mechanical practices:
•Collection and destruction of eggs, and larvae
•Removal and destruction of dead vines along with root system from the garden is essential as this reduces the build up of inoculum (fungal population).
•Collect and destroy diseased and insect infected plant parts
•Use yellow sticky trap for aphid vector control and blue sticky traps for thrips @ 4-5 traps/acre.
•Use light trap @ 1/acre and operate between 6 pm and 10 pm
•Erecting of bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as King crow, common mynah etc.
•Set up bonfire during evening hours at 7-8 pm
Common biological practices:
•Conserve natural enemies through ecological engineering
•Augmentative release of natural enemies.

•Fertilizers should be applied on the basis of soil test report and recommendation for the particular area. In general, fertilizers may be applies as mentioned in Table 1.
Table 1. Fertilizers requirement of black pepper

Age of plants (year) N (g/vine/year)


K2O (g/vine/year)
1st 17 17 50
2nd 34 34 100
3rd and above 50 50 150

•Fertilizer should be applied 10-15 days after pruning of the living supports.
•If soil is highly acidic 500g lime per vine also is to be applied in alternate years.
•During the first year,1/3rd of the dosage recommended for the adult vines should be applied during September.
•During the second year, two thirds of the dosage recommended for the adult vines should be applied in two equal instalments, one during May-June, and the other during September-October.
•The manures and fertilizers are applied around the vine at a distance of 30 cm from the base and incorporated into the soil.

Weeds •Pull out weeds before flowering by 2-3 rounds of hand weeding.
•Slash weeding is a cost-effective method and to keep a cover always over the soil.
•Mulching with dry/green leaves or organic matter @ 10Kg should be given to control weed growth and to prevent sun scorching of young vines during summer.
Phytophthora foot rot (quick wilt), basal wilt Cultural control:
•Planting material must be collected from disease free gardens and the nursery preferably raised in fumigated or solarized soil.
•Adequate drainage should be provided to reduce water stagnation.
•Injury to the root system due to cultural practices such as digging should be avoided.
•The freshly emerging runner shoots should not be allowed to trail on the ground. They must either be tied back to the standard or pruned off.
•The branches of support trees must be pruned at the onset of monsoon to avoid build up of humidity and for better penetration of sunlight.
•Reduced humidity and presence of sunlight reduces the intensity of leaf infection.
Chemical control:
For foot rot:
•Metalaxyl M 4% + Mancozeb 64% WP @ 0.25%, 2 or 3 l/vine
•Metalaxyl 8% + Mancozeb 64% WP @ 0.125 %, 2 or 5 l/vine
Slow wilt Cultural control:
•Nematode free root cutting raised in fumigated nursery mixture should be used for fresh planting.
•Remove the severely affected vines which are beyond recovery.
Pollu beetle, Top shoot borer, Leaf gall thrips Cultural control:
•Regulation of shade in the plantation reduces the population of the pest in the field.
•For others follow common practices.
Biological control:
•Spraying Neemgold (0.6 per cent) (neem-based insecticide) during August, September and October is effective for the management of the pest. The underside of leaves (where adults are generally seen) and spikes are to be sprayed thoroughly.
•For biological control follow common practices.
Mealybugs Cultural control:
•Removal of weeds and alternate host plants like hibiscus, bhindi, custard apple, guava etc in and nearby vineyards throughout the year.
•Deep ploughing in summer or raking of soil in vineyards helps to destroy its nymphal stages and minimizing the incidence.
Biological control:
•Release exotic predator, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 10 beetles/vine.
Physical control:
•Detrash the crop on 150 and 210 DAP.
Scale insects, Minor pests Cultural control:
•Follow common practices.
Biological control:
•In nurseries spraying neem oil 0.3 per cent or Neem gold 0.3 per cent or fish oil rosin three per cent is also effective in controlling the pest infestation.
•Follow common biological practices.

Spike formation/flowering stage

Nutrients •Apply deficient micronutrient if any.
Weeds •Keep the orchard weed free.
Pollu disease /Anthracnose, leaf rot Cultural control:
•Eradication of affected vine from vineyard.
•Apply Phytosanitation process.
Chemical control:
•Same as Phytophthora foot rot.
Spike shedding, Stunt disease, Phyllody disease Cultural control:
•Use virus free healthy planting material
•Regular inspection and removal of infected plants; the removed plants may be burnt or buried deep in soil.
•Insects such as aphids and mealy bugs on the plant or standards should be controlled with insecticide spray.
Pollu beetle •Same as vegetative stage.
Mealy bug •Same as vegetative stage.
Berry formation stage
Pollu disease, Spike shedding, Stunt disease, Phyllody disease, Foot rot (quick wilt) •Same as vegetative and flowering stage
Pollu beetle, Top shoot borer, Leaf gall, thrips Scale insects, Minor pests •Same as vegetative and flowering stage
* Apply Trichoderma viride/harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil application (If Commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own consumption in their fields, registration is not required).
**The chemical dosage and spray fluid volumes are based on high volume sprayer.

Source: NIPHM and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage

Last Modified : 2/12/2020

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