Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)

Shrubs that grow as small trees are ideal for gardens, as they allow you to enjoy pleasant shade without problems by resisting pruning well. One of the species we recommend is the Schinus terebinthifolius, since it also resists high temperatures reasonably well, as well as somewhat drought.

So if you want to enjoy its beauty in your garden, even if it is small, then I’m going to tell you how to take care of it .

Origin and characteristics

Image – Wikimedia/ James Steakley

It is a shrub or small evergreen tree that can reach 10 meters, but normally does not grow more than 5m. It is native to the subtropical and tropical regions of South America. The leaves are alternate, 10-22 cm long, and are pinnate compound, greenish in color and 3 to 6 cm long by 2 to 3.5 cm wide.

It is dioecious (there are female feet and male feet), with small white flowers. The fruit is a spherical drupe of red or pink color of about 4-5mm in diameter.

There are two varieties:

  • Schinus terebinthifolius var. acutifolius: with 22cm leaves and pink fruits.
  • Schinus terebinthifolius var. terebinthifolius: with 17cm leaves and reddish fruits.

It is a toxic plant: the latex contained in its branches causes skin reactions. In addition, it is included in the list of the 100 most harmful invasive alien species in the world ; in fact, in subtropical areas where it rains frequently, such as Australia, Bahamas, Peru, Polynesia, New Zealand or Puerto Rico, it has become a plague. In cooler regions, like southern California, it grows but does not cause problems.

In the United States its sale, transport and planting is prohibited.

What uses does it have?

  • Ornamental: it is a very beautiful plant, ideal for planting in groups or as an isolated specimen. In addition, it can be worked as a bonsai.
  • Spice: the fruits, once dried, are sold as pink pepper. The seeds are used as a spice by adding black pepper, otherwise they are toxic.

What are their cares?

Image – Wikimedia/ PlantRight1

If you want, and can, grow a specimen of Schinus terebinthifolius, we advise you to provide the following care:

  • Location: it must be outside, in full sun.
  • Land:
    • Pot: without substrate problems, it can be the universal one that they sell anywhere .
    • Garden: grows in all types of soils.
  • Watering: 3-4 times a week in summer, and 1-2/ week the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer you can pay it with organic and ecological fertilizers.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Pruning: late winter.
  • Rusticity: resistant up to -7ºC.

What did you think of this bush/ tree?

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