Betel leaf Piper sarmentosum

Botanical name: Piper sarmentosum

How to grow it: Betel leaf is very easy to grow in warmer climates and if kept well watered is lush & attractive. Prefers a shaded position and so makes an ideal understorey plant. I’ve found that it burns easily in full sun & and the leaves aren’t as as tender.

Needs plenty of room as it will sprawl over a large area if allowed. Will slow right down in the cooler months.

Easy to propagate by root division or tip cuttings – spring & Autumn are your best times. In wet season you could easily take a rooted cutting and plant it out just before rain is expected.

Not really suited to container growing it needs quite a bit of space to spread.

Using it in the kitchen: Betel leaf is used in the classic asian dish Miang Kham where a variety of different fresh and cooked foods are wrapped in the leaves as a snack or starter.

When tender they can also be added to salads, soups and curries.

I’ve also seen them arranged on a plate and topped with food – a quite spectacular way to present dishes.

Great survival plant as an established plant requires very little care & the leaves are versatile in cooking.


Description full, leafy perennials, Salads, Shade Tolerant, Survival food plants

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