Peperomia Care, Propagation and Varieties

The plant is an easy care, versatile and recommended houseplant that that may be used in any room of the house. They are known for their succulent, heart-shaped leaves, which are both attractive and collectible.  They have gorgeous leaves which appeal to those who want a colourful inside environment, and they also assist to purify the air. This plant has many rich varieties and a compact growth habit.

Peperomia obtusifolia is native to South America, Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida. It is hardy to USDA zone 10, which means it should not be subjected to temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. They enjoy a warm and steamy atmosphere like tropical plants, especially during the summer months when their development is most active.

Peperomia Care

Light and Temperature

Peperomia are simple to cultivate in the home. They prefer warmth but do not require excessive humidity. They prefer bright lighting but do not require direct sunshine. Peperomias do not enjoy deep shadow on one hand or direct sunshine on the other; grow them somewhere in the middle. Temperatures in the summer range from 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (20C to 25C). Temperatures should not fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10C) in the winter.

Peperomia Watering and Feeding

Peperomia should not be overwatered. Watering every 7–10 days, depending on the time of year and temperature, should enough. Overwatering causes peperomias to decay at the root. I prefer to let the soil dry fully between waterings. This will substantially aid in the prevention of root rot. During the “growing” summer months, use a balanced liquid plant food every three waterings.

Soil and Transplanting

Peperomias, in general, do not require repotting. In fact, they perform better when under potted rather than over potted. However, repot when the plant outgrows its container. Use a well-draining soil (50 percent peat moss/50 percent perlite) while repotting.

Pruning

Pruning may be necessary if the plant grows scraggly or out of control at any time of year. Pruning can be done anywhere along the stem.

Size and Growth

In general, any of the 1,000 – generally slow growing – peperomias, as well as numerous cultivars, will only reach a maximum height of 10-12 inches. Some Peperomia types make excellent hanging plant specimens.

Flowering and Fragrance

The long flower spikes are densely packed with small blooms that have no aroma.

Leaves

Peperomia plant leaves, growth and foliage comes in many forms that are:

  • A single solid color
  • Shiny
  • Fleshy
  • Variegated
  • Smooth
  • Crinkled
  • Small pale green
  • Reddish foliage and stems
  • Oblong
  • Round
  • Corrugated
  • Trailing
  • Erect

Propagate Peperomia

Peperomia propagation is as simple as snipping a tip, , or stem cutting. Place the cutting in water or very light soil. Cuttings and leaves usually root fast. Once the roots are properly established, place them in pots with good rooting soil and you’re ready to go!

Soil For Rooting

The soil is crucial in the rooting of peperomia. Because most peperomia plants have shallow root systems, they are good candidates for dish gardens. Use a well-drained soil with plenty of air. A basic and dependable soil mix for roots and growing peperomias is a 50/50 combination of peatmoss and perlite.

Leaf Cuttings

Like African violets, most peperomias will reproduce from leaf cuttings. Spring is the optimal period for propagation, although rooting can also be done in the fall.

  • Remove the leaf and a little portion of the stalk.
  • After watering, place several leaf cuttings in a container and press or tamp down the dirt around the cuttings.
  • Make a little greenhouse! Cover the pot with a plastic bag or “soda bottle” (make numerous holes in the bag or soda bottle).
  • Keep the saucepan at room temperature.
  • Remove the plastic bag or soda bottle on a regular basis to allow for fresh air and to avoid rotting.
  • New plants will sprout from the leaf base.
  • Plants can be repotted into individual pots once they have become well-rooted and large enough.

Toxicity to Cats and Dogs

According to the ASPCA, they are also non-toxic to dogs and cats.

Humidity

Houseplants of tropical origin, such as Peperomias, prefer a higher humidity level of at least 40% relative humidity. In fact, they might not do well if the humidity falls below 40%. Water your plants first thing in the morning so they have time to dry before bedtime. Consider misting them. Mist their leaves on both sides, not just the top, to provide moisture. Also consider placing them in a terrarium.

Peperomia Air Purification

According to NASA studies, one distinctive feature of Peperomia is that all of its leaf filters the air. According to the additional Wolverton’s Clean Air research, Peperomia decreases the quantity of formaldehyde inside by 47 percent, which is good to know because the material makes up a large percentage of indoor air. Other plants which clean the air are here.

What to do with Peperomia Flower Spikes?

These flower spikes have no negative effects on your plant. It’s better to leave them alone; they’ll stay put for a few months before dropping off on their own. The spindles or spikes you see are the plant’s blossoms, which will fall off naturally once they have finished blooming.

Common Problems

Fading Dull Leaves 

When a peperomia plant has dull looking leaves, it is usually caused from light which is too strong. Move the plant to more shade.

Discolored Leaves and Flowers

This condition usually happens from over watering. Allow the soil to dry out and avoid getting water on the leaves which can sometimes cause them to rot.

Peperomia Leaves Fading

Your plant may be resting naturally and indicating this by losing the older leaves. If this is the case, reduce the frequency of watering and delay all fertilizer until new growth is seen. Consider whether it has been a long time since it has been repotted in fresh soil; now may be the time. Examine the plant’s base for possible rot: the tips of the stems where they connect to the plant’s base transform to watery, brown coloured mush.

Rotting Peperomia Root System

A healthy peperomia root system

Peperomias roots can decay when overwatered, especially in poorly draining soil. Your plant was raised in spongy, loose soil at initially. However, as time passes, the soil degrades into microscopic particles and compacts, reducing its ability to drain properly. Place a piece of newspaper on your table and tap the plant and soil out of the container if you suspect rot. Shake off the dirt and thoroughly clean the roots to determine which sections of the plant are dead and which are still alive. Using a sharp knife, extract the parts of the plant that haven’t yet perished.

Varieties

There are a number of Peperomias to choose from, all of which offer different textures, hues, and leaf shapes. Some of the more popular variants include:

Peperomia polybotrya ‘Jayde’ known as the coin peperomia – Image By Mokkie

Peperomia caperata

One of the most common peperomia species is Peperomia Caperata (emerald ripple), which has flower axils that resemble “mouse tails” (as do other peperomia plants). Its origins may be traced back to the Brazilian rainforest. The plant is cultivated as a little houseplant, standing no more than 8 inches tall, and is recognisable by its dark green wrinkled leaves and absence of “real” stalks. The little yellow-white blossoms appear on the “mouse tails” that rise above the crinkled, corrugated leaves (seen with a magnification lens). This variety has lovely heart-shaped leaves and foliage with a waffle-like texture. The striking, lush green foliage and stems have a silver and burgundy sheen to them.

Watermelon Peperomia (botanical name P. argyreia):

Watermelon peperomia, Peperomia argyreia, is another popular variant, sometimes known as “baby rubber plants.” There are several advantages to having a stiff, upright habit. These are the hanging and spreading types, with a broad range of leaf designs. The leaves of this species are oval in form and have silver streaks. It may reach a height and breadth of eight inches if planted in a container large enough to allow for root growth. These plants have hanging leaves and grow in mounds.

Peperomia argyreia in the Botanical Garden, Berlin.

Peperomia obtusifolia:

This species comes in the shape of a dwarf specimen, which grows just four inches in height! “ face” — A popular florist, green leaf, dish-garden plant with thick, cupped leaves that resemble rubber plants. Variegated, miniature, variegated miniature, albino, white-edged, and ‘Gold Tip’ variants are available, indicating that this plant sports freely. This infant rubber plant has a good stance. Some of these Peperomias have variegated leaves with gold and white colours, while others have solid, green, lustrous foliage.

Peperomia clusiifolia ‘Ginny’

Known as ‘Rainbow’ or ‘Tricolor,’ this plant has enormous medium green leaves with creamy white margins and rosy-pink flushes. Peperomia ‘Ginny,’ also known as ‘Tricolor’ or ‘Rainbow,’ is a popular peperomia houseplant and a highly delicate perennial. It features a strong stem with leaves that are green, cream, and crimson. On mature plants, ‘Ginny’ also features slender spikes of small white flowers that bloom all year. ‘Ginny,’ like most Peperomias, is easy to cultivate and may offer colour to your yard. Because of its big leaves and upright growth style, it grows well in pots. With its capacity to handle heat and shade, this plant may also be utilised as a groundcover.

P. cubensis (rotundifolia, ‘Yerba Linda’)

Branching, red-tinged stems with pointed-oval, gray-green leaves divided by precise indented veins. The variegated form is dashingly splashed with creamy white.

Peperomia fosteri

Deep, dull-green pointed leaves with lighter veins; branches low and spreading.

Glabella

Glossy gray-green leaves tapering to a point, on lax, thin stems. The variegated version sports a white border.

Polybotrya

coin leaf peperomia – large green heart-shaped glossy leaves, and very easy to care for. Keep away from cold, allow the soil to dry between watering. The green glossy leaves are sometimes circular on young plants. Grow outdoors in USDA hardiness zone 10.

Peperomia prostrata

Tiniest trailer or creeper with threadlike stems stringing together perfect little blue button leaves, etched with a pattern of silver. This one may be reluctant to move about, takes a while to adjust to any new quarters.

Quadrangularis

Low creeper with dull bronze-green leaves indented with yellowish veins.

Scandens

Sturdy trailer with glossy green, heart-shaped leaves.

Trinervis

Creeper or trailer with small pointed leaves marked deeply with parallel veins.

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