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If you are a type of person who prefers greenery and remarkable foliage over colorfully flowering plants, peperomia is the house plant for you!
Worried because you are a newbie or feel like you just don’t have the green thumb?
Don’t be, because most of the peperomia types are adaptable to different conditions!
Now let’s have a closer look at this magnificent home plant.
I’ve prepared a detailed ’peperomia how to care guide’ which brings tons of expert peperomia plant care tips, so stay with me and enjoy!
Peperomia belongs to a family of Piperaceae.
It is a distant relative to – you’ve guessed it – pepper (thus the name, pepperomia), and it comes from South America.
However, the name peperomia comes from the Greek language and it means ’resembling pepper’.
Peperomia plants live in the dense forests of Amazon, where they prefer the warmth and shadiness provided by the trees above.
To put it briefly, to make your plant thrive, these are the exact conditions you want to recreate in your home – indirect sunlight and enough humidity.
Pro-Tip: If peperomia starts losing its variegation, move it to a sunnier spot, but not under direct sunlight!
Different Peperomia Types
There are over a thousand varieties of peperomia plant!
They come in different sizes, leaf shapes, and colors.
Allow me to introduce you to some of the most popular ones:
It is a low growing perennial with variegated spoon-shaped foliage.
The leaf color beautifully varies from green to white, and just like others, it prefers lower light.
Also known as raindrop peperomia.
It is adorable, with its succulent-type, heart-shaped leaves.
Besides, it doesn’t grow bigger than 30 cm in height!
It is often mistaken for the ‘Chinese money plant’ because of the resemblance in foliage.
The stems are sturdy and fleshy.
Peperomia Orba has attractive vividly green leaves.
The foliage is round, chunky, and waxy.
When they mature, the leaves tend to develop a white stripe down the center.
It isn’t a slow-growing plant and can get big if you don’t prune it regularly.
However, if you like the appearance of ‘falling branches’, you may leave it to overgrow the container.
Aside from these mentioned, you also have Watermelon peperomia, which, as you may assume looks a lot like this delicious, juicy summer treat.
Also, there’s Peperomia Obtusifolia, a plant with the most interesting spectrum of nicknames- baby rubber plant is just one of the many!
Related: Peperomia Prostrata Care Guide
Peperomia’s foliage is usually compact and bushy.
The leaves are shiny, fleshy, and plump.
However, peperomias do differ in appearance – the leaves can be plain or variegated, while the stems are either threadlike or stout and fleshy.
The variegation can be bordered, marbled or striped, in different color shades- just like with variegated Monstera plants.
Peperomias bloom during summer.
However, the flowers are insignificant and usually pale or greenish.
Is Pruning Peperomia Complicated?
Almost every peperomia type requires occasional pruning.
Remove dying foliage and stems, or simply shape your pepperomia the way you like!
Make sure you don’t over prune it, especially during cold months.
Also, always use sharp tools.
Using dull scissors may leave a messy cut that may attract unwanted visitors such as pests or other diseases.
What are Peperomia Watering Requirements?
Peperomia doesn’t like too much water, so wait until the upper layer of the soil dries out before you water the plant.
The fleshy leaves are water storage, so it can endure long periods without watering, especially during cold months.
Water it every 1-2 weeks, and do so in the morning because watering plants at night is not the best habit to develop.
With increased exposure to sunlight, you’ll want to increase the frequency of watering.
Always use lukewarm water.
If you have the conditions, it would be best to use rainwater.
Peperomia likes normal humidity conditions at room temperature.
Still, make sure you mist it from time to time, just to keep the foliage fresh and shiny.
Sunlight and Temperature Requirements
Peperomia prefers minimum to bright indirect sunlight (remember – it lives under high trees in nature).
Don’t expose it to direct sunlight because the foliage will burn.
However, if it doesn’t get the needed amount of sunlight, the leaves will become wilted and drop in numbers, and the foliage color will start to fade.
Peperomia thrives at room temperature from 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Avoid dry air and wind drafts, especially cold ones.
As a tropical plant, it will appreciate additional humidity.
You can always place wet pebbles under the pot, or group your peperomia with other plants to increase the humidity.
Peperomia is one of the plants that need good drainage, so perlite or peat moss soil mixture will be okay.
Many peperomia live as epiphytes in nature.
They nest somewhere in the base of another tree and send their roots deeper into the wood bark, similar to orchids.
You can use regular soil as well, but it is always advised to add some peat moss or vermiculite.
How and When to Fertilize Peperomia?
You can fertilize your peperomia occasionally with a light fertilizer, preferably water-based.
Avoid over-feeding during the cold months (autumn and winter).
During summer, you may fertilize your peperomia once a month.
Peperomia doesn’t have a complicated root system, and you won’t need to re-pot it for two or three years.
However, when you decide to do it, it is best to be done during spring.
While doing it, always watch the size of the container!
Choose a pot only by a size bigger than the existing one.
Make a compact mixture of half the new fresh soil and half the old one.
Make sure you don’t damage the roots while repotting.
Gently place the plant into the new pot, and tuck the soil.
Water the plant well so the soil sets nicely.
Pro-Tip: Peperomia doesn’t like big containers, so it is best to keep it simple and small.
Because of their succulent nature, these plants are usually pretty easy to propagate.
So, don’t pay any attention to your gardener’s expertise, just start your propagating adventure!
Fleshy leaves don’t store just water, but also contain all the needed nutrients for the plant to be successfully propagated, by stem cuttings or leaves.
In both cases, make sure you use a sterilized, sharp tool, to avoid any potential pests or other diseases from appearing.
Propagating from Stem Cuttings
Remove the cutting from the stem and place it in a container filled with water until it develops new roots.
Then, you can plant it.
You can add some rooting powder at the beginning, to speed up the process.
Propagating from Leaf Cuttings
Cut the leaf across in width and dip the two halves in dipping powder.
Gently place your cutting in potting mix, by inserting it in the soil only a centimeter or two deep.
Water the soil generously.
After watering, cover the cuttings with a propagation tray.
As a replacement, you may use see-through stretch foil.
You can place a few holes for the airflow.
Leave the container under indirect sunlight.
Where to Place Peperomia
Most peperomia types don’t need much space, and do not request much care.
It is a perfect office or house plant, even for inexperienced gardeners.
A south or west-facing window is the perfect location for your peperomia.
It will tolerate lower light conditions as well, but it may start to lose its variegation.
Common Problems with Peperomia Plants
When it comes to peperomia care, the most important thing to know is not to overwater it.
You will notice an overwatered peperomia by wilted and/or yellowing leaves and rotting stems.
The roots start to rot eventually.
In that case, re-pot your peperomia to a new pot with fresh healthy soil.
Make sure you remove all the damaged parts of the plant!
The effects of underwatering are dry leaves and saggy stalks.
Leaves tips will become dry, crispy, and eventually brown.
When this happens, place the whole pot in a container full of water and let the roots soak nicely.
Mist the foliage and continue watering as usual.
Peperomia is a resistant plant.
Pretty much the only pest problems that may occur are fungus gnats, mealy bugs, and red spider mites.
Occasional misting and leaf wiping are the simplest tricks to get rid of those nasty pests.
If they do appear, remove mealybugs by using insecticidal soap or spray.
Do the same in the case of spider mites.
If you notice fungus gnats, reduce watering, and add some sand at the top of the soil.
In case this doesn’t help, adding some cinnamon powder to the soil topcoat should do the job.
Why Is Peperomia Wilted?
It can happen for two reasons – underwatering or overwatering.
In the first case, you will notice the dry soil.
Read the instruction above on how to act in case of underwatering.
If you see that the soil is waterlogged, it means you have overwatered the plant.
First of all, prune all the damaged and wilted foliage.
Let the soil dry for some time.
However, if you notice root rot, re-pot the plant immediately.
Make sure you remove any rotten parts.
Why Are Peperomia Leaves Going Yellow?
A few factors may cause it. First of all, excessive sunlight.
Try to place the pot somewhere else.
Underwatering or overwatering may be the cause.
In both cases, the leaves may begin to yellow from tips.
Analyze the soil to be sure.
If you notice the leaf color fading, place the pot in a less-lighted spot.
A sudden change in room temperature may cause leaf yellowing, as well.