How to Care for Your Peperomia Plant
Do you want to tend a house plant but find it difficult maintaining it? There are houseplants that don’t require meticulous maintenance and one of such is the Peperomia plant.
The Peperomia Plant (Peperomia Spp) is a tropical plant that originates from Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Over 1,000 species of the Peperomia exist and most of them look so different from each other that you may doubt they belong to the same family. Don’t be discouraged though, the slow-growing epiphyte is easy to maintain, regardless of the species you have.
Other names for the Peperomia plant are Baby Rubber plant, Radiator Plant, Emerald Ripper Pepper and Pepper Elder. Popular species include P. Capareta, P. Obtusifolia, among others in the Piperaceae family.
Peperomia is an excellent choice to add variety and a pop of color to your space. They make great aesthetic additions to living rooms and bathrooms. Their resilience helps them to do well, even under the care of a forgetful houseplant owner. Also, their compact nature makes them perfect for indoor spaces.
Light Requirement for Peperomias
Peperomia plants do not require direct and intense light to grow. With medium to bright intensity light, your Peperomia will undoubtedly flourish and give its vibrant color hue -- the colors of the leaves can vary greatly. It would be best to keep it under morning light or filtered light. When this is unavailable, 12 to 16 hours in artificial light will suffice. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, while insufficient sunlight can cause fewer leaves to grow or lead to discoloration. The Peperomia also starts to shed leaves when it lacks light. So if your plant is droopy or losing leaves try giving it more light. We have successfully grown back plants from just the stalk standing so don't give up if you lose some leaves!
Soil Requirement for Peperomias
Peperomia plants are epiphytes. Hence, they tend to grow from the decayed bark of old trees in their natural habitat. It is essential to reproduce an environment like this for your Peperomia to thrive. The potting soils you choose should be aerated and have adequate drainage holes. Adding Perlite will provide ample protection from root rot and contribute to better soil aeration. A regular potting mix is good enough, but using an orchid potting mix would make a noticeable difference. You can also mix things up with a bit of peat moss.
Temperature Requirements for Peperomia Plants
Peperomia should typically not be exposed to temperatures below 30 Fahrenheit. It would be best to keep your Peperomia in a warm environment as tropical plants. This would be most critical during summer when they grow the most. At that time, you ought to take your plant out. When this is not possible, try to maintain 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit average temperatures.
Watering your Peperomias
The Peperomia plant enjoys watering from its roots. You can thoroughly water your plant every 1 to 2 weeks. In between watering, ensure the potting soil dries out properly. If you keep the plant in a region of bright light, it would require more water. Low light intensity will require less water. Although Peperomia does well with occasional neglect, try not to overwater the plant. Yellowing, dropping leaves, and a humid potting mix are telltale signs that your Peperomia plant has more water than it can handle. When you overwater the plant, it may cause fungus gnat problem. It is better for the Peperomia to be dry than oversaturated. Overwatering peperomias can lead to root rot and disappointing results. We treat this plant as a semi-succulent.
Fertilizing your Peperomia
Peperomia plants do not require heavy fertilizer because, you guessed right, they are low maintenance. Regular and occasional fertilizers that work for most house plants will work for Peperomia. Discolored and dropping leaves are signs that your Peperomia plant lacks adequate light and has excess moisture. We find this a great plant to gift a new plant parent.
Pests and Pathogens
Like most other house plants, the Peperomia plant is often affected by common pests like spider mites, mealybugs and whiteflies. You can treat your Peperomia with insecticidal soap and neem oil, also check out our Plant Shield and Shine as a great option. Also, wiping them down regularly should take care of your plant. We like to wash the leaves once a month to avoid an issue but these plants aren't any more prone to any type of bugs than other houseplants and are actually rather easy.
Common Peperomia Plant Questions
Why does my Peperomia have brown spots?
There are numerous reasons a Peperomia will develop brown spots. It could be due to inadequate water or infection (like root rot). The best fix is to water it more less often and cut off the affected part. Replanting the plant in new soil can help too. We also see that sometimes if you have sprayed the plants it may get sunburn spots if you spray at the time it receives the most light.
Why are spikes growing on my Peperomia?
We have heard these called, doodles, spikes, flowers, blooms and so much more because what are they?! They are flowers! Spikes grow on Peperomia only when they have started flowering. Although Peperomia is grown for the leaves, this is a sign that you are giving it the ideal amount of light, moisture and humidity. Keep it up!
Why is my Peperomia leggy?
When the leaves start to spread apart more we call that getting "leggy" the plant is showing more leg than leaf. The Peperomia plant starts getting leggy when it has inadequate sunlight. You should give it more hours of sunlight. Probably, change the position of the plant to get more hours of sunlight.
Why is my Peperomia drooping?
Peperomia plants only droop when it is not getting enough water. When you notice it, you should pay attention to its water needs. Water it at least once a week or extra if it has gone through a dry spell but definitely up the water. If it keeps happening it might be time to up the pot size.