This Peperomia plant care and types guide for gorgeous Baby Rubber Plants, Radiator Plants, Pepper Elder Plants, and Shining Bush Plants. There are different types of Peperomias to choose from and are differentiated by the variegations, leaf shapes, and colors. Peperomia is an easy houseplant to care for even for new plant owners.
Peperomia Plant Care and Types
Peperomia is a slow-growing plant. They can be grown successfully as indoor plants as well as placed outside on patios or in planters. Most people, including myself, grow the plants for their foliage. If you haven’t heard success in growing flowering indoor houseplants, this is a perfect plant.
The plant produces thick, fleshy leaves that can be green, red, purple, or gray. The leaves can be smooth or textured. They can also be tiny leaves, large or heart-shaped. The leaves of the Peperomia vary so much that the plants look completely different from one another.
There are very many types of Peperomia plants to choose from. This list is just a few of the common ones:
- Peperomia obtusifolia also referred to as the Variegated Peperomia. It has beautiful variegated leaves and is also one of the common varieties.
- Metallica Peperomia which is also know as Peperomia Rosso.
- Cupid Peperomia which gets the name from its heart-shaped leaves. Ideal for hanging baskets because it produces the beautiful cream leaves on trailing stems.
- Belly Button Peperomia has tiny leaves similar to those of the Baby Tears Plant. The plant has a compact shape.
- Peperomia caperata which has gorgeous leaves with deep ridges and silver accents.
It’s important to note that Peperomia or Baby Rubber Plant is different from Rubber Plant. These popular houseplants are in a different genus and are not related. The Rubber plant is fast-growing and can reach a height of 100 feet while the Baby Rubber plant remain small throughout its life.
|Common Name||Baby Rubber Plant|
|Soil||Slightly acidic, well-draining|
|Size||About 6 inches when mature|
|Hardiness Zones||Between 10 – 12|
|Light||Medium to bright light|
Peperomia Soil Requirements
Getting the right soil is also part of Peperomia plant care. When it comes to the soil mix, Peperomia plants love well-draining, chunky acidic soil. If you have the standard soil mix you can grow your Peperomias successfully with slight modifications through adding peat moss.
I normally pot Peperomia plants in the same medium that I use for potting Orchids. Check this post on how to grow Orchid plants.
Watering Baby Rubber Plant
Peperomia love when the soil dries out in between watering. The plants have succulent leaves that can tolerate some neglect. However, if you let the soil dry out too much, the leaves will begin to dry and fall out from the bottom.
When watering the indoor plants, you have to find a balance between overwatering and underwatering. Once you do, the plants will be happy and will grow, produce new gorgeous leaves, and thrive.
When it comes to Peperomia plant care error towards underwatering rather than overwatering. If you saturate the plant and allow the roots to sit in water, they will rot.
Peperomia can do well without any need for fertilizing or feeding. The plant is slow-growing and doesn’t require much food compared to other plants such as Bird of Paradise which is fast-growing.
You can use the same fertilizer you use for all my other houseplants to feed the Peperomia plants. I normally use a diluted liquid complete fertilizer, once a month during the growing season.
Peperomia can grow to maturity using the nutrients found in the planting medium. Mature plants get the nutrients when the plant is repotted.
Temperature for Peperomia
The best temperature for Peperomias is around 30 0 F)or above. These plants don’t like to grow below this temperature because they are tropical plants. Although they can tolerate lower temperatures, they won’t grow as healthy or as fast.
Peperomia can tolerate various levels of humidity. However, the higher the humidity the better they do. In general, the plants love a nice warm humid environment.
If you can keep the humidity at around 60% to 70% you should be good. If you are having trouble keeping up the humidity levels in your home, you can get a humidifier.
You can also place the potted plant in a flat tray filled with water and pebbles. When the water evaporates, it helps maintain the humidity at the required levels. You can also keep the plants in groups.
Peperomia Light Requirements
Peperomia plants are generally doing well in medium to bright lighting conditions. If the locations where you want to place the Peperomia has low light, you should consider getting a variety that has darker leaves. The greener the leaves, the less light they need. The highly variegated varieties with shades of white require bright light to be happy.
Check the new growth in your plant to see how they are behaving to determine if the plant is getting enough light. If the plant is not getting enough light, it will produce fewer leaves. The already existing leaves will also start to fall off.
If you’re growing your Peperomias as outdoor plants, provide them with filtered sun or bright indirect light. They can also tolerate a little bit of morning and evening sun which is less scorching.
If you are growing the plant under artificial light, make sure it’s at least 12-16 hours.
Peperomia Pests and Diseases
The majority of the common pests can attack Peperomia plants. When grown as both house plants and outdoor plants, Peperomias can grow to maturity without facing many pests or disease challenges.
However, they can still be attacked by some aphids and mealybugs especially when growing in the same space as other infected plants.
Keep an eye out for early signs of pests and control them using neem oil. Some of the signs to look out for include twisting, curling, or stunted leaves.
You can also use insecticidal soap as a way of both preventing as well as treating most common pests.
Peperomia pruning is dependent on the variety you are growing. As some Peperomias grow they begin to vine. Some people don’t like the vines and want their plants to grow big and maintain a compact bushy form. To maintain the shape, pruning becomes necessary.
You should also prune your plants when they get yellow leaves as well as brown tips. Some of the issues that should be addressed include overwatering or underwatering.
Yellow leaves can also be caused by overfertilization resulting in a mineral buildup in the soil. If this is the case, the best way to address it is through leaching the plant.
The problem can also be caused by low levels of humidity when the environment is too dry. Raising the humidity levels will mitigate the problem.
You can repot your plants when you notice they are getting root-bound. Peperomia plants are slow- growers. They can be comfortably grown in a small-sized pot for years without the need for repotting.
If you notice the plant’s roots coming out of the drainage holes, then it’s ready to be repotted. Remove your plant, break down the roots, and establish it in a bigger pot half-filled with acidic soil mix. Fill the sides with soil and press it down to ensure that it does not grow slanted.
Propagating Peperomias is easy. The plants root easily and it’s easy to get many new plants from a single mother plant.
Propagation with the soil method is the easiest. Make a cutting below several nodes or a leaf with about an inch of the stem. For the best results, do your propagation during spring when the plant is actively growing.
Make small holes, and stick the cuttings or the leaves in the soil, and water them immediately. Keep the soil moist and wait for the roots to form.
Peperomia Poisonous to Pets
The Peperomia plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs. The plant is not poisonous and is a great houseplant for people who are concerned about their pets. Check this post on 50 Pet Safe Indoor Houseplants.
Peperomia produces spectacular foliage in different colors, shades, and shapes. They are easy to grow and are available in many different varieties. Every plant owner should try these awesome plants in pots. They are also perfect plants for inexperienced beginners.
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