Peperomias are attractive and relatively easy plant to grow. They are native to South American rain forests, where they grow quite happily in the loamy, dappled light, cool understory of the rain forest. These plants have all the features we look for in houseplants: variability, interesting leaves, and tolerance for a relatively wide range of conditions.
Light: Peperomias do well in bright to moderate light, such as found in a northern or east-facing window. They can be easily grown under grow lights.
Water: Keep the soil moist during the growing season and provide relatively high humidity through spraying or setting the pot in a gravel tray.
Temperature: Peperomias do well in most homes' relatively cool environment (although they dislike the dry). Aim for 65˚F to 75˚F (18˚C to 24˚C).
Soil: A well-drained but nutrient-rich potting mix.
Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season with a diluted liquid fertilizer or use controlled-release fertilizer pellets at the beginning of the growing season.
Peperomia thrives when slightly pot-bound, so do not over pot them. Repot plants in spring, especially to refresh the existing soil, but place either back into the same size container after root-pruning or only one pot size. The largest Peperomias remain relatively small, so they will never grow into large specimen plants.
Most Peperomias can be relatively easily propagated from leaf cuttings. Remove large leaves with their stalks (petioles) and bury in seedling starting soil mix. The use of a rooting hormone can increase the odds of success. Place the cutting in a warm, bright place until new growth emerges.
Peperomias are not particularly hard plants to grow, and their small size and delicate leaves make them perfect for desktops and dish gardens. They will rarely overtake their neighbors or shade them out. In short, they are perfectly mannered and attractive little plants. The biggest problem facing Peperomias are usually related to watering. They like steadily moist soil but can be very sensitive to overwatering. Overwatered Peperomias tend to wilt or have raised, scab-like protrusions on their leaves. Do not be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, but a massive leaf-drop is usually due to a temperature change or fertilizer problem. Lastly, Peperomias are susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on the stems and leaves' undersides.
BACK TO genus Peperomia
SUCCULENTOPEDIA: Browse succulents by Genus, Family, Scientific Name, Common Name, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.
When growing a Peperomia, locate the plant in a medium to low light situation away from direct sun. You may also grow Peperomia plants under fluorescent lighting.
Grow Peperomia plants in a light houseplant mixture with perlite or coarse gravel included to allow roots to receive air circulation necessary for the health and development of your plant. If your peperomia plants are wilting, in spite of regular watering, the plant is likely not getting enough oxygen to the roots.
Water Peperomia houseplants sparingly and allow the soil to dry as deep as 5 inches (13 cm.) between waterings.
Fertilize occasionally with a balanced houseplant food after watering. Leach the plant in summer by flushing with water to remove the salts left behind by fertilization.
Repot Peperomias in spring, but keep pots small unless you are growing Peperomia as part of a container combination.
With dozens of Peperomia species grown as houseplants, I’m only scratching the surface, but here are a few of the most popular species.
Peperomia argyreia and Peperomia sandersii – Watermelon Peperomia is a very popular variety due to the distinctive characteristics of the foliage, which resemble the appearance of a watermelon. They have dark green leaves and silvery stripes travelling from the centre of the leaves in curving lines towards the leaf tips. The leaves are held by individual petioles, which are often reddish in color.
Peperomia caperata – Emerald Ripple Peperomia has a rosette appearance to its foliage and very dark green, red or purple leaves. The leaves have deep creases along their length, making the leaves look deeply textured, as if wrinkled. This tends to be a particularly compact peperomia species, ideal for growth in a window container or terrarium. One of my absolute favorite peperomia species that I would highly recommend.
Peperomia obtusifolia (baby rubber plant or pepper face) – Peperomia obtusifolia is an evergreen perennial with an upright growth habit. It has dark green, succulent-like, oval leaves and grows to approximately 2 feet in height. There are multiple popular cultivars including Peperomia obtusifolia `Marble’, Peperomia obtusifolia `Minima’ and Peperomia obtusifolia `Variegata’
Peperomia scandens (Cupid Peperomia or False-Philodendron Peperomia) – This is a low growing, trailing variety of peperomia. It has light green, heart-shaped leaves, with a thin white or pale yellow border. A really good option to spill over the side of a planter or to hang down from a hanging basket.
Source – Wikimedia Commons
Peperomia nivalis – This is a diminutive, creeping peperomia species, which has pronounced succulent characteristics. It has thick, light green, fleshy leaves, which have an unusual folded shape. This is a feature that is present in a number of peperomia species, including the Peperomia graveolens, where the underside of the leaf is red and curves upwards, creating a striped appearance.
Source – Wikimedia Commons
Hi, I’m Andrew, and Smart Garden Guide is my website all about indoor gardening and houseplants. I’m here to share my experience and help you have more success and enjoyment growing plants. Enjoy your stay at Smart Garden Guide.
If you don’t find the Tricolor Peperomia visually appealing, then there quite a number of other varieties commercially sold across gardening stores and nurseries which I bet you’d consider buying. Here’s a list of the most wondrous types you won’t regret adopting and nurturing:
Watermelon peperomia is one of the most popular species of Peperomia genus. The reason behind this name is the silver-green stripes on the fleshy foliage, giving it a resemblance to the rind of a watermelon. It is commonly grown as a houseplant in containers. Continue reading to learn more about Watermelon Peperomia Care!
USDA Zone: 9-12
Other Names: Peperomia argyreia (Scientific Name), Watermelon Begonia
Height & Spread: 6-12 inches