Peperomia is a small bushy evergreen plant with over 1000 species, originating mostly from North and South America but also from Africa, South Asia, and Oceania, making them both tropical and subtropical in nature. Peperomias are known for their ornamental showy leaves and come in a wide range of colours, shapes, and textures. Their thick glossy leaves and stems is the characteristic that makes peperomia stand out - along with its easy care and low maintenance, peperomia is a very popular indoor plant.
Peperomia is a very easy plant to take care of and hence is suitable for beginners and experts alike. It requires bright indirect light, and water once or twice a week, and is relatively straightforward to propagate.
1. Light -
Peperomias like medium to bright indirect light for best health and growth. Enough light ensures the leaves maintain their vibrant colours and patterns. Not enough light and the leaves will become smaller and less colourful. Be careful of too much light or direct light which can burn the leaves. Some peperomias can tolerate low light but medium is preferred.
2. Temperature and Humidity-
Peperomias are from tropical areas so enjoy a little bit of extra warmth however, standard home temperatures are just fine. Be sure to protect them in Winter as they are sensitive to very low temperatures and frost. Peperomias grow faster in the warmer months while their growth rate slows during Winter. A bit of extra ambient humidity can be beneficial but definitely not necessary.
3. Water -
Peperomias have thick succulent leaves which store and protect them from water loss and because of this they don’t require very frequent watering. Water every 1 or 2 weeks depending on how much light and the temperature, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Water more in high light and in Summer while less in darker areas and in Winter. To avoid overwatering use of a plant self watering system or soil moisture meter is recommended.
4. Soil and Fertiliser -
A well-draining aerated soil is important for a healthy peperomia plant. A standard potting mix with added orchid bark or pertile helps improve drainage and oxygen while preventing water logging. Regular fertilising is not necessary as peperomia grows so slowly that it doesn't have a high requirement for extra nutrients. Most soils come with slow release fertiliser which should be sufficient to support healthy growth most of the year. During Summer or periods of increased growth you can add a liquid fertilser.
5. Maintenance and Repotting -
Peperomia is a very low maintenance plant because of its slow and compact growth. This makes it great for beginners or small areas. Repotting doesnt need to be done often and it can remain in the same plant pots for long periods without need to upgrade. Pruning can be done before the growing season starts to create the desired shape or encourage lush compact growth. Keep trimming as they can be used for propagation.
Peperomia is relatively easy to propagate with either stems or leaves and in either water or soil as the medium. Propagation can be done year-round but the best time is in Spring or Summer when growth is highest.
6. Stem cuttings -
Using the trimmings (cut just below a node) from pruning, you can place peperomia stems in either soil or water, keep them warm and humid for roots to form.
7. Leaf cuttings -
Peperomia leaves can also be used for propagation. Place the leaves in either water or soil and keep them in a warm and humid environment until they grow roots. Once the roots are established the plant will soon start sending out leaves.