General Peperomia Care
Peperomias are lovely house plants that come in multiple varieties suitable for various house themes. The plants' beautiful foliage and capability to grow in a wide range of conditions makes it a perfect option for people seeking to expand their house plant collection. Classified in the pepper family and described as perennial plants, they grow in tropical and sub-tropic climates with origins traceable to Central America.
One of the significant challenges peperomia enthusiasts experience is determining the frequency of watering. Most growers kill their plants by over-watering, while others underwater them hence limited growth. We at Cellar Door Plants advise growers to readjust their watering intervals depending on the seasons, increasing the frequency in summer and reducing in winter. Generally, water the plant when the first two inches of the growing medium dry up. The interval should range between 7 to 10 days.
Lighting and humidity
Peperomias thrive in medium to bright indirect light. A west or east shadow facing is also ideal for the plants. Excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially during summer, scalds leaves and flowers. Meager light conditions trigger the plants to grow leggy. Though they are known to thrive in high humidity environments, most varieties have succulent stems and can survive in drier conditions. Temperature requirements range between 65-80°F and should not fall below 50°F.
Soil and Fertilizer
As aforementioned, one of the critical problems with growing peperomia is their susceptibility to root rot caused by overwatering. To minimize the root rot risk, use a well-drained potting mix. An equal mix of peat moss and perlite or coarse sand offers excellent features for the growth of peperomias. They are low feeders, and frequent fertilizing can cause nutrient toxicity problems. Apply a 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer once in a month in summer and limit to once in two months in winter.
Cleaning and pruning
Clean the plant by wiping it with a damp towel. When cleaning, pay attention to under-leaves where pests hide and dirt accumulate. Plants growing in shallow light conditions tend to become leggy. Reduce them back to a compact ornamental plant by pruning elongated stems. Use sharp typical pruning tools. Use pruning sessions to detect and remove dead growth and infected plant plants.
They are propagated via leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. Propagation involves preparing the rooting mix, as described in the ‘soil and fertilizer’ section. Make sure the equipment is sterile. Cut a healthy leaf with petiole, or a stem cutting, dip it in rooting medium, insert in the potting mix, and firm the soil around it. Water the new plant thoroughly, let the water drain and cover it. Keep the plant in indirect brightly lit room. Remove the cover for a few hours every day to avoid excessive accumulation of humidity. Once a new shoot develops, transfer the plant to its permanent location. Do not repot it immediately.
Peperomias prefer root-bound conditions; as a result, they can live for years without requiring repotting. Besides, they are characterized by relatively slow growth rates. In case you see roots coming out through the drainage holes, repot the plant in a bigger container. The process involves preparing the new potting mix in the new container, watering and uprooting the plant, replanting it in the new vessel, and watering it adequately. After repotting, keep the plant in bright indirect light and ensure the soil is reasonably wet.
Peperomias are moderately easy to care non-poisonous plants that can grow in a wide range of conditions. An improper watering routine will cause the plant to wilt – due to thirst or root rot. Excessive sunlight will cause peperomia leaves to turn yellow. Curling leaves are an indication of pests manifestation or inept fertilizer. It is also prone to diseases like pythium, Cercospora leaf spot, Phyllosticta leaf spot, and Rhizoctonia leaf spot. It can be infected by pests like fungus gnats, mites, and mealybugs. To reverse the effects of common diseases and pests, apply typical houseplant insecticides and solutions.