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How to Grow: Peperomia
Medium to bright sun is best for peperomia. An East facing window is good or artificial lighting turned on 14 hours a day will help keep the leaves brightly colored.
Bloom Period and Plant Shape
The flowers on peperomia are tall, narrow green or brown stalks. The plant leaves can be tiny or large depending on the selection. They often are thick and succulent and compared to rubber tree leaves. In fact, a common name is baby rubber tree. However, the two plants aren’t related.
Mature Height x Spread
Peperomia can grow up to 3 feet tall in a tropical climate. Indoors in pots most plants stay less than 1 foot tall. This makes peperomia a great tabletop or countertop houseplant.
How to Plant
Plant peperomia in orchid pots or plastic pots filled with well-drained soil. Pepermia has a small root system so needs well-drained soil or the roots may rot. A potting mix with perlite, gravel and peat moss is best for drainage. Outdoors grow peperomia as annuals in all but tropical areas. Grow in a shady location and bring plants indoors when temperatures dip below 50F.
Grow peperomia in well-drained containers indoors in a bright room. Avoid cold drafts. Peperomia leaves will get sunburned if grown in too bright an area. Bottom water the plants by placing the pot in a tray of water for 5 to 10 minutes to soak up the water through the drainage holes. In winter, keep plants on the dry side, only watering once the soil dries out. Overwatering can lead to root rot and wilting. Fertilize in spring and summer with a houseplant fertilizer. They will only need repotting after a number of years.
Peperomia are known for their succulent, colorful leaves. The flowers are insignificant. Keep the plants deadheaded to prevent rotting leaves from standing on the soil.
Since peperomias are small houseplants that grow slowly in pots, they are perfect for a tabletop, desk, or kitchen counter. You can grow these plants in an office without natural light as long as you have artificial lighting. Peperomias require little care other than the occasional watering and cleaning up spent foliage.
There are more than a 1000 of types of peperomias. Some of the most common types grown as houseplants are ‘Belly Button’ peperomia with its tiny leaves that look like baby tears. ‘Columbia’ peperomia has tri-colored bronze, silver and red leaves. ‘Cupid’ peperomia has heart-shaped leaves.