How to Care for a Peperomia Obtusifolia or Baby Rubber Plant?
If you love plants but struggle with a busy schedule, peperomia obtusifolia is an attractive, toxic-free, easy-care plant. It needs less water and can thrive well in the shade with indirect light.
Peperomia obtusifolia, pronounced – pep-er-roh-mee-uh ob-too-sih-foh-lee-uh, is a tropical plant that blooms in summer and is also known by various other names such as baby rubber plant, shining bush plant, pepper elder, emerald ripper pepper, and radiator plant. Peperomia obtusifolia is a native subtropical rainforest plant from South and Central America.
Peperomia obtusifolia is a unique houseplant with a thousand varieties that produce different forms of leaves. Some of the popular variants of peperomia plants are:
- Peperomia caperata (Emerald Ripple Peperomia): The most known and widely available peperomia variant plant. The plant produces little heart-shaped leaves with a hint of orange, purple, or dark red veins. The height spread of peperomia caperata is 6–8 inches.
- Peperomia perciliata: A rare plant beauty that has red, green, and pink shades of leaves with oval-shaped foliage. Peperomia Perciliata plant trails along the ground, best kept as a hanging plant. The height spread of peperomia perciliata is 2–4 inches in width and 8–10 inches long.
- Peperomia verticillata (Belly Button Peperomia): An attractive peperomia plant with small dark green and red wine leaves that get a smooth velvet texture with age. The height spread of peperomia verticillata is up to 3 feet.
- Peperomia metallica var. columbiana (Columbian Peperomia): An ideal plant for container gardening. The Columbian peperomia has dark-green leaves that have a burgundy color beneath. This variety is an excellent addition to a terrarium or rock garden. The height spread of Columbian peperomia is 2–8 inches in width and 4–10 inches in height.
- Peperomia scandens (Cupid Peperomia): Also known as false philodendron, the peperomia plant variant that is best for hanging gardening. The plant has light green leaves in the shape of a heart with creamy gold edges. It can spread up to 30 inches.
- Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Golden Gate’ (Golden Gate Peperomia): A beautiful, glossy green houseplant with red wine stem suitable for shaded spaces or office areas as it grows good in fluorescent light or low light. The height spread of golden gate peperomia is 7–8 inches.
- Peperomia quadrangularis (Beetle Peperomia): Also known as peperomia angulata, it is a cute little plant in the shape of a beetle with wriggling stems. It has dark green color leaves with a little lighter green shade stripes. You can grow it in the hanging basket as an outdoor garden edition. The height spread of beetle peperomia is 8–12 inches.
- Peperomia griseoargentea (Ivy Peperomia): Ivy peperomia has heart-shaped leaves with a hint of ivy hue. The younger plant has a pink tone on its leaves and changes into an ivy color with age. The height spread of ivy peperomia is 12–20 inches.
What kind of soil is suitable for peperomia plants?
You can use soil composed of loam or peat moss for peperomia plants, or any soil blend with good drainage can be used. Maintain the soil pH balance around 6 to 6.6 and ensure that the soil should not excessively fertile.
What is the right temperature for peperomia plants?
Peperomia plants thrive in low-light and partial shade. Temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit are suitable for peperomia plants to grow healthy. Peperomia plants cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 Fahrenheit; hence do not put the plant near the air cooling system or keep it outdoors during winter.
Do peperomia plants require sunlight?
The cold temperature of direct sunlight for an extended period turns the leaves pale in color and burns the foliage. Place the peperomia plants indoors to get indirect light from the window. Peperomia plants can also grow healthy under fluorescent lighting.
Do peperomia plants stay healthy in a humid climate?
Peperomias plants are native to tropical forests; hence they can thrive in 40 to 50% humid temperatures. Thus, one need not worry about growing peperomias during monsoon or living in a humid region.
How often should one water the peperomia plants?
Peperomia plant is one of the succulent family; thus, it stores enough water in its roots, leaves, and stems. Generally, once a week, watering is enough for the Peperomia plant.
Edema is one of the common conditions in houseplants if you have a terrible watering habit. Either you don’t water the plant on a regular basis or overwater the plant, it ruptures the plant cells, and the leaf may pale green or yellow.
Can you mist peperomia?
Yes, one can mist the peperomia plant once a day, alternate days, or even weekly. Misting can help the plant foliage to get some moisture. However, avoid misting at night due to temperature drops; the dew might not get easily dry.
Can one grow peperomia plants indoors?
Yes, the peperomia plant is an excellent houseplant that one can keep indoors as it is easy to maintain and add a green charm to the space.
Can one grow peperomia plants outdoors?
Peperomia is a tropical plant; thus, it loves high temperatures and humidity. As sunlight is a crucial part of all plants as they perform photosynthesis, it is always good to keep your peperomia under direct sunlight in the morning and later near the shade for the rest of the day when the temperature rises.
What is the size and growth of the peperomia plants?
The best part of peperomia plants is that you can keep them in a pot in the ground, or you can hang it. Both the options depend upon how you want the plant to grow and add beauty to your home decor.
The hanging peperomia plant grows pretty quickly than the one in the pot because it has a trailing growth habit and reasonably can grow up to 20 inches per year under good conditions. While in the pot, it grows up to 6 inches.
Do peperomia plants grow a flower?
Though peperomia plants do grow flowers, it is far from growing big and noticeable in most variants. However, it only grows when peperomia plants grow in a big pot in an open space and only appear in well-cared plants. The flower generally has narrow stalks, often in a brown or green shade.
What things need to be taken care of while grooming and maintaining the peperomia plants?
The bushier the plant, the more it looks pleasing to the eyes. Once a peperomia plant begins to grow taller, ensure to remove shoots that don’t have leaves. Always take care of the plant by timely fertilizing and removing leaves that turn pale green or yellow.
What to use to feed or fertilize peperomia plants?
During the growing season, the peperomia plants benefit from fertilizing. Therefore, feed the plant once per month in the summer and springtime with regular fertilizer.
Fertilizers help the peperomia plants with nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, allowing the plant to grow bigger.
How do we keep peperomia plants away from pests?
The peperomia plant is one of the rare plants that don’t get susceptible to pests. However, one needs to keep an eye out for spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs as they easily get attracted to the peperomia plant.
To keep the peperomia plant from pests, spray the foliage and the stems with water or use an anti-pests spray like horticultural oil.
How to propagate peperomia plants?
One can propagate peperomia plants by trimming on a vine below a leaf, little upside to the roots and sticking the peperomia stem into the water for a few weeks until the roots begin to develop. Once the roots grow, transfer the plant to the soil. You can propagate any part of the peperomia plant except the roots.
Can peperomia plants grow in water?
Peperomia plants don’t grow in water, except during propagation, the place the peperomia stem in the water until the roots begin to grow. Peperomia plants need moist soil to grow.
Is peperomia toxic to keep around newborns, senior citizens, and pets?
The peperomia plant is toddler and pet friendly. It is a non-toxic plant that doesn’t cause any allergy alert to newborns, kids, senior citizens, or pets. However, the best approach is always to keep houseplants out of reach of furry pets and kids as they are curious and might damage the plant.
Where to buy a peperomia plant?
You can easily find peperomia plants at greenhouses or nurseries or even some grocery stores as well. One can even find the peperomia plant at online stores — Walmart or Amazon. Keep in mind that there are various types of peperomia plants; choose the suitable one for your home.
Peperomia obtusifolia is a great houseplant to start with if you are a beginner with plants or a little clumsy to maintain plants. It is an easy-care plant that doesn’t require much care except once a week watering, fertilizer once in summer and spring, as well cleaning the leaves are super easy. In addition, Peperomia obtusifolia can be propagated easily. Keep it on your balcony, library, living room, or even bathroom.