Peperomia is a round-leaved and many-faced baby

Among the favorites of decorative deciduous crops, all flower growers have one special plant in terms of texture, size, and character – peperomia. But the main advantage of this compact miracle has always been and remains variety. Rounded or heart-shaped, medium-sized, but very showy leaves fascinate at first sight. And the effect of a curly or openwork rosette or pillow enhances the catchy colors and the beauty of the details. Peperomias are really very different – sometimes simple, sometimes noble, outlandish or classic, sometimes completely dissimilar both in leaves and in the shape of bushes. But these optimistic plants in any form have such a cheerful effect on the surrounding space that it is simply impossible not to fall in love with the beauty of their greenery.

Peperomia in the interior. Farmer floradania

The many-faced queen of indoor arrangements

It is no coincidence that peperomias have been called favorite plants of modern interiors for several years now. It is really difficult to find plants that offer such a wide selection of different forms, species and varieties. And yet all peperomies are universally easy to grow and fit perfectly into any setting. Representatives of the genus peperomia owe their name not only to the similarity of leaves with peppers (the plant in classical forms, indeed, cannot be called anything other than perceptible). Therefore, peperomia belongs to the family Pepper, or Peppers (Piperaceae). The variety of peperomias is so great that the belonging of certain species to the same genus is not always possible to recognize at first glance.

Peperomia (Peperomia) – a genus of evergreen herbaceous perennials, in fact, the only common “obligatory” trait for which are thick, fleshy shoots. Depending on the species, they can be almost reduced, shortened, erect, lodging, or even creeping. Moreover, the type of shoots directly determines both the use of plants and their appearance. But peperomias are valued not at all for the many different forms of growth, but for the decorative foliage, invariably attractive in any plant of this genus.

The leaves sit on rather short petioles alternately or in whorls, arranged so densely that the shoots under them are almost never visible. Fleshy, succulent, dense, they can differ in different species not only in size (from 1 to 15 cm), but also in shape (round, heart-shaped), surface texture (from glossy smooth-waxy to velvety, wrinkled, embossed) and , of course, the same color, which ranges from dark green to bright light green, brown, olive, purple, silver, not to mention the numerous variegated combinations.

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But all, without exception, peperomias have whole-edged leaves. And with all this, peperomias are also capable of blooming, releasing dense spikelets of inflorescences from cream or pale green flowers devoid of perianth, which, however, can hardly be called very attractive (but flowering does not affect the beauty or density of greenery either). Blossom and bear fruit, forming miniature dryish fruits, easily separated from the “cob” of peperomia infructescence can all year round.

Pleasant peperomia (Peperomia blanda)Pleasant peperomia (Peperomia blanda). Farmer HiHort
Peperomia maculosa (Peperomia maculosa)Spotted peperomia (Peperomia maculosa). Farmer floradania
Peperomia wrinkled, or Peperomia wrinkled (Peperomia caperata)Peperomia wrinkled, or Peperomia wrinkled (Peperomia caperata). Farmer floradania

Types of peperomias

In indoor floriculture, out of hundreds of natural species of peperomia, a little more than ten varieties are actively used. The best decorative peperomias include:

  1. Peperomia wrinkled, or Peperomia wrinkled (Peperomia caperata) – a surprisingly spectacular velvety look with a perfectly heart-shaped leaf shape, a dense edging and a seemingly corrugated wrinkled surface, which only adds to the charm of the chocolate-purple color. The leaves of the plant are collected in the semblance of rosettes.
  2. Peperomia is pleasant (Soft peperomia) Is an epiphyte with weakly branched erect shoots up to 30 cm high, distinguished by a dense edging. Leaves in whorls are oval, reaching only 3-4 cm, with a beautiful velvety light green color on top and purple below (outwardly, this peperomia is similar to milkweed).
  3. Peperomia spotted (Peperomia maculosa) Is a fashionable large-leaved species, the adult bushes of which, in their tiled effect, resemble hosts. The leaves are green, with a glossy shine, a graceful pointed edge, up to 15 cm long. The shoots are thick, up to 1 cm in diameter, erect. The whitish veins give the entire leaf a surprising elegance and contrast beautifully with the dark base color of the leaf plate.
  4. Peperomia round-leaved (Peperomia rotundifolia) – an openwork, growing in the form of a thick pillow, with round small leaves painted in a dazzling green tone, which looks almost like a metallic sheen due to the edge.
  5. Peperomia blunt-leaved (Peperomia obtusifolia) Is a compact plant with a dazzling glossy shine with elliptical leaves about 5-7 cm long with a leathery, saturated color surface. In addition to the basic form, Alba with creamy leaves and the grayish-silver ‘Albomarginata’ are also popular.
  6. Peperomia marble (Marbled peperomia) – a low, densely growing species with beautiful embossed leaves with a pointed top, against the background of a wrinkled silvery surface of which 5-7 dark purple veins stand out brightly.
  7. Peperomia creeping (Peperomia serpens) – an epiphyte with hanging or lying shoots, on which bright green, rather large leaves flaunt with pointed tops, often decorated with a “torn” light green border (the foliage is somewhat reminiscent of a birch, only with a solid, not jagged edge).
  8. Peperomia velvety (Peperomia velutina) – a species with dark red, erect shoots and almost round dark emerald leaves with 5-7 silvery veins at the top of the plates, which seem almost blue.
  9. Peperomia clusiform (Peperomia clusiifolia) is a large perennial plant with ascending shoots capable of rooting at the nodes and rigid, almost sessile large leaves up to 15 cm in length with a muted purple-green color, a purple border around the edge. In this peperomia in room culture, the variegated form is more popular, in which gray, white and yellowish blotches are located on the leaves, as if spreading from the central vein to the reddish border.
  10. Peperomia gray (Peperomia incana) – a semi-shrub up to 50 cm high flaunts with rounded olive-colored leaves, with a beautiful edge and a single pronounced central vein.
  11. Peperomia silvery (Peperomia argyreia) – one of the most spectacular variegated species. It flaunts crowded in rosettes, rounded leaves on long cuttings with a beautiful pointed top, reaching 12 cm in diameter and prominent pronounced bright green veins against the background of grayish-silvery leaf plates. The alternation of bright and whitish stripes gives the plant a unique graphic appearance, and the plant itself seems to be covered with silver paint.
  12. Peperomia is reddish (Peperomia rubella) Is a graceful perennial plant with highly branching thin red shoots, dotted with small oval opposite leaves with a very light upper side and a reddish lower one.
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Peperomias have become so popular primarily due to their versatility. It is a houseplant that is virtually hassle-free even with modest care. She does not have a pronounced dormant period, the foliage looks great all year round and requires only compensation for the seasonal decrease in lighting, but not a serious change in the conditions of detention in winter. Peperomias perfectly adapt to different growing conditions, they can be displayed not only on the windowsill, but also inside rooms, almost anywhere in the interior.

Mistakes with the care regimen, if you have not violated the basic rules, peperomia tolerates well, the plant is easily restored and renewed, has the ability to withstand any difficulties. The only thing she doesn’t like is dampness. And if you provide peperomia with minimal stable care, then it will become one of the most hardy and unassuming indoor beauties. But no less important is another talent of peperomia – the ability to easily fit into any interior, bring freshness, harmony, bright and surprisingly luxurious accents into it. Peperomias are suitable for living rooms as well as for greenhouses or flower showcases.

Peperomia marble (Peperomia marmorata)Peperomia marble (Peperomia marmorata). Farmer Jerzy Opiola
Peperomia rotundifoliaPeperomia rotundifolia (Peperomia rotundifolia). Farmer floradania
Peperomia obtusifoliaPeperomia tupolistnaya (Peperomia obtusifolia). Farmer floradania

Home care for peperomia


It is very difficult to find a comfortable lighting for peperomia. The thing is that an unprecedented variety of species means not only a large selection of different decorative characteristics, but also differences in natural growing areas, which are inherited in room form. In order to choose ideal conditions for your peperomia, you first need to clarify when buying what kind of lighting a particular plant is used to. After all, even varieties, not to mention species, have their own certain “habits”. Of course, there are general rules for the selection of the illumination mode for peperomias:

  • green-leaved peperomias with glossy, smooth leaves are shade-tolerant;
  • plants with an edge, as well as variegated, purple, silver-leaved peperomias and original varieties are photophilous.
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For all varietal “non-standard” peperomias, it is necessary to provide bright diffused lighting protected from direct sunlight. Eastern or western window sills are ideal. They will not even put up with partial shade. Green-leaved classic peperomias feel great in partial shade, especially beautiful leaves are released in light partial shade, although they can put up with poorer lighting (but not with deep shadow). Peperomias feel equally good in artificial supplementary lighting and in natural light.

The most difficult part of growing peperomia is to ensure that conditions remain constant throughout the year. In winter, when the amount of natural light naturally decreases, any peperomia should be moved to a bright area or even to a bright sunny place. If you do not carry out the winter lighting correction, peperomia will not only lose the characteristic color of the leaves, but will also begin to release increasingly smaller and sparsely located foliage.

Peperomia incaya (Peperomia incana)Peperomia incaya (Peperomia incana). Farmer Jerzy Opiola
Peperomia clusiifoliaPeperomia clusiifolia. Farmer Irene Lucas
Peperomia serpensPeperomia crawling (Peperomia serpens). Farmer Jerzy Opiola

Comfortable temperature

Stability is the main guideline in the selection of temperatures comfortable for peperomia. These are thermophilic plants that do not like either heat or cold snaps. These beauties feel most comfortable in stable “room” temperatures with an average of about 18 degrees Celsius. In summer the temperature can rise to 22-23 degrees, in winter it can drop to 16, but the more stable the temperature, the better. When controlling the living conditions for peperomias, it is very important to avoid hypothermia of the substrate in pots, because it is the rhizome that suffers most from temperature fluctuations. This plant should not be placed on cold surfaces.

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Despite the fact that the peperomias look fresh, as if they had just been brought from a fairy forest, these plants do not like ventilation, drafts and outside air. Because of their love for stable conditions, peperomias do not tolerate sudden movements and active ventilation. These plants must be protected from any changes in the environment by all available means. Drafts are especially dangerous in winter, as well as if peperomias are grown on windowsills.

Peperomia velutina (Peperomia velutina)Peperomia velutina (Peperomia velutina). Farmer Nathan Bussard
Peperomia silvery (Peperomia argyreia)Peperomia silvery (Peperomia argyreia). Farmer floradania
Peperomia reddish (Peperomia rubella)Peperomia reddish (Peperomia rubella). Farmer David Eickhoff

Watering and air humidity

Maintaining a substrate moisture that is comfortable for peperomia is the most difficult moment in plant care. These crumbs, despite their active growth and general unpretentiousness, are very afraid of fluctuations in conditions towards extreme dampness. If a short-term drought and a decrease in the level of moisture in the soil are tolerated by peperomias very well, then they do not tolerate a very long drought and waterlogging, even in a minimal form.

In order to find the ideal watering strategy, it is necessary to strictly control the degree of drying of the substrate, allowing it to dry out in the upper and middle layers (almost completely) between procedures. Watering is carried out with restraint, with a small amount of water, without creating a risk of soil acidification and sharp fluctuations in moisture indicators. The winter watering regime for peperomia is very simple: each subsequent procedure is carried out only after the substrate in the container is completely dry.

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Increased attention should be paid to the quality of the water. Peperomia can only be watered with soft water, which has settled for at least 3 days and is warm enough. Under optimal conditions, the water temperature should be 2-3 degrees higher than the air temperature in the room with peperomia. “Warm” watering helps to prevent overcooling of the earthy coma, which is the most dangerous for these plants.

Air humidity, despite the fact that peperomias are often grown in flower showcases and greenhouses, is not at all a critical parameter for this crop. The ideal moisture conditions for peperomia, in which the plant actively grows and produces the most attractive foliage, is about 50-60%. But they are not afraid of lower air humidity, as well as fluctuations in peperomia.

In typical apartment conditions, peperomias, as a rule, feel very good, they do not need to install either home or commercial humidifiers. Spraying for peperomias is also not carried out (and for plants with pubescent leaves, they are strictly prohibited at all). The only exception is spraying for species with smooth, glossy leaves on days when the air temperature rises above 23 degrees Celsius. During the winter, it is strictly forbidden to spray all plants of this genus.

All large-leaved peperomias, in addition to standard procedures, need to periodically wipe the leaves with a damp sponge to remove dust. In small-leaved species (with the exception of pubescent ones), scenting can be carried out in the summer.

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Peperomia in the interiorPeperomia in the interior. Farmer floradania

Top dressing for peperomia

Fertilizers for these plants should primarily maintain an extremely stable environment, preventing soil characteristics from changing from season to season. Top dressing for peperomia is applied even during the winter, only reducing the frequency of procedures. The optimal strategy is considered to be a fertilizer application in a standard dosage from March to October every 2 weeks, and from November to February every month.

For peperomias, complex fertilizers intended only for ornamental deciduous plants (mixtures with a high nitrogen content) are best suited.

Peperomia transplant, capacity and substrate

The substrate for peperomias is very important. This plant is so afraid of dampness that only high-quality, loose, air- and permeable earth mixtures with a light structure are suitable for it. The optimal soil is considered to be based on leafy soil with half the addition of sand, peat and humus, or ready-made mixtures for decorative deciduous crops and succulents.

A transplant for all representatives of the genus peperomia is carried out “on demand”: only when the roots completely master the previous earthen lump and begin to appear in the drainage holes. Annual transplantation for them is carried out very rarely, most often replanting plants once every 1 years. The procedure itself is standard: the plant is rolled over, trying to injure the roots as little as possible and laying a very high drainage on the bottom of the container.

Peperomia containers should be classic, with a greater height compared to the diameter. Since a high drainage is laid for the plant (up to 1/3 of the capacity), the living space will actually correspond to the shape of the rhizome. These crops do not like too much loose soil. Peperomia containers can only be increased by a few centimeters.

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Peperomias can be grown hydroponically.

Peperomia in the interiorPeperomia in the interior. Farmer floradania

Diseases and pests of peperomia

Peperomias show excellent resistance and with at least minimal systemic care they rarely get sick. Only a violation of the comfortable moisture content of the substrate, excessive dampness cause the spread of different types of rot, which can only be dealt with by an emergency transplant. Among the new varieties of peperomia, a plant-specific disease is more common – the peperomia virus, which causes plant dwarfism and is incurable (it is better to destroy the affected specimens immediately). Of the pests, mealybugs are the most troublesome pests, which are easy to deal with even without chemicals by simply washing them off.

Common problems in growing peperomia

  • loss of leaf attractiveness, the appearance of light or brown spots, growths with dampness;
  • wilting of leaves with excessive watering;
  • yellowing of leaves and the appearance of rusty spots with excessive fertilizing;
  • shedding foliage in case of too prolonged drought;
  • drying out of the tips of the leaves or leaf fall during sudden temperature fluctuations and in drafts;
  • wilting and wrinkling of leaves in direct sunlight.

PeperomiaPeperomia. Farmer floradania

Reproduction of peperomia

This is a very easy-to-propagate indoor plant, which, like all herbaceous perennials-ground covers, easily allows you to separate adult bushes and get several younger plants almost with every transplant, which can quickly take root and start growing.

In addition to separation, peperomia is also propagated by:

  • rooting of leaf and stem cuttings (cut in spring and summer, rooted under a hood in a substrate without pretreatment with growth stimulants, but maintaining a temperature of at least 25 degrees Celsius);
  • sowing seeds (germination requires high temperatures, bright lighting, stable humidity and diving immediately after the release of the first or second leaves).

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Anna Evans

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