Know and Cultivate Peperomia

Today we discover a fantastic plant to grow indoors, here’s how to get to know and grow Peperomia: it is part of the Piperaceae family, survives well in a wide variety of conditions and has surprising foliage. Since it does not require special attention in irrigation, it is the perfect gift for careless people who “forget to have plants”.

Most of the varieties come from tropical climates and behave like perennials. Although they can bloom, they are mainly grown for their foliage. Compact in appearance, most plants can be grown without problems in small pots, as they usually do not exceed a height of 20-30 cm.

I must confess that I bought my first Peperomia thinking it was a succulent. Many varieties can store water in their leaves and stems, which is why they are considered by some to be semi-succulent plants. A point in their favor: those with thick leaves must be watered less frequently than those with thinner leaves.

How to grow Peperomia

Light

As a general rule, they are plants that like light very much, but not direct sun. In confirmation of what has just been said, I wanted to show you a photo of my Peperomia albovitatta (also called “mouse tail”) and how the green of its leaves has lost intensity. It was on the kitchen window, which receives a lot of sun for a couple of hours at noon.

For this reason, its foliage has lost color. It wasn’t because of the irrigation or because it was sick. The sun simply “faded” them.

In places with low lighting, the varieties with variegated leaves (of different colors or shades) lose contrast instead.

If you notice that the plant is getting too long, you can change its position and cut the leaves too much. You can use them to make cuttings and the plant will regain its compact appearance.

Before thinking about transplanting your new Peperomia into a larger pot, find it in a suitable position where it can grow happily.

These are situations that can be stressful and the transplant can be postponed for a few weeks, it is not a priority.

The flowers of Peperomia

The Peperomia flowers are not spectacular, but very curious. They have an elongated shape and a color that sometimes lets them go unnoticed.

Topsoil

They are plants that prefer a spongy soil with good drainage, in this way we will avoid any excess of moisture that could damage the roots.

Any type of universal potting soil mixed with perlite or coarse sand can be used.

When the plant grows, it is not necessary to transplant it immediately into a larger pot. This indeed allows the plant to continue to develop, but its compact dimensions are maintained by changing the pot every one or two years.

Irrigation

Peperomia does not need a lot of water and, as happens with other plants, it recovers better from its lack than from an excess. I usually water it once a week, every 10 days for thick leaf varieties. The trick to not exaggerating with water is to let the soil dry between one watering and another.

The size of the pot also influences, so I recommend you to weigh it once you have finished watering to check the weight of the plant and the pot when the soil is completely wet.

When in doubt and you don’t know if it still needs water, besides observing the state of the leaves, lift it and hold it in your hand. Lightweight is also indicative of dry soil.

A small pot may need water every 5 or 6 days, while a larger planter or pot can go up to 15.

Fertilizers

We recommend using fertilizer for green plants once a month during the growth period, which runs from spring to late summer.