Peperomia is an attractive option for someone who is a first-time plant enthusiast. Also known as the radiator plant and pepper face, its foliage is tinted with vibrant colors that leave a long-lasting impression on the viewer.
Peperomia is additionally termed as the American rubber plant or a baby rubber plant since it is a primary source of natural rubber. It consists of more than 1,000 species with various leaf shapes, colors, and structures.
Baby rubber is extremely easy to care for; therefore, it makes a great first choice for people that lack experience in the botanic grounds. Let’s have a look at some of its nurturing techniques:
Peperomia needs medium to bright indirect light conditions to maintain its vibrant foliage color and quality. As a houseplant, it will thrive well in front of a western or eastern window. As an outdoor plant, it will do best in a partial shade condition. Peperomia even grows well under fluorescent lights, making it an ideal choice for offices, homes, and different areas.
Possessing succulent characteristics, a pepper face doesn’t trouble its keepers in this regard. It doesn’t mind the infrequent watering schedule as long it’s not being overwatered, resulting in root rot. It’s better to water these plants from the bottom, allowing 50% of the soil to dry between each watering.
In the growing summer and spring seasons, it should be watered thoroughly whenever its soil appears dry. However, avoid watering them in dormant fall and winter seasons.
Temperature and Humidity
As a tropical plant, Peperomia prefers a warm and steamy environment to maintain its vigor. Temperature ranges of 60°-80°F (15.6°-26.7°C) serve as an ideal for this plant. Also, make sure to keep it away from cold drafts coming from windows and doors as they can damage its leaves.
Apart from this, most commercially available varieties of Peperomia plants can thrive in any humidity. Nevertheless, allow frequent misting to keep the air humid and to keep any grime away.
Feed your peperomia with a balanced houseplant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength on the package label. It should be fertilized monthly in the growing summer and spring seasons but remain abstained from it in the dormant fall and winter seasons. Always remember that less is more for your peperomia when fertilization is concerned.
Luckily, your peperomia is safe for everyone. So, you can place it anywhere in your home or garden, without having to fear any affliction. While it’s obvious they don’t taste very nice; you won’t need to worry if your pet or child nibbles a leaf or two as its ingestion isn’t dangerous at all.
According to the famous NASA Clean-Air study, the peperomia plant’s foliage helps in purifying the surrounding air. It filters out 47% of formaldehyde from the air, which is very beneficial considering that most of the indoor are made up of that compound.
Pepper faced plants don’t need to be repotted too often. In fact, they can live for years in the same container. Even so, if you wish to repot your plant, transfer it to another pot and add an acidic potting mix or orchid bark to it. Be careful while relocating its roots. Water the plant thoroughly to ensure it settles in its new home.
Mist your peperomia often to keep it away from any dirt and dust that frequently catches on its leaves. However, your plant stays idyllic with the necessary care as well.
Your peperomia is generally an easy-going plant; however, it may bother you with some issues from time to time. Its leaves turning brown or crispy is an indication that it’s under watered and is potassium deficient.
Similarly, drooping of leaves and yellowing/blackening of the stems is a sign that you’re overwatering it. Another problem you may face is the wilting of your plant. This is usually prompted when its roots are not getting enough air.
Peperomias often fall prey to ring spots caused by a virus that stains the leaves with unsightly round marks. Another common disease your plant may suffer from is root rot, which can only happen if you don’t keep up with its watering requirements.
With more than 1000 varieties available, you will surely find your peperomia with the most stunning dark green foliage. As a bonus, it is an easy to nurture plant, so just make sure it’s watered and fed well, and you’re good to go!