How to care
for your Peperomia
Native to Mexico, South America and the West Indies, Peperomias, also known as Baby Rubber plants, Radiator plants or Shining Bush, have 1000+ known species in its deep, rooted ancestry.
Many Peperomias are known for their thick, fleshy leaves – you might be inclined to take a bite out of one, but we suggest you refrain from doing so. Despite having 1000 species, if you had a variety of Peperomias in a police line-up, a good chunk of the 1000 don’t have defining characteristics to distinguish them from each other even though they’re completely innocent.
For those that you can tell apart, you’ll see some with heart-shaped leaves, others almond and some oval. You might encounter green leaves, marbled, striped, or even varieties that possess grey or red foliage. That said, the one throughline with Peperomia plants are that they’re slow-growing, can be planted all-year long and are very low-maintenance – making them the perfect housewarming gift or office desk accoutrement.
Peperomia Rotundifolia, 'Hope' Trailing Jade
Peperomia Orba 'Pixie Lime'
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Peperomias are an excellent beginner-level plant since they’re so forgiving and capable of withstanding a sizable amount of neglect. Just don’t hurt their feelings too much – their heart-shaped leaves won’t be able to bear it!
Peperomias do best in medium to bright, indirect sunlight. Like most plants, refrain from giving them direct sun exposure equivalent to a tanning bed, otherwise it’ll burn – badly. If you see discolouration or dropping leaves, it’s generally a sign of inadequate light or excessive watering.
We recommend you water Peperomias every 1 to 2 weeks. Use the very rigorous, peer-reviewed stick test to check if the top two inches of the soil is dry before watering. Peperomias prefer being on the drier side as over-watering can make them susceptible to root rot – and no one wants that.
They’ll generally need more water if its light source increases, like in the Spring and Summer. Otherwise, if it starts to wilt, then that’s a sign of under-watering. If you see yellowing leaves or black stems – that’s a sign of over-watering.
A tropical plant, Peperomias prefer a warm and humid environment, though they can tolerate dry air. If you can – especially in the summer – we recommend you pair Peperomias with a humidifier or place it on a tray of pebbles submerged in water to make it a bit steamier for them – foreplay is important!
Peperomias can thrive in 13 to 27°C conditions. While they can withstand being in 13°C, it’s best if you avoid placing the plant in or near any cold drafts.
These troopers are pet-friendly! And they’re resilient as heck too – if Bubbles knocks it over because of Bubbles’ inherent evil cat gene – then you can just pick it up and watch it bounce back in the face of its mortal nemesis.
Other fun facts:
- Some Peperomias have fascinating leaves (deep veins, stripes, blotchy patterns, shiny green – the varietals and their identifiers can get as extensive as someone’s complicated Starbucks drink.)
- Peperomias are also referred to as a “Radiator Plant” thanks to their love of, uh, radiators … and their ease of care.
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