Species advice

Peperomia care

This hugely varied genus of houseplants is the magic combination of pretty, easy to look after, and easy to propagate. What more could anyone want?!

My favourites include the striking watermelon peperomia (argyreia) the glossy-leaved raindrop pepperomia (polybotra) and the delicate string of turtles (prostrata).

Also look out for the weird ‘rat-tail’ inflorescences, or flower stalks, which is a sign they are happy.

Generally I treat them somewhat similarly to succulents, with slightly more watering and less direct sunlight – though there is some variation between them.

Light for peperomia

Most peperomia will be happy with the usual bright indirect light.

Some of the more succulent-like peperomia with fleshier leaves, such as peperomia ‘Hope’ and peperomia prostrata, can take plenty of direct sunlight – in fact they sit with our other succulents in our south facing kitchen window.

Watering peperomia

With most peperomias I water thoroughly about once a week in the summer, and less in the winter. 

It’s important to make sure that the soil mostly dries out between watering, a bit like succulents. Otherwise you risk over watering and rot, which is how I nearly lost a couple of these!

Soil and potting mix for peperomia

Peperomia like well draining soil – I usually mix regular soil with equal amounts of perlite. Most of my peperomia are in terracotta pots to encourage the soil to dry out between waterings.

Peperomia rotundifolia

Humidity for peperomia

Most peperomia are fine with normal household humidity, but I tend to keep them on the drier rather than damper side.

Propagating peperomia

One of the joys about peperomia is how easy they are to propagate. For the most part you can cut off a leaf with a bit of stem (or pick up one that you’ve knocked off if you’re clumsy like me), and pop in water or damp compost, and it’ll root successfully.

I recently started trying a ‘hummus tub’ method that Jane Perrone covered in her episode on peperomias and it’s working surprisingly well so far.

Common issues with peperomia

Overwatering – we’ve all done it, a bit of a plant parent rite of passage. Luckily since they are so easy to propagate, that hasn’t been a massive problem. 

White powdery mildew – in combination with being overwatered or left too damp, our peperomia angulata picked up some pesky mildew, which I’m currently treating with some fungicide.

Though it can be tricky to find the right spot and conditions for them, once they get growing, there’s no stopping them.

Growing your peperomia collection

And finally, if you would like to expand your collection, leaf or cutting swaps is a great option with peperomia – especially as there seems to be a limited selection available in most UK shops.

I’d recommend joining the UK Peperomia Swap Facebook group to find fellow pep fans to swap cuttings with in the post

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