Peperomia an Ideal Indoor Plant

Peperomia is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. It offers thick, lush foliage with very few care needs. The plant can wind and spill over pots and is an ideal foliage filler for locations that may not support other plants. Peperomia is an effortless option for indoor landscapes.

Native to southern Florida, the Caribbean and parts of South America, peperomia is only hardy in USDA zones 10-12. In most places it is grown as a houseplant. There are many different species and cultivars of peperomia and each has very distinct characteristics and growth habit.

Care Needs

Most peperomia grow well in bright, but indirect light. Many will also tolerate low levels of light. They should be planted in a well draining potting medium with plenty of peat moss mixed in. The surface of the potting medium should be allowed to dry between watering. Some peperomia varieties behave more like succulents and need very little watering. Care should be taken not to overwater any peperomia species.

When watering a peperomia use a long stemmed watering can to avoid getting the leaves and stems wet. The fleshy parts of this plant can be prone to rot and disease if they stay soggy.

Species and Cultivars

Many varieties of peperomia can be found at nurseries and garden wholesalers. Some varieties are more readily available than others. Here are a few of the most popular and attractive peperomia:

Peperomia caperata depending on the cultivar has deeply veined dark green or maroon leaves. The surface of the leaf appears to have a sort of metallic silvery dusting. The leaves are broad and heart shaped. This peperomia has a mounding growth habit.

Peperomia magnoliifolia is also called the magnolia leaf peperomia. There are some cultivars that have a very attractive light green and white variegation. The leaves are round and glossy. The plant forms a thick mat.

Peperomia prostrata is ideal for hanging baskets. It produces thick, low growing mats of long vines. The vines abundantly produce small, rounded, rubbery leaves. The leaves are green with prominent light green veins. The plant also sends out thin, brown, feathery looking flower spikes.

Peperomia clusifolia ‘Rainbow,’  also known as the red-edge peperomia has oblong leaves that are primarily creamy white in color. The leaves have green markings surrounding the middle vein and the margins are thinly lined with red. The leaves also form on red petioles. This is a very distinct and colorful plant.

Peperomia japonica is a very small peperomia plant growing only a few inches tall. The leaves are only about a half inch wide. The dark green leaves have a crinkled look and grow on bright red stems.

Peperomia fraseri is unique because of its distinct white flower spikes. Many peperomia send up flower spikes, but most are rather inconspicuous and light brown, red, or yellow. This plant sends up a lovely white, branched flower spike that is very attractive. Peperomia fraseri can grow into rather large mounding plant.

The Right Plant for Your Needs

From tiny columns, to sprawling mats, to large clumping mounds, there is a great amount of diversity in the peperomia genus. With the development of many striking cultivars you are sure to find a stunning plant for your interior landscape arrangements. The most important thing to remember when caring for a peperomia is do not overwater. Many of these plants can adapt to most other indoor care conditions, but few will recover from the damage done by overwatering. What are your favorite varieties of peperomia? Have you faced any difficulties when growing peperomia?

Sources

“Peperomia” Better Homes and Gardens. <http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/houseplant/peperomia/>

“The Peperomia Page” The Succulent Plant Page. <http://www.succulent-plant.com/families/piperaceae.html>

Image: “Peperomia fraseri” by David Eickoff

Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at Bromeliads.info and OrchidPlantCare.info. Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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