Peperomia or Radiator plant is one of the amazing houseplants that has many positive features and these features have made it one of the ideal and popular houseplants. Continue reading this article in TooPlant in order to learn more about how to grow and care for Peperomia plant.
Introduction of Peperomia Plant (Radiator Plant)
Before addressing how to care for Peperomia, please allow us to give you a brief introduction about this houseplant.
||Peperomia spp. (including P. Abnormis, P. Corcovadensis, and others)
||Central America, Northern South America, Africa
||Radiator plant, baby rubber plant, shining bush plant, emerald ripper pepper, pepper elder
There are many types of beautiful leaves that can cope well with unfavorable living conditions and can be one of the ideal plants for you that you would like to add a new plant to your houseplant collection.
Peperomia is native to the tropics and is grown for its beautiful, almost circular leaves. Peperomia does not have attractive flowers.
Peperomia is small in size and sometimes reaches more than 30 cm in height inside the house and eventually up to 60 cm. This small size of the plant puts it in the category of ideal plants for apartments and small spaces. The stems of radiator plant are usually thick and strong and have stiff, fleshy leaves that have similar characteristics to succulents.
In this article, we want to provide you with information about how to care for Peperomia, so stay tuned with Tooplant.
Types of Peperomia (Radiator Plants): How many varieties of peperomia are there?
Peperomia has a wide variety of species that are grown as houseplants, and in this section, we want to introduce the most popular species of Peperomia.
This Peperomia is also known as Watermelon Peperomia and is one of the most popular species of Peperomia, which is known for its beautiful maps and drawings on its leaves.
In fact, these patterns are similar to the lines on the skin of a watermelon. It has dark green leaves and beautiful silver lines extend from the center of the leaf to the edges. Each leaf is attached to the main stem with a small red stem.
Another name for this species is Emerald Ripple Peperomia whose leaves are very red, green or purple. It has wrinkles on its leaves and these wrinkles have given it a special look as if the leaves are wrinkled.
This is a type of compact and small Peperomia that you can use in the terrarium or easily put behind a window. Peperomia caperata is one of the most beautiful types of Peperomia that is highly recommended to plant lovers.
Another name for this species is baby rubber plant or pepper face. This plant has evergreen and perennial leaves that grow upwards. The leaves are dark green, oval, fleshy and thick and reach a height of about 60 cm. This species is also one of the popular species of Peperomia plant.
Other names for this plant are Cupid Peperomia and False-Philodendron Peperomia. It grows slowly and grows in a creeping manner.
The leaves are heart-shaped and light green with a pale yellow or white line drawn around them. It is better to put it as a pendant in the basket or to bend all the stems to one side of the pot.
This species is one of the miniature and creeping species of Peperomia plant that has thick fleshy leaves with light green color. The leaves are interestingly folded in half. This interesting feature is found among several other species of this plant, such as Peperomia graveolens, which are red under the leaves and the leaves are folded upwards.
Is Peperomia a succulent?
Many species of Peperomia leaves also have the characteristics of succulents. That is, they have facilities for storing water and reducing water loss, and these facilities help them to adapt to irregular watering and dry weather.
The fact is that succulents are not a very specific group of plants, and some of their characteristics may overlap with other plants.
There are several plants that are clearly considered succulents, and some plants, such as Peperomia, have common features with succulents.
Some species of Peperomia that are very similar to succulents are Peperomia dolabriformis, Peperomia rotundifolia, and Peperomia graveolens.
Care for Peperomia
In this part, we will focus on the most important aspects which you need to take into consideration while treating this houseplant. The best methods of how to care for Peperomia plants include as follows:
Peperomia Light Requirements: What light is best for Peperomia plants?
Light is among the first important issues to care for Peperomia plant. This houseplant grows best in high and indirect light. In fact, behind the windows facing east or south of the house in all seasons is very suitable for this plant. So, make sure you properly provide peperomia light requirements.
The only thing to be aware of is to avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer, as it will burn the leaves.
If you put Peperomia in a low light place, its stems will grow taller and longer as it seeks out enough light. If this happens, simply trim the extra, long stems to maintain their small appearance, and then move on to a lighter one.
Peperomia also grows under fluorescent lamps! Therefore, it is quite suitable for being in offices and work environments. Some types of Peperomia grow more slowly. Placing these plants in full sunlight helps them to grow faster.
Above, we tried to discuss all the details related to the peperomia light requirements since it plays a significant role in order to care for peperomia.
Peperomia Watering: How often should you water a Peperomia?
In the rest, concerning the tips of caring for a Peperomia plant, it is better to know that these houseplants need irregular watering. That is, regardless of the time, water the pot completely whenever it dries on the soil. Therefore, watering is another important aspect in order to care for Peperomia.
People often have trouble watering Peperomia. In fact, overwatering is the most common cause of radiator plant death indoors.
Most of us like to pay too much attention to our plants! And pour a lot of water at the bottom of their pots. Signs of overwatering in Peperomia include stem rot, soft and yellowing of leaves, heaviness of pots and muddy, watery soil.
Although Peperomia does not require more moisture than the home environment, it can also be a great member for terrariums.
In this way, to care for Peperomia plant, watering is considered to be of great significance.
Peperomia Soil: What is the best soil for a Peperomia?
Intending to care for Peperomia plant, the other crucial matter is soil. For Peperomia plant, use soil that has high drainage. Equal amounts of peat and perlite or coarse sand are suitable for this plant.
Our recommendation is to change the soil every two to three years. Because the pores between the soil particles close over time and lose their nutrients. Therefore, if the plant receives fresh and nutritious soil, it will be healthier and grow better.
Thus, it can be said that, soil is another basic and important issue so as to care for Peperomia plant.
Peperomia Temperature Tolerance
Now, we come to temperature which is assumed to be principal to care for Peperomia plant in addition to light, watering and soil that are mentioned above.
This plant is not resistant to extreme cold and can withstand temperatures between 15 and 30 degrees. The best temperature for it is about 25 degrees Celsius. High temperatures also cause the leaves of the spoon plant to shrink and dry out. Especially if in these conditions, your plant is also dry.
Peperomia Humidity: Does Peperomia like humidity?
Moisture is another thing which we need to inevitably pay attention to when talking about how to care for Peperomia. Although Peperomia is known for its need for high humidity, it must be said that this is not true of most species of this plant. Many types of Peperomia plant have succulent-like leaves and can withstand low humidity and irregular watering. So if the humidity in your living space is low, this plant is very suitable for you. As we said, the amount of moisture required for various types of Peperomia is different and the best advice is to look at the leaves. The thicker the leaves, the less moisture they need.
Therefore, please do not forget to take humidity into consideration in order to care for Peperomia plant in the best way.
Peperomia Fertilizer: What is the best fertilizer for a Peperomia plant?
When you want to care for Peperomia, one of the important questions that may come to your mind is “what is the best fertilizer?” In what follows, we will address how to fertilize this plant:
During the growing season, ie spring and summer, fertilize this plant once a month and fill its pot with soil that is fully drained, ie it does not retain excess water. Peperomia species require very little fertilizer, and if you fertilize them too much, you will have more problems until you fertilize very little or not at all.
We recommend 10-10-10 water soluble fertilizer. Apply this fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer seasons.
Excessive fertilization damages the plant and upsets the nutrient balance in the soil. So be sure to fertilize the plant as little as possible.
As a result, we could say that fertilizer is regarded as one of the fundamental issues when someone wants to care for Peperomia plant.
Peperomia Toxicity: Are Peperomia plants poisonous to humans and pets?
In order to care for Peperomia plant, toxicity is considered to be a major issue because it directly relates to your health especially children and pets.
Fortunately, this beautiful plant is not poisonous to humans or animals, but we know that it does not taste good and you do not have to worry about your pet peeling its leaves and eating it.
One of the reasons why many people choose this houseplant for their home is that it is not poisonous at all and does not harm your pets.
Also, if you have a toddler, there is no need to worry and special care. You can put your pot in the desired place and worry about your child’s illness or poisoning.
Peperomia Repotting: How to repot Peperomia plant?
Most Peperomia plants can live in their original pot for several years and do not need to be repotted and usually grow better in small pots. So you do not have to be worried about the pot and only need to change the pot in case the small size of the pot could cause a lot of damage. The new pot can be one size bigger than the previous pot.
As we have said, despite the great variety of Peperomia, they are all small with low growth. Their transverse growth is about 20 to 30 cm and you only need to repot this plant once in a while.
- Prepare a suitable soil mixture in advance.
- Bring a new pot and fill half of it with fresh soil.
- Now slowly remove the plant from the previous pot. To make it easier, you can turn the pot upside down a little so that the plant comes out.
- Now carefully and as much as possible, separate the previous soil from around the roots.
- Put the plant in a new pot and discard the rest of the new soil around the plant.
- Squeeze the soil a little with your hand so that the plant stands firmly in place, but do not apply a great deal of pressure to compress the soil too much.
- Finally, water the pot thoroughly.
Peperomia Pruning: How to prune Peperomia?
Another thing to keep in mind when caring for a Peperomia is pruning it. You do not need to be very careful to prune Peperomia because Peperomia is a plant that can be easily pruned. so do not worry. One of the reasons for the popularity of Peperomia is its delicate and compact appearance. That’s why we easily prune it and give it beautiful shapes.
Except for cosmetics, it is best to regularly remove any dried or damaged stems or leaves from the plant. Whenever you see a leaf with symptoms of the disease in the plant, pick it and investigate the cause of the problem. Because neglecting the plant disease or pest causes the pest or disease to spread throughout the plant and no longer heal. On the other hand, it may spread to surrounding plants and pots.
Peperomia Propagating: How to propagate Peperomia plants?
When you want to care for Peperomia plant, another important question that may come to your mind is “how to propagate it.”
Propagation of this plant is fortunately very easy, and you can increase their number and give it as a gift to your friends and relatives.
There are two main methods of how to propagate Peperomia:
- Cuttings with leaves
- Cuttings with stems
The method you choose depends on your preference for your conditions and facilities and your plant species.
Peperomia propagation by cutting from the leaves
- Prepare the container in which you want to plant the new plants and consider the soil to be an equal amount of potting compost and perlite.
Remember that the pot or container and all the utensils you work with are perfectly clean and dry. Sterilize them if possible. Because fungal diseases are the biggest problem that causes the Peperomia not to propagate.
- Remove a healthy leaf from the mother plant with a sharp and clean knife or pruning shears. You can cut it from the bottom of the leaf and near the stem, or with a little of the stem. )You can use the whole leaf for propagation, but we suggest dividing each leaf transversely into two parts(.
- Put the cut part of the leaves in the rooting powder. Rooting powder allows new roots to grow faster.
- Now make a small hole in the soil with a spoon or knife to a depth of 1 to 2 cm and plant the leaf in the soil from the cut part. Now press the soil around the leaf with your finger so that the leaf stands firmly in place.
- Water the pot thoroughly. Now cover the pot or container with a plastic bag and place the pot in a place with normal temperature inside the house and in a place with indirect and high light.
- Once every few days, remove the plastic bag from the pot for a few hours to evaporate excess soil moisture and prevent fungal disease for the plant.
- After a few days, the first thing you will see are the small roots that grow from the cut part of the leaf. After that, a new bud grows and leaves and stems are identified.
- Once the new plants have grown well and produced a few new leaves, you can plant them in separate pots.
- Do not rush to transfer new plants to pots. Because Peperomia plant has shallow roots, it will rarely feel cramped alongside other new plants.
Peperomia propagation by cutting from the stem
It is best to do the cutting process in the spring so that new seedlings can grow easily and quickly. In the following, we will get acquainted with the process of taking cuttings from the Peperomia stem step by step:
- The process of cutting from the stem is the same as cutting the leaf.
- Remove a healthy stem from the plant that has at least 6 leaves on it.
- Remove the lower leaves of the stem.
- Dip the stem deep into the rooting powder.
- Now make a small hole in the soil.
- Place the cuttings in the soil and press the soil around it to hold the cuttings in place.
- Water the pot thoroughly.
The rest of the steps are quite similar to the leaf cuttings mentioned above.
Common Pests and Diseases
You need to pay attention to the black and brown spots on the leaves of Peperomia and seek treatment immediately. Because your plant may have leaf spot diseases such as Cercospora, Phyllosticta or Rhizoctonia.
Treatment is the immediate separation of the plant from other plants and the removal of infected parts. Remember to use sterile, disinfected scissors to remove stained foliage.
Peperomia is a plant relatively resistant to insects and pests, however it can be easily attacked by insects such as fungus gnats, mites and mealybugs.
Fungus gnats are small black insects that you have probably seen on potting soil. Interestingly, adult mosquitoes do not cause much damage to the plant, and the larvae of this insect damage the plant, which feeds on its roots.
You can help control these insects by reducing the amount of watering and covering the potting soil with sand. Another good way is to sprinkle cinnamon powder on the soil of the pot, which has excellent results.
Mealybug forms white lumps on the underside of leaves and roots, and molds usually form next to these weevils. Plants that are infected with these pests will not be able to grow normally. To combat these pests, you can use an organic spray or insecticide or neem oil.
Mites are very small insects that may stay out of your sight for a long time unless they do a lot of damage to the plant and then you notice. The mites dry out parts of the leaves and prevent the natural growth of new shoots. To control these insects, it is necessary to spray organic parts on all parts of the plant.
Caring for Peperomia: Common Problems With Peperomia
After a description of taking care of a Peperomia, we will explain the problems and their solutions:
Why Are Peperomia Leaves Turning Yellow?
As “leaves turning yellow” is one of the common problems that you may face when you want to care for Peperomia plant, we will try to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.
There are several reasons for Peperomia leaves to turn yellow, such as poor watering and too much light. Sometimes the plant also reacts to shifts or changes in ambient temperature and its leaves turn yellow.
One of the most common causes of yellowing of Peperomia leaves is excessive light. Although radiator plant requires full and indirect light, it can be damaged for a long time in direct light. Peperomia grows in its main habitat in tropical forests and under dense trees. As a result, it does not get much direct light and also enjoys warm environments.
Yellowing of leaves due to high light may manifest itself in various ways. For example, the color of the leaves turns uniformly yellow. Occasionally there is a burning sensation on the leaves, especially on the tips and edges of the leaves.
At the time of this problem, if you notice that the pot receives a lot of direct light during the day or is located behind a south-facing window, it is enough to place the pot in a place with indirect and dim light.
As we have said, another important reason for the yellowing of the leaves is overwatering, which is the most important reason for the extinction of this plant. We talked about this in full in the previous section, and you can use the tips in it to find out if your watering amount is right or not.
Why are Peperomia plant leaves turning brown?
The appearance of black and brown spots on the surface of the leaves of Peperomia is a matter for which you should immediately think of a solution.
This problem is usually caused by an infectious disease of the leaves. Diseases such as cercospora, phylloxera or rhizoctonia. All of these diseases occur on the leaves and manifest themselves by creating brown spots on their surface.
The solution is to immediately remove the diseased plant from other healthy plants and place it in an isolated environment. Then remove the damaged and involved parts from the plant. It is best to remove all the leaves from the plant and prune it well until you are sure that no trace of the disease remains and all the diseased parts have been removed from the plant. Use a sharp, sterilized knife to prune and cut diseased leaves.
Since “leaves turning brown” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for Peperomia plant, we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.
Why Are Peperomia Leaves Curling?
This problem is very rare but may be caused by insects or due to lack of nutrients. First, examine your plant thoroughly for insects, especially mealybugs. This insect produces white cotton-like spots under the leaves or on the stems of the plant. If you see an insect, you must use an insecticide or a special poison to kill it.
If the stems and leaves look healthy and you do not see any insects, you should check the plant for fertilizer and nutrients. Calcium deficiency is one of the main reasons for the curling of the tips of Peperomia leaves and may be caused by overwatering and acidic soil in the pot. The acid in the soil reduces the amount of calcium and prevents it from being absorbed by the plant.
Also, too much nitrogen and phosphorus can prevent your Peperomia plant from absorbing calcium, causing the tips of its leaves to curl.
Why are Peperomia leaves dropping?
“Leaves dropping” can be both a sign of the correct growth pattern and a warning of problems for the plant.
As the Peperomia plant produces new and young leaves, it sheds older leaves so that it can focus all its energy on these new leaves. In this case, the leaves of the lower part of the plant fall off. This is perfectly normal and there is nothing to worry about.
But if your plant is losing several leaves from different parts of it, there is probably a serious problem with it.
If you have just purchased your Peperomia plant, this may be a sign that the plant is not properly maintained in the store. In this case, the only thing you can do is to continue the proper maintenance of the plant and hope that the plant will regain its health over time.
“Leaves dropping” can also be a sign of overwatering of the radiator plant. Keep this in mind and check the soil regularly for moisture. Only water it when it is dry.
Although Peperomia leaves are not very susceptible to disease and pests, “leaves dropping” can sometimes be a sign of pest infestation. Look carefully at the back and sides of the leaves. If you notice any signs of disease such as spots, insects, etc. on the leaves, treat them immediately so that the amount of infection and disease does not exceed.
“Leaves dropping” is another common problem that you may face when you want to care for Peperomia plant, so we tried to describe the reasons and the ways to solve it in details.
Why is my Peperomia wilting?
The main reason for the wilting of Peperomia plants is overwatering and underwatering. Many people think that low watering is the main cause of plant wilting, but it is interesting to know that the main cause is excessive watering and the plant does not receive enough water in both cases.
A plant that receives less water than usual has wrinkled, dry, thin and wilted leaves, and the tips of the leaves may also dry out.
At this time, if you put some soil of the pot between your fingers, you will see that it is completely dry, and if you press your finger into the soil of the pot, you will see that the great depth of the soil is dry. Simply put, the roots of the plant do not have access to water, and the solution is to completely water the plant and pay attention to the amount of soil moisture.
When you give too much water to the plant, the problem will be more serious because too much watering will cause the root to rot and die. If the roots are destroyed, the plant will not be able to absorb the abundant water in the soil. In this case, if you touch the soil with your finger, you will clearly feel a lot of water in it. If your plant has this problem, take care of it quickly, otherwise you may not be able to regenerate your plant easily.
If the problem with your plant is not severe, just refrain from watering your plant and allow the soil to dry out over time. Remove any severely damaged leaves and stems from the plant and discard, trying to reduce watering from now on.
If your plant is severely wilted, you will need to change the soil and the pot. First, remove any wilted leaves and stems of the plant. Then gently pull the plant out of the pot and try to remove as much wet and sticky soil as possible from the plant roots.
When you look at the roots, see what percentage of them are healthy and how rotten and damaged they are. Remove all damaged roots with disinfected scissors to prevent further root rot.
When you have removed all the damaged roots, fill the plant in a new pot with fresh soil equal to the amount of potting compost and perlite. When you plant the plant in a pot, give it a very small amount of water and allow at least a week between watering today and the next.
From now on, you need to water your pot more carefully. You can dip your finger in the soil of the pot every few days and water it when three to five centimeters of the soil is dry. This way, your plant will most likely be revived and refreshed.
Infographic Of How To Care For Peperomia
In this article, we tried to explain to you in an infographic the essential tips in the care of Peperomia, so that you can briefly and usefully learn the methods of caring for this plant.
In The End
In this article, we tried to provide you with the necessary information about the methods of caring for a Peperomia plant.
However, if you have any questions regarding this indoor plant or you need to get advice from our houseplant experts, please share your questions with us through the comments section below.