Peperomia: Joy and Medicinal Plant– Details and Care Tips
Image Source: James Steakley / CC BY-SA
Peperomia plants are drought-tolerant ornamental plants grown for their attractive leaves. They are the symbol of Joy. They are tropical plants with around 1000 species and almost all species being different from one another. They are easy to maintain.
Quick Details of Peperomia
|Other Common Names||Radiator plant, Shining bush plant, Pepper plant, Baby rubber plant|
|Type||Indoor / Semi Shade Ornamental Plant|
|Maintenance||Low (Just do not over water)|
|Flowering||Spring/Early Summer (Rarely in indoor conditions)|
|Water||NEVER OVER WATER, Over watering can kill your plant very quickly.|
|Temperature||Can survive in any condition with proper care|
|Soil||Well drainage soil|
|Fertilizer||Seaweed liquid solution|
|Habitat||North America and South America|
|Common Diseases||Leaves dropping, Root Rotting, Affected with a variety of fungal diseases and attack from pest|
|Scientific name||Peperomia is one of the two large genera of the family Piperaceae|
Overview of Peperomia
They are perennial epiphytes belonging to the family of Piperaceae. They usually grow on rotten wood and are a native of North and South America. They can grow up to a height of 12 inches and can vary in appearance. Some of them have slender hanging stems white the other can have stout upright stems. The leaves are colored and fleshy. The flowers usually bloom during the summer and are yellow in color and grow in spikes. The petiole is red in color and the leaves have borders that have colors varying from green to red or gray.
Some of the common species include:
- Belly Button Peperomia: Has tiny leaves
- Colombian Peperomia: Has bronze, silver, and red foliage
- Cupid Peperomia: Has heart-shaped leaves.
- Peperomia Perciliata: Has green leaves and red stem with flowering spathes
- Suzanne Peperomia: Has deeply ridged foliage
Special feature of Peperomia
The leaves are colourful and attractive, the flowers are small and arranged on a spike. Some plants are epiphytic.
Use of Peperomia Plant
- Majorly plant are grown for their attractive foliage.
- Peperomia pellucida is grown for its medicinal purpose as well
General Care for Peperomia
Soil: Well-drained and with a pH ranging between 5.7-7.5. Since they are epiphytes, they prefer soil that can mimic the conditions present in the trees. Peat can also be used.
Light: They prefer medium light to bright light. Excess bright light or low light can cause the leaves to fall and reduces the foliage number and the color.
Watering: The leaves are fleshy and succulent. They do not require regular watering. The plants prefer dry soil and hence watering can be done only when the leaves start to droop or ones in a week.
Fertilizer: Does not require any supply of fertilizers. Addition of fertilizers during summers can help in the growth
Pruning: the pruning can be done in the early spring by pinching off the tips of the stems. The tips of the growing plants can be pinched off along with a set of leaves. This assures a lustrous growth of the plant and also maintains the shape of the plant. Annual pruning should be enough to maintain the peperomia plants.
Diseases in Peperomia Plants:
These plants are prone to fungal and bacterial diseases. Some of them include:
Cercospora Leaf Spot: lesions underneath the leaves
Phyllosticta Leaf Spot: concentric rings of light and dark colors.
Rhizoctonia Leaf Spot: dark spots on the leaves.
They can also be attacked by Slugs & snails, Fungus Gnats, Caterpillars, Aphids, Mites, Scales, Thrips
The attack of pests and pathogens can be solved by spraying insecticides or fungicides.
Other than these, the plants can also show problems faced due to lack or excess of water, light. some of them are:
Leaves Wilting and Dropping Excessively: Excess water or salt content in Water.
Yellowing of Lower Leaves: Lack of potassium and nitrogen
Slow Growth and Frequent Wilting: Lack of oxygen in roots. Re pot the plant or hoe the soil properly.
Leaf Loss: When placed in colder areas.
Propagation of Peperomia Plant
The propagation can be done either through seeds or leaves or through cuttings.
The seeds can be sown on the soil and can be covered with a layer of soil. The soil is to be watered regularly to keep it moist.
Some of the Peperomia plants can be grown from leaves. Insert the leave in well drainage soil and maintain the moisture for the growth. Depending on the whether conditions, it may take 30 – 60 days to a new shoot.
Cutting is an easy and preferred method. A growing tip is cut along with one or two leaves and planted into potting soil. The cutting is watered regularly until the root develops.