Plant Care  |  March 10, 2020

Peperomia Care


PRO TIP: When in doubt, let it drought! Peperomia are very susceptible to root rot, so it’s best not to overwater. 

Peperomia are a large genus of about 1700 known species of tropical plants. Their natural growing habitats are the tropics of Central and South America, and parts of Asia. They range in appearance greatly, but in general are small flowering plants with plump even succulent-like leaves. Peperomia do not like direct sunlight so they are best placed near a window receiving bright indirect or filtered sun. Some varieties can tolerate medium light conditions, and most will grow well under grow lights alone. The thicker leaved species do not require as much humidity as those with thin delicate leaves, which may be best kept in a terrarium or a bathroom.

If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home or office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Peperomia Plant care

The leaves of the Watermelon Peperomia are thick, round and striped with silvery green splashes. 

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: Rotate your plant frequently to keep its growth even and symmetrical!

 Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it.  Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first. Peperomia prefer a good drying out period between waterings. For varieties with more succulent-like leaves they may like to dry almost all the way through the pot between waterings, and can tolerate dryer conditions overall. Although during the growing seasons their water intake may increase. For fleshy or softer leaved varieties, allow the soil to dry ⅓ of the way through the pot between waterings.Peperomia are sensitive to overwatering and root rot, and therefore appreciate a well draining soil. The watering needs of Peperomia can vary depending on the unique environment they are growing in and depending on the needs of the exact species. Consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breath and allow for moisture to be released.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my Peperomia is being overwatered?

  • Common symptoms of overwatering can be leaf loss, browning edges of the leaf preceded by a yellow edge, and browning mushy stalks. If you see any of these symptoms, check the soil to see if it is moist. To help the soil dry out aerate and hold off on watering until the soil dries completely, then resume an appropriate watering routine

How can I tell if my Peperomia is being underwatered?

  • Common symptoms of underwatering are leaf loss, fully yellowing leaves that fall, and brown crispy leaf margins. If you see any of these symptoms feel the soil of your plant to assess if it is dry, and therefore matches the diagnosis.

How do I propagate my Peperomia?

  • Peperomia are very easy to propagate! Below are two methods.
  • Soil Method: Cut the Peperomia along the petiole (stem) and plant it into soil. Water more often than usual until roots develop. Use rooting hormone if desired but it is not necessary.
  • Water method: Take a leaf cutting and let the stem sit in water until a good amount of roots appear. Transfer to a small pot and provide care as usual.

    How often should I fertilize my plant?

    • In general, houseplants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

    How often does my plant need to be repotted?

    • For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.

      Standard Planter Instructions

      There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery Unlimited—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within these two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and the size of the planted vessel both play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.

      Plants purchased in pots without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of Aeration Stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled clay) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest slowly pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.

      For plants potted with drainage, water until the excess begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.

      Self Watering Container Instructions

      The self-watering containers require a deep and thorough watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants first need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for at least four weeks, before testing the reservoir. During the dormant seasons, or for plants that have slower growing habits, consider top watering for up to ten weeks. 

      TEST: After the initial top water period, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches half way between the MAX and MIN line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir. 

      RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

      From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant while using the reservoir system. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir. You may opt for adding fresh soil into the gaps between the soil and planter, so as to give the plant a nutrient boost. You may annually, or bi annually, top water the plant to flush the foot system. Only do so when the reservoir is empty and the plant is ready for more water. 

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