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Scientific Name

Peperomia spp.


Baby rubber plant, pepper elder, radiator plant, shining bush plant, emerald ripper pepper

Origins / Hardiness Zones

Central America, South America, the Caribbean / 10-12 USDA


Peperomia is a genus of tropical plants from Central and South America with the common types often being grown as compact houseplants. The species vary in appearance, though many feature leaves that are rounded and slightly thick. And while many peperomia plants have bright green leaves, the foliage can come in different colors, textures, and patterns. In general, they make for slow-growing and low-maintenance plants.

Light Needs

Water Schedule


Humidity Levels




Peperomia prefer moderate to high humidity levels. To raise humidity levels, you can mist the leaves or set the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, as long as the bottom of the pot doesn’t touch the water.

A non-toxic plant pal! You can introduce this plant to your whole family, pets and children included. While it'll be a sad day for you and your plant if someone takes a nibble, you don't have to worry about poisoning anyone!

Peperomia does not need lots of sun and generally prefers to grow in partial shade. Avoid exposing the plants to direct afternoon sunlight, which can burn the foliage. Indoors, place them where they can receive bright, indirect light from a window. They can tolerate low-light situations, though the foliage might not be as vibrant. They also do well growing under fluorescent lighting.

These semi succulent leaves do not want to be overwatered. One of the first signs that you could be watering this plant too much is the leaves becoming squishy to touch. Allow the soil to dry to the touch in between waterings. And slightly cut back on watering in the late fall and winter when the plant is not actively growing.

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but generally prefers the warmer side and may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents.

Fortunately, peperomia plants aren't prone to developing any serious pest or disease problems. However, peperomia plants can be susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on the stems or undersides of leaves.

Propagating Peperomia is easy to do as they propagate from cuttings. Simply take a snipping from the stem and place it in water. Watch the leaves grow and when they are around two inches long transfer them into soil. Another method you can use is to take a leaf, cut it in half and plant it straight into soil. From there you should see small pups growing out of the soil and into a whole new plant. It is recommended that you take more than one cutting as not all propagations are successful.

Peperomia thrives when it's slightly potbound, so choose a pot that just fits its root ball. Repot plants in the spring every two to three years, even if it's just to refresh the soil. You can either replace them in their existing container if the roots still fit or go up to a slightly larger pot size. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time or until you're satisfied with the size. Possibly do some root trimming to restrict the plant's growth each time. 

Fertilize every other week during the growing season (spring to fall) with a diluted liquid fertilizer, or use slow-release fertilizer pellets at the beginning of the growing season. Do not fertilize in the winter.

Overwatered peperomia tends to wilt or can form raised, scab-like protrusions on the leaves. The biggest problem facing peperomia plants is usually related to incorrect watering and humidity. As houseplants, they like moderate soil moisture and high humidity, but they can be very sensitive to overwatering.

Don't be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, as this is normal. But a massive leaf drop is usually due to a drastic temperature change or a fertilizer problem.

Peperomia rarely flower when kept as houseplants, but they occasionally do. Their unscented blooms appear as spindly spikes of brown and greenish-white. They don't look like flowers; you might even think they're offshoots, detracting from the look of the plant. You can cut them at the base of the shoot or leave them to fall off once the flower withers naturally.




Pests / Diseases

Common Problems



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