Peperomia caperata is also known as Emerald Ripple peperomia. Heart-shaped, richly veined, ruffled dark green leaves. Red Peperomia caperata pronounced [pep-er-OH-mee-uh kap-er-AY-tuh].
The name of the genus ‘Peperomia” combines two Greek words: peperi means pepper, and homoios means resembling.
These plants look like and are related to Piper nigrum, which is black pepper. The specific species ‘caperata’ refers to the plant’s wrinkled leaf texture.
Peperomia Caperata Quick Care Tips
- Botanical Name: Peperomia Caperata
- Common Name(s): Radiator Plant, Emerald Ripple Peperomia
- Synonyms: N/A
- Family & Origin: Piperaceae family, native to South America
- Growability: Easy to grow
- Grow Zone: USDA zones 11-12
- Size: Grows up to 8′ inches tall and wide
- Flowering: Produces small, insignificant flowers
- Light: Prefers bright, indirect light
- Humidity: Thrives in high-humidity environments
- Temperature: Ideal temperature range is 60-75°F
- Soil: Well-draining soil mix
- Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry; avoid overwatering
- Fertilizer: Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season
- Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites, may develop root rot if overwatered
- Propagation: Propagated through stem cuttings or leaf cuttings
- Plant Uses: Great for indoor decoration, can be used in terrariums or as a ground cover in outdoor gardens.
The Peperomia emerald ripple, also known as the ripple plant, is an herbaceous perennial hailing from the rain forests of Brazil, South America. It belongs to the Piperaceae family.
This tropical plant is a seasonal bloomer with attractive evergreen leaves.
In the United States, Caperata Peperomia is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 11 – 12, where it grows as a ground cover. But it is most frequently used as a houseplant.
The compact plant grows best in partial shade. It has very low maintenance requirements and moderate water needs.
Peperomia Red Ripple Care Requirements
Here are the proper emerald ripple care and tips you need to take into account:
Size and Growth
Red peperomia caperata is compact, usually growing only about 8″ inches tall and 8″ inches wide.
Several Peperomia varieties, sports, and cultivars are available:
- Peperomia caperata Rosso
- Peperomia caperata Frost
- Red Ripple Peperomia (black ripple, burgundy ripple, red ripple)
- Peperomia Silver Ripple
- Peperomia caperata Argentea
Flowering & Fragrance
The scentless flowers of peperomia ripple are more appropriately described as interesting rather than beautiful.
The white flower spikes are often called ‘mouse tails’ or rat tails. The blooms are small, greenish-white, and abundant on the flower stalks.
Peperomia burgundy is a small houseplant with very dark green leaves, lovely red to purple stems, and interesting rat-tail-shaped flowers.
The wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves are dark green, about an inch and a half long. They grow on red-purple-tinged stalks.
Leaves may be variegated in that the color deepens in the valleys of the corrugations. The leaves of the crinkle peperomia can look as if they are green and black striped.
Light and Temperature
Peperomia ripple does best in an east or north-facing window where it can receive bright indirect light. Never any direct sunlight!
It will flourish growing under grow lights or fluorescent lights.
Peperomia does best in temperatures ranging from 60° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit. Never allow temperatures to fall below 50° degrees Fahrenheit. Protect plants from cold drafts.
Watering and Feeding
The growing season for Burgundy peperomia is spring through fall. It needs moderate, consistent watering during these months. Allow the top inch of potting mix to dry, and then water the plant thoroughly.
Once the soil has had some time to dry out, thoroughly water the plant and let any excess water drain out of the pot before repeating the process.
Keep in mind that during winter, houseplants won’t be actively growing and therefore need less water.
Watering these peperomia ripple plants from the bottom is best to avoid getting the semi-succulent leaves wet.
Maintain high humidity levels by keeping the plant on a damp pebble tray. Maintain proper ventilation to prevent problems with fungus and rot.
Feed monthly with a diluted (1/2 strength) plant fertilizer during the growing season. Do not fertilize Emerald ripple pepper during the fall and the winter.
Soil and Transplanting
It is easy to grow Peperomia ripple red as a house plant. The emerald ripple peperomia care is known to need a well-draining potting medium.
Use a peat-based potting type (African Violet soil) or a mixture made for succulent plants. Good drainage and pots with drainage holes are of the utmost importance.
Even a simple potting mix of 3 parts peat moss and 2 parts perlite works well.
Remember, with Emerald peperomia; the plants enjoy being a little bit root-bound. An oversized pot with soggy soil can lead to root rot problems. Only repot when necessary, moving Peperomia red plants to the next pot size up.
NOTE: Many growers grow P. caperata in plastic nursery pots with drainage holes.
Grooming and Maintenance
Trim the emerald ripple plant at any point to maintain a bushier appearance. New growth will appear from any nodes on the stem directly beneath the cut.
How To Propagate Peperomia Caperata
Propagate Peperomias through:
- Plant division
- Stem cuttings or tip cuttings
- Leaf cuttings
As with succulents, allow the cut ends of the stems, tip cuttings, or leaves to dry before planting.
Plants root easily in a light, airy, well-draining potting medium. A little rooting hormone powder can speed up rooting.
Related: Learn more about Peperomia Propagation
Peperomia Burgundy Ripple Pest or Diseases
Red ripple peperomia plant is relatively disease and insect-free. But problems can occur when you overwater. Look out for root rot and other fungal problems.
Symptoms of overwatering include soggy stems, yellow leaves, black stems, and lower leaves.
Because these plants like high humidity, they may also be subject to a virus called ringspot.
If you notice circular, damaged spots on the leaves, remove their leaves. Improve air circulation around the plant. It is difficult to treat this disease. You may end up having to throw out the entire plant.
Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests such as:
- Spider mites
- Fungus gnat
Related: More on Controlling Pests and Diseases on Peperomia
Suggested Red Emerald Ripple Peperomia Uses
Caperata and the popular cultivar Peperomia caperata Rosso are best suited as small houseplants or office plants in most parts of the United States.
Red ripple peperomia plants make excellent terrarium plants. They can also be used as a ground cover in tropical and semitropical areas.