Peperomia Ferreyrae [pep-er-ROH-mee-uh, FAR-rer-ay] is a small perennial semi-succulent species from the family Piperaceae, commonly known as the pepper family, and native to Peru and the rain forests of South America.
The scientific name of this Peperomia plant also refers to its connection with the pepper plant – Peperomia is derived from two Greek words peperi meaning pepper and homoios meaning resembling.
It’s known by the following common names:
- Pincushion peperomia
- Happy bean
- Bean plant peperomia
Peperomia Ferreyrae Care
Size & Growth
Despite the fact the scientific name of a happy bean plant refers to its relationship with the pepper family, it has a different appearance than most other peperomias, which display rounded leaves.
The pincushion plant grows up to 12” inches tall and features narrow, slender, and glabrous lime green leaves, which are peapod shaped and grow along thick and erect green stems up to 3” inches.
Flowering and Fragrance
Peperomia Ferreyra produces clusters of yellow flowers, but they are tiny and inconsequential and hold no value in comparison to the unique foliage.
Light & Temperature
The plant requires bright light to grow properly, however, it can survive in lower light conditions or partial shade.
It cannot tolerate too much direct sunlight or full sun.
An ideal location for a happy bean plant would be a place where it receives indirect sunlight for part of the day or grown under an artificial grow light.
The ideal temperature range for this species of pepper family is 65° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (18° – 24° C).
The plant isn’t winter hardy and cannot tolerate temperature below 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C).
In addition to the warmer temperatures, pincushion peperomia also likes humid conditions.
While the natural humidity level at room temperature is fine in most cases, place a pebble tray filled with water under the plant if the air gets too dry during summer months.
Alternatively, mist the leaves to maintain the humidity levels in hot, dry weather.
The plant grows in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11.
Watering and Feeding
Watering is probably the only tricky task when it comes to growing and caring for pincushion peperomia.
On one hand, the plant requires its soil to remain slightly moist, but on the other hand, it is very sensitive to overwatering.
This often makes it challenging to water the plant, particularly for those who are new to gardening.
Since the leaves of the peperomia plant are semi-succulent, they store some amount of water.
Hence, the plant is moderately drought tolerant.
A great tip given by experts to avoid overwatering is to let the topsoil dry out completely and then water thoroughly.
Water only sparingly in winter.
Feed the plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer once every two weeks, in spring when the plant is actively growing.
Reduce the fertilization to once a month in summer and stop it completely after the end of the summer season.
Do not feed the plant fall and winter.
Soil & Transplanting
Peperomia plant grows best in peat-based, well-aerated soil with excellent drainage.
Use a potting mix prepared with two parts peat and one part perlite or sand for best results.
Transfer the plant to a new pot of the same size or just one size bigger pot in spring to refresh the soil.
Grooming and Maintenance
The happy bean plant is not hard to grow or maintain.
It neither creeps out of its space and takes over the neighboring plants nor requires pruning, making it an ideal choice for gardeners looking for hassle-free plant species.
How to Propagate Pincushion Peperomia
Just like African violets, most species of P. Ferreyra are best propagated through stem and leaf cuttings.
- Take 2″ – 3″ inches (5-8 cm) long petiole cuttings with a couple of leaves.
- Let the wounds of the cuttings dry out for a day before replanting them.
- Keep the newly planted cuttings covered with plastic and make sure it gets plenty of bright, indirect light and warm temperature, ideally around 68° degrees Fahrenheit (20° C), until new growth appears.
- Keep the soil moist, but refrain from watering too much.
Pincushion Peperomia Pest or Diseases
The happy bean cacti plant is susceptible to mealybugs, those little white bugs on plants. So it is recommended to watch out for cottony white masses on the undersides of leaves and the stems.
Overwatering causes wilting, or the appearance of scab-like protrusions on leaves and sudden temperature changes (exposure to cold conditions) can lead to massive leaf-drop, in some cases.
Peperomia Ferreyrae Uses
As mentioned above, a happy bean plant is mainly grown for its unique and attractive foliage.
While it is grown in both gardens and as a houseplant, its small size makes it ideal for dish gardens, conservatories, greenhouses, and as a potted plant for window sills and even for desktops.