Peperomia (pep-per-ROH-mee-uh) Moonlight is a succulent with metallic green, heart-shaped leaves native to South America.
Closely related to the plant that graces our kitchen tables with black pepper, Peperomia’s Greek name literally means “pepper resembling.”
Patented Peperomia Moonlight (USPP31418P2) belongs to a big family of perennial plants, Peperomia, with over 1000 extant species, but only about 100 varieties of Peperomia are grown and cultivated in the United States. Peperomia is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow.
The Peperomia is widely bought and sold, and the wide variety of Peperomia plants is greater than taxonomic research suggests: as such, many varieties have gone as yet unclassified. The Peperomia Moonlight is likely a sport of Peperomia caperata.
Sometimes called the “radiator plant” because of its appreciation for warm air, other common Peperomia species include the Watermelon Peperomia, the Emerald Ripple Peperomia, and the Red-Edge Peperomia.
Peperomia Moonlight Care
Peperomia Moonlight is relatively easy to care for, but these tips should keep your Peperomia peachy keen throughout its life.
Size & Growth
Peperomia Moonlight grows slowly and will only ever achieve a maximum height of 10″-12″ inches. This is something it has in common with the rest of its family.
Flowering & Fragrance
The flowers of Moonlight shoot up from long, thin peperomia flower spikes. These very tiny flowers that run all along the flower spike have no scent.
Light & Temperature
One of the reasons Peperomia is such a common indoor plant is that it is highly tolerant of indoor environments. Peperomia Moonlight requires relatively low levels of light – in fact, this plant doesn’t like full direct sunlight.
Peperomia Moonlight thrives in warm, indirect light in temperatures that are common for our own human homes. In the Summer, the Peperomia Moonlight wants to grow and stretch its flower spikes; maximum growth will occur in 68° – 78° degrees Fahrenheit. In the Winter, keep Peperomia’s environment above 50° degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering Peperomia Plants & Feeding
Like any succulent, Peperomia can’t take overwatering. Overwatering leads to root rot and the often plant dies. When it comes to watering, I always say, “better safe than sorry.” Make sure you’re not giving the Peperomia too much water.
How can you be sure you’re not overwatering?
Once a week or even once every 10 days should do it! These plants can tolerate a little drought but have real difficulty with too much water. Some suggest letting the soil completely dry before rewatering. This isn’t a bad idea.
Feed your Peperomia with plant food during the summer months every second or third watering. You can use a balanced liquid plant food for this.
Soil & Transplanting
Because overwatering can be a danger, potting soil choice becomes very important in rearing the Peperomia. Use well-drained soil for this.
Use a half-and-half mixture of perlite and peat moss. Sometimes I’ll use bark chips and peat moss when planting new Peperomia.
Peperomia is best left in its original pot. It can be transplanted easily enough, but the plant prefers a stable home.
Keeping the pot small for your Peperomia will ensure the best growth.
Grooming & Maintenance
You don’t want your Peperomia to get long and leggy. Pruning throughout the year will help keep the grey-green leaves bunched together and maintain the nice bush shape of the Peperomia. Old and discolored leaves should be removed.
How To Propagate Peperomias
Peperomias is quite easy to propagate from leaf or stem cuttings and dipped in rooting powder.
Using a light rooting medium (like the moss-perlite mixture mentioned above) will be helpful in propagating Peperomia.
NOTE: Peperomia Moonlight is a patented plant and propagation is prohibited. [source]
Whether using a stem or leaf cuttings, propagation is the same.
- Make sure you have a little bit of stem at the bottom, even when taking a leaf cutting.
- Dip the cut stem into root hormone powder and stick it in the soil.
- Pack the soil down around the stem.
- Leave at room temperature – your cutting should start to grow.
TIP: Use a plastic bag or a soda bottle to cover your cutting. This creates a nice greenhouse effect. Be sure to remove and replace your plastic bag every once in a while to give the cutting air to breathe.
Learn more about Propagating Peperomia
Peperomia Moonlight Pests or Diseases
One of the greatest things about Peperomia Moonlight is that it has almost no diseases or pests that target it. Mealybugs can be a problem, but Neem Oil Insecticide will do the trick nicely. So, what is the greatest threat to the life of a Peperomia Moonlight? Its human owner.
Over-watering can be a problem, as can too much sunlight.
- Overwatering: If your leaves begin to be discolored, you may be overwatering. Reduce watering immediately. Overwatering is a massive threat to the Peperomia.
- Too Much Sunlight: If the leaves begin to dull in color, see if you can find a less-sunny environment for your Peperomia.