Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata: Growing Variegated Baby Rubber Plant

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Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata (pep-er-ROH-mee-uh, ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-uh, var-ee-GAY-tuh), also known as variegated peperomia, is a handsome variegated version of the baby rubber plant. It is a popular Peperomia species in the family Piperaceae.

Bed of Peperomia Obtusifolia VariegataPin
Peperomia obtusifolia care and Variegata care is similar

The evergreen plant is indigenous to Central and South America, including Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean, and has been rewarded with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. 

The Peperomia orbifolia plant is no exception to our obsession.

Peperomia Obtusifolia ‘Variegata’ Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata
  • Common Name(s): Variegated Baby Rubber Plant, Baby Rubber Plant
  • Synonyms:
  • Family & Origin: Piperaceae family, native to Central and South America
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: USDA zone 10-12
  • Size: Grows up to 10′ inches tall and wide
  • Flowering: Produces small white flowers
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity
  • Temperature: 55-80°F (18-24°C)
  • Soil: Well-draining soil
  • Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month during growing season
  • Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites
  • Propagation: Propagate through stem cuttings or leaf cuttings
  • Plant Uses: Great for indoor decoration, air-purifying plant

The green and variegated Peperomia Obtusifolia, the evergreen perennial, has several common names.

These include:

  • Variegated Peperomia obtusifolia
  • Decorative Pepper
  • Dwarf Pepper
  • Fleshy Peperomia
  • Pepper Face
  • American Rubber Plant
  • Hanging Peperomia
  • Peperomia variegated

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Care (American Rubber Plant)

Size and Growth

The variegated baby rubber plant has a relatively fast growth rate, growing up to 10” inches tall and wide.

If you aren’t sure if your plant is part of the Peperomia genus, wait for it to bloom.

The plant species has a trailing stem, so it is commonly referred to as a hanging plant.

Variegated plant in pot held by hand.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @cold_jungle

Peperomia Obtusifolia has cup-like, dark green leaves. It is a bushy, upright plant with thick stems and fleshy leaves, glossy, cupped leaves. 

It also forms narrow spikes of off-white flowers on red-brown stems.

These shiny and fleshy succulent-like leaves have light-colored cream variegation running through the foliage.

Due to their unique variegation, each leaf is different from the others and typically grows up to 2” – 4” inches long.

Flowering and Fragrance

The pepper face plant produces non-showy flowers on spikes in the spring season.

These tiny white flowers stay abloom from spring to fall and grow up to the size of 3” inches.

Related: What To Do With Peperomia Flower Spikes

Variegated houseplant in terracotta pot.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @little.greenery

Since these flowers are non-showy, they are not the most attractive feature of the perennial.

The peperomia smells like maple syrup and has a distinctive smell of fenugreek.

The variegated peperomia obtusifolia also boasts the fragrance of various herbs and spices, including basil, chives, cilantro, and oregano.

variegated peperomia light requirements and Temperature

Regarding peperomia obtusifolia variegata care, the plant prefers bright indirect light and even tolerates low light at times.

However, avoid placing the shiny plant in direct sunlight as it damages the quality of the leaves. Also, avoid cold drafts or sudden temperature changes, as these can lead to plant shock. 

If the plant is not provided with enough bright light, it may risk losing variegation.

Variegated green potted plant indoors.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @disco__garden

The plant prefers high humidity and temperatures from 55° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit (13° – 27° C). During the winter months with low humidity, set the plant on a pebble tray of water or place a humidifier in the growing area.

The indoor plant is winter hardy to USDA zones from 10 to 12.

Watering and Feeding

The American rubber plant has watering needs typical of cacti. 

The thick leaves help the plant store water- they shrivel in drought and plump up after watering.  The leaves are attached to thick, upright stems. 

The plant prefers watering in its growing season, especially in the summer months.

Traditional indoor plant pots have drainage holes and stand-in saucers to allow excess water to drain freely. 

Variegated plant in brown pot on textured stand.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram

Allow the soil to dry first between watering, and make sure not to overwater the plant.

In the winter season, the peperomia pepperface plant has almost little to no watering needs. Water the plant sparingly.

Use a diluted liquid fertilizer in spring when the plant is young and growing.

Provide nutrients by fertilizing the plant every two weeks or once a month in spring and summer.

No feeding is required in the cold, chilly season.

Soil With Good Drainage and Transplanting

  • Use peat moss soil or two parts peat and 1 part perlite soil or sand for the healthy development of the plant.
  • Other types of soil mix work as well, such as potting mix.
  • However, it is necessary for the soil to be well-drained, regardless of the soil type.
  • The peperomia obtusifolia ‘variegata’ plant does not need transplantation often.
  • This is because the plant has a small root system.
  • If the young plant has outgrown its current pot, consider repotting it in a new, bigger pot.
  • Make sure the pot or the container is not too big.
  • It should be shallow to prevent issues such as waterlogging.
Variegated plant held by a person.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @cultivesim

Grooming and Maintenance

The leaves and stems of the new baby rubber plant variegated may overgrow over time.

Avoid leaf drops by keeping the Peperomia in a location with a stable temperature and away from drafty windows.

Lightly prune them to maintain a compact plant in its best possible shape and size. Or else the plant may appear too bushy or messy.

For additional obtusifolia peperomia care, always offer indirect light or partial shade to the plant. Keep an eye on your Peperomia plant and check the undersides of the leaves for any signs of tiny insects or fine webbing.  

Water the soil when it feels dry to ensure optimal pepperface peperomia plant care.

Other Peperomias You May Like:

How To Propagate Variegated Baby Rubber Tree Plant

Plant in a face-shaped potPin
Photo Credit: Instagram @cultivesim
  • Peperomia obtusifolia, or peperomia variegata, is ideally propagated by tip or stem cuttings.
  • Eliminate a petiole – a tip of the stem – for approximately 1” – 3” inches long and apply a rooting hormone on it.
  • Plant the tip cuttings in a small pot with drainage holes and moist, well-drained potting soil.
  • Keep the plant in bright sunlight to ensure new growth.
  • The dwarf pepper is also propagated with leaf cuttings.
  • Before planting the leaves, allow them to dry out for a day at least.
  • Make sure not to overwater the soil and use an ideal-sized pot.

Learn more in our article on Peperomia Propagation

Variegated Baby Rubber Plant Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases are rarely a source of problems for peperomia obtusifolia variegated.

However, the Variegated baby rubber plant may suffer from root rot due to overwatering and leaf drop to occur.

Too much water or too little sunlight may cause spider mites or mealybugs to attack the beautiful varigated peperomia plant.

Variegated green plant on dark background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @thecoolplantshop

Golden Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Plant Uses

The creeping species is typically used in hanging baskets and brackets.

Other than being a handsome hanging plant, the succulent is used as a striking ground cover for elevating the landscape.

Place the variegated baby rubber plant near a window as a houseplant or in a greenhouse as an added accessory.

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