Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata (pep-er-ROH-mee-uh, ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-uh, var-ee-GAY-tuh) is a handsome variegated variety of the baby rubber plant.
It is a popular Peperomia species in the family: Piperaceae.
The evergreen plant is indigenous to Central and South America including Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean and has been rewarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
The green and variegated Peperomia Obtusifolia, the evergreen perennial has several common names.
- Decorative Pepper
- Dwarf Pepper
- Fleshy Peperomia
- Pepper Face
- American Rubber Plant
- Hanging Peperomia
Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Care (American Rubber Plant)
Size and Growth
The baby rubber plant has a fairly fast growth rate, growing up to 10” inches tall and wide.
The plant species has a trailing stem which is why it is commonly referred to as a hanging plant.
Peperomia Obtusifolia has cup-like, dark green leaves.
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 other 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.
Since these flowers are non-showy, they are not the most attractive feature of the perennial.
The evergreen plant has a distinctive smell of fenugreek and maple syrup.
The plant also boasts fragrance of various herbs and spices including basil, chives, cilantro, and oregano.
Light Conditions and Temperature
The peperomia 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.
If the plant is not provided with enough bright light, it may risk losing variegation.
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 plant prefers watering in its growing season, especially in the summer months.
Allow the soil to dry first between watering and make sure not to overwater the plant.
In the winter season, the 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 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 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.
Grooming and Maintenance
The leaves and stems of the new plant may overgrow over time.
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 peperomia care, always offer indirect light or partial shade to the plant.
Water the soil when feels dry to ensure optimal plant care.
Other Peperomias You May Like:
How To Propagate Variegated Baby Rubber Tree Plant
- Peperomia obtusifolia 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 a 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 it 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 problem for peperomia obtusifolia.
However, the 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 plant.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata 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 it near a window as a houseplant or in a greenhouse as an added accessory.