Peperomia albovittata (pep-er-ROH-mee-uh al-boh-vy-TAY-tuh) is a fairly new Peperomia cultivar that was developed in the Netherlands from Ecuadorian stock.
You may hear this semi-succulent epiphyte referred to as:
- Peperomia Piccolo Banda
- Peacock Peperomia
- Mini Watermelon Plant
- Ivy Leaf Peperomia
- Radiator Plant (its old-fashioned moniker)
This member of the Piperaceae family of plants is a tropical perennial evergreen. The plant’s botanical name means “member of the pepper family with wide white stripes.”
- Size and Growth
- Flowering and Fragrance
- Light Conditions and Temperature
- Watering and Feeding
- Soil and Transplanting
- Grooming and Maintenance
- Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?
- Is the plant considered invasive?
- Family: Piperaceae
- Height: 6″ to 12″ inches
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Water: Allow the soil to dry out between watering
- Soil: Well-draining potting mix
- Temperature: 65° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit
- Humidity: Moderate to high
- Fertilizer: Monthly during the growing season
- Propagation: Stem or leaf cuttings
- Common Problems: Mealybugs, spider mites, scale, rot if overwatered
Peperomia Piccolo Banda Care
Size and Growth
Mini Watermelon Plant is a slow-grower with a maximum height and spread of about 1’ foot.
Although it takes a while for these charmers to attain maximum growth, they do have a fairly long life span (5 years), so their slow progress is not especially distressing.
Ivy Leaf Peperomia has attractive heart-shaped green leaves with a subtle silver hue and purplish veins. The stems are purplish red.
Flowering and Fragrance
Piccolo Banda produces insignificant, unscented green spikes during the summer months. They are so small as to be unnoticeable. If you do notice them and they bother you, simply pinch them off.
Light Conditions and Temperature
Peperomia albovittata enjoys ample amounts of bright, indirect light. It cannot thrive in a shady setting and will scorch in direct sunlight exposure.
Peperomia Piccolo Banda flourishes with grow lights and fluorescent lights. If you are relying on sunlight, be sure to place the plant at least a foot away from a sunny window (east or north facing are best) and protect it against harsh, direct sunlight.
These tropical plants like temperatures ranging from 65° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit. They cannot tolerate cold temperatures.
Moreover, Peperomia albovittata enjoys average room humidity levels.
Watering and Feeding
Remember that the Mini Watermelon Plant is an epiphytic plant. This means that in nature, it would anchor itself to a tree and glean its water and nourishment from the atmosphere.
The plants’ semi-succulent leaves store moisture efficiently, making them fairly drought-tolerant plants.
However, still, be careful of overwatering as soggy soil can lead to various kinds of problems. Employ a soak-and-dry watering method.
Water thoroughly, allowing the water to run through the plants’ substrate and the excess water out the containers’ drainage holes. Repeat the process when the top couple of inches of the potting medium feels dry.
You can also use a moisture meter to ensure you’re only watering this plant when you need to.
Lightly feed Piccolo Banda with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once early in the spring and again mid-summer. It’s also best to use plant food or balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during its active growing season.
Soil and Transplanting
Peperomia Piccolo Banda does well in well-draining soil or a soilless potting medium because it is an epiphyte.
Orchid medium is a good choice. If you want to mix up your substrate, incorporate light, airy organic matter such as bark, perlite, and coco coir.
When initially planting or repotting, toss in some earthworm casting to help the plant get a good start.
If you wish, you can also toss in a handful of activated charcoal to help filter out impurities in the water and help prevent fungal growth.
These plants do very well in small pots and typically do not need to be repotted unless roots begin growing out of the drainage holes or venturing through the surface of the substrate.
Grooming and Maintenance
Early in the springtime, you may wish to give your Peacock Peperomia a bit of a trim or pruning at the start of the spring season.
If the plant has a spindly appearance, trim off ungainly stems with scissors or a sharp knife and pinch back stem tips to encourage bushier growth.
Removing dead leaves is also important so the plant will focus on growing new ones.
How To Propagate Peperomia Piccolo Banda
Peperomia albovittata is a licensed hybrid, and propagation is not legal. Even so, if your very own plant yields viable stem cuttings or leaf cuttings when you prune it, you can probably safely root them just as you would any other Radiator Plant. Just don’t make a business of it.
Peperomia Piccolo Banda Main Pest or Diseases
Peperomia Piccolo Banda is quite pest and disease resistant as long as you keep it warm, provide plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, and don’t overwater.
Plants that are compromised by incorrect care are subject to infestation by houseplant pests such as:
- Spider Mites
Excessive watering or cold temperatures will lead to fungal infections and other diseases, such as leaf spots and root and stem rot.
Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?
Peperomia plants are entirely non-toxic.
Is the plant considered invasive?
These rather finicky hybrids are not invasive.
Suggested Peperomia Piccolo Banda Uses
Peperomia Piccolo Banda makes an attractive indoor plant addition to any room with bright light.
This compact semi-succulent loves consistent temperatures and thrives under artificial light, making it an excellent choice for an office or desk plant.
Because of their compact size and epiphytic nature, they also make excellent terrarium plants.