Peperomia rotundifolia [pep-er-ROH-mee-uh, ro-tun-dih-FOH-lee-uh] is an evergreen perennial with small round leaves growing in a natural trailing pattern and member of the family Piperaceae (Peperomia).
Native to the tropical rainforests of South America, this vining epiphyte plant species is prized for its ornamental foliage and ability to provide indoor color all year round.
Common names for this Peperomia rotundifolia include:
- Round Leaf Peperomia
- Trailing Jade (Senecio Jacobsenii shares the common name as well)
- Jade Necklace
- Creeping Buttons
- String of Turtles
- Radiator Plant
However, despite the alternatives, the Peperomia rotundifolia plant is usually referred to by its botanical or scientific name given by the German botanist, Carl Sigismund Kunth and literally translates to ‘resembling round leaves.’
Peperomia Rotundifolia Care
Size & Growth
Peperomia rotundifolia produces thin trailing stems with a vining growth habit, measuring up to 12” inches long.
Each perennial epiphyte succulent stem consists of several small green leaves growing all along the stem on either side.
The leaves have a rounded appearance and typically measure about an inch in diameter although some peperomia varieties are known to produce slightly larger leaves measuring as wide as 4” inches in diameter.
Peperomia rotundifolia is commonly grown in home gardens. In its natural habitat, it is often found thriving on tree trunks and rotten logs as well as crawling through rock crevices and covering the forest ground.
Flowering and Fragrance
Peperomia plants feature tiny flowers growing on spikes. The flowers are neither fragrant nor bear any ornamental traits.
The plant is primarily grown for its attractive foliage instead.
The long and fancy, threadlike stems laden with lush, green foliage featuring small, fleshy leaves surely look incredible whether grown indoors or outdoors.
Light & Temperature
Partially shaded and well-lit areas, not receiving any direct sunlight are the ideal spots for growing round leaf Peperomia.
This is because the plant needs a sufficient amount of sunlight for growing properly but too much bright light will easily scorch the leaves.
Grow it on north or east-facing aspects as they receive morning and evening sun but not the intense afternoon sunlight.
Temperatures between 65° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (18° – 21° C) ensure optimum growth. Trailing Jade plants will tolerate temperatures as low as 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C).
It is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.
Watering and Feeding
Peperomia has a succulent nature and therefore, is extremely sensitive to overwatering.
Ensure a significantly long interval between successive watering sessions in order to allow the soil to dry sufficiently. Growing in well-drained soil is a must.
Reduce the amount of watering even further during the cold, winter months.
Feeding is recommended during the spring season. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer twice a month to ensure a healthy growth throughout the year.
Soil & Transplanting
This species of epiphytes prefers moist soils with proper drainage.
Although it performs well in a wide range of climates, areas having high humidity give the best results.
Consider grouping Peperomia with other garden plants as this increases the humidity in the surrounding air.
Repotting is seldom required unless the existing container seems too small for the overgrowing vines.
Grooming and Maintenance
Peperomia is easy to grow and care for. In fact, its low maintenance needs are exactly what makes it such a popular houseplant.
Simply pinch out the unwanted stems from the tip to keep the plant in shape.
Alternatively, using a pair of scissors to prune any overgrown stems.
How to Propagate Trailing Jade Peperomia
To propagate Peperomia rotundifolia, use leaf cuttings obtained from mature plants.
Bury a part of the cutting into an appropriate pot and place it in a bright spot until new growth emerges.
Creeping Buttons Peperomia Pest or Diseases
Despite its tendency to grow on tree trunks and dapple over surrounding garden plants, Peperomia is not considered to be an invasive species.
If you look after the plant well and water properly (no waterlogged soil), this perennial epiphyte won’t give you any trouble.
However, poor plant care often leads to the appearance of raised, scab-like protrusions on the leaves.
Moreover, it also makes the plant more susceptible to attack from different garden pests and insects.
For example, the lack of proper sunlight increases the risk of attack from mealybugs.
Check the top and bottom surfaces of the leaves for small white bugs on plants which signify an infestation of mealybugs.
Peperomia Rotundifolia Uses
This species of evergreen indoor plants look best when planted in hanging baskets where its delicate vines seem to spillover from the container in an attractive manner.
Hang these baskets around the patio, on trellises or simply on tree branches to evoke some cool, rainforest vibes.
The size of these little plants also makes them perfect for use in dish gardens and terrariums as well as for adorning rock gardens and small areas such as balconies.
The pretty little leaves of Peperomia plant will make a fine addition to your office desk.
Grow them in pots placed on window sills where the stems may cascade down like a miniature waterfall of leaves.
If you want something fancier than the plain leaves of Peperomia rotundifolia, consider the following species from the Peperomia genus.