Many peperomia varieties and types have become nearly indispensable foliage plants and stunning houseplants. For example, the “baby rubber plant” or “radiator plant” adapts itself to semi-sunny or shady locations in any home.
Over the years, three or four of these tropical plants have become popular old standbys.
However, in general, these peperomia species from the genus Peperomia have been sadly neglected by indoor gardeners.
Peperomia plant care is easy. With the many unusual kinds and their handsome foliage, why not give them a try!
Our Peperomia Tips On:
- The Basics On Peperomia Plant Growing And Care
- Controlling Peperomia Pests and Diseases
- Peperomia Propagation: How To Propagate Peperomia
- Peperomia appreciates regular feedings of a complete liquid house plant fertilizer.
Wide Distribution Of Peperomia Plants
In their native habitat, the wide distribution of the peperomia plant is because their seeds are tiny and sticky and readily cling to any surface. As a result, birds have carried them to many parts of the tropics.
The watermelon Peperomia is botanically known as Peperomia argyreia and the synonym Peperomia Sandersii. Scores of people have grown the watermelon peperomia in dish gardens and planters for many years.
It has been so popular in the past that collectors often omitted it in favor of less common types.
Interest in the unusual peperomias has caused such a to-do that Peperomia argyreia is enjoying today a popularity revival.
There are many different types of growth found among the peperomias. There are:
- Semi-vining or trailing varieties
- Tall, semi-upright forms
- Short, bushy types
And all Peperomia varieties come with an equally wide range of foliage. The leaves and stems are thick and fleshy.
Growing All Types Of Peperomia Plants
Some peperomia varieties are more temperamental about cultural requirements than others.
‘Silver Mound’ (also called Peperomia Hederifolia) and Peperomia caperata ‘Emerald Ripple’ are attractive in the house. Still, if the plants are kept the slightest bit too damp, root rot will invade.
These varieties are excellent in situations where there is low-light intensity. However, if you have had bad luck with them, try again. This time, keep them more on the dry side. That is, let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.
Peperomias, as a whole, prefer a loose soil potting mix. Many of the newer and more delicate types, and the older varieties, do best in a soil mix of:
- ½ peat moss
- ¼ sand
- ¼ perlite
In general, Peperomia likes indirect bright light and no direct sunlight. Your cat may like your Peperomia too. Check out – Is Peperomia Toxic to Cats?
Rosette Forming Varieties Of Peperomia
The plants are almost stemless in the first group of peperomias, and the leaves form attractive rosettes.
Peperomia Argyreia – “Watermelon Peperomia” has variegated leaves resembling the patterns found on watermelon rinds. Its round leaves have bands of silver radiating from the upper center with stems of bright red. Argyreia is an easy-care indoor plant.
Peperomia griseoargentea (‘Silver Mound’ or Peperomia hederifolia) is a bushy rosette of round cordate, quilted leaves, and a glossy silver if they do not receive too much light.
A sport of this species, ‘Blackie,’ has leaves of a metallic olive-green to blackish copper, depending on the light.
Peperomia Caperata (Emerald Ripple) or “Ripple Peperomia” is a mounding plant that develops a dense cluster of roundish, heart-shaped leaves of forest or dark green, which is deeply corrugated and quilted. One select sport is known as “Red Ripple Peperomia.”
The flower axils resemble ‘mouse tails” (as do all peperomia plants) stand above the leaves. Caperata is one of the most popular peperomia varieties.
Its variety ‘Tricolor’ is a variegated sport many enthusiasts collect.
Its origin is the Brazilian rainforest. Grown as a small houseplant, no more than about 8″ inches tall, the plant is characterized by its dark green wrinkled leaves no “real” stalks.
The tiny (seen through a magnifying glass) yellow-white flowers emerge on the “mouse tails” standing above the crinkled, corrugated foliage.
There are several selected “sports” and varieties that resemble Caperata, such as:
Peperomia marmorata (‘Silver Heart’) is an attractive plant with thin, heart-shaped leaves that taper to a long point. Of similar form, Peperomia verschaffeltii is even more appealing.
Peperomia obtusifolia – pepper face – Popular florist, common species with dark green leaves, a dish-garden plant with thick, succulent-like cupped leaves. Sometimes called the “baby rubber plant.”
The plant sports freely, with variegated, miniature, variegated miniature, albino, white-edged, and ‘Gold Tip’ varieties available.
Variegata Peperomia obtusifolia is like its parent, except the leaves are heavily variegated with creamy yellow.
The miniature versions of the green and variegated forms of Peperomia obtusifolia do not grow as fast and are free-branching.
Peperomia obtusifolia ‘albomarginata’, also called ‘White Cloud,’ is similar to the common variegated form except with pure white markings.
Peperomia obtusifolia’ Silver Edge’ has glossy green leaves edged with a narrow silver band. Peperomia obtusifolia’ Marble’ is a deep yellow form with beautiful marbleized yellow and green foliage.
An ornamental plant is Peperomia maculosa with pendent, lanceolate leaves up to seven inches in length. The waxy leaves are bluish gray-green with silvery green to ivory ribs.
Peperomia magnoliaefolia is a robust growing species with fleshy leaves four or five inches long glossy, fresh green color on brownish-green stems. Similar to Peperomia obtusifolia.
Peperomia clusifolia is a slow-growing plant with thick, fleshy, narrow leaves of metallic green with an edging of reddish-purple.
It is a true species and not a variety of Peperomia obtusifolia. However, many consider it and Peperomia clusifolia variegata two of the most attractive peperomias in its class.
Peperomia clusifolia variegata, often called Peperomia Jelly, could be called a tricolor as it is a study of green leaves, variegated creamy yellow, and occasionally edged in red.
This variety is a very slow grower and scarce but well worth the hunt.
This Peperomia Variety Hangs Out With Likes Cactus
You could class Peperomia incana (felted pepperface) as a succulent. It’s been found in the natural state, growing alongside cacti. This one has broadly heart-shaped, fleshy gray leaves covered with tiny white felt hairs. Easy to care for, grow potted, or as a hanging basket.
Peperomia Pixie (teardrop peperomia) is a sport of Peperomia orba, a small, bushy, upright succulent. It has attractive, furry, grayish-green leaves, each leaf sporting a light white stripe down the center.
Peperomia polybotrya – coin leaf peperomia – succulent like large green heart-shaped glossy, green shield like leaves with a lighter spot where the leaf attaches to the petiole. Easy to care for. Keep away from cold, allow the soil mix to dry between watering.
The glossy green leaves are sometimes circular on young plants. Grow outdoors in USDA hardiness zone 10. There are several variegated forms also available. There is a sport called Peperomia Raindrop.
Peperomia blanda has small grayish olive-green leaves, elliptic in shape, pinkish on the underside, and grows on sturdy, upright stems.
A beautiful plant is Peperomia metallica from Peru, which has dark reddish stems and narrow waxy shining leaves of reddish copper with a metallic luster and a silver-green band down the middle.
This peperomia is a little “tricky” in its habits. If it doesn’t have the care it desires, it will simply sulk, droop, and die. It is very sensitive to too much moisture.
Small branches root readily in moist sand, so one can always have beautiful bushy plants available with little effort.
Peperomia dolabriformis, the “prayer peperomia,” is a curious plant with fleshy spatulate leaves folded together, resembling pea pods or small purses. It displays a pale green translucent layer across the upper edge of the leaf.
It always attracts attention with thick green leaves growing sidewise on the stems and appearing as swollen sickles.
This is indeed one of the most novel and unusual plants – a real conversation piece.
Bushy, Semi-Upright Types
In the semi-upright forms, we find several small bushy types that are very appropriate for small planters. Only the choicest of these are listed.
Peperomia verticillata (rubella or pulchella) is a small upright, bushy plant with hairy red stems.
The densely set crimson stems hold whorls of tiny olive-green leaves marked with a silver network of veins and vivid crimson on the underside.
Peperomia nivalis is a lovely succulent type of peperomia. It is an upright climber, with dark green small keel-shaped, almost folded aromatic leaves, fleshy clustering stems, creamy gold variegation, panicle rosette.
Their inner surface is light green, while the underside is buff green.
More Popular Peperomia Varieties and Types
The list below highlights many other available peperomias to grow and collect. There are beauties with a stiff, upright growing habit. Others are the dangling and spreading varieties, with a wide variety of foliage for design.
Peperomia’ Astrid’ (‘Pixie’) is a lovely plant that was first introduced into this country from Sweden, although it is probably a South American native.
It has short green stems with numerous waxy, light green, spoon-like leaves on short, stiff petioles.
If crowded, the leaves stay small (pixie-like) and densely clustered. Peperomia’ Astrid’ variegata has a distinct silver stripe down the center of each leaf.
Peperomia ornata is a unique species with a short, stout stem that supports a cluster of symmetrical, elliptic fleshy leaf on stiff red stalks.
These are green with length wise lighter veins above and paler beneath with striking parallel, purplish-red ribs.
In the semi-trailing class of peperomias, we have several lovely forms, such as Peperomia glabella variegata with its slender, rosy pink stems and delicate light green elliptic leaves heavily variegated white.
Peperomia cubensis (rotundifolia, ‘Yerba Linda’) – is a sturdy but soft and graceful little self-branching plant, red-tinged stems with pointed-oval, gray-green foliage divided by precise indented veins. The variegated form is splashed with creamy white.
Peperomia rotundifolia (trailing jade peperomia or round leaf Peperomia) – thin stems, rounded leaves, vining, trailing growth habit looks best when grown in hanging baskets, spilling over from the container in an attractive manner.
Peperomia japonica is known for its low light, drought tolerance, and resistance to bugs. Leaves are similar to Portulacaria.
Peperomia scandens (Cupid Peperomia) have fleshy stems and waxy, green, heart-shaped leaves, which remind one of a miniature philodendron. There is also a variegated form of Peperomia scandens with cream-edged leaves.
Peperomia serpens – grows best in dappled or bright indirect light, does best when grown in a naturally humid location like the kitchen or bathroom. Sturdy trailer with glossy green, heart-shaped leaves.
Peperomia puteolata (lanceolata) – the parallel peperomia – is a gorgeous hanging plant with angled stems, long slender leathery, pointed leaves of waxy dark green, with five contrasting, parallel, yellowish veins depressed on the surface. The leaf pattern looks similar to “watermelon pep” with more elongated leaves.
Peperomia fosteri – has deep forest, dark green leaves with light olive, parallel veins, branches low and spreading.
The leaves are set in whorls of two or three around a dark red stem. It is a beautiful plant and readily available.
Peperomia reflexa is an interesting small thread-like creeper with wiry green stems and small, round, light green leaves striped a deeper green.
Peperomia urocarpa (‘Brazilian Queen’) is a self-branching and vining plant that is attractive when trained on small trellises.
It has branches of fleshy, light green, pubescent leaves with lighter parallel veins. The leaves are silvery-white beneath, and most are splashed with red dots.
Peperomia clusiifolia ‘Ginny’ is also known as ‘Tricolor,’ ‘Rainbow,’ Peperomia’ Ginny’ and red-edge peperomia. It is a popular houseplant and a very tender perennial. It has a thick stem, and large medium leaves with green, creamy white edges with rosy-pink blushes. ‘Ginny’ has slender spikes of tiny white flowers that occur throughout the year on mature plants.
As with most Peperomias, ‘Ginny’ is generally easy to grow and add color to your garden. It is best in containers because of its large leaves and upright growth habit. Ginny Peperomia can also be used as a groundcover with its ability to tolerate heat or shade.
Peperomia ferreyrae (pincushion peperomia) grows up to 12″ inches tall, perennial, small semi-succulent plant, features slender, narrow lime green leaves, with peapod shaped, tiny yellow flowers.
Peperomia graveolens (ruby glow) – sprouts wine red color leaves, easy care, does not like the cold.
Peperomia glabella – Glossy gray-green leaves tapering to a point, on lax, thin stems. The variegated version sports a white border.
Peperomia Hope – hybrid between peperomia quadrifolia and peperomia deppeana. Its eye-catching appearance also makes it perfect for a window container or terrarium.
Peperomia pellucida is a shiny bush with fleshy, heart-shaped, glossy leaves and succulent stems that grow in damp, shaded, tropical habitats.
Peperomia pepperspot has a red-tinged stem, glossy, green leaves, ideal for small spaces. It makes an excellent specimen when planted as hanging baskets.
Peperomia prostrata – ‘String of Turtles’ – Tiniest trailer or creeper with thread-like stems stringing together perfect tiny blue button leaves, etched with a pattern of silver. This one may be reluctant to move about, takes a while to adjust to any new quarters.
Peperomia rubella – (Red Trailing Peperomia) Makes an attractive hanging basket.
Peperomia Ruby Cascade (Ruby Peperomia) is a small plant with reddish dark leaf vine-like trailing stems, rounded succulent shiny green leaves, pink flowers.
Peperomia quadrangularis – (Beetle Peperomia) Low creeper with dull bronze-green leaves indented with yellowish veins.
Peperomia trinervis is a creeper or trailer with small pointed leaves marked deeply with parallel veins.
The group known as Crinkle Leaf Peperomia