Growing Peperomia Verticillata: How To Care For Red Log Peperomia

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Peperomia verticillata (pep-er-ROH-mee-uh ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh) is an evergreen, semi-succulent tropical perennial plant that comes from Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

This member of the Piperaceae family of plants’ genus name, Peperomia, means “like pepper” in Greek.

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The specific epithet, verticillata , refers to the whorling growth habit of the leaves.

You may hear this plant referred to by a number of common names, such as:

  • Whorled Peperomia
  • Belly Button Plant
  • Double Duty Plant
  • Red Log Plant
  • Baby Rubber Plant

Red Log Peperomia Verticillata Care

Size and Growth

Red Log Plant typically grows to a maximum height and spread of about a foot; however, it can have a rather sprawling, leggy growth habit because its plump, succulent leaves are quite heavy and may cause the plant to tumble over the sides of its pot.

Flowering and Fragrance

Like most Peperomia, Red Log Plant is more cherished for its foliage than for its flowers. 

In the springtime, the plant may produce numerous thin, leggy, unscented greenish-white spikes. These are its flowers.

Peperomia verticillata may add a bit of architectural interest, but if you don’t like them, you can just pinch them off without harming the plant.


Peperomia verticillata produces plump, pretty, oval, cup-shaped leaves in a particularly attractive shade of dusty olive green. 

The undersides of the green leaves and the plant’s stems are a deep shade of burgundy. The leaves and the stems are slightly fuzzy.

Light and Preferred Temperatures

Whorled Peperomia does best in a setting with lots of bright, indirect light. 

Place it a foot or more away from a south or west-facing window sill for best results. Just ensure it receives enough indirect bright sunlight daily.

Take care not to allow direct sunlight to fall on its leaves, which will cause leaf scorching. 

Turn the Baby Rubber Plant every day or two to prevent uneven growth and leggy stems, and ensure all its leaves receive plenty of bright light. This will also ensure you have a balanced plant all around.

Indoors, the south and west-facing windows work well for your Red Log Peperomia, ensuring it’s away from direct sunlight while allowing sufficient sunlight.

Double Duty Peperomia can also thrive with ample artificial light. Either grow lights or fluorescent lighting will do.

This tropical plant likes consistently warm temperatures and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures in moderately warm environments. 

However, it is best to aim for temperatures below 65° degrees Fahrenheit and above 80° degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember that extreme temperature fluctuations can cause immense damage to your red log plant.

Watering and Feeding

Peperomia verticillata does well with a consistent soak-and-dry watering schedule.

One way to find if it’s finally time to water is when the soil is dry to the touch or when it crumbles in your fingers. If you’re having difficulty, opt for a moisture meter instead.

Water thoroughly, allowing the water to run through the potting soil and out the pots’ drainage holes. Water thoroughly again when the top couple of inches of potting mix feels dry.

Never allow your plant to stand in water, as this will lead to root rot. Also, avoid directly watering the leaves to prevent mushy leaves.

These plants are typically happy with standard household humidity levels. If the air in your home is quite dry, consider using a pebble tray or a humidifier. 

Very low humidity levels will cause dry, curling, or crispy leaves. If your plant also lacks nutrients, you will notice yellowed leaves.

During the spring and summer months, fertilize your Peperomia verticillata once every two-plus weeks with a half-strength dose of balanced (20-20-20) houseplant liquid fertilizer.

You can also use a good-quality water-soluble fertilizer or diluted to half-strength balanced fertilizer. However, do not fertilize at all during the autumn and winter months.

Soil and Transplanting

Double Duty Plant prefers light, well-draining soil or fertile soil well-amended with organic matter.

A commercially prepared succulent soil mix is a good start, but incorporating some perlite and organic compost should make it even lighter and airier. Your plant will do well if you have a well-draining soil mix.

Ensure that you avoid loose, free-draining soil or soggy soil, as it can cause common problems like dropping leaves.

Soggy soil or waterlogged soil will also cause discolored and wilted leaves, common signs of root rot.

You won’t need to repot this slow-growing plant often. Once every couple of years should be fine. You may wish to gently remove the top couple of inches of soil annually in the spring and replace it with fresh soil.

These plants like to be a bit root bound. When you do repot, choose a breathable, well-draining pot one size larger than the pot in which the plant currently resides. 

Terra Cotta is always an excellent choice, as it wicks and allows excess water to evaporate out of the soil.

Grooming and Maintenance

Early in the springtime, perform an overall pruning to shape your Peperomia verticillata and encourage compact, bushy new growth.

Throughout the growing season, pinch back stem tips to promote bushier growth and prevent sprawling and straggling. Remove dead or damaged yellow leaves and stems as needed.

At the end of the growing season, prune again. Remove about a quarter of the plant’s foliage. This will help it conserve energy through the winter months. You can use the cuttings to grow new plants.

Moreover, ensure to keep your red log plant away from drafts of air from heaters and air conditions. Cold draughts can lead to leaf drops because of sudden temperature drops.

How To Propagate Red Log Peperomia Verticillata

You can propagate your Peperomia verticillata with healthy stem cuttings after pruning, or you can divide the plant when you repot.

You can also propagate this plant using leaf cuttings.

Red Log Peperomia Verticillata Main Pest Or Diseases

Excessive watering will cause problems with root rot and other fungal diseases in your Peperomia verticillata. Soggy soil attracts fungus gnats.

Plants that are weakened by improper care are subject to infestation by common houseplant pests such as mealybugs, shore flies and various sorts of mites.

To avoid these problems, be sure to provide consistent soak and dry watering, good air circulation, and the right amount of bright, indirect sunlight.

You can also apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate pests. A copper fungicide will also work for treating and preventing rotting.

Completely removing and discarding the infected plants will also help stop the spread of disease to healthy plants.

Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?

Like all of its many cousins, Red Log Peperomia is completely non-toxic.

Is the plant considered invasive?

This rather finicky Peperomia plant is not invasive.

Suggested Red Log Peperomia Verticillata Uses

Whorled Peperomia is an excellent compact plant for a setting with limited space. It can’t also be beaten as a tabletop, desktop, or bookshelf plant.

Its compact growth habit, attractive, unusual appearance, and ability to thrive in environments with consistently warm temperatures and plenty of bright, artificial light make it a great office plant, especially for indoor plant owners.

Its slow-growth habit and love of consistently warm, humid, well-regulated conditions make Peperomia verticillata plant an ideal choice for terrarium keepers.

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