Cupid Peperomia is known as the Peperomia scandens ‘variegata’. As you can guess, it is a variegated houseplant.
And its beautiful heart-shaped leaves’ color patterns that make it stunning to look at. Unfortunately, the plant is hard to find. So, if you get the opportunity to get your hands on this rare plant, you should take it.
It is a trailing plant that features green foliage with cream variegations on its borders This makes it stunning to look at especially when allowed to get bushy and drape down from a hanging container.
The small, patterned leaves provide a lot of color and character making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor plant display.
Cupid Peperomia are native to tropical regions specifically the Caribbean, Mexico and certain areas in Central America.
Their natural habitat is clinging onto larger trees in the forest. Thus, while they look delicate they are actually quite robust and resilient. And, they are easy to care for with low maintenance requirements.
Cupid Peperomia Plant Care
The Cupid Peperomia grows best in bright, indirect light. This stems from its natural habitat in the forests of Central America where it is found hanging onto taller trees.
Because of its placement, it gets a good amount of sunlight but not direct light as the trees’ branches and leaves block some of the sun.
As such, it has evolved to growing under dappled sunlight.
This means at home, it enjoys indirect, dappled or filtered light from the sun. It will likewise take medium light to some shade happily.
If you don’t have a bright window, you’ll be glad to know it does not mind low light conditions as well or fluorescent lighting.
However, there is a limit to this. If the light is too low or dim, you’ll begin noticing its growth slow. Also, it will gradually lose its cream colored variegations. The lower the light, the more solid green its leaves will become.
That’s because the green sections are those that can absorb sunlight and also function in the photosynthesis process. Thus, when there isn’t enough light, the plant will adjust to increase the green sections of its leaves to get as much light as possible.
On the other hand, be careful with too much direct sunlight. While it can tolerate a couple hours or so of this from gentle morning sun, it cannot take long hours or exposure to intense direct sunlight like that in the afternoons. This will burn its leaves and bleach their color.
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Cupid Peperomia does well in indoor conditions. As long as temperature stays withing 55 degrees to 80 degrees it will be happy. Although, it grows best between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This makes it easy for the plant to adapt to household conditions. And, you don’t need to do anything special to maintain its health as far as climate goes.
That said, you do want to avoid drafts and breezes which the plant does not appreciate. This means keeping it away from heaters, vents, air conditions, open doors and windows.
You also want to avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as the plant does not like the cold.
It cannot tolerate frost or freezing conditions. So, it is not a good idea to leave it outside through the winter if you experience snow in your area. It won’t be able to survive this.
Similarly, the plant enjoys humid conditions. Ideally, it wants humidity to run between 60% to over 90%. However, because its leaves store moisture it is able to tolerate lower humidity as well.
This makes it easily adapt to regular household humidity (40% to 50%). And, it will also be able to take a bit below that. But, I do suggest misting the plant 2 to 3 times a week if humidity in your home or room gets in the 30s. This will help the plant grow well.
When misting be careful not to wet the leaves too much. Excess moisture or wetness that does not dry soon after puts the plant at risk of fungal infections.
Thus, a good way to avoid this is to give it enough sunlight and air circulation. Both will help any excess moisture dry faster.
Watering Cupid Peperomia
Cupid Peperomia are succulent-like plants. While they’re not exactly succulents, they do have fleshy stems and leaves that store water.
This makes them low maintenance and more forgiving in case you forget to water.
However, this characteristic along with its shallow root system makes it sensitive to overwatering.
Too much water and watering too often are the most common issues with this plant. So, you want to be mindful of that. Otherwise, you’ll see it experience falling leaves. Or its stem and foliage will change color for the worse.
And, the best way to do this is to allow the soil to dry a bit more before you water.
Ideally, wait until the topsoil is dry at 2 or more inches in depth. This often means watering every 7 to 14 days. Although I recommend testing the soil first with your finger for wetness at this depth before each watering.
Another option is to use a moisture meter which you can stick in the soil to tell you how much water there is.
In the winter as the temperature gets colder, cut back on watering and allow the
Soil for Cupid Peperomia
To help reduce the risk of waterlogged soil, it is important to use a well-draining potting mix. Adding compost also helps.
This will allow excess moisture to drain quickly to avoid letting the roots sit in water. If that happens, they run the risk of developing root rot.
Additionally, you want to ensure that the pot you use has drainage holes at the bottom. This will allow the liquid drained by the soil to flow out of the container and not just pool in the bottom half of the pot.
I recommend using equal parts of peat moss and perlite. The combination will allow the mixture to hold enough water for the plant to absorb while getting rid of any excess to avoid oversaturation.
Your Cupid Peperomia is a light feeder. It does not need a lot of plant food to grow optimally. This is good news for you as the grower since it saves you money and reduces the amount of feeding you have to do.
All it needs it once a month feeding during the spring and summer. Doing so will help it grow faster and produce more vibrant looking foliage.
You can use a balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer or a slow release one. Both work very well, albeit they are applied very differently. The latter only needs to be done 3 times a year as it will gradually release the dosage over timed intervals.
There is not need to feed the plant during fall and winter as it will be taking a breather from its growth phase during these times.
Cupid Peperomia grows to between 2 to 3 feet long and will expand sidewards as it gets more bushy. This is a trailing plant so its stems and leaves will eventually overflow on the sides of the container and cascade downwards.
In a container this will mean sprawling around the table while in a hanging basket it will drape downwards.
While pruning is not necessary, you’ll likely want to trim it to keep it the shape you desire. Some people prefer a more compact look, others want it to look more like an upright plant thana trailing one and some let it trail all the way down.
This is really up to you and where you want to keep it.
As such, how much you trim it will depend on placement as well as how neat you want it to look.
Cupid Peperomia Propagation
Cupid Peperomia are hard to find. Thus, it is a good thing they are easy to propagate. And, if you have one, you should do so in order to have a few in your collection in case something happens to one.
I’ve found that stem cutting is the best way to propagate this plant because it allows it to retain its beautiful variegations.
Since you’re growing a clone of the parent plant, you’ll be able to preserve that same look. This is not always the case with all propagation methods.
Note that you can propagate the plant in soil or in water. Both are very effective and it really is up to you which one you prefer or are more successful at.
The only difference between the two methods is that growing the plant in water adds an extra step of rooting the stem cutting in water before moving it to soil later on.
Here’s how to propagate Cupid Peperomia through stem cutting.
- Take a healthy stem or stems (depending on how many you want to grow). Pick stems that have at least 2 to 3 leaves and that are 3 to 5 inches long.
- Remove the lower leaves of the stem as they will end up under the soil or submerged in water.
- Dip the cut end into rooting hormone which helps speed up the process of growing new roots.
- Next, prepare a small container and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
- Plant the stem cutting into the soil.
- Then water the soil until moist. Be careful not to overwater it which makes the soil soggy.
- Cover the plant with plastic to increase humidity. This will improve growth during the initial stages.
- Place the plant in bright, indirect light.
- In about 3 or so weeks, it will grow roots.
From there, you can keep caring for it like mentioned above. During its early stages, you’ll need to repot more often as it experiences fast growth. You also want to watch over it more as it is more delicate before it matures.
How to Repot Cupid Peperomia
Repotting your Cupid Peperomia is an infrequent task. You’ll only need to do so every 3 to 5 years depending on how fast it grows. This in turn will depend on the amount of sunlight, food and water it receives. The better care it gets, the faster it will grow.
That said, there are two special instances when you may need to repot sooner than later. These are:
- If it is wilting and it won’t recover no matter what you tried
- It has experienced overwatering and you want to help the roots recover
Giving it a fresh home with fresh, dry soil will allow the plant to reset and recover.
Since the plant does not have a large root system, you don’t need a large container. And, you only want to go up 1 to 2 inches wider in pot size.
Also, prepare fresh potting mix when repotting.
Cupid Peperomia is safe for both humans and animals. It does not pose an skin allergy or irritation risk, nor is it toxic if eaten. However, that’s not the say that the plant is meant to be ingested. The shape of the leaves and the fibrous stems are not conducive for cats, dogs or young children to consume which can result in them throwing up later on.
Pests and Diseases
Cupid Peperomia don’t experience a lot of pests or diseases provided it is given proper care. Giving it the living conditions it needs (as listed above) not only keeps it healthy but also away from stress.
Stress and shock are two things that weaken your plant. The will negatively affect its growth and foliage. Plus, make it more susceptible to pests and diseases.
In these conditions, you’ll probably see spider mites, mealybugs and fungus gnats come visiting.
Unfortunately, these are not welcomed guests as they a re there to suck the sap of your plant robbing it of important nutrients crucial for its growth.
Thus, you want to regular inspect the plant to spot these critters or the damage they do early in order to quickly treat them.
Similarly, diseases are potential problems. But in this case, the cause often stems from too much water. Overwatering can cause root rot, leaf spot and fungal infection to name a few. Thus, being mindful of watering and erring on the side of less water is always better for this plant.