Want to learn how to propagate peperomia plants? You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll be going through all the details you need to know about propagating peperomia at home. It is easy, free and you don’t need any special equipment.
This allows you to grow more of the beautiful plant you have without having to buy seeds or get a new plant from the store.
I’ll go through the different propagation methods you can use and discuss them step by step. Also, you’ll know exactly what to do after you’re propagated your peperomia so it will grow into a beautiful mature plant.
How to Propagate Peperomia
Peperomia are one of the easiest plants to propagate. You don’t need to bother about nodes and you can grow new plants from stem or leaf cuttings.
That said, it is worth noting that if you’re dealing with a variegated peperomia (it does not matter what variety as long as it is a variegated form) make sure to use stem propagation.
This is the only way to ensure that your new plants inherit the variegations.
Leaf cuttings are not a good idea to use for these plants as I’ve noticed that the new plants that grow from leaf cuttings won’t inherit the lovely variegations.
When propagating by stem cuttings, you can likewise choose between rooting them in water or soil. Both methods work and have high success rates. They both also retain the variegations.
So, feel free to choose either method.
The other thing to consider when propagating peperomia is that there are many different varieties. However, they all do well with stem or leaf cuttings.
Things You’ll Need
When it comes to propagating peperomia, preparation is very important. This way, you already have everything you need before you begin.
Here are some of the things I like to prepare before any propagating peperomia plants.
- A clean space to work – if you go with water propagation, you don’t have to worry about making a mess. At least not unless you spill the water. But if you propagate in soil or transplant the cuttings from water to soil, then make sure you have a potting bench, table or space that can get soil all around. If you want to use the floor, make sure to place old newspaper there first to make it easy to clean.
- Try to time your propagation – I’ll discuss this more below. But the best time to propagate peperomia is between spring and early summer.
- Stem or leaf cutting – decide whether you’re going to use stem propagation or leaf propagation.
- Cutting tool – all you need is a sharp pair of scissors. Although if you have them, you can use pruning shears as well. Make sure to sterilize the blade with rubbing alcohol before making any cut.
- Water or soil propagation – if you decide to go with stem cuttings, choose between water or soil propagation. If you root the cuttings in water, you’ll only need soil later on after the roots have grown. If you go with leaf propagation or choose the root stem cuttings in soil, you’ll need to have the right kind of potting mix on hand. I’ll discuss more below.
- Potting soil and containers – if you go with water propagation have a good glass container to put the cuttings. If you’re going to propagate in soil, be ready with enough potting mix and pots.
- Select the stems or leaves to propagate – finally, the last step to decide which stems or leaves you want to cut to propagate.
When is the Best Time to Propagate Peperomia?
The best time to propagate peperomia is early spring to early summer. That’s because the plant’s growing season happens during this time. As such this allows the new plant to grow faster.
This means it will be able to root (from cuttings) sooner as well.
The presence of the sunlight and warm temperature also help as these make the environment friendly for the plant to grow especially during its initial states.
Best of all, the earlier during the growing season you propagate, the more time the new plant will have (to grow) before the cold weather arrives (and growth will slow down).
That said, you can technically propagate the plant any time of the year. However, if you do so in winter, it is a good idea to have a warm, cozy spot with enough light (like artificial grow lights for example) to help the plant out.
If where you live has tropical climate where the weather is generally warm and sunny during December through March, then you can easily propagate your peperomia any time of the year without any issues.
What Kind of Rooting Mix (Potting Mix) for Peperomia Propagation?
Before you begin propagating your peperomia plant, one of the things you’ll want to prepare or at least have on hand is potting mix. This way, if you decide on propagating peperomia in soil, you don’t have to stop everything in the middle of the process to get potting soil ingredients from the nursery.
The easiest potting mix or rooting mix for peperomia propagation you can use is
- 50% Peat Moss
- 50% Perlite
This will hold enough moisture to keep the new plant happy and healthy while making sure that it gets sufficient drainage as well.
Best of all, using the 2 ingredients makes it very cheap to make. It is also more affordable than buying store-bought mixes.
Make sure you have enough soil for each new plant you want to propagate. You won’t need as much if you only propagate one stem cutting. But, if you want to propagate a batch of stem cuttings, you’ll need more soil.
Additionally, it is a good idea to have the corresponding number of pots as well. Again, this will depend on how many new plants you want to grow.
The most important thing with choosing a pot is that it has drainage holes at the bottom.
How Long Does Peperomia Take to Propagate?
It takes around a month for the first sign of roots, and longer for leaves to grow. This is three months of growth in this photo.
In general, it takes about one month for the roots to develop. Although this can vary depending on whether you propagate the stem cuttings in water, sphagnum moss or soil.
Additionally, how much light, humidity. and the kind of temperature the cuttings receive will affect how quickly or slowly they grow.
So, the rooting process can vary from as quickly as 3 to 6 weeks in most cases.
It is also worth nothing that stem propagation is the fastest way. And although leaf cuttings are more convenient to do, from experience, it takes leaf cuttings a bit longer than stem cuttings to root.
The same is true when developing shoots and producing leaves.
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Ways to Propagate Peperomia
Once your peperomia plant is mature, it can be propagated.
As mentioned above, there is an ideal time when to propagate peperomia.
Finally, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll be propagating peperomia via stem or leaf cuttings. I’ll go through each of the methods in detail below.
How to Propagate Peperomia Through Stem Cuttings
To propagate peperomia from stem cuttings:
- Pick out one or more healthy stems. You’re looking for stems with at least 2-3 leaves on them. And, try to get something that’s about 3 to 6 inches long to make it easy to place in water or soil.
- Once you’ve chosen the stem or stems, take the cuttings by snipping the stems.
- Remove the lower leaves as they’ll only end up in the soil. You want to exposure enough stem to bury into the potting mix.
- Leave about 2 or more leaves higher up on the stem. They will help with growth (via photosynthesis).
- Dip the cut end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone.
- Next, fill the new pot with the soil mix. Don’t over pack it that its gets very compact.
- Make a hole with your finger in the soil and bury part of the stem into the soil.
- Water the soil until moist. Avoid getting it soggy or wet.
- Over the next month, make sure to keep the soil moist by watering regularly.
- Place the pot in warm, bright spot with no direct sun. Ideally, it should be a humid location as well.
- If there is not enough humidity, you can use a plastic bag with small holes and cover the new plant. This will increase humidity by trapping it. However, make sure to remove the bag every so often to let fresh air in. This prevents too much trapped moisture.
- In about a week, new roots will start coming out. But you’ll need to wait a bit longer.
- It takes about 4 weeks for new roots to grab hold of the soil.
How to Propagate Peperomia in Water
If you decide to propagate via stem cuttings but prefer to root the cuttings in water, here’s how to do it.
- Follow the same steps above until you have the cutting.
- You don’t need to use rooting hormone since they’ll be lost once the cutting hits the water.
- Once you have the cutting, place it in a glass container filled with water so the stem is submerged. Don’t submerge the entre cutting, just the bottom stem will do. Let the leaves stay above the water.
- When rooting in water, you can watch as the new white roots develop.
- In about 3-4 weeks, the roots will get to about 1-2 inches long. By this time, you can transfer them into soil.
- Use the same potting mix I mentioned above. And carefully plant the roots into the soil mix.
How to Propagate Peperomia Through Leaf Cuttings
Besides stem cuttings, you can likewise propagate peperomia from leaf cuttings.
This is practical with varieties that don’t have overly small leaves. It is much harder to do leaf cuttings with tiny foliage.
In those cases, I recommend stem propagation instead.
So, here’s how to propagate peperomia using leaf cuttings.
- Again, start by looking for healthy leaves.
- Cut the leaves right at the joint where the petiole meets the stem. You want to take the entire leaf for the cutting.
- Next dip the leaf in rooting hormone. The goal here is to get some hormone on the edges (margins) of the leaf.
- Use a skewer or small stick to make a sliver or hole in the soil. then insert the edge of the leaf in the soil. You can face the leaf upwards so the tip points to the sky. For larger leaves, you can likewise cut them in half and plant them with the middle into the soil.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag. This increases humidity.
- Arrange the leaves so that there are many leaves in the same pot. You can also use a growing tray and line up the leaves that way. Make sure there’s some space between the leaves.
- Once you’ve placed the leaves in the soil, leave the pot in a bright spot with no direct sunlight. ideally it has moderate to warm temperature.
- You can move the leaves to their individual pots once they’ve developed roots.
Is It Better to Propagate Peperomia in Water or Soil?
Water propagation is the most popular way to propagate peperomia. In part, it is because the process allows you to watch and monitor the roots as they grow.
Another reason why propagate peperomia in water is commonly done is because the process is simple, easy to do and clean. You don’t have to mess with soil.
Instead, you just place the stem cuttings in a glass container and allow them to root from there.
In addition to being able to see the roots develop and its cleanliness, there are also result-based reasons that water propagation is the preferred method.
- It is faster – that is, the roots develop much quicker in water than they do soil
- Higher propagation success rates – while soil propagation has a very high success rate, rooting your peperomia is even higher. That said, a lot of this depends on how much experience you have and how proficient you are at each of the methods.
The only downside to propagating in water is at some point in the future, you’ll need to move the plant to soil. This is an extra step. And you have to do it correctly because there’s also a risk of failure during transfer.
Why Are My Peperomia Cuttings Not Rooting / Propagating?
In other plants like philodendron or monstera, the most common reason why the cutting is not rooting or propagating is usually there are no nodes.
However, that’s not a problem with peperomia as the plant is one of the easiest to root. In fact, you can almost use any part of the plant to propagate it. And no nodes are needed to do this.
So instead, the most common reason why peperomia cuttings are not rooting is because of too much moisture.
This can either be from over misting, too much moisture (if you cover the pot with a plastic bag), overwatering or saturated/wet soil.
Since the plant roots quite easily, cuttings that are not propagating usually means there’s something it the environment you need to modify. Often this is moisture related, be it humidity or moisture in the growing media.
Peperomia Propagation: Transplanting After Roots Grow
Once roots grow (and new leaves develop), you can transfer the peperomia cuttings into their own pots. You can move one or a few cuttings to individual container depending on how bushy you want that new plant to get.
Note that the transplanting process is very important. And the roots can get damaged in the process because they are still very fragile. This can ruin a well-rotted new plant.
Therefore, be careful and take your time when transplanting new plants to their individual pots after their roots grow.
- Make sure that each of the pots you use have drainage holes.
- Also, have enough well-draining potting mix to fill all the pots.
- Keep the new plants in a warm location with good lighting (non-direct sunlight) and humidity.
- But avoid too much moisture as this can cause mold to develop.
How to Care for Your New Peperomia Post Propagation
Now that you have your new plant, it is time to care for it and allow it to grow.
In general, caring for a propagated plant is just the same as caring for a peperomia plant you got from the store.
The only difference is that you’re staring out with a much smaller plant (in most cases). Some shops will sell you newly propagated plants as well in 2 to 4 inch pots as well.
These are the main things to consider.
- Light – peperomia plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some low light as well but will grow faster and produce more leaves in well-lit locations. However, avoid very strong, intense light as well as direct sun. You can likewise use artificial grow lights if you don’t get much natural light in your home.
- Temperature – peperomias are tropical plants. And its preferred climate is between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate warmer weather as well. However, it is sensitive to the cold. Therefore, avoid leaving it in places where temperature drops to under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Humidity – peperomia prefer humid conditions. But is has no problem with regular household humidity. Thus, unless you live in the desert regions of Arizona or Nevada, you won’t have to worry about humidity.
- Watering – allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. A good level is around 50% of the soil. Thus, wait until the soil is dry about halfway before you add water.
- Soil/Potting Mix – use well-draining potting mix. The plant does not like wet feet.
- Fertilizer – for optimum growth, feed your peperomia once a month during spring and summer. Use a regular houseplant fertilizer or a balanced plant food diluted to half strength.
Propagating peperomia plants is a good, free way to grow more of them at home. They’re very easy to propagate because they root quite well in water and soil.
Because the plant responds very well to propagation, it is a great species to start with for beginners trying to learn how to grow more plants.