The Owl Eye Peperomia features beautiful waxy green leaves that have a heart shape. They also have a distinctive “white eye” in the middle.
Some people mistaken this plant for the Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)), which has similar looking foliage. However, the two are different plants from different genera.
The Owl Eye Peperomia is a native of South America, particularly Peru and Colombia.
How do you care for the Owl Eye Peperomia? Keep the plant in a warm, humid location with bright, indirect light. It is susceptible to overwatering so you want to let the soil dry before you add more water.
This is an easy plant to care for and can be propagated from stem and leaf cuttings.
Owl Eye Peperomia Plant Care
The Owl Eye Peperomia enjoys bright, indirect light. It will likewise be happy in medium light and semi-shaded areas. However, avoid direct sunlight.
The plant is not accustomed to taking the brunt of the sun’s rays. As such, leaving it under direct sun for more than 1-2 hours a day will eventually discolor its leaves and may even scorch them.
As such, it is better to go with indirect, filtered, dappled or diffused light.
Alternatively, this peperomia will also do well in medium and low light.
However, you need to monitor it with the latter since there’s a point where it will get too little light.
Insufficient light is never good for any houseplant because it hinders its photosynthesis process. As a result, the plant will grow slower and produce fewer leaves. Not to mention get weaker as well.
And it a desperate measure to try and get more light, it will reach or bend towards the light source. This is why it becomes leggy in dim areas.
So, if you don’t get enough natural light indoors, you can also use artificial lights.
The Owl Eye Peperomia does very well under fluorescent lights which makes it easy to care for indoors.
The Owl Eye Peperomia is a tropical plant. And it prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
For this reason, it will happily grow indoors, be it in homes or offices.
The reason is that most indoors spaces maintain temperatures within this range. That’s because this is what we humans feel most comfortable.
Similarly, the plant will grow well outdoors if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11.
In these regions, there is perpetual sunshine and no cold winters. Instead, the weather is more or less consistent throughout the year. with sunny skies and warm climate dominating.
This makes it perfect for the plant.
And in these zones you can keep the Owl Eye Peperomia in a pot outdoors or plant it in the ground in your garden.
However, the opposite is true for cold weather.
This peperomia is not cold hardy. And it cannot tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, avoid leaving it outdoors during winter. Instead, bring it inside once the weather gets colder around fall.
The Owl Eye Peperomia generally does not have a problem with humidity because it stores moisture in its leaves. Thus, it does not mind the drier air found in many homes.
This makes it easier to grow indoors because it will happily do well even if you don’t have ideal humidity.
That said, if you want to see the plant grow its best, look for a more humid location.
This plant prefers moderate to high humidity between 40% to 70%. Here, it will grow the fastest and produce more, lush leaves.
As such, if you have low humidity in your home, you can take the time to mist the plant a few times a week to increase the humidity around it.
If you don’t have the time or have a busy schedule that may cause you miss misting every now and then, a better option would be to use a pebble tray.
This way, you only fill the water when the tray gets depleted.
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How Often to Water Owl Eye Peperomia
The Owl Eye Peperomia does not require a lot of water. Again, this is due to its semi-succulent nature.
Since its leaves store moisture, it can go longer than other plants without water. This allows it to tolerate drought or dry periods as well.
But because it stores water internally, you have to be careful in giving it too much.
Adding more water to the soil when the plant still has moisture stores can eventually lead to overwatering.
For this reason, is it very important to allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Wait until the top 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch then add water. Avoid doing so before then.
The plant will also not have a problem if you decide to wait a little longer and allow half the soil to dry before you water it.
The roots will still have moist soil. And you further reduce the risk of overwatering.
When adding water, it is best to do so thoroughly.
This means soaking the entire root ball. Then allowing the excess moisture to drain completely. Doing so will allow the roots to get all the water that they need. But soon after the excess moisture drains out.
Thus, leaving you with moist soil.
Owl Eye Peperomia Potting Soil
The Owl Eye Peperomia needs well-draining soil that is loose and airy.
Good drainage is very important given that the plant is susceptible to overwatering. Therefore, you want to avoid heavy soils and those that tend to hold a lot of water.
This will cause waterlogging, which will leave the roots sitting in water.
When this happens, the roots are not able to breathe. And if this situation lasts for too long, they will suffocate and rot.
This is when the plant starts getting root rot.
As such, well-draining soil is not only important for allowing he plant to get the moisture it needs but also quickly drain excess water to prevent waterlogging.
This is why is it not a good idea to use standard houseplant potting soil on its own for this plant. It will retain too much moisture.
Instead, use a combination of:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part perlite
You can likewise go with:
- 1 part peat moss or coco coir
- 1 part perlite
In the two soil recipes, the peat moss, coco coir and potting soil all help with moisture retention to keep the plant hydrated. But you also need to add perlite to quickly get rid of excess moisture so the soil does not end up getting waterlogged.
The Owl Eye Peperomia is a light feeder. But it does need fertilizer to grow at its best.
So, it is a good idea to supplement it with nutrients.
That said, you fertilizer is not necessary for this plant. It will do okay without it.
However, you will notice a difference in the growth rate, number of leaves it produces and the quality of the leaves as well.
for this reason, I suggest using fertilizer.
the simplest way to go about this is to use slow-release fertilizer. You can apply it at the start of the plant’s growing season.
These come in tablet/capsule form that you spread out of over the soil. In time, they will each break and release the nutrients at different intervals. This way, there is a constant, gradual flow of nutrients to the soil over the span of weeks and months.
On the other hand, you can likewise go with liquid fertilizer.
Here, choose a balanced formulation and apply once a month during the plants’ growing season. Dilute it to half strength to avoid over concentration.
The Owl Eye Peperomia has a slow growth rate. Although, it will generally grow bigger than most peperomia varieties.
It typically reaches 12 to 16 inches high compared to most peperomia which reach between 8 to 12 inches for the most part.
That said, the plant is low maintenance and does not require much pruning.
You can prune it to encourage it to get more bushy if you want. But overall, the plant does not get messy or untidy when it gets bigger.
It is also worth noting that it does produce flowers at times.
Although, these blooms are insignificant, so most growers will prune them to allow the plant to focus all its energy and resources on the healthy and new foliage.
How to Propagate Owl Eye Peperomia
The two most common methods to propagate the Owl Eye Peperomia are from stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.
Both work very well. Although, stem cuttings do root faster and eventually will produce shoots and leaves sooner as well
That aid, leaf cuttings allow you to grow many new plants at the same time in one pot.
Stem cuttings is easily done by taking a healthy stem with at least 2-3 leaves on it. Try to get a stem that is at least 4-6 inches long so there’s enough of it to plant into soil.
Prepare a small pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
Plant the stem cutting into the soil making sure that a good portion of the stem (but not the entire thing) is buried. Remove any leaves that end up in the soil but keep the upper leaves.
Place the pot in a well-lit location with no direct sunlight.
Water the soil as needed to keep it moist. But avoid getting the soil wet.
In about 4 weeks, the cutting will root. It will take another few weeks to months for it to grow leaves.
Leaf cuttings are likely easy to do. And the process is similar to stem cuttings.
However, you will want to take a few extra leaves because not all the cuttings will propagate successfully.
Remove the leaves along with their petioles.
Alternatively, you can also use half leaves. Here, just take the leaves without their petioles. Then cut the leaf if half.
The nest step is to dip the leaf cuttings in rooting hormone.
Then plant the leaf cuttings in the soil. For whole leaves, bury the entire petiole into the soil and a small part of the leaf as well.
For the half leaves, buy them on the cut side down into the soil. But don’t bury the entire leaf.
Arrange the leaf cuttings in the pot so that there is space between them.
Water the soil and leave the pot in bright, indirect light.
Leaf cuttings take about 4-8 weeks to root.
How to Repot or Transplant Owl Eye Peperomia
The Owl Eye Peperomia does not require frequent repotting.
You will only need to do so once every 2 or 3 years. This is due to its slow growth and small root system.
As such, there’s no need to move it to a larger pot or transplant it annually.
In fact, the plant prefers being left in a tight container. It actually grows best in that condition.
However, it is not a good idea either to just let it stay there for too long. Once the roots get overcrowded, the plant will get stressed. It will likewise not get sufficient water or nutrients from the soi.
So, when you see quite a few roots coming out from the holes at the bottom of the pot, be ready to repot.
Wait until spring or early summer to do so as this is the best time to propagate it.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No. The Owl Eye Peperomia is non-toxic making it a safe houseplant for pet owners. Therefore, you can place it anywhere in your home even you have your cat or dog running around playing.
Owl Eye Peperomia Problems & Troubleshooting
The most common pests the Owl Eye Peperomia encounters are mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and scale. These are all sap sucking insects who feed on the plant’s succulent-like leaves.
As such, it is very important to catch them early since they rapidly grow in number.
The larger the pest population is, the more damage they incur because they rob the plant of more of its internal juices.
This means that regular inspection is an important part of good plant care.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap spray to get rid of the pests.
Root rot is a threat for Owl Eye Peperomia plants because of its susceptibility to overwatering.
Therefore, it is very important to be mindful of watering when it comes to this plant.
Make sure to wait until the soil dries before adding more water. Also, use well-draining potting and a pot with drainage.