How to Grow Peperomia Caperata Red Luna Indoors & Outdoors

The Peperomia Caperata Red Luna is also called the Peperomia Luna Red or the Peperomia Red Luna. It is a hybrid of the Peperomia Caperata and inherits the plant’s beautiful rippled leaves.

The Peperomia Caperata Red Luna gets its name from its reddish purple colored foliage that’s not only unique but also very stunning in color.

Like other peperomia, it will not grow into a huge plant which makes it perfect for indoors including tabletops and counters.

The plant is native to the tropical forests of Brazil in South America.

How do you care for the Peperomia Caperata Red Luna? Its tropical nature makes it enjoy sunny, warm, humid weather. As such, supply it with bright indirect light to maintain its lovely colors. Avoid too much direct sunlight. Don’t overwater the plant since its roots are delicate and fragile. Use well-draining soil. Make sure you propagate this beautiful plant using its stem cuttings.

Peperomia Caperata Red Luna Plant Care

Peperomia Luna Red Light Requirements

The Peperomia Caperata Red Luna grows best in medium to bright indirect light. This is because it is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil.

Its relatively small size keeps it below the much larger trees which make up the forest canopy. Thus, the plant does not receive direct sunlight there.

Instead, it lives under the shade of the trunks, leaves and branches.

For this reason, an east and west facing windows are ideal for the plant. While it does like plenty of light and needs a well-lit spot to produce its amazing leaf colors, it cannot tolerate very strong or intense light.

As such, keep it away from too much direct sunlight.

This is also why if you want to keep the plant facing south, it is a good idea to place it about 3 feet or farther from the window.

I’ve tested keeping my Peperomia Caperata Red Luna against the wall which is about 13 feet from my south facing window and it had no problem with the light there.

If you prefer to keep the plant beside the window as part of your home’s décor, make sure to use sheer blinds or curtains to filter the stronger mid-day sun from the south.

In some cases, your home may not get a lot of natural light. Or you may prefer keeping the plant in a room with no windows since it looks better with the décor there.

If that’s the case, you can use artificial lights.

You can LED grow lights or fluorescent lights. I prefer the former because they give off more beneficial light for the plant. Additionally, while they cost quite a bit more than fluorescent, they don’t emit as much heat.

This keeps the plant safer from burning.

Finally, I do thing that because LED grow lights last 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting, this makes up for some of the cost as well.

 

Peperomia Luna Red Temperature

The Peperomia Caperata Red Luna prefers warm weather because it is used to tropical climates. And it enjoys staying in temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit the most.

Just as importantly, it is fond of consistently warm temperatures since the tropics pretty much has only one climate which is hot and hotter.

And while they do have rainy seasons, the sunny skies and warm weather always pops back up a day or two after the rains stop.

Therefore, the Peperomia Luna Red prefers these conditions, which is why it enjoys living indoors in homes.

Most homes have relatively moderate to slightly warm temperatures running between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, it stays generally consistent unless the weather changes dramatically like it does during summer and winter.

The one thing you do want to watch out for in terms of temperature is the cold.

The Peperomia Luna Red is not cold hardy, nor does it like cold weather. In fact, it has issues when the temperature drops under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, avoid these conditions.

This also means it is not a good idea to leave the plant outdoors during late fall and winter. Instead, bring it inside and place it somewhere cozy and warm.

The only exception here are USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 where the sun is up and it is warm even in November through March.

If you live in these areas, you can keep the Peperomia Luna Red outdoors all year round with no problems.

 

Humidity

Humidity is also important for the Red Luna Caperata Peperomia plant. Again, this has to do with its tropical origins. Thus, it prefers moderate to high humidity preferably at least 40% and above.

That said, I’ve tried keeping the plant in different humidity levels and have asked other fellow gardeners who’ve owned plant living in different parts of the country.

The consensus is, you’re unlikely to have humidity issues with this plant.

The only exceptions are the 3 lowest humidity states, which are New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. If you live in Utah or anywhere with a low humidity but not at low as these 3 locations, you won’t have issues with the Luna Red Peperomia.

Note that the 3 lowest humidity states are all desert states. Thus, they have dry air where humidity can run in the low 30s but often in the upper 20s.

Above these levels you should not have any issue with humidity as far as the Peperomia Caperata Red Luna goes.

Just in case you want to help it out anyways with humidity, you can mist the plant every 2 or 3 days. Don’t overdo this as very wet leaves can result in fungal infections.

I do think a humidifier is overkill at least for this plant due to its tolerance to lower humidity.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Peperomia Caperata Red Luna

The most important thing to watch out for when caring for the Peperomia Caperata Luna Red is watering.

The plant is sensitive to overwatering.

So, don’t water it like you would your other houseplants. Instead, allow it to dry a bit more.

That’s because the plant has a small root system. Additionally, it stores moisture in its fleshy leaves so it can tolerate periods of drought.

Too much water not only leads to leaf discoloration but also leaf loss and root rot. Therefore, it can kill the plant eventually.

So, always check the soil before you add water.

It is important that the soil has dried before you add water.

Here you have 3 options.

If you’re an aggressive waterer, wait at least until the top 2 inches of soil has dried before adding water.

For moderate watering, I prefer to wait until at least the top half of the soil is dry. You can wait until 75% of the soil from the top has dried before watering as well.

If you’re conservative, wait until the soil has completely dried out between watering.

All of these methods work.

The important thing is not to water before part of the soil has dried because it is harmful to your plant. Too wet is always a bad thing as overwatering is the #1 cause of houseplant death.

Of course, don’t leave the plant to go bone dry for 3-4 weeks as well. While it can tolerate dry period, there’s a limit to how much it can tolerate before it gets dehydrated.

 

Peperomia Caperata Red Luna Potting Soil

The Peperomia Luna Red needs loose, well-draining soil to thrive.

Avoid heavy soils that retain a lot of moisture. Also, stay away from dense or compacted soil as this will cause problems later on.

Similarly, don’t use very sandy soils since these tend to drain too much water too quickly leaving very little moisture for the roots to drink.

Instead, go with a well-draining soil that provides good aeration.

The good news is that it is easy to make the perfect soil for the Peperomia Luna Red. And there are many different combinations that work.

And at most you only need 2 or 3 ingredients for each of these recipes.

One good option is to combine:

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part perlite (or pumice)

If you happen to have succulent & cactus mix already at home, then use this instead:

  • 1 part succulent & cactus mix
  • 1 part potting soil

Or you can go with:

  • 1 part succulent & cactus mix
  • 1 part coco coir

The goal here is to have something that drains and allows the potting mix to be light while holding a bit of moisture as well.

If you want to amend the soil to add organic matter, you can always add compost or worm castings. This will let you go fertilizer free or reduce the amount of fertilizer you need to use.

 

Fertilizer

The Peperomia Red Luna appreciate fertilizer but only when it needs it. The most important thing here is to give the plant its nutrients and not so much to try and maximize its feeding.

In addition to supplying nutrients the other important thing is to avoid over fertilizing the plant.

Again, this is because the Peperomia Red Luna has delicate, fragile roots.

Too much fertilizer can easily damage its roots. As such, avoid feeding the plant too much or when it does not need it.

For optimal growth, use a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer.

Apply once a month when the plant is actively growing. This is during the warmer months of spring and summer. Stop feeding by early to mid fall. And don’t fertilize in winter.

Also, dilute the application by 50% each time. And never apply fertilizer when the soil is dry.

Both are good practice to avoid over fertilizing and the build up of salts and excess minerals in the soil.

 

Peperomia Luna Red Pruning

Like other peperomia plants, the Peperomia Red Luna is a small plant that reaches about 1.5 feet more or less. Usually, the biggest ones get to about 20 inches but that’s about it.

Although, its spread is pretty much the same with some variations depending on how bushy your plant is.

It usually takes 2 to 5 years before the plant reaches its maximum size.

That said, the most stunning part of the Peperomia Luna Red are the color and texture of its leaves. These have a rippled looks thanks to its parent the Peperomia Caperata.

At the same time it has a red-purple color with very dark, almost black veins.

The combination makes it very beautiful.

As such, you don’t really want to prune the plant to show off its leaves. And the only times you’ll want to prune are:

  • To encourage it to get bushier
  • When the plant gets too bushy or there are outliers that kind of mess up the shape of the plant
  • There are diseased, damaged or discolored leaves

Outside of these, very little pruning is needed which makes this plant very low maintenance in this regard.

 

 

How to Propagate Peperomia Caperata Red Luna

One of the best things about the Peperomia Luna Red is that it is very easy to propagate.

The most effective way to propagate the Peperomia Caperata Red Luna is by stem cuttings. This is likewise the most popular method because it is fast, easy and has high propagation success rates.

Best of all, you can do it for free at home.

Note that many home growers prefer leaf cuttings which also work. However, I’ve noticed it takes much longer to propagate, root and develop leaves compared to stem cuttings.

That said, since there are more leaves on the plant and you can divide the leaves in half when propagating, you can grow more plants at once using leaf cuttings without taking too much away from the parent.

Either way, both methods work really well. So, do what you have better success using.

On my end, I prefer stem cuttings.

And here’s how to propagate the Peperomia Caperata Red Luna from stem cuttings.

  • Begin by looking for a healthy stem with at least 2-3 leaves on it. Try to get a stem that’s between 3 to 6 inches so you can easily plant the stem in soil or submerge it in water. Avoid something too short.
  • You can pick one stem or multiple stems if you want to grow more new plants.
  • Before cutting, make sure to sterilize your cutting tool, be it a pair of scissors or pruning shears. You can use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Take the stem cuttings so you get enough stems.
  • Next, you can decide whether to propagate in water or in soil.

 

Propagating Peperomia Caperata Red Luna in Water

Once you have the stem cutting, you can place it in a glass of water.

  • Make sure that a good part of the stem is submerged but don’t dunk the entire stem into the liquid. Also, remove any leaves that end up in water since they will rot there.
  • Place the glass jar or container in bright, indirect light.
  • You’ll need to replace the water every 1-2 weeks or once it begins to get cloudy.

It takes only a week before you see some part of the roots grow.

But you’ll need to wait until 3-4 weeks before the roots reach about 2-4 inches before you want to move the cuttings.

Once they’re big enough, transfer the cuttings into potting mix.

 

Propagating Peperomia Caperata Red Luna in Soil

Besides propagating in water, you can plant the cuttings directly into soil. To do so:

  • Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone.
  • Then prepare a pot and fill it with potting mix.
  • Plant the cuttings into the soil with a good portion of the stem in the soil. Again, remove the leaves that end up in the soil but leave the upper leaves intact.
  • Water the soil. You’ll need to water it when it dries up. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not wet.
  • Leave the pot in a bright spot with no direct sun.

In about 4 weeks, the roots will get hold of the soil. You can test this by lightly pulling on the cuttings.

They should resist your tug which is a sign that they’re getting established in the soil.

Since the plant is already in soil, you don’t need to move it until it is time to repot.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Caperata Red Luna

The Peperomia Red Luna has a small, delicate root system.

As such, it does not outgrow its pot that quickly. And it usually takes 2-3 years before you need to repot it.

This means you want to wait until you see roots coming out from the bottom of the drainage holes before it needs repotting.

Thus, all you need to do is check the bottom of the pot every spring.

The reason is that spring is the best time to repot the plant. Therefore, if you find that the plant is root bound, then you can repot in the next few days once you have all the tools prepared.

As for tools, all you need is a pot that is 2 inches larger than the current one.

The Peperomia Caperata Luna Red will never need a large pot. So, just go up one size at a time. Additionally, prepare fresh, well-draining potting mix as well to replace the soil.

When unpotting the plant, be careful with its roots as these are fragile and easily damaged.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Peperomia Luna Red is not toxic. This makes it a pet-safe and child-safe plant to have indoors even if you have kids running around or curious pets that tend to eat stuff.

Of course, if they eat the plant, it does destroy the plant’s look. So, it is still a good idea to keep it out of reach even if it does not pose any toxicity risk.

 

Peperomia Luna Red Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Peperomia Caperata Red Luna is generally pest free. But this only holds true when the plant is healthy.

If the plant is sick, weak, in stress or shock, it becomes prone to pest attacks.

The most common bugs to come around are mealybugs, mites and aphids. All of which are sap suckers that will rob the plant of moisture and nutrients.

Worse, they grow quickly in number which means they can cause heavy damage to a small plant in no time.

Thus, regular inspection is essential.

And treat it for pests as soon as you spot any. You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests.

 

Diseases

The plant is likewise generally disease free.

But I’ve notice that a lot depends on mad-made intervention. That’s because the plant can experience disease and infections when there’s excess moisture.

And this depends on how you water, how much you water and when you water the plant.

As a result, root rot and leaf infections are the most common problems.

Both are caused by excess moisture either in the soil or the leaves. So, by controlling these and allowing the plant to dry more, you can avoid diseases altogether.

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