The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is also called the Variegated Peperomia Caperata. It is the variegated version of the Peperomia Caperata.
As such, you’ll see that the two plants are very similar.
However, the biggest difference is that the Peperomia Caperata Variegata has variegated leaves.
It features the same rippled heart-shaped leaves but this time, they have multiple colors and varying patterns which make them different from the solid green foliage of the Peperomia Caperata.
That said, the plant is a slow grower that won’t get too big.
It is native to Brazil which is why it enjoys tropical conditions.
How do your care for the Peperomia Caperata Variegata? Due to is variegated leaves, keep the plant in a well-lit location with no direct sunlight.
This will allow it to maintain the different colors of its leaves. Avoid low light as it increases the risk of the leaves reverting back to solid green.
Also, keep it away from direct sun as this will burn its leaves.
The other important thing is to make sure never to overwater the plant. It is prone to root rot. So, keep the soil on the dry side.
Peperomia Caperata Variegata Plant Care
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is best kept in bright indirect light if you want it to maintain its lovely variegations.
Although, the plant does well in medium and low light as well.
Note that there’s a difference between what the plant can tolerate and what happens to the leaves.
One example here is low light.
While the Peperomia Caperata Variegata will be okay in low light, don’t expect its leaves to look as vibrant and colorful as they would if it receives plenty of light.
As such, there’s a difference between the plant’s overall health and what it can take compared to how the leaves will look.
So, as far as survival goes, low, medium and bright light all work for the Peperomia Caperata Variegata. However, if you want its leaves to look their best, medium or bright indirect light is ideal.
I try to avoid lower light as the plant’s variegations will become more green.
In lack of light, you also put it at risk of reverting back into all-green leaves. That’s not something you want.
And once that happens, there’s no returning to its former beautiful variegated form.
This is why if you see any leaves start turning solid green, prune them off. Then move the plant to a brighter location.
The goal is to stop this from spreading and affecting other leaves.
The other aspect of light you need to be aware of is that the Peperomia Caperata Variegata cannot withstand too much direct sunlight.
Anything kind of light that is too intense or very strong will damage the plant’s leaves.
Again, the plant itself will be able to tolerate the stronger light. And it will survive. But its lovely leaves will fade in color.
In excess light, you will even see foliage scorch and turn brown after a while.
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is a tropical plant that is used to warm weather. In fact, it thrives when the condition stays consistently moderate to warm.
This is why it grows very well indoors. And it is easy to care for as a houseplant.
Ideally, the plant enjoys average room temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, for the most part, you don’t have to do anything in your home or adjust the thermostat to keep the Peperomia Caperata Variegata happy.
However, it is a good idea to watch out for very hot summers and cold winters.
Try to keep the plant away from very hot rooms with no ventilation during the peak of summer. While it can tolerate temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems, it can easily get dehydrated if left in this condition for long periods of time.
On the other hand, it is even more important to be careful during winters.
The plant does not like temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, try to avoid leaving it in cold areas of your home during the winter. This is also one reason that some online stores will ship the plant with a heat pack if you order between November and March.
This helps keep the plant warm and healthy.
Outdoors, avoid winter and freezing temperature at all costs. The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is not frost hardy.
And it will not be able to survive the winter season if left outdoors.
But if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, you’ll have the liberty to keep the plant outdoors all year round. That’s because the weather stays relatively sunny and moderate even during the colder months of the year.
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata likes moderate to high humidity. Try to keep humidity between 40% and 50% as much as possible.
It also won’t have problems with higher humidity as well.
But there’s really no need to take extra measures if you don’t naturally have this kind of humidity where you live.
I only mention this because many growers like keeping the plant in terrariums.
This environment is perfect for it because of its size as well as the humidity it can maintain. But if you prefer to keep it in your room, tabletop or shelf, then there’s no need to push up humidity.
The plant’s humidity preference is influenced by its native habitat which the rainforests of tropical South America.
This is why it enjoys moisture in the air.
But from my experience and talking with other gardeners, the Peperomia Caperata Variegata will do well in almost any state.
The only exceptions where you need to be monitor the plant is if you live in desert cities like those in New Mexico, Arizona or Nevada.
Beyond that, the plant will be happy with room humidity.
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How Often to Water Peperomia Caperata Variegata
Water is by far the most important thing when caring for the Peperomia Caperata Variegata.
That’s because this is where I’ve seen beginners have the most issues, myself included.
My number one mistake with the plant along with my initial peperomias was I watered them like I did my other houseplants.
That was a big mistake.
And it cost me several peperomia species initially.
While that was a harsh lesson, it taught me to be very careful when it comes to watering the plant.
The key is to keep it on the dry side as much as possible. Many growers and online resources will tell you to keep the soil moist.
And that works too.
The problem is it is very easy to cross the line from moist soil to too much water. And with peperomia plants, that’s a big problem.
The plant is very prone to overwatering and root rot.
Therefore, make sure that if you keep soil moist, it is barely moist. Never let the soil be soggy, mucky or wet. Those are bad signs.
And in terms of when to water the plant, wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water.
This is very important.
Never water before this level feels completely dry to the touch.
You can water later as well without any issues since the Peperomia Caperata Variegata is drought tolerant. Thus, it can tolerate periods of dryness without harm.
During winter, when the weather is colder and soil takes much longer to dry, wait until the top half of the soil dries between waterings.
Doing these simple precautions will allow you to avoid overwatering the plant and potentially root rot.
Peperomia Caperata Variegata Potting Soil
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata needs well-draining soil due to its higher risk of overwatering and root rot.
This means that in addition to allowing soil to dry between waterings, it is also very important to use soil that’s free draining.
Once you water the plant, the moisture goes into the soil.
So, what happens next depends a lot on what kind of soil you use for the plant.
If the soil is well-draining, it will hold some moisture and keep the roots hydrated. But at the same time, it will quickly drain excess liquid to keep the roots ending up in too much liquid.
On the other hand, if you use heavy soil, most of the liquid is retained by the soil mix.
So, even if you water the Peperomia Caperata Variegata correctly, the soil will cause the roots to stay in too much water for extended periods of time.
As a result, they will suffocate because they don’t get enough oxygen (due to being drowned in water).
If this persists, the roots will eventually die then rot.
This is why the kind of soil you choose is very important when it comes to watering the plant.
It will either help or hinder your watering efforts.
With the Peperomia Caperata Variegata, you can use a number of different potting mix recipes. Here’s a very simple one that uses few ingredients. And it works very well for the plant.
- 3 parts peat moss
- 2 parts perlite
In short 60% peat moss and 40% perlite. This will give you soil that retains enough moisture to sustain the roots but at the same time, good drainage from the perlite to get rid of excess liquid.
If you prefer to use potting soil instead of peat moss, here’s another potting mix that works.
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part coco coir
You can also go with:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part orchid bark
Don’t forget to use a pot with drainage holes.
This is crucial for peperomia plants.
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata will grow faster and produce more leaves if you feed it. Although, you can also get away without giving it plant food if you’re on a budget.
However, do note that while the plant will survive and do well without fertilizer, it will not grow as fast or as bushy as one that’s fed with plant food.
So, if you compare a fertilized and unfertilized plant after a year or so, the difference is significant.
Use a balanced water-soluble fertilizer during the spring and summer. Dilute the application by 50% each time. And a monthly feeding works very well.
Avoid overfertilizing the plant since it has small, delicate roots.
As such, it is easy to damage the roots from the excess salts from the commercial fertilizer produces.
You don’t need to feed the plant during autumn and winter when its growth slows and the plant rests.
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is a small plant that will get to about 8 to 10 or so inches in size.
This makes it perfect for homes and offices.
And you can display several different peperomia species on a shelf, countertop or table thanks to their small size.
This is why they’re such popular plants.
Because of its small size, pruning is minimal. You may want to prune some leaves if the plant gets a bit too bushy for your liking.
But for the most part, you’ll likely be pruning the stems and leaves that are outliers and go their own direction away from all the other foliage.
Don’t forget to remove old, discolored, damaged or diseased leaves as well.
How to Propagate Peperomia Caperata Variegata
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata, along with just about every other peperomia species, is easy to propagate.
It roots very well. And you have many different options.
The most popular propagation method is from leaf cuttings. Here, you can propagate the entire leaf or cut it in half then propagate each of the leaf halves.
Each of these will grow into new Peperomia Caperata Variegata plants.
So, if you want to propagate many at the same time, half leaf cuttings are a great way to go.
Stem cuttings are my favorite.
While you can only propagate one new plant per stem cutting, I like that it will root much faster than leaf cuttings. Yes, I’m not a patient person.
Additionally, it will produce shoots and leaves sooner as well.
With stem cuttings, you also have the option to propagate in water (water propagation) or to directly plant the cutting in soil (soil propagation).
The more popular method is water propagation.
I favor soil propagation. Again, it is faster than water propagation. And there’s no need to move the cutting later on.
That said, most growers like water propagation because it allows you to see the roots as they develop. This is why they use transparent containers.
Of course, you can also propagate the Peperomia Caperata Variegata via division.
Here, you’ll separate the mother plant into 2 or more smaller plants. In most cases, you won’t split it up to too many since the Peperomia Caperata Variegata is not very large to start with.
Propagating Peperomia Caperata Variegata from Stem Cuttings
To propagate the Peperomia Caperata Variegata from stem cuttings,
- Take a healthy stem cutting. Try to get something a bit longer since the plant does have very long stems.
- The length of the cutting will make it easier to dip the stem in water or plant it into soil, depending on how you decide to root the new plant.
- Remove the lower leaves to reveal more nodes.
- Next, plant the cutting into a pot with well-draining soil.
- Place the pot with the cutting in bright, indirect light. And water the soil to keep it moist. Avoid overwatering the soil.
As I mentioned, you can propagate the stem cutting in water as well.
If you decide to do this, place the cutting into a small glass or transparent container with water.
It will take 2-3 weeks for the roots to grow. Wait for the roots to reach at least 1-2 inches long then move them to a pot with soil mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Caperata Variegata
Don’t repot the Peperomia Caperata Variegata often. It does not like being moved often.
Instead, the plant likes being somewhat root bound.
The other thing is that the plant has a small, fragile root system.
Therefore, frequently transplanting or moving increases the risk of damaging these delicate roots.
This is why when you do repot, it is very important to be careful when unpotting the plant as well as when placing it into its new container.
On average, the Peperomia Caperata Variegata only needs repotting every 2-3 years.
However, wait until the roots starting poking out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Once you see this, it means get ready to repot the plant. And the best time to do so is during spring.
The plant will never need a large container. So, just move up one size each time you repot. Also, have enough fresh, well-draining potting soil ready to replace the spent soil.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is considered non-toxic to dogs, cats and even humans. This makes it a great houseplant to have indoors.
And you can display or keep in on tables, counters, shelves or anywhere else around the house without fear that it poses a poison risk to your children or pets.
Peperomia Caperata Variegata Problems & Troubleshooting
The Peperomia Caperata Variegata is not susceptible to pests. But that does not mean that you’ll never have to deal with any bug problem through the lifespan of the plant.
That’s because houseplant pests are part of caring for them.
For the most parts, pests come with the plant when you bring it home from the store or take it indoors from the garden or yard.
This is why debugging all your houseplants before taking them inside your home is essential.
While it takes extra work and time, it saves you from a lot of trouble later on.
With the Peperomia Caperata Variegata, mealybugs, mites, thrips, scales and fungus gnats are the most common pests that bother the plant.
Due to its propensity to overwatering and root rot, these are the two things you need to watch out for when caring for the plant.
The good news is that they are completely preventable because they are in your hands.
Overwatering is solely based on how often you water the plant. Therefore, waiting until part of the soil has dried between waterings lets you avoid this.
When you’re not sure, don’t add water.
Also, consider other causes of root rot and overwatering.
These include drainage.
Make sure the soil is well-draining enough to get rid of excess moisture. And use a pot with sufficient drainage holes to let any excess liquid get out.