The Peperomia Columella is small but unique looking plant with beautiful leaves. It looks very much like a succulent because of its foliage.
But keep it in mind that it is a peperomia.
So, when taking care of it, make sure you don’t give it the same sunlight or water requirements which could cause problems for the plant.
The Peperomia Columella is native to South America which makes it partial to warm, sunny environments.
How do you care for Peperomia Columella? The plant prefers medium to bright, indirect or filtered light. Keep it away from strong, direct sunlight which can scorch its leaves.
Warm, humid conditions are ideal. And while the plant enjoys moist soil, it is prone to overwatering and root rot. So, always let the soil partially dry between waterings.
Peperomia Columella Plant Care
The Peperomia Columella will grow best in medium to bright indirect light indoors. Outdoors, keep it in partial shade for best results.
The plant generally does well in most lighting conditions.
However, some are better than others. That’s because the plant thrives when there’s plenty of light.
Ideally, it enjoys natural light from the sun. And it will be happies with indirect or filtered light.
Avoid very strong, intense direct sunlight as this will scorch its foliage. Even if it does not burn the leaves, they will get discolored.
As such, try to avoid leaving it near a south facing window between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Similarly, while low light will work, I find that the plant does not grow as well. And its leaves don’t look as vibrant.
So, if you don’t get enough natural light in your home, artificial lighting is definitely a good idea. This will let you keep the plant anywhere you want.
For best results, an east or west facing window works very well. You can likewise go with a northeast location if you wish.
All of these will let the plant grow optimally and produce beautiful foliage.
The Peperomia Columella is used to tropical conditions. A such, it prefers moderate to warm temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This makes it a perfect fit for indoor growing as most homes enjoy similar temperatures.
However, you still want to be wary about sudden fluctuations as well as cold spots.
Areas with air conditioners, heaters, fireplaces and radiators are no-no’s. Also, keep it away from ovens, stoves and similar appliances.
Open doors and windows where cold drafts along with spots where nighttime temperature can suddenly drop significantly are places to avoid as well.
The Peperomia Columella has more cold tolerance than many other peperomia varieties. And it can tolerate down to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit or so.
This means that it is not a good idea to leave it outdoors during winter. Instead, take it back indoors once the weather gets colder during the latter part of the year.
Outdoors, the Peperomia Columella loves USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because of the perpetual sunshine and warm climate.
If you live in these regions, you can keep the plant outdoors all year round with no problems.
But anywhere colder, make sure to bring it back indoors and keep it warm through the winter.
The Peperomia Columella thrives when humidity is kept between 60% and 90%.
One of the good things about peperomias, at least from my experience, is that they can tolerate regular room humidity in most places.
The only exceptions are desert or desert-like locations where humidity tends to averages in the high 20s or in the low 30s.
These include areas like Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.
In these locations, the plant will likely need some help with humidity since the air is too dry.
But elsewhere, it is less of a problem.
As long as there’s enough humidity in the air, you don’t need to do anything special.
But if it gets too low, then you can get a humidifier or mist the plant a few times a week.
You can also group it with other plants or place it on a pebble tray.
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How Often to Water Peperomia Columella
The Peperomia Columella needs moderate watering. Like other peperomia species, you want to be very careful with water.
That’s because overwatering is their one major weakness.
This means that you don’t want to water too frequently. It does not take a lot of excess moisture to get the plant into trouble.
In fact, if you water it like regular houseplants, it will likely end up with root rot sooner or later.
So, it is best to allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Avoid letting the entire root ball go completely dry. Instead, water when the top half of the soil has dried. This is the safest way to water the plant and avoid overwatering as well as letting it get underwatered.
If you’re an aggressive waterer, you can start watering when the top 2 inches of soil has dried. But avoid doing so before that.
On average the plant will need more regular watering during the warmer months. But scale back during the winter months as the cold weather and lack of sunshine will make the soil stay wet longer.
Peperomia Columella Potting Soil
The Peperomia Columella needs well-draining potting soil with pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The plant does best in soil that drains excess moisture well.
This helps prevent overwatering and root rot to which the plant is susceptible to.
You can make this soil yourself at home with a few simple ingredients. Just mix:
- Potting soil
- Orchid bark
The potting soil helps retain some moisture to keep the roots hydrated. Meanwhile, the bark and charcoal both increase drainage as well as aerate the soil.
Compost gives you the nutrients for the plant to grow faster.
You can use a cactus soil as well if you wish.
Or any of these combinations will work if you prefer a more minimalist approach.
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part perlite
- 1 part potting soil with 1 art coco coir
Avoid using heavy soils, anything dense, compact or water retentive. All of these will hold too much moisture that will make the roots sit in water for long periods of time.
This puts them at risk of root rot.
The other thing to remember is to use a pot with drainage.
Make sure there are holes at the bottom of your container to let the excess moisture drip out.
The Peperomia Columella does not need fertilizer. So, you can go without feeding it and it will do well.
That said, if you want it to grow optimally, a little fertilizer also goes a long way.
The caveat here is not to overfertilize the plant.
This is easy to do because of its minimal fertilizer requirements. Doing so can result in fertilizer burn that will damage the roots of the plant, which are small and delicate).
You can use a balanced fertilizer diluted by 50% the suggested strength. Only apply during spring and summer once a month.
Stop feeding the plant early fall.
And only restart once the warm weather of spring comes around again next growing season.
Like other peperomia varieties, the Peperomia Columella is a small plant.
It grows up to around 15 to 20 inches at most. And it can spread to about the same width as well.
The plant has unique looking leaves which is what makes it lovely to look at.
And you’ll only need to prune it to shape the plant.
Besides appearance, there’s no need for pruning since it won’t grow too big and the leaves are uniquely beautiful as well.
How to Propagate Peperomia Columella
Peperomia Columella propagation is quite easy. That’s because the plant responds well to stem cuttings. It also roots quite well.
Here’s how to propagate the Peperomia Columella via stem cuttings.
Before you start, you’ll will need a new (small) pot and fresh, well-draining soil. It is also a good idea to sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol. You can use a pair or scissors or pruning sheards.
The best time to propagate is during spring.
This will give the new plant an entire growing season to develop before the cold weather arrives.
Once ready, choose a healthy stem with leaves.
- Using your cutting tool, take a 3-4 inch stem cutting.
- Then plant the cutting into a pot with well-draining potting soil. You can use your finger to dig a small hole in the middle and plant the cutting there.
- Water the soil and keep it moist. But never overwater it.
- Leave the pot in bright, indirect light with good humidity and warm temperature.
It will take a few weeks for the cuttings to root. And it will take closer to a month before the roots will grab hold of the soil with its new roots.
Similarly, you can propagate in water.
Water propagation is another option to propagating in soil. The difference is that you’ll be adding a step.
Instead of planting the cutting in soil, you’ll place it in water. You can use any kind of container. Although, a glass jar or test tube works great. This will let you see the roots as they grow.
Insert the cutting in water. But don’t submerge the entire stem, just a part of it.
Leave the jar in bright, indirect light with good humidity.
In about 3 or so weeks, you should see enough roots growing. Wait until the roots are about 1 to 2 inches long then move the cuttings from water into a pot filled with well-draining soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Columella
The Peperomia Columella does not need regular repotting. It can take between 2 to 3 years before it needs to be repot.
And you only need to do so when the plant has outgrown its container.
The plant has small, delicate roots. And it will never need a large container due to its size.
However, once you see rots poking out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes, it means the plant is ready to move to the next larger size container.
The best time to propagate is spring.
And be careful when unpotting and repotting the Peperomia Columella since the roots can easily get damaged during the process.
Use well-draining soil and replace the old spent soil as well.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Peperomia Columella is not toxic to people, cats and dogs. This makes it safe to keep the plant on tabletops, countertops or even shelves if you wish.
However, it is still not a good idea to let young kids or pets eat part of the leaves since they can choke or end up vomiting later on.
Peperomia Columella Problems & Troubleshooting
The Peperomia Columella is fairly resistant to pests. But it can get bugs just like most other houseplants.
The most common pests to attack the plant include mealybugs, mites, thrips, scale and fungus gnats.
Bringing the plant home from the nursery or taking in inside from the yard are usually the main reasons for pest problems.
So, always debug the plant before bringing them in from the outdoors or anywhere else.
The Peperomia Columella does not get diseases for the most part.
But it is quite susceptible to root rot from overwatering. It is actually easy for this to happen so you want to be extra careful about watering it.
Always make sure to allow part of the soil to dry between waterings.
Use well-draining soil and a pot with good drainage.
Together, this will help prevent overwatering and root rot.