Peperomia Ferreyrae Care – Growing Pincushion Peperomia (Happy Bean Peperomia)

Peperomia Ferreyrae

The Peperomia ferreyrae goes by many names. These include Pincushion peperomia, Happy Bean Peperomia, Happy Bean succulent and Happy Bean Plant to name a few.

It is a lovely foliage plant that looks very different from other peperomia species despite coming from the same genus. It has longer, narrower leaves that are distinctively separate from one another. And, the kind of like a very miniature tree from afar.

In contrast, most peperomia have show leaves that are more traditionally shaped.

However, many of its traits, including its care are similar.

The Peperomia ferreyrae is a semi-succulent. It features beautiful fleshy leaves capable of storing moisture. Thus, making it easier to care for especially if you’re quite busy. This also allows it to tolerate neglect.

Hailing from the rainforests of South America, it is a tropical plant that’s used to warm, humid conditions.

They are short and compact in nature, not reaching a foot tall and less than a foot in width, often on the smaller side.

These features make it a lovely houseplant to grow on tabletops, shelves as décor for living rooms and other indoor spaces.

 

Peperomia Ferreyrae Plant Care

Pincushion Peperomia Light Requirements

Your Peperomia ferreyrae prefers bright, indirect light. And, although it will tolerate a little bit of direct sunlight, it won’t be able to take more than 2 or 3 hours a day of it without experiencing scorched leaves.

As such, it is a good idea to keep the plant away from the sun’s rays whether you’re growing it indoors or outdoors.

If you do keep it outside and don’t have a good spot that provides shade like trees, pergola or the side of your house, you can use a shade cloth. This is something many garden centers use to protect plants that cannot tolerate long hours or direct sunlight.

You can pick one or a few up at your local nursery.

Indoors, the south and western exposures can likewise be problematic due to the amount of direct afternoon sun they get.

So, you have 3 options here.

  • Avoid these spots if possible
  • Keep the plant a few feet from the window
  • Set up sheer curtains, drapes or other fabrics that will partially block the sun to filter its rays

The best option would be an east facing window because it gets long hours of sunlight and most of it in the form of gentle morning sun.

Another option is a north facing window. Although, you’ll need to experiment on this because the amount of light can vary quite a bit here depending on whether you live in the northern or southern part of the country.

The lower half states like Florida and California receive more light. And the opposite is true for the norther states.

Plus, those in the lower half don’t experience snow or at most a little bit only. The top half sees heavy snowfall. As such, the sun becomes a huge factor come fall and winter.

Too little light is not good for your Peperomia ferreyrae. It will slow growth, affect foliage development and color negatively.

That’s because the plant produces its own food via photosynthesis which uses light from the sun or artificial means to create energy.

Thus, in this case, you’ll need to use grow lights or fluorescent lights.

The good news is, the pincushion peperomia doesn’t mint low light as long as it is not too dim or dark.

 

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Pincushion Peperomia Temperature

Because of its tropical nature, your Peperomia ferreyrae does best in moderate temperature. It can likewise tolerate warm to hot conditions. But, is less inclined to survive in cold and freezing environments.

For optimum growth, keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. It won’t mind going up all the way to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But, the farther off you go from the sweet spot the more differences you’ll notice in growth.

Things like how fast it grows and the color of its leaves are among the most obvious.

I don’t recommend leaving it where temperatures hit 95 degrees or higher. Because above that point, it will begin to experience stress. And, this gets worse at it nears and reaches 100 degrees.

The problem with stress is that it not only affects the plant’s growth and appearance, it also makes it prone to pests and diseases.

More importantly, you should always be aware of how cold it is in your home and the room the plant is in. Avoid any cold spots.

It will not tolerate temperature under 50 degrees. And in the 40s, you’ll see it struggle and begin to experience damage as the temp drops.

The plant is hardy to zones 9 to 11. Thus, it won’t get through the winter in areas where there’s snow.

 

Peperomia Happy Bean Humidity

Humidity is another important factor in taking care of your pincushion peperomia.

The good news is like temperature it is well suited for household conditions. This allows it to grow without you having to make larges adjustments to your home or lifestyle.

At least in most cases.

The reason is the plant’s tropical nature makes it prefer high humidity. This means it does better when humidity runs between 50% to as high as even 90%.

But, it has no problem growing well (without harm) when humidity is between 40% to 50%, which is what most homes have.

However, if you live in a dry area this may be a problem. It can also be an issue if you experience very hot summers or cold winters. Both have very dry air.

The best way to tell how you home and room’s humidity levels are in different situations is to get a digital hygrometer. These devices measure relative humidity and instantly give you the level in any space in your home.

If you find that the humidity it to low, you can mist your plants 2 or 3 times a week. Similarly, grouping them together also works. Or you can place them on a water tray.

If all else does not work, a humidifier will get the job done.

 

How Often to Water Peperomia Ferreyrae

Your Peperomia ferreyrae is a semi-succulent. That is, it has features similar to succulents. More specifically, its leaves are able to store water.

This characteristic makes it easier to care for the plant since you can miss watering every so often without harming it. its ability to store moisture lets it go for longer periods of dryness.

However, this also makes it more prone to overwatering.

Since it has some water in storage, giving it too much by way of watering will overwhelm it.

The bad part about this is it can lead to a host of problems. The worst of which is root rot.

Because of this, watering is the most challenging part of caring for your pincushion peperomia.

And, due to the changing weather, you’ll need to water more often in the summer when the weather is hot and there’s more evaporation.

On the other hand, winter is colder and the plant is not actively growing. Thus, it is essential to cut back on watering because the soil takes longer to dry.

The most important thing about watering your peperomia happy bean is to avoid overwatering by all means.

This means checking the soil (always!) before watering. You can do so by sticking your finger into the soil. And, only water when the soil is dry at least the top 2 inches.

You can wait a little longer than that as well since your leeway goes all the way until about 50% of the soil going dry.

But, don’t water if the top 2 inches still fells moist.

If you can’t tell by hand, don’t worry. It takes a bit of practice and experience. In the meantime, I suggest getting a moisture meter. You can stick this into the soil to test for moisture level.

And, it will tell you how much water there is. This way, you can precisely tell when and when not to water.

 

Soil for Peperomia Ferreyrae

Due to the risk of overwatering, soil becomes more important than just a medium or source of nutrient for your Peperomia ferreyrae. It needs to be loose, airy and well-draining.

The first characteristics will allow enough oxygen (and water) to easily penetrate through the soil to get to the roots.

The latter ensures that any excess moisture is easily drained out so your pincushion peperomia does not end up sitting in water for long periods of time.

This, together with getting a container with drainage holes reduces the risk of overwatering even on days where you accidentally water too much.

As such, you have a few options to get the soil your peperomia happy bean needs.

  • Option 1: If you already have regular houseplant potting mix. A good way to use this and not spend extra money is to add perlite or sand to it. Both are designed to improve drainage.
  • Option 2: if you prefer making you own potting mix. Get a bowl and mix 2 parts peat with 1 part perlite or sand.

I’ve found that adding compost also helps a lot.

 

Pincushion Peperomia Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizer, you only need to feed your Pincushion Peperomia when it is actively growing. This is during the spring and summer. There’s no need to apply fertilizer in the fall and winter as the plant winds down and rests.

Use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during the spring and summer. You can likewise be a little more aggressive if you feel that the plant is not growing as much as it should.

It this is the case, up the feeding to once every 2 weeks in the spring and once a month in the summer.

But, avoid overfeeding as it harms your happy bean peperomia more than it will help.

 

Pruning Peperomia Happy Bean

One of the biggest advantages of growing a happy bean succulent is that it is low maintenance. Additionally, it is easy to care for and beautiful as well.

This is the case when it comes to pruning. You don’t need to prune it.

But, you may if you wish especially if you’re specific about the shape or form you want it to take.

Otherwise, it does not really need to be pruned outside of getting bigger than you’d want it or removing any dead or discolored leaves.

 

Peperomia Ferreyrae Propagation

You can propagate Pincushion Peperomia from stem or leaf cuttings. Both are fairly easy to do although stem cuttings grow faster. But, if you want to grow more than one new plant, you may not have enough stems to prune without leaving your plant bare.

As such, leaf cutting is a good alternative in that situation.

 

To propagate Peperomia ferreyrae via stem cuttings:

  • Stem cuttings involve taking healthy stems and replanting them separately. Over time, they’ll grow into their own plant.
  • Start by cutting a stem or stems that are 2 to 4 inches long. You want healthy looking stems with at least 2 or 3 leaves on it.
  • Cut each stem (depending on how many you want to propagate) under a leaf node using a sterile pair of pruning shears.
  • Take off the lower leaves as they’ll get planted in the soil or water (if you grow the plant in water). Leave the top leaves.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem cuttings into rooting hormone powder to speed up the rooting process.
  • Next, prepare a small container and fill it with fresh potting mix that’s well-draining (see the Soil Section above).
  • Plant the stem cuttings then water the soil to keep it moist.
  • Place the pot in a warm spot that’s well lit (no direct sunlight).
  • It is also a good idea to cover the plant with a plastic bag (poke some holes into it for air to enter). This will increase humidity which helps the plant’s initial growth.
  • It will take about 3 weeks for the cuttings to grow roots.
  • And, from there, it will slowly produce shoots then leaves in the coming months.
  • As it grows, you can move the plant/s to bigger containers.

 

To propagate Peperomia ferreyrae via leaf cuttings:

Leaf cuttings are easy because you only need to take leaves from the plant.

  • Begin by cutting a leaf or leaves where the petiole meets the stem. This gives the leaves something to stand on. You can take one leaf or many if you want to grow more than one plant.
  • Next, dip the end of each leaf (the petiole side) into rooting hormone powder. This will speed up the rooting process.
  • Then plant the leaves by sticking them upright so they stand with the tip facing the ceiling. If the don’t stand, the leaf is probably too big so just cut it to reduce its size.
  • You want to plant the leaf cuttings quite quickly. If possible get everything done within 1 or 2 hours after cutting it from the plant.
  • Next cover the container with the leaf cuttings using a plastic bag. Punch some small holes in the plastic so air can get in. This will prevent rotting.
  • To keep the plastic from flattening out into the cuttings, you can use sticks to stake it up.
  • Water the soil to keep it moist. You can remove the plastic when you water then cover again after.
  • After a month or so, the leaf cuttings will root and then slowly grow from there.
  • As they get bigger, you can repot them. Although I find it a good idea to wait until they get bigger so there’s no hurry do to this.

 

How to Repot Peperomia Ferreyrae

Repotting is another feature that makes your Peperomia ferreyrae low maintenance. You don’t need to repot until it is needed.

That means just leaving it on its own to grow until you start seeing roots appear out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

This is a sign that it is becoming root bound.

The best time to repot is during the spring and early summer.

Do note that repotting does shock the plant. As such, it takes about 2 weeks or so to recover after you transfer it.

This is also why it is important not to repot when the weather is very cold or hot because this adds to the stress.

When repotting, move up one pot size only. This means a maximum of 2 inches bigger in diameter, nothing more. In doing so, you avoid an extra risk of overwatering which happens with pots that hold too much soil relative the to the volume of the roots system.

Because you won’t be repotting every year, it is a good idea to refresh the top soil annually. This improves drainage and also adds nutrients.

 

Toxicity

The Pincushion Peperomia is not toxic. It is safe to keep around children.

Although, I still recommend looking over your kids so they don’t eat any part of the plant. The plant itself is not edible. And, some parts can be choking hazards.

Thus, while not poisonous, it can still cause swallowing or gagging problems.

 

Peperomia Happy Bean Pests and Diseases

Peperomia ferreyrae are generally resilient to pests and diseases. This along with their low pruning and repotting requirements make them easy to care for and maintain.

It is likewise important to make sure it gets the proper care because the healthier your plant is, the less likely pests will attack or infest it.

That said, you do need to watch out for mealybugs and spider mites. Both are easily taken care of with insecticidal soap or neem oil if they don’t turn into infestations.

They’ll take much longer to treat the bigger the pest problem is.

On the other hand, disease are another potential problem. But, one you can completely avoid.

That’s because water, more specifically, moisture is often the root cause of many of the disease issues that can hound the happy bean plant.

Thus, a few things are important to consider.

  • Avoid overwatering
  • Watch out for cold weather. The colder the climate, the longer it takes soil to dry. Sudden temperature drops can likewise catch you off guard.
  • Keep the plant away from cold drafts, including vents, air conditioners and open windows or doors

Its preference for high humidity makes it more prone to water problems which can lead to issues like root rot, leaf spot and fungal infections.

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