The Peperomia Frost is a beautiful foliage plant that belongs to the Piperaceae family. It is called by a few other names including silver frost peperomia, Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’, silver peperomia and rost peperomia.
All if its names refer to the unique appearance of its leaves.
These are dark green in color with what looks like a layer of white frost over them. You also have thick veins which as similar to that of a watermelon peperomia.
The plant is quite small in stature compared to many other houseplants. It grows up to 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Although, you’ll also see many between 6 to 8 inches high only.
Its size, low maintenance and easy care make it a popular houseplant.
And, because it hails from South America and Mexico, it is accustomed to tropical conditions which makes it well-suited for most home environments.
Peperomia Frost Plant Care
Peperomia Frost Light Requirements
The Peperomia Frost thrives on bright, indirect light. It can tolerate medium and low light. But, with the latter you may want to observe how the plant responds.
Beyond a certain light threshold, the plant’s growth will start to slow down. It will also produce fewer and smaller leaves.
If this should happen, move it to a brighter spot.
In general, I’ve found that low light plants generally will find the lighting sufficient if you can open up a newspaper in that spot and read the content text. That often means there’s enough light to keep them happy.
It’s ability to tolerate different lighting conditions makes it an easy to care for indoor plant.
On the other hand, avoid direct light. Leaving the plant exposed to direct sun, especially for more than a couple of hours a day or when the sun is intense will cause its leaves to scorch.
As such, indoors, an east facing window is ideal. Here, your Peperomia Frost will receive enough sunlight. And, it will be okay with the gentle morning sun’s rays.
If you decide to keep it in the west or south, having sheer curtains or blinds will help filter the harsher sunlight.
Outdoors, make sure the keep the plant protected from direct sunlight. This can be more challenging since there are no walls and ceilings to block its rays. As such, bright shade and partial shade are ideal.
Your Peperomia Frost is native to South America and Mexico. As such, it is accustomed to warm weather and no winters. This means that it is important to give it similar living conditions to get the most out of its beautiful leaves.
When t comes to temperature, the plant’s sweet spot is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It will likewise do well in environments that are a bit hotter and slightly colder than this.
But, avoid temperatures below 50 degrees. The plant won’t be able to tolerate the cold beyond this point. If you leave in these conditions its growth will slow and completely stop as the mercury drops.
And, past 40 degrees, it will sustain cold damage.
Instead, the ideal places for its are USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. The weather in these regions are perfect for it such that it can grow outdoors all year round.
If you live below zone 10, it is a good idea to keep the plant indoors during the colder months. You can take it outside in spring once it gets warm and threat of frost is gone.
As fall arrives, it is likewise a good idea to take it back inside as the temperature nears 50 degrees. Make sure you debug the plant before doing so to avoid bringing in any pests with it.
Peperomia Frost are quite easy to care for indoors because they’re amenable to household conditions. One example is humidity.
In its native rainforest habitat, the plant is used to humidity over 90%. But, it can tolerate humidity of 40% and 50% making it well-suited to most homes
This is in part due to its succulent-like leaves. In general, when it comes to your peperomias, the thicker the leaves, the most it is able to tolerate lower humidity.
So, as long as your home isn’t somewhere where the air is dry, it will be fine.
Although, during the summer when the weather gets hot, it will benefit from extra misting or being placed over a pebble water tray. Both will increase air moisture to keep the plant happy.
How Often to Water
Your Peperomia Frost has thick, succulent-like leaves, which store water. This allows it to tolerate dry periods. It also makes it more susceptible to overwatering.
As such, you want to stay on the drier side to be safe.
This means watering only when the top 50% of the soil goes dry. Doing so prevents you from watering too often or adding more water before the most of the soil has dried, which can result in waterlogging.
The worst thing the plant can experience is sitting in water. This will increase its risk of root rot.
When you water, it is likewise best to water thoroughly.
To do so, water until the soil is saturated. This means that it begins to drip from the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
Then, allow all the excess moisture to dry completely. This final step is essential as it ensures that the plant isn’t sitting in a pool of water inside the container.
From the previous section, you already know that the Peperomia Frost is susceptible to overwatering. As such, it is important for its soil to be well-draining.
This allows excess moisture to drain well so the plant does not end up sitting in water. But, at the same time be able to retain enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
One way to achieve this is to use 2 parts peat combined with 1 part perlite or sand. The perlite will prevent compacting which will allow water to pass through better. It also improves drainage.
Peperomia Frost grows best when provided with supplemental plant food. Keep in mind that most potting soil are soil-less. Although some potted plants will come with pre-mixed fertilizer in them.
If this is the case, it is important to know how much and how long that fertilizer will last. This way you don’t double up on the dose.
Some nurseries will add 6 month slow-release fertilizer. As such, you won’t need to feed the plant 6 months after you bring it home.
That said, fertilizer is a key part in the optimum growth of your Peperomia Frost. Without it, it can grow slowly, produce fewer and smaller foliage.
Thus, apply general houseplant fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. Make sure to dilute it to 50% of the recommended strength. Don’t feed the plant during fall and winter.
Also, avoid overfeeding at all costs as this will do more harm than good although it may get tempting.
Peperomia Frost are fairly small plants. They grow to between 8 inches to a foot high. Thus, you won’t need to worry much about its height.
That said, its leaves can get dense as they overlap over one another. As this happens, the plant spreads sideways.
Depending on how bushy you want it to look, you may or may not prune it to control its shape.
Besides this, most of the trimming involves maintenance work.
This including removing leggy stems as well as those that are damaged or discolored.
Peperomia Frost Propagation
Peperomia Frost is easily propagate from stem cuttings. This makes it simple to grow more plants for yourself or to give away to friends.
The best time to propagate your Peperomia Frost is during spring and early summer. Although for the latter, you want to avoid overly hot days.
Here’s how to do it.
- Start by choosing a healthy stem with at least 2 or 3 leaf nodes.
- Using a sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears take a 4 to 7 inch cutting.
- Remove all the bottom leaves because they’ll get planted under the soil.
- Take the end of the cutting and dip it into rotting hormone powder. This step is optional. But, I’ve found it to be helpful in increasing the success rate.
- Place the stem cutting into moist potting mix. Use a small container. Something around 6 inches will do. You can likewise use the plastic ones since you’ll be moving the plant once it has outgrown the pot.
- Alternatively, you can also propagate your Peperomia Frost in water. Here, you’ll place the stem in a glass or jar filled with water. Then, after it has rooted move the cutting to soil.
- Once in the pot, find a warm, well-lit (no direct light) spot. You can increase humidity but covering the plant with a plastic bag. This will speed up the rooting process.
- It will take about 20 to 25 days or so for the plant in the pot develop its first roots. In water this may start between 10 and 15 days.
- Allow the plant to keep growing. Keep the soil moist as well.
- Once it has outgrown the initial container, repot it to one that’s 2 inches bigger in diameter.
In a few months, you’ll have leaves growing out of your new plant.
How to Repot Peperomia Frost
Peperomia Frost has small root systems. It is also a slow grower. And, does not mind tight spaces. So, keeping them in the same container for years is not a problem.
It is also a good idea to place them in a shallow pot as opposed to a deeper one.
If you have a younger plant, you’ll need to repot it more often to accommodate its growth. But, it is important to go up in size incrementally since jumping pot sizes (although convenient) increases the risk of overwatering.
Keep in mind that if you decide to repot every few years, try to refresh the top soil annually.
This lovely plant is safe for people and pets. So, you don’t have to keep it away from young kids, dogs and cats. Although, I still highly suggest placing them somewhere out of reach like a shelf or on to of furniture.
That’s because chewing or ingesting any of the leaves (while not toxic) can still lead to choking and other stomach issues since the plant is not supposed to be edible.
Peperomia Frost don’t encounter many problems when it comes to pests and diseases. Again, this makes them easy to care for.
That said, to allow it to continuing do, it is important to maintain a healthy and clean plant that isn’t placed under stress.
Also, it is still important to regularly inspect it for any changes. I’ve found that cleaning the plant every one to two weeks makes it easy to spot new pests or problems early.
Unfortunately, a few pests may still try and attack the plant every now and then. The most common of these include mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies.
When it comes to diseases, it is important to avoid overwatering. Too much water is the root cause of many diseases like leaf spot and root rot.
The good news is, they’re preventable if you keep water under control.