The Peperomia Magnoliifolia is commonly known as the Spoonleaf Peperomia. This is because of the shape of its leaves which resemble that of a spoon.
Other growers also call the plant by the name Desert Privet.
In any case, this is a small houseplant that grows upright and is fairly compact. Its glossy green leaves are the main attraction of the plant.
How to do you care for Peperomia Magnoliifolia? Give the plant plenty of light but be careful to keep it away from direct sunlight which can burn its leaves. it does best in moderate to warm conditions that have good humidity. Like other peperomias, it is important to allow the soil to dry between waterings as it is prone to overwatering and potentially root rot.
Peperomia Magnoliifolia Plant Care
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia can be grown indoors or outdoors. Indoors, it does best in medium to bright, indirect or filtered light. Outdoors, it is happiest in partial shade.
Given a choice, it will take the morning sun as its preference and avoid the late morning to mid-after sunshine which is too strong and intense for the plant.
This means it is important to keep it away from direct sunlight.
Don’t let the suns rays hit the plant between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. as it can only tolerate up to 2 hours or so of this.
Past that point, one a consistent basis, you’ll see its leaves change color. Even worse, they can get sunburned if there’s too much exposure to this or the intensity is just too hard.
As such, the best locations indoors is to keep the plant is near an east or north facing window. Both have sufficient light to keep it happy and healthy.
You can also keep it facing west or south. But here be careful as both these directions receive mid-day sun.
So, it is a good idea to distance the plant away from the sun’s rays or filter the light using blinds or drapes.
If you notice that your home isn’t getting a lot of natural light, you can supplement it with artificial light. Of course, you can use artificial lights on their own as well.
However, just like excess light, avoid letting the plant stay in these locations.
It will become leggy and grow slowly.
If you happen to have a variegated Peperomia Magnoliifolia, which there are a few versions, note that it will need more light than this one (which has solid green leaves).
The variegated colors don’t absorb light, so you have to compensate that by leaving it in a well-lit location and avoid low light as much as possible. Otherwise, it will lose its variegations as it tries to survive.
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia enjoys warm conditions preferably between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where it is most comfortable. And it will grow fastest when kept in this environment.
That said, because it is native to tropical regions which are near the equator, it has good tolerance for hotter conditions. Thus, it won’t mind if temperatures go up to 90 or 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
But the farther off the climate goes from its ideal range, you’ll see its growth slow down bit by bit.
Also, in hotter environments, make sure to keep the plant properly hydrated since it can easily lack moisture due to the heat.
The most important thing about temperature is the Peperomia Magnoliifolia is not cold tolerant.
It has little resistance to cold. In fact, it does not handle temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit well.
Here, its growth will visibly slow down. And the longer you leave it there, the more side effects it will experience.
Therefore, try to avoid anything cold.
This includes not just the weather outside during fall and winter but also air conditioners and open windows where breezes and cold drafts can enter.
Instead, it prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12 outdoors.
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The Peperomia Magnoliifolia enjoys moderate to high humidity of 50% to 70%. But it will tolerate 40% humidity without any harm.
This means it is important to find a good spot for your plant in your home.
The reason is that most homes have humidity that range from 20% to 50%. Therefore, it may be a challenge to maintain what the plant needs.
That said, you don’t need to modify humidity in your entire home to accommodate the plant. instead, just the area surrounding the plant will suffice.
So, if you notice that humidity consistently stays under 40%, you may want to mist the plant or use a humidifier.
Alternatively, you can use a pebble tray to increase humidity around the plant. This is a more hands off approach since you only need to refill the water in the tray when it gets low.
How Often to Water Peperomia Magnoliifolia
Watering is something you want to be careful about with your Peperomia Magnoliifolia.
While many resources will tell you that peperomia plants like moist soil, I will argue a bit on that. Unfortunately, this is from experience.
Like other peperomia varieties, the Magnoliifolia needs water.
But it will not tolerate too much water. In fact, watering it like your standard houseplant will eventually kill it from overwatering. I know because that’s what I did with my first peperomia plants.
Instead, you want to be careful with watering.
This means allowing the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between waterings. This will prevent overwatering and you adding more moisture to soil that is still somewhat wet.
By doing this you keep the plant hydrated since the soil around the roots still have moisture. But you allow some soil to dry first.
When you do this, you’ll likely end up watering your Peperomia Magnoliifolia once every 7 days or so (give or take 1-2 days). During winter the frequency will drop to above once every 2 weeks or so.
Note that these are just estimates because how hot or how cold the weather is will affect how soon the soil dries.
Therefore, in the summer, you may end up watering every 2 or 3 days.
This is the case for those living in the tropics since the weather is always sunny and hot. They usually water every 1-2 days and it works well.
But they have consistent 80-100 degree temperature days which is why the soil dried out so quickly.
That said, one key sign to watch out for is yellow leaves.
This is usually a symptom of overwatering. Although brown leaves can also appear sometimes.
When you see this happening, scale back on how often you water.
Peperomia Magnoliifolia Potting Soil
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia needs loose, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter content.
This kind of soil will keep the plant happy at it retains just enough moisture to keep it hydrated. But it will quickly drain excess water to avoid overwatering and waterlogged soil.
Therefore, good drainage is important.
Fortunately, there are many different ways you can achieve this.
You can use standard potting mix. Although, I don’t recommend using it on its own since it will retain too much moisture that will negatively affect the roots.
Instead, make sure you add a component that increases drainage.
Here are a couple of options you can use:
- 1 part potting soi with 1 part coco coir
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part perlite (or pumice)
Both the coco coir and perlite give you added drainage and extra aeration, so the plant’s roots don’t get left in too much water.
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia will benefit from fertilizer as this will allow it to grow faster and stay healthier. However, it can go without feeding as well if you’re on a tight budget.
You can use a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer when the plant is actively growing. This is when it will use up the fertilizer.
Avoid applying plant food during winter as the plant’s growth will substantially slow then. This means the fertilizer and its salts will remain in the soil.
Unfortunately, too much fertilizer salts is toxic to the plant. So, once it builds up it can damage the roots. People call this fertilizer burn.
During its growing season, the Peperomia Magnoliifolia only needs to be fed once a month. Also, dilute the application to avoid overconcentration of salts as well.
Never feed the plant when the soil is dry. Again, this will cause a high concentration of salts in the soil.
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia is will not grow into a big plant. And it has a compact growth habit.
This makes it quite easy to groom when grown in pots. It also makes it low maintenance as far as pruning goes.
As such, you don’t have to prune it that much.
And how often you prune it will depend on how you want it to look in its container.
Many people like to keep it neat and trim, so the plant just goes upward a bit. However, I’ve seen others allow the leaves of the plant to overflow over the sides of the pot.
Both are nice looks.
So, it will really depend on your preference.
That said, if you grow the Peperomia Magnoliifolia in the ground, it won’t grow too tall. But the plant will spread sideways. Depending on how much space it has, it may mean more pruning for you.
How to Propagate Peperomia Magnoliifolia
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia can be propagated from stem cuttings and through root division.
Stem cuttings is the most popular method as it is easy and the plant grows many stems. This lets you start many new plants at once.
Similarly, the process root fairly quickly and has a high success rate.
Of course, you can propagate the stem cuttings in water or in soil. Although water propagation seems to be the most popular option here.
On the other hand, root division takes a little more effort while you’re propagating. That’s because you need to unpot and repot the plant.
But it gives you a semi-grown plant when you’re done.
Also, because the plat does not have a large root system, how many new plants and how often you can do root division will be limited.
Propagating Peperomia Magnoliifolia from Stem Cuttings
To propagate the Peperomia Magnoliifolia from stem cuttings, follow these steps.
- Choose a healthy stem from your plant. You want to find a potential cutting that is around 6-8 inches long with 2-3 leaves on it.
- Use a sterile pair of scissors to snip the cutting from the parent plant.
- Get a small pot and fill it with fresh, well-draining soil.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone.
- Then plant the cutting into the soil around 3-4 inches deep. Don’t insert the entire stem. Also remove any leaves that end up in the soil.
- Water the soil until moist. You will need to keep doing this to keep the cutting hydrated.
- Place the cutting in a well-lit location without direct sunlight.
It will take around 4 weeks or so for the cutting to grow enough roots to get hold the soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Magnoliifolia
The Peperomia Magnoliifolia is also low maintenance when it comes to repotting. It only needs to be repot every 2-3 years.
However, it is important to repot when the time comes.
That’s because if the plant gets stuck in an overly tight pot, it will get stressed. Growth will also slow or stop and you’ll see it begin to wilt.
Repotting likewise helps keep the soil fresh. After a year or more, it will get spent.
Some soils also get compacted after a while which interferes with its porosity. This will prevent water and air from easily getting to the roots.
The best time to repot is during spring or early summer.
And the exact time to repot your Peperomia Magnoliifolia is when you see roots coming out form the holes at the bottom of the pot.
When this happens you can wait until spring to repot.
Then have a pot that is one size larger and fresh soil.
Carefully unpot the plant and repot it into the new container with fresh soil.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Fortunately, the Peperomia Magnoliifolia is non-toxic. This makes it a good houseplant to keep indoors in terms of safety for young kids and pets.
Still, it is a good idea to keep an eye on them when they are near the plant since the leaves are not edible. This can still cause choking or other stomach side effects.
Peperomia Magnoliifolia Problems & Troubleshooting
Mealybugs and spider mites are two of the most common pests that will attack the Peperomia Magnoliifolia. Both are bothersome and damaging, although spider mites tend to do more harm.
Therefore, it is very important to regularly inspect and clean your plant’s leaves to keep them away.
While this is not 100% guaranteed to prevent pests, it reduces the chances of them coming around.
Making sure the plant is healthy is likewise your best bet since it keeps the plant’s resistance up against these insects. When it is weak, stressed or sick, it becomes more susceptible to them.
Root rot and leaf infection are the things that can come up.
Both are related to too much moisture (in one way or the other).
Root rot happens when the soil is overwatered or waterlogged. This causes the roots to drown in water. And when this happens, the roots will suffocate and rot.
Similarly, excess water will increase the risk of bacterial and fungal disease.
On the other hand leaf infections come from wet leaves that don’t dry. Therefore, don’t wet the leaves late in the day and make sure there is enough light and airflow to quickly dry any moisture on their surfaces.