Peperomia Obtipan Care Guide for Gardeners

The Peperomia Obtipan is a hybrid of the Peperomia obtusifolia.  As such, its complete botanical name is Peperomia Obtusifolia Obtipan.

It is also worth noting that there are variations of the plant. There is the:

  • Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Obtipan Bicolor’ – which has variegations
  • Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Obtipan Green’ – comes will solid green leaves

That said, the plant has a clumping growth habit and is best known for its beautiful leaves.

How do you care for Peperomia Obtipan? Give the plant plenty of light but avoid direct sunlight. It thrives in moderate to warm temperature and good humidity.

While it likes moisture, it is prone to overwatering. Therefore, allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Also, use well-draining soil by adding perlite or coco coir to standard potting mix.

Peperomia Obtipan Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Peperomia Obtipan thrives on medium to bright indirect light. It needs sufficient light to grow healthy and maintain its beautiful lush leaves.

Note that there are a few versions of the plant.

If you own a Peperomia Obtipan with solid green leaves, it will be able to tolerate low light. Although you’ll notice it growing slower the less light there is.

Of course, there’s also a lower limit before light becomes insufficient.

And you do not want to go past this point because the plant will stop growing and become leggy. It will also get weak and eventually can drop some leaves.

If you happen to have a variegated Peperomia Obtipan, it will need more light. Therefore, try to maintain medium to bright indirect light with this plant. And avoid low light.

Too little light will cause it to lose its variegations.

And you’ll see its leaves turn more green.

The reason for this is that the parts of the leaves that are variegated don’t collect light for photosynthesis, only the green ones. These contain chlorophyll.

But when light gets too low, the plant will shift from maintaining its beauty to survive mode. So, it will produce more chlorophyll to try and get as much light from the insufficient source.

In doing so, its leaves become more green and it loses the variegations.

Meanwhile, too much light is just as big a problem.

Avoid direct sunlight because it will discolor the plant’s leaves turning them pale, yellow or brown depending on what happens. And when the exposure or intensity get too strong, the sun’s rays can burn the leaves as well.

 

Temperature

The Peperomia Obtipan is a tropical plant. Thus, it enjoys warm, sunny weather every day of the year. This is what it is used to in its native habitat.

This is also why it prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. Although the range is quite narrow, this is its sweet spot. And it will grow the fastest here.

Luckily, this also happens to the be levels that most homes’ temperatures are kept. The reason is people like this climate and are most comfortable in it.

One thing worth noting in the plant can tolerate warm weather. It will not mind temperatures between 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. But the hotter it gets the more well-hydrated you need to keep the plant to avoid underwatering.

On the other hand, it has less tolerance for the cold.

Keep it away from anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit as it will begin to struggle in this condition. At first, you’ll see its growth slow.

But the longer it stays in the cold or the lower the temperature drops, the most likely it will experience cold injury.

Therefore, it prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 if kept outdoors. If you live in places colder than these regions, make sure to bring the plant indoors once the climate drops to near 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Humidity

The Peperomia Obtipan can tolerate just about any humidity at least that’s what I’ve noticed.

This makes is much easier to care for than some houseplants that need at least 40% or 50% humidity or else their leaves will turn brown or crispy.

This plant has no problem with that making it very easy to care for indoors.

In part, this is because it stores moisture in its leaves.

That said, if you want to see it grow fastest, you can keep humidity between 50% to 70%. This is what it likes most.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Peperomia Obtipan

Allow the soil to dry between waterings. This is very important when caring for the Peperomia Obtipan.

While it does like moist soil, it is susceptible to overwatering as well.

Therefore, it is better to stay on the conservative side since overwatering can lead to root rot which can ultimately destroy the plant.

I’ve found that you have a few options when watering.

If you find that you’re the aggressive waterer, try to wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water.

You can likewise wait until the soil is halfway dry (50% of the soil dries) between waterings.

Anything in between will work.

The key is not to water too soon or often such that the soil stays wet. Similarly, you don’t want to allow the soil to completely dry out.

Using this method, you will usually end up watering about once a week (give or take a few days).

But it will also help you by automatically adjusting when the weather changes.

During summer, the soil will dry faster so you may need to water every 3 days. On the other hand, winter is the opposite and the soil will take much longer to dry.

As a result, you may be watering only once every 2 weeks.

 

Peperomia Obtipan Potting Soil

The Peperomia Obtipan needs well-draining potting soil. Additionally, you want to avoid dense, compact soils as this will prevent moisture and air from getting in or out easily.

Instead, choose a soil that is loose, porous and has good drainage.

This is important because like other peperomia varieties, the Obtipan has a small and delicate root system. As such, it needs a balance of air and water to stay healthy.

And since they root system is not as robust or resilient as those of other plants, they won’t be able to tolerate lack of aeration and too much moisture for too long.

Luckily, there are many ways to give the plant the soil it wants and needs.

You can use any of the following potting recipes depending on which ingredients you already have. That way you don’t have to buy them.

  • 1 part potting soil to 1 part cactus & succulent mix
  • 1 part potting soil to 1 part orchid bark

If you prefer to use peat moss, then you can go with equal parts of peat moss and perlite.

Any of these 3 potting mixes will work as they retain moisture why having good drainage and aeration.

Avoid using standard potting soil on its own as it tends to be too heavy and will retain too much moisture for the roots.

 

Fertilizer

The Peperomia Obtipan will benefit from regular feeding. Therefore, if you want to see the plant grow optimally, it is a good idea to use one.

That said, this plant does not require a lot of plant food.

So, avoid giving it more or applying more often than the instructions say. This will ultimately damage the plant’s roots since fertilizer contain salts that can become toxic to the roots if too much accumulates in the soil.

Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month when the plant is actively growing. You don’t need it when the weather gets cold around mid-fall and winter.

Dilute each time you use it. Also, don’t fertilize the plant if the soil is dry. Both of these will allow a heavier concentration of fertilizer salts in the soil.

Alternatively, you can also go with a slow-release fertilizer.

This will allow you to apply the granules at the start of the growing season. And the nutrients will be released over the span of weeks and months.

 

Pruning

The Peperomia Obtipan iis a small plant with a compact growth habit. It usually only reaches 8 inches high but get achieve a spread of 10 inches from side to side.

Nevertheless, pruning will usually low to minimal depending on how much you want to let the plant grow.

However, note that the plant can sometimes get unkempt and unruly as it gets longer. At some point, you will likely see some stems that get too long as well.

If you don’t like these looks, you can trim the plant to keep it looking neat and tidy.

Beyond that, pruning is all about removing any old, dying discolored or diseased foliage.

 

How to Propagate Peperomia Obtipan

The most efficient way to propagate the Peperomia Obtipan is from stem cuttings.

Here, you’ll be taking healthy cuttings and propagating them in water or in soil. Both methods are very effective, so just choose which one you’re better at doing.

This method is popular because of how easy to is to do and how fast you can see the new plant grow.

Here’s how to propagate Peperomia Obtipan from stem cuttings.

  • The best time to propagate your Peperomia Obtipan is spring or early summer.
  • Make sure the plant is healthy. You do not want to propagate a sick or weak plant.
  • Select a healthy stem that is at least 4-6 inches long with 2-3 leaves or more.
  • Cut the stem off using a sterile pair or scissors. You can use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to wipe the blade to sanitize it.
  • Fill a small pot with fresh, well-draining potting soil. You can use one of the recipes above.
  • Dip the end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone. This step is optional though.
  • Use your finger to make a small 3-4 inch hole in the soil. Then plant the cutting in.
  • You want a good portion of the cutting in the soil but not the entire stem. Also, remove any leaves that happen to end up in the soil.
  • Water the soil and place the cutting in bright, indirect light with good humidity.

It will take about 3-6 weeks for the cutting to produce enough roots to support the new plant.

If you want to make the new plant more bushy, you can plant 2-3 cuttings in the same pot. Make sure to space them out.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Obtipan

The Peperomia Obtipan does not need regularly repotting. In fact, only needs to be repot every 2 years or so. Note that this is just an estimate as the same plant can grow faster or slower depending on its living environment.

As such, the best way to tell when to repot your Peperomia Obtipan is to check the bottom of the pot. When you see roots coming out from the drainage holes it means it is time to repot.

You can likewise take the plant out of the pot and check its root ball.

If you see roots circling around the soil, it means they’ve outgrown their how and are just wrapping the excess length around the soil.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

This peperomia plant is non-toxic. It is safe for people, cats and dogs. Although, I don’t advise kids or pets to chew or ingest the stems or leaves.

These are still non-edible objects that can cause choking, gagging or digestive discomfort.

 

Peperomia Obtipan Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Pests are not a common thing for the Peperomia Obtipan. But they can happen.

Mealybugs and spider mites are the most common attackers. And they can do damage as they grow rapidly in number.

So, while each bug is tiny and won’t harm the plant much, when these turn into infestations, they can cause wilting and yellow leaves.

This is why regular inspection is necessary.

Also, the best way to prevent pests is to keep the plant healthy and cleaning its leaves. While not 100%, they significantly reduce the risk of insects bothering the plant.

 

Diseases

As with other peperomia plants, root rot is always a threat because the plant’s delicate root system can easily drown in water.

This is how I lose my first 2 peperomia plants thinking that you can water them like regular houseplants.

Instead, they need to dry out a bit more between watering.

Therefore, in addition to waiting till half the soil dries before watering, it is essential to use well-drianing soil and a pot with holes at the bottom.

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