Peperomia Pepperspot Plant Care & Growing Guide

The Peperomia Pepperspot is a trailing plant that features lots of small round-shaped glossy green leaves. Because of its growth habit and looks, it is often mistaken for the Peperomia Ruby Cascade which looks very similar.

Other people also confuse the plant with another close relative the String of Turtles which likewise has the same features.

How do you care for Peperomia Pepperspot? Place the plant in medium to bright indirect light and keep it away from strong or direct sun. The plant likes warm, humid environments. Make sure to let the soil dry between waterings. Also use well-draining soil to avoid overwatering and waterlogging. You can propagate this plant from stem or leaf cuttings.

Peperomia Pepperspot Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Peperomia Pepperspot is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. There it lives under the canopy of trees and larger plants. Thus, the brunt of the sun’s ray are blocked by leaves and branches.

This is why the plant prefers indirect, filtered or dappled light.

That said, it grows best when given medium to bright indirect light. Outdoors, keep it in partial shade.

In both cases avoid direct sunlight or full sun. The intensity of this exposure is too much for the Peperomia Pepperspot to tolerate.

And if you leave it there in this environment, the plant’s leaves will fade causing discoloration.

On the other hand, be careful with very low light as well. That’s because this will not only affect the plant’s growth by slowing it you will also see the plant stretch towards the light source.

As a result, the plant becomes leggy.

In case this happens, prune the affected stems, then move the plant to a brighter location.

I suggest going with either an east or west facing window. The plant prefers bright morning light which will allow it grow best. Similarly, it won’t mind late afternoon light as well.

However, avoid direct sun during mid-day as this is when it is strongest.

 

Temperature

Since the Peperomia Pepperspot is native to tropical environments, it favors warm temperatures. Ideally, keep the plant between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is its comfort zone. And it will grow best here.

However, try to avoid leaving it in temperatures below 60 degrees as this gets too cold for it. initially, you’ll notice it grow slower. But if its stays there longer or the conditions get colder you may see growth stunt and the plant experience some cold damage as well.

That’s because it is not cold hardy.

Just as importantly, it won’t survive the frost or freezing temperatures of winter.

Therefore, only keep the plant outdoors during the latter part of the year if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12. These are the plant’s ideal regions.

 

Humidity

The Peperomia Pepperspot likes moderate to high humidity. And it is happiest when kept in humidity between 40% to 90%.

It is used to this environment since it comes from the rainforest, where rainfall happens a few times daily. Thus, the conditions are damp and humid.

The most important thing to watch out for here is dry air.

Depending on where you live, the air may be dry or become very dry especially during the winter. This is why I like to keep a hygrometer near my plants so I can easily take a glance as the room humidity each morning.

If you notice it drop to the low 30s, it is time to mist the plant to help it out.

Avoid over misting or wetting the leaves as this can lead to fungal infections and other problems.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Peperomia Pepperspot

Coming from the rainforest, the Peperomia Pepperspot likes regular watering. But be careful not to overwater the plant since this can easily happen if you add too much water or water too frequently.

Therefore, a good way to temper how often you water is to wait until at least 1-2 inches of the top soil feels dry before you water again.

Use your fingers to check how wet, moist or dry the soil is around that level. If it feels moist or wet, wait a while and check the soil again.

You can likewise use a moisture meter or stick a wooden chopstick into the soil and see up to where the dry and wet areas of the soil are.

I’ve also noticed that the Peperomia Pepperspot is somewhat drought tolerant. Therefore, you don’t have to rush into watering it.

This lets you lower the risk of overwatering further. In fact, you can wait all the way until the soil is dry halfway before you water. it will not have any problems.

 

Peperomia Pepperspot Potting Soil

The Peperomia Pepperspot needs loose, well-draining soil that has good aeration.

This combination is important because the plant likes moisture so the potting mix should be able to hold enough water to keep it happy.

But at the same time, the substrate needs to quickly drain excess to avoid overwatering and waterlogging.

Finally, because the plant is an epiphyte, it is used to getting a lot of air in its native habitat. That’s because it uses its roots to breathe and cling onto trees instead of being buried in the ground.

With that in mind, you have quite a few options you can go with.

Once good combination is to add peat moss and perlite to standard potting mix.

You can likewise go with a combination of succulent soil with orchid bark and pumice.

These two potting mix recipes will give the plant enough moisture and drainage while being porous enough for air to easily reach the roots.

 

Fertilizer

The Peperomia Pepperspot does not need a lot of fertilizer. However, it is important to give it the nutrients it needs as this helps it grow faster and produce more foliage.

Feed the plant with a 10-10-10 liquid houseplant fertilizer. It is a good idea to use a balanced formulation to give it all the minerals it needs.

Once a month feeding is enough. And only do so during its growing season.

Stop feeding it come mid to late fall and don’t give it fertilizer in the winter.

You can likewise go with a slow release fertilizer instead. This will allow you to apply only 1-2 times during the growing season.

Alternatively, you can skip commercial fertilizers and use compost or worm castings. This takes a little more trial and error because you need to test it out on your plant. In contrast, you can just follow the label of fertilizer products.

But the biggest advantage of doing this is that it is organic and does not leave any fertilizer salt residue in the soil.

 

Pruning

Because the Peperomia Pepperspot will grow long stems and get bushy, you will need to prune it once in a while.

Although, how often will depend a lot on how you display the plant and how fluffy you want it to get.

The plant will only get to 12 inches long at its peak. And it takes 1-2 years to mature.

Therefore, size in not much of an issue.

That said, how often you need to prune will vary based on whether you keep it in a pot or hanging basket. Also, whether the plant is hung overhead or placed in a counter, shelf or tabletop.

With hanging baskets, length is less of an issue. You can let the plant grow like a circular ball shape. Or allow the stems to trail down longer.

For tabletops and shelfs, the latter is less of an option as the stems may get in the way of other objects as they sprawl on the surface. Therefore, regular trimming will be needed.

In general, as the plant gets more bushy, it will take the shape of a ball or something circular. Of course, you can also groom it to get flatter on top and let the training vines grow longer.

 

How to Propagate Peperomia Pepperspot

The most efficient ways to propagate the Peperomia Pepperspot are via stem cuttings and leaf cuttings. Both root very quickly and have high success rates.

So, it really depends on which method you prefer doing.

Note that stem cuttings are a bit faster as far as results go.

Here’s how to do both methods.

 

Propagating Peperomia Pepperspot from Stem Cuttings

To grow a new Peperomia Pepperspot from stem cuttings,

  • Take a healthy stem with a least a few leaves.
  • Place the cutting in water and leave it in bright, indirect light.
  • It will take about 2 weeks for the roots to start growing.
  • Once the roots reach about 2 inches long, you can move the cutting into a pot with soil.

You can likewise take several cuttings and plant them into the same pot. This way, the plant will be bushier when it matures.

Alternatively, you can also root the cuttings in soil.

Here, instead of place it in water, plant it directly into a pot with fresh, well-draining soil.

It will take about 3-4 weeks for the roots to grow.

But you don’t need to move the cutting because it is already in soil.

 

Propagating Peperomia Pepperspot from Leaf Cuttings

Besides propagating from stem cuttings, you can also propagate the Peperomia Pepperspot from leaf cuttings.

Here, instead of taking a stem, take a leaf instead.

  • You’ll want to take a few leaves, then cut them in half.
  • Dip the cut side into rooting hormone.
  • Then plant the leaf cuttings into a small pot with soil. Arrange them so they are spaced out from one another.

You want to take more leaf cuttings in this method because some of the leaves will not propagate successfully.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Pepperspot

The Peperomia Pepperspot only needs to be repot every 2-3 years. It also likes being slightly root bound and does not like being moved.

So, this is a low maintenance task as far as the plant is concerned.

However, you do need to make sure the that plant is repotted at some point to avoid overcrowding. When its rotos are overcrowded, the plant will struggle and experience stress.

Also, when unpotting, make sure to be careful with its roots. The Peperomia Pepperspot has fragile roots that can get damaged if you handle it roughly or aggressively.

Make sure to choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger and one with drainage holes. This will allow excess moisture to drain out of the container.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

No, the Peperomia Pepperspot is not toxic to people, dogs and cats. This makes it safe to keep around the house even if you have very young children and pets running around.

But always check if they happen o ingest part of the plant.

While it is not poisonous, it can still pose a choking hazard or other minor stomach side effects.

 

Peperomia Pepperspot Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Peperomia Pepperspot is not known for getting pests, but it can happen without proper care and prevention.

It is also worth noting that a plant that does not get all the requirements it needs becomes more prone to pests. Similarly, a weak, sick or stressed plant is vulnerable.

As such, keeping your plant healthy is the best way to keep pests away.

The most common pest issues for the Peperomia Pepperspot are mealybugs and spider mites.

And you can use neem oil or insecticidal soap spray to treat it if you happen to spot either.

But I do suggest on doing a few things to keep pests away.

Regularly inspect the plant including the undersides of leaves.

Clean its leaves regularly. Because its foliage are small and many in number, it is easier to wash the plant. You can do this in the sink.

Make sure it gets sufficient light and ample air circulation so any wetness dries faster.

Finally, you apply neem oil or insecticidal soap weekly to keep pests away.

 

Diseases

Root rot along with bacterial and fungal infections are what you want to watch out for here.

Better yet, avoid them by taking preventive measures.

All three are caused by excess moisture.

Therefore, avoid overwatering, using heavy, water-retentive soil or a pot without drainage. Similarly, allow for good air circulation and sunlight so the leaves don’t stay wet for long when you water.

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