The Peperomia Pixie is also known as the Teardrop Peperomia. This is a small, lovely plant with beautiful green leaves. it is a sport of the Peperomia orba.
The plant is from Central America. Thus, it prefers tropical conditions which makes it easily adapt to household conditions.
It is likewise a fairly small plant growing to around 4 to 8 inches in size.
Because it is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and above, most growers keep it as a houseplant. However, if you live where the sun shines 365 days of the year, you can keep it in a container outside all year long or grow it in your garden where it makes a wonderful groundcover plant.
Its ability to tolerate low light conditions coupled with its size also makes it a good choice for offices.
Peperomia Pixie Plant Care
Teardrop Peperomia Light Requirements
Teardrop Peperomia enjoy bright, indirect light. While it thrives in high light, you want to keep it away from direct sunlight or intense exposure. This will scorch its leaves and bleach them, practically destroying the plant’s crowning glory.
On the other hand, it will tolerate medium to low light. Again, be aware of the extreme as all plants need some light to survive because they rely on it for photosynthesis.
Thus, the plant will not do well in dark or dim rooms.
These characteristics make an east facing window the best spot for your peperomia pixie. It gets gently morning sun for long hours each day.
Similarly, a western or southern exposure likewise work thanks to the many hours of sunlight they receive. But, because brunt of this light comes from the harsher afternoon sun, you want to keep the plant a few feet away from the window or filter the light coming it.
Lastly, if you like in an apartment or don’t have windows properly situated in the right directions, fluorescent lights are likewise good enough. You can also supplement with grow lights if you wish.
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Teardrop Peperomia Temperature
Peperomia Pixie do best in moderate to warm conditions. This is because they’ve evolved as tropical plants.
Thus, ideal indoor temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees, which is what humans are most comfortable with. This makes your teardrop peperomia well-suited to homes.
More importantly, beware of the cold.
While the plant can tolerate hotter environments going up to 90 degrees, it will suffer if temperature drops under 50 degrees.
Thus, is it hardy to USDA zones 10 and 11. And, won’t be able to survive through the winters in lower zones.
This means you’ll need to take the plant indoors if you keep it outside once things drop to 50 degrees sometime around fall.
Peperomia Pixie also enjoy humid conditions. This means humidity levels between 50% and 70%.
Unfortunately, unless you have a greenhouse or a giant terrarium, you likely won’t have similar conditions in your home.
For one, that high a humidity makes us humans feel uncomfortable. Also, it is very difficult to maintain that level for most homes.
In general, homes have humidity between 40% and 50%. And fortunately, the plant is amenable to this and even a little lower.
So, as long as you can maintain these levels, it will be happy.
On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling to get humidity above 35 on a consistent basis, it is you need to apply one of these measures to accommodate the plant.
- Move it to a more humid room. The bathroom is #1 when it comes to humidity, followed by the kitchen. Also some spots in the home are more humid than others.
- Mist the plant a few times a week.
- Group your plants together.
- Place the plant over some rocks in a water tray.
- Get a
Choose the method that pushes humidity up enough to make the plant happy and something you can easily do that does not get in the way of your life.
How Often to Water Peperomia Pixie
When watering, allow your Teardrop Peperomia’s top soil to dry out before watering again. This will ensure that you don’t overwater or end up watering too often.
Wet, soggy or waterlogged soil are all harmful to the plant. And, because it is susceptible to this, you’re better off erring on the side of less water than more.
The plant also recovers better from lack of water fairly quickly. But, the same cannot be said for too much water.
The best way to ensure that the soil is dry before you water is to always test the soil via touch.
You can stick your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches deep. It should feel dry at that depth. If not, wait a little longer before testing again.
Only water if the soil is dry past 2 inches.
And when you do water, soak the entire root ball slowly with water. Then allow to comply dry by letting any excess moisture to drain out.
Soil for Peperomia Pixie
Your Teardrop Peperomia prefers well-draining soil. This helps it avoid waterlogging and retaining too much water, which can damage its roots eventually.
A good way to achieve this is to use 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite. The perlite will increase the soil’s ability to drain excess moisture.
If you want to use something more environmentally friendly, you can use coco coir instead of perlite.
In addition to well-draining soil, using soil with pH 5.0 to 7.5 also helps maximize the plant’s growth.
Avoid using heavy soils or soil that will retain too much moisture. While that’s good for some water-loving plants, it puts your peperomia pixie at risk of overwatering.
Teardrop Peperomia Fertilizer
To help your Peperomia Pixie grow optimally, it is a good idea to use fertilizer. Although, if you add fresh compost to it every spring, you’ll see it happily grow without any feeding.
Since the plant is not a heavy feeder, the worst thing you can do is to give it too much plant food. Like water, this can damage the plant more than it helps.
Instead, only apply fertilizer during spring and summer. There’s no need to do so in the fall or winter.
During the warms months, using liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month.
Alternatively, you can also go with slow release pellets instead of liquid formula. This lets you apply one 2 or 3 times a year instead.
Pruning Teardrop Peperomia
Teardrop Peperomia are small plants. They grow up to around 4 to 8 inches from the top of the soil. As such, they make perfect tabletop plants or living room display.
In addition, the plant is a slow grower with a fairly compact form. Thus, you don’t need to prune it often as it will keep its shape close together.
That said, there are times when the plant can become leggy or spindly for one reason or another. This happens when there’s too little light and it stretches towards the light. Or it grows too quickly for a short time resulting in a longer, thinner look.
If you see this, trim these stems to allow them to regrow. The problem will often fix itself.
Peperomia Pixie Propagation
Peperomia Pixie is quite easy to propagate at home. Although it requires a little bit of practice and experience especially if you’re just starting out.
The best time to propagate is during spring. And, I’ve found that stem cuttings are the easiest way to grow new plants.
Here’s how to do it.
- Start by taking a 3 to 6 inch stem cutting. Choose stems with at least 2 or 3 leaves.
- Remove the lower leaves.
- Then allow the sap on the cut end to dry. This typically takes at least a few hours.
- While waiting prepare a small pot and fill it with fresh potting mix (see the recipe in the Soil Section above).
- Once the stem cutting has dried, dip it in rooting hormone.
- Then plant into the soil.
- Water the soil until moist. Be careful not to get the soil soggy.
- Then place the plant in a warm spot under bright, indirect light.
It will take around 3 to 4 weeks for the cutting to root.
If you’re a beginner, I suggest taking a few stem cuttings and propagating them at the same time. This gives you practice and also lets you achieve success since not all the cuttings will grow into new plants.
How to Repot Peperomia Pixie
Teardrop Peperomia has a small root system. It also does not mind a small pot.
This means that you won’t need to repot it often.
Because it will take years before you do so, it is a good idea to refresh the top soil yearly. This way it gets new potting mix with nutrients which is also looser and better draining than spent soil.
When you do repot, pick one that is one size bigger. Don’t fall into he temptation of jumping pot sizes because too big a container increases the risk of overwatering.
You can use a shallow pot since the plant’s root system is fairly small and does not go as deep as other houseplants.
To provide more air circulation, a terra cotta pot works well too. Although I have a friend who uses plastic pots and drills small holes on the sides of the container to allow for more air flow. That’s another workaround you can use.
The Peperomia Pixie is not toxic. But, neither is it edible. So, while ingesting it won’t be poisonous, it is not recommended.
However, this makes it safe to keep around young kids and pets.
Pests and Diseases
Too much water or moisture is the biggest enemy of your Teardrop Peperomia. Allowing it to sit in water for long periods of time can lead to root rot or stem rot.
As such, being mindful of how you water and the frequency with which you water is important.
Similarly, keeping it in a bright places that have good air circulation also helps soil dry faster.
Of course, one of the most important things besides watering schedule is well-draining soil.
On the other hand, pests can be a problem as well. While infestations are rare, you might come across one of these critters which need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
These include mealybugs, thrips, scale, mites and fungus gnats.