Peperomia Obstusifolia Care & Propagation
Peperomia has about 1700 varieties. Here we will discuss the common plant care problems you can face while caring for Peperomia Obtusifolia a.k.a baby rubber plant. It is also known as Pepper face and American Pepper Plant. This variety is one of the succulent types of Peperomia species.
Reasons for Drooping Leaves
If your peperomia leaves are wilting, the cause is either over-watering which is rotting the roots, or it is under-watering which is drying out the succulent leaves. In an under-watered case, you may also see crispy tips on the leaves
Reasons for Dropping leaves
If you see that your Baby Rubber Plant is shedding leaves, the reasons can be less humidity, change of location, over watering, over fertilization, scale bugs or air draft.
Peperomia Obtusifolia aka Rubber Plant prefers higher humidity so try to keep it in your washroom as it has higher humidity or use a humidifier. If you see scale bugs, spray some neem oil. If you think the leaves may be falling off because of the cool air drafts due to opening and closing doors, try to move them from their location. It is also important to acclimatize the movement of the plant in terms of the light. For example, if it was receiving more light, change the location gradually to lower light.
If you think all the above causes do not fit your case, then the only reason why your peperomia is dropping leaves is because it is growing and while growing, it sheds the lower and old leaves to focus the energy and growth on the new foliage.
Causes of Curling Leaves
If you peperomia leaves are curling, it is either a calcium deficiency because of over watering or the white mealy bug infestation. If it is a mealy bug, you can easily get rid of them. If you think these two causes are not likely the problem in your case, then it is very likely that the plant has been over-fertilized.
How to revive an overwatered Baby Rubber plant 🆘
If you have overwatered your Peperomia, and the plant is still in the wet soil,
- Remove the plant from the pot
- Remove any rotted parts of the Plant from the roots
- Repot into new dry soil
Pests 🐛& Diseases🦠
Caterpillars, Aphids, Whiteflies. You can easily get rid of these pests and diseases.
How to Water💧
Peperomia should be watered when the top soil goes absolutely dry which on average would be about once a week in room temperature if you have kept your peperomia indoors.
The best way to know when to water Peperomia is to by just picking up the pot and if it feels too light, it needs to be watered. If it feels pretty lightweight and doesn’t seem to have moisture in there, you can plan to water.
You can also do the classic finger test where you stick your finger and see if 1-2 inches of the topsoil has dried out completely before giving it more water. If it's still moist, don't water it.
Pro Tip: Better to be on the side of under-watering than over-watering. Most of the plants can recover from severe under-watering but die if over-watered.
Sunlight Requirements ☀️
Peperomia prefers bright indirect light. If you have an East or West facing window, keep it close to the window. If you have a South facing window, keep it further away from the window. They don’t need much light and grow well on grow lights as well.
Note: Make sure you don’t keep the plant very close to the glass window, as it can intensify sun rays and burn the leaves. Too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves
No variety of Peperomia likes its roots too wet. So the soil for the baby rubber plant or any Peperomia variety should be well draining. Don’t use peat as it retains water.
- Cacti Soil
- Extra Perlite
- Bark and Clay
Pot should be well drained with multiple drainage holes. Water should not be withheld in the pot at all. Also, place some rocks in the pot first so they drain all the water well, without losing soil being drained from the holes.
Use an all purpose fertilizer once a month twice a year during the summer when it is the growing season.
Temperature and Humidity 🌡️
- Ideal temperature is between 55F to 80 F (12 C to 26 C).
- Peperomias prefer humidity but are tolerant to low humidity in air.
Peperomia varieties including the baby rubber plant do not mind being a little bit root bound. So they don’t require re-potting that often.
Peperomia can be propagated using a leaf cutting or stem cutting, and they can be propagated in soil or water.
Cut a leaf with its petiole (stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the stem) and place the petiole in the soil or water in indirect sunlight. You can also cut the leaf with a leaf node when propagating a baby rubber plant.
If propagating in water, change the water every week. If propagating in soil, keep the soil moist but not too wet.
In six weeks, you will see long healthy roots grown from the cuttings. Once the roots have grown enough, pot them in a pot with a well draining soil.
Peperomia and Cats / Dogs☠️
Peperomia Obtusifolia is non toxic to children, cats and dogs.
Peperomia Elongata and Peperomia Blanda are the common types of Peperomia that flower.
Types of Peperomia plants
There are more than 1700 species of peperomia that grow in various geographical areas of the world.
- Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata
Another Baby Rubber plant variety that is variegated. If leaves turn brown, it is a sign of low humidity.
- Peperomia Hope
Peperomia hope [pep-er-ROH-mee-uh, HOPE] is a hybrid between peperomia quadrifolia and peperomia deppeana.
- Peperomia Argyreia
Also known as Watermelon Peperomia as their leaves look like a watermelon skin
- Peperomia Clusiifolia
Also known as ‘Red Edge’ which looks like a cracker with long succulent leaves.
- Peperomia Caperata
Also known as ‘Rosso’ whose leaves have maroon undersides
- Peperomia Caperata Luna Red
Deep rich color and texture. Needs more water than other varieties as their leaves are much thinner and not succulent.
- Peperomia Caperata Pink Lady
- Peperomia Puteolata
Also known as Parallel Peperomia. They like to grow upright in pots however, in nature, they are trailing plants.
- Peperomia Verschaffeltii
Also known as Dwarf Watermelon Peperomia. Very Waffly leaves. Needs to dry out between waterings and needs bright indirect light.
- Peperomia Clusifolia
Also known as ‘Rubra’ and is a larger version of the Red Edge, It has iridescent purple edges on the leaves
- Peperomia Prostrata
Very Tiny leaves.
- Peperomia Graveolens
Also known as ‘Ruby Glow’. Very succulent-like structure and cupped elongated leaves. Likes fertilization during the growing season.
- Ruby Cascade Peperomia
How to buy a Baby Rubber Plant
Peperomia is so basic, you will find Rubber plants from supermarkets to your nearest nursery. But when you do reach your nearest nursery, Look for the following attributes when buying your plant.
- Green healthy looking leaves (not pale or yellow without any black marks on leaves)
- New growth is upright and not limpy (parallel to the ground)
- FAT firm leaves. Should not be limp-y and thin.
Download this Peperomia Baby Rubber Plant Care Guide in PDF so that you can easily refer to it offline - whenever you are in need for a reference
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