Propagating Peperomia

Propagating Peperomia

Having an indoor houseplant does not have to be a huge time or effort commitment. With so many varieties of plants that require very little maintenance, plants that work well inside can be beautiful additions to the ambiance of our homes. Once you find a few plants that work well within your home and you like the way they look, why not propagate more? A perfect plant to start with is the peperomia, a compact and easy to grow houseplant that you will love.

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Propagating Peperomia

All About Peperomia

With over 1,000 different varieties, the peperomia family of plants is an appealing tropical plant choice that often grown specifically for its ornamental leaves. These compact plants are also characterized by their ability to grow easily indoors and their small size, and some even have unique flowers as well. Their name derives from the pepper-like appearance of the seed once it has dried out. However, with such an assortment of characteristics within this family of plants, nailing down a specific look for a peperomia is not easy. Instead, let’s look at a few of the more commonly seen peperomias.

Cupid Peperomia

You will love the heart-shaped leaves of this variety. They trail seductively over the sides of their pot and look stunning as a hanging plant since their stems and leaves grow very full. This one is susceptible to root rot, so be careful not to overwater.

Raindrop Peperomia

True to its name, this variety has drop (or heart) shaped leaves that are shiny and rich green in color. This variety loves bright light and grows to be the typical height for a peperomia, which is about 12 inches tall.

Propagating Peperomia

Watermelon Peperomia

With dramatic red petioles, or leaf stems, this darling plant completes the namesake watermelon color trio with green and silver variegated, heart shaped leaves. Viewed from above, the leaves really do take on the look of a tiny watermelon. Unique and beautiful, the Watermelon variety is very hardy and a perennial favorite peperomia.

Colombian Peperomia

One of the most unusual varieties is the bronze-purple leaved Colombian. Gorgeous as a hanging plant, this stunner also sports silvery stripes on the dark leaves, creating an unforgettable look. Easy to grow, the Colombian is a very popular indoor plant.

Baby Rubber Plant

This variety grows vertically, giving it a very different look than most of the peperomias. Broad, cupped, leathery green leaves are found on most varieties, but the Baby Rubber Plant can also show with lighter leaves with almost a golden hue. At only 10 inches tall, this diminutive plant is another popular indoor variety.

Propagating Peperomia

Emerald Ripple

This impressive variety has memorable leaves with deep grooves, highlighting the veining on the wide leaf shape. Another popular variety is the Red Ripple that presents with a reddish hue to the similarly veined leaf. The Ripples grow in a mound rather than trailing or upright, making them gorgeous container plants.

  • Keep it warm enough. Tropical in nature, peperomias all like moderate temperatures and do well indoors or in a greenhouse.
  • Don’t overwater. The beauty of the peperomia is in its ability to be somewhat neglected but still look striking. Do not water until the soil is dry to the touch, so water and forget about it for a while and your peperomia will be happy.
  • Indirect lighting is best. Don’t risk burning the leaves in direct sunlight. These cuties only need a bright corner or shelf with indirect light to be content.
  • Choose well-drained soil. Since they are comfortable with drier soil, make sure that you don’t place them in a container or soil that does not drain well. A potting soil that is marked for orchids is a good option for peperomias.
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Propagating Peperomia

Propagating Your Peperomia

Now that you have chosen the perfect peperomia, and it is happy and content in its home, the next step is to make more plants to love! Let’s talk about how to propagate your plant so that you can have more of these easy to care for plants in your home or to share.

Propagation by Cuttings

This is the easiest and most successful method of propagation, or simply the process of creating new plants. Let’s walk through the simple, almost fool-proof steps to propagate your peperomia.

  • First, you need to start with a healthy, full-grown plant. Let plants grow a full season from seedling stage before attempting to propagate from them, to ensure that the plant will be healthy afterwards.
  • During the growing seasons of spring and summer, cut the plant just below the bottom stem joint (or node). You will want to take multiple stems, but no more than 1/3 of the full-grown plant.
  • Lay the cut stems out to dry and allow them to create their own protective covering over the cut, called a callus.
  • Plant these cuttings into prepared potting soil, cut end down, and cover with a protective covering like a cloche or even loosely applied plastic wrap.
  • Keep the tender growth warm and moist, and do not let the soil completely dry out at this stage to encourage growth.
  • Watch for root growth, and then repot to a larger container along with the peperomia growth as you enjoy your new plant!

Propagation by Dividing

This method of creating a new plant is even easier than propagation by cuttings, but it is a little less successful. This method is preferable to use, however, when you have a peperomia plant that has outgrown its container and needs some room. Use the dividing method instead of just simply repotting your plant to a bigger container to create a whole new plant to keep or gift to others. Here are the simple steps for dividing a peperomia.

  • Start with a grown plant, or a plant that is overgrowing its container.
  • Digging into the soil, gently separate the stem of the plant that is already separated from other parts of the plant. You will want to pull out the whole root for this stem as well as keep the stem and leaves intact at the same time.
  • Place separated plants into prepared potting soil, and water gently in its new home, taking care not to overwater.
  • You can place multiple divided stems into one new container, or place each in its own location allowing it to grow and fill the space over time.
  • Treat the divided peperomia just like your full-grown plant with regards to water and bright light once you can tell that it is taking root and not wilting, showing an unsuccessful division.

Enjoying your Peperomia

Wonderful houseplants, peperomias are easy to care for and look striking in their small containers almost anywhere you put them. With a small amount of effort, just about anyone can propagate even more of these attractive growers to enjoy as well.