Peperomia, a houseplant noted for its foliage


Peperomia is a tropical plant used indoors and in apartments.

Key Peperomia facts

Name – Peperomia
Family – Piperaceae
Type – perennial, indoor plant

Height – 10 inches (25 cm)
Exposure – well-lit

Soil: well-drained  –   Foliage: evergreen  –   Flowering: summer

It is very much appreciated for its foliage, which is extremely varied depending to the species and in every case amazingly ornamental.

Planting peperomia

Potted peperomia on a fencePeperomia has the particularity of loving being repotted at the end of winter.

You can thus repot it after having purchased it if you realize the roots start sticking out from the bottom of the pot, and after that yearly at the end of winter.

  • It’s preferable to repot it in a pot that is only very slightly larger than the previous because peperomia likes a tight fit.
  • The pot must have a drainage layer at the bottom. For that, use gravel or clay pebbles.

Best exposure for peperomia

Peperomia loves well-lit situations but abhors receiving the sun’s rays directly, especially in summer.

  • Peperomia exposurePlace your peperomia behind a window that would only be impacted by the sun’s rays early morning or late afternoon, with a thin protective veil.
  • Cultivars with variegated leaves tolerate the sun more than those with straight green foliage.
  • At all costs, avoid rooms that are too dark, because peperomia also fears darkness.
  • Green-leaved peperomia need a lot of light, but must be protected from full sun.

Termperature-wise, peperomia tolerates heated indoor apartments, but it may happen that its leaves drop off if the air is too dry (solve this problem here).

Temperatures mustn’t drop below 55 to 57°F (12 to 13°C).

Pruning and caring for peperomia

Peperomia pestsAfter the blooming, eliminate floral scapes from the peperomia, cutting them as short as you can.

  • Only eliminate leaves if they’ve withered, dried up or turned yellow.

Occasionally, you’ll have a few of the usual indoor plant fiends: scale (shown here), and red spider mites.

Watering peperomia

The natural environment of peperomia is the tropical forests of South America and it therefore requires high relative moisture all year round to develop well.

However, no need to water often: excessive watering could also kill it off. Excess water usually translates to leaf loss and ultimately death for your plant.

  • Water lightly and only when the soil is really dry.
  • Mist the leafage with soft water, especially in winter, since heating tends to reduce indoor air moisture levels.
  • Peperomia is better at coping with dry soils than it is with waterlogged ones.

Learn more about peperomia

Peperomia red varietyThere is a large number of peperomia species and varieties with colors and foliage that differ greatly.

The photos we have here don’t necessarily present the actual varieties mentioned, it’s very possible that your own peperomia is very different from those shown.

There are green ones, mottled ones, waffle-textured ones, purple ones and even peperomia that are less or more densely leaved.

However, they all share common traits: a tropical origin traced back to South America and blooming that presents extended, long panicles.

Note also that the lifespan of a peperomia isn’t very long, and it grows relatively slowly.

But peperomia is, all in all, a simply beautiful indoor plant thanks to its varied and variegated (!) ornamental foliage.

Smart tip about peperomia

Red spider mites are the most prevalent parasites on peperomia. To eradicate them, follow our advice on fighting red spider mites.

Images: CC BY 2.0: Kim & Forest Starr; Pixabay: Dominique, Jan Haerer, CC BY 4.0: Kim & Forest Starr; Unsplash: Borzoo Moazami