MANILA

Ng: How to care for Peperomia plants

Peperomia plant (Photo by Heidi Ng)

Wander Woman

AS I'M on a plantita journey, I recently acquired peperomia plants. I got this type of plant because of the thick foliage and the small size. I heard it grows slowly so for sure, there will be room in our home for them as comp the big indoor plants.

This type of plant comes in many varieties and are good for decoration. The leaves of the plant I got have variegation, so there could be white and green in one leaf. I really like the bushy leaves and the thick stems of this plant.

Peperomia plants are normally compact, rarely growing more than 12 inches in height in the indoor setting, making them ideal for containers, balcony, and indoor potted plants.

These types of plant do not need to be repotted frequently.

One great thing about the pepemoria plant and also the reason I got it was because it is said to purify the air, according to NASA. The supplementary Wolverton’s Clean Air study shows that Peperomia reduces the level of formaldehyde indoors by 47% and that’s good to know because a significant portion of indoor air is made up of the substance.

Peperomia is also viewed as an agent of luck in Brazil. It is given there as a reassuring gift that says: “Everything will be all right.” The name is derived from the Greek "peperi" meaning "pepper" and "homoios," which means "resembling."

How do you take care of a peperomia plant?

Most peperomia plants should be kept in bright, indirect sunlight, in temperatures of between 65-80 °F. to ensure they don’t get excessive direct sunlight during the summer months, as this can cause leaf scorching.

They should be watered infrequently once the top inch of soil has dried out, fertilized monthly through the growing season, and potted in well-draining potting soil.

Watering peperomia plants is the point when things most commonly go wrong. Overwatering is the number one problem that people have when keeping peperomia plants indoors. Many of us have a tendency to kill out houseplants with kindness by being a little too enthusiastic, so just water this plant when it is dry by inserting your finger to the soil.

Humidity

Many peperomia have succulent characteristics to their leaves, and can therefore tolerate low humidity levels and infrequent watering. This makes them an ideal houseplant, where the humidity levels of many indoor spaces is relatively low.

Other than for cosmetic purposes, you should also take the opportunity to remove any dead growth and leaves that show signs of damage or disease. Detecting unhealthy foliage early, removing it, and preventing recurrence of the problem is an important way to keep your plant healthy.

Thankfully, peperomia plants are entirely safe for humans and pets. There is no danger to your pets from contact or ingestion.

Peperomia plants are a bit sensitive to low temperatures, so improper transport or storage could really damage the plant. If a plant has only recently been subjected to improper conditions, the damage may have been done but it may not yet be apparent in the appearance of the plant.

Check the leaves for black spots, yellowing, wilting or signs of physical damage. Make sure to have a look at both the front and back of the leaves to look for fungal disease and pests.

I really like this type of plant and it is present in my home office and in the kitchen by the window. Let me know how you keep your plants looking healthy.

Follow me on Twitter @Missheiding and Instagram @missheiding.


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