Common Name: Pepper Face, Baby Rubber Plant
Botanical Name: Peperomia obtusifolia
If you have a brightly lit space, and are a little forgetful when it comes to caring for your houseplants, then you might have met the perfect genus for you! Mostly all of the peperomias are considered easy care indoor plants because they do not require a lot of water. They thirst, instead, for brightly lit rooms where they can grab all of the indirect sunlight they need to grow. Most of the thicker-leaved varieties can be treated like succulents as they retain water in their waxy leaves. It’s no wonder that this plant genus is in the pepper family. There are so many spicy varieties to collect and grow: from some with leaves shaped like cute little buttons (Peperomia Prostrata), to others resembling a watermelon rind (Peperomia Argyreia). With a little pruning, you can keep these plants compact and free from needing stakes. If you prefer to let them gain height, then try staking them up to help them reach new heights. When you think it’s time to upsize the pot for your Peperomia, go up only one pot size (pots are measured by the diameter). Peperomia have shallow root systems and can thrive by being in smaller containers.
Baby Rubber Trees prefer medium bright indirect light. For this type of light, it is best to place them in front of a south- or west-facing window or close to (but not in front of) a north- or east-facing window. (Learn more about light requirements for indoor plants)
Peperomia with waxy leaves like to have the soil dry out between watering; ones with softer, thinner leaves need to be watered more often. A moisture meter can help determine when it’s time to water your plants!
Temperatures between 60-80℉ are ideal, and they can withstand temps as low as 55℉. However, these tropical houseplants love warmer conditions, so the warmer, the better!
As with most tropical indoor plants, Peperomias benefit from higher humidity, but will do fine in average household air.
Peperomias are not heavy feeders, so you can fertilize them once a month during the growing season with a complete liquid fertilizer at ½ the recommended strength, or you can top dress the soil with worm castings, or a rich compost once in the early summer.
- When repotting Peperomia, use a soil that has good drainage to discourage water-logged soil.
- Peperomia do flower, but the blooms are small. Feel free to cut them off to encourage more foliage development.
- Leach the soil once a season to flush out salt build up. Fertilize with a complete liquid fertilizer or top dressing of worm castings after leaching the soil.