Peperomia is a genus of plants called thus commonly or colloquially to its main species as Heart of Mary. It is characterized by the contrast of its foliage, leaving its flowers a little aside, they are small plants that serve as decoration, for example, as a centerpiece.
In this article we will tell you all the characteristics and a growing guide for Peperomia .
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PLANT GENUS PEPEROMIA
There are several types of this beautiful plant, reaching the number of more than 1600 different species . It is a plant native to South America, what stands out the most is that its leaf is heart-shaped, its leaves are green and very fleshy.
The flowering time of these plants is usually from June to September, creating a kind of small spikelets of elongated shape and a white or beige color. As a curious fact, they are also known as the mouse tail because of its curious shape.
BEST KNOWN SPECIES OF THE GENUS PEPEROMIA
Within the large number of representatives of this genus, there are some species that are the best known at an ornamental level. Among them we find many physical differences (but not when growing them), so it is recommended that you find the file for each plant to see which one may be your favorite.
Of each of them, we tell you what their differences are and the main considerations when cultivating them.
It is the best known species, it does not exceed 30 centimeters in height. In its leaves we can find different tones and natural spots that offer a great ornamental appeal. They are fleshy and have an irresistible natural shine.
This species is recommended for growing indoors, in pots, in warm and well-lit areas.
It is an easy plant to find since it is cultivated worldwide. It usually grows wild in Brazilian forests. It has very dense foliage, but it is a short plant with stems that do not exceed 20 cm in length, ideal for growing in pots.
As the main differential, its leaves are grayish or silver, so it is quite interesting to play with different varieties of greenish and grayish Peperomias.
It is native to Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a herbaceous and perennial plant that can grow up to 25 centimeters. It does not require great care since it can store water itself in its leaves. It offers great dark greenery and a high density of foliage.
Its great attraction is that it is easily reproduced by stem cuttings.
It is native to Brazil, being very well adapted to growing in pots, since it has a low bearing. Its leaves are dark green, fleshy and shiny.
The leaves have a dark greenish color but are very bright, which often gives us the feeling that they are made of plastic. They usually bloom between April and December.
This variety does not support direct sunlight, so the most suitable environmental conditions are usually places with higher relative humidity and with a not very high temperature. Physically it is very similar to some varieties of pothos .
It should be kept away from direct sunlight and its cultivation adapts very well to hanging pots.
It is also native to Brazil but used as an ornamental plant almost everywhere in the world. This species is also a great representative of this genus, with a great density of foliage and an ideal size for growing in pots.
Its leaves are green with grayish lines or of various greenish tones, being visually very attractive.
MAIN CARE OF PEPEROMIA PLANTS
LOCATION, HUMIDITY AND TEMPERATURE
Peperomias are tropical plants that need warm temperatures throughout their growth. Therefore, it is common to grow them indoors.
The ideal temperature range for this group of plants is between 16 and 22 ºC. However, its range is much higher, and it can be grown outdoors in warm areas. In any case, it is necessary to avoid temperatures below 10 ºC so as not to paralyze their growth.
The best known species of this genus prefer illuminated environments , but without receiving direct sunlight. Avoid placing it in very dry areas, as it needs some humidity . A well ventilated space but without ambient dryness and with good lighting will be ideal.
They like high humidity, so during spring and summer, it is advisable to spray all the foliage of the plant with softened water every 3 or 4 days .
Peperomias prefer slightly acidic, very fertile and spongy substrates . For this reason, peat mixed with worm humus and coconut fiber or perlite is a recommendation to provide nutrients, good drainage and excellent moisture retention.
WATERING TIPS FOR PEPEROMIA
This group of tropical plants need to maintain a constantly moist substrate , but never waterlogged. Due to this, we have recommended mixing the substrate with coconut fiber or perlite, since it is a very porous material that drains very well and offers a magnificent oxygenation to the medium.
Watering must be done frequently enough to keep the substrate with medium humidity throughout its growth. Therefore, an approximate irrigation plan can be the following:
- Watering for pots in hot weather: 2 waterings per week (grown indoors).
- Watering for pots in cold seasons: 1 watering every 7 days (grown indoors).
To know the volume of water to add, it is usually watered with 1/3 or 1/4 of the total volume of the pot. If, for example, we have a pot with a volume of 1 liter, we will add between 250 and 300 ml of water.
The budding of the plant begins when the time of exposure to light increases, in late winter or early spring. At this time it is usual and advisable to add an organic or mineral fertilizer along with the irrigation water.
Among all the available fertilizers, we can provide fertilizers for green plants , rich in magnesium and nitrogen.
The reproduction of this plant is easy and is done by cuttings , both stems and leaves. Another simple way is to do it by dividing the bushes , carefully separating the roots and transplanting the part of the plant into a new pot.
POSSIBLE PESTS AND DISEASES
Grown indoors, it is quite rare to receive a visit from some pests, the common ones being mealybugs. Due to the volume of the plant, they are usually removed by rubbing with a damp cloth and cleaning them manually.
As for diseases, the best known are caused by soil or substrate fungi in conditions of high humidity. Hence, it is highly recommended to offer good drainage in the pot and never over water.
The first detections of the fungi will be when we see black or brown spots on the stems and leaves.