Indoor plants aren’t always the easiest to handle, so it’s really great when you find a plant variety which does well inside (as well as survive a little neglect).
The Peperomia hope, sometimes referred to as the Radiator plant, is an ideal option for indoors. Pop it in a macramé hanging basket, or as part of a dish garden, this beauty is a great addition to your home.
While succulents are the go-to for many households, this perennial epiphyte has stunning trailing stems and has been considered the perfect potted plant. It’s not hard to grow, however it is always good to be sure you know everything you’ll need to know.
So, here’s a handbook on growing Peperomia hope, from propagation, to planting, to care and everything in-between.
What is Peperomia Hope?
Many people tend to mistake the peperomia for a succulent, it is not- even though it may look like it. The most distinguishable feature of the peperomia hope is its sprawling foliage, which produces small succulent leaves that are round in shape.
These leaves are patterned with faint, light-green stripes. The peperomia does not produce flowers- but it is evergreen and beautiful year-round. Stemming from the piperacae family, the 'hope’ is a hybrid of the peperomia quadrifolia and peperomia deppeana species.
The full spectrum of the peperomia genus includes up to 1000 tropical and sub-tropical varieties. The peperomia is native to the tropical regions, including the Amazon, in central South America.
As such, the peperomia is quite comfortable in a humid, warmer climate. Again, why it is ideal for indoors. The peperomia is a small, unobtrusive plant that actually has phenomenal air-purifying abilities.
Plus, this epiphyte does not need direct sunlight and tolerates neglect a little better than most, making it a perfect plant for on your desk, on your shelf or hanging from your ceiling.
How to Propagate Peperomia Hope?
The peperomia is incredibly easy to propagate from a leaf cutting, a feature it shares with succulents. Here’s what you need to do start growing:
Take a Cutting
- Remove a cutting, approximately 5 to 8 cm in length, from the stem.
- Ensure the cutting still has one or two leaves on it.
Prepare Your Pot + Soil
- You will need to find a small container or pot with a drainage hole.
- You will want to acquire a well-draining potting mix. Specialists recommend soil with a PH balance of 6 to 6.6 for peperomia plants.
- If your peperomia is not being placed somewhere very dry, or not particularly humid, consider placing your pot on a tray with wet pebbles. This will assist with humidity.
Get Ready to Plant
- Once your pot and soil are sorted, you can plant your cutting in the soil.
- Ensure the leaves on the cutting remain exposed.
- Choose a spot with semi-shade or little direct sunlight.
- It is important that your plant remains in the same place and isn’t moved around during its beginning growing phase.
In the right conditions, your peperomia should grow fairly quickly.
Peperomia Hope Care Guide
As we’ve said, the peperomia is pretty resilient, but making sure to follow its care instructions is equally important.
- Peperomia do best in humid conditions and temperatures that range between 18°C and 24°C.
- You will want to place your peperomia somewhere where it gets quite a bit of natural light, however, not direct sunlight. Semi-Shaded areas are ideal. Too much sunlight and your leaves will begin to dull.
- If your peperomia suddenly loses many of its leaves, it may be due to a climate change. Try to regulate temperature around your plant.
- Watering can be done every 7 to 10 days.
- The peperomia is particularly sensitive to overwatering, so be sure that the top soil of your plant has enough time to dry fully between watering.
- You want moist soil not soggy.
- Maybe consider using a mister with your peperomia, as this will prevent over-watering.
- If your leaves begin to wilt or create scab-like protrusions, you may be over-watering your plant.
- Frequent fertilization works well for the peperomia.
- Once a month is perfect, particularly in the spring and summer months.
- Avoid adding fertilizer during the winter months.
- Go for a water soluble fertilizer or a balanced liquid plant food.
- Pruning is a great way to correct sparse growth of the stems.
- This should be done early in spring.
- Use pruning scissors to lightly remove the stem ends where necessary.
- Some people recommend self-watering pots and repotting your peperomia every spring.
- While it is not necessary to do it every year, repotting can be beneficial if you plan to re-enrich the soil or if your peperomia has outgrown its current container.
- Be sure not to go too big with the new pot. This can lead to inadequate soil draining and negatively affect your plant.
You may also want to consider regularly dusting off your peperomia leaves, as this will allow for optimal photosynthesis to occur.
Should you notice the curling of leaves on your peperomia plant, this can be due to over-fertilization or bugs.
Potential Pests to Look Out For
Especially as it functions as an indoor plant, the peperomia is not particularly susceptible to pests. Therefore, needing the right approach for pest control.
You may be subject to Mealybugs. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that attach a large variety of indoor plants, and cause damage by sucking nutrients from the plant.
Mealybugs may infest your plant, causing white cottony spots on the underside of the leaves. Leaves will eventually yellow and drop from the plant.
Luckily, these pests are easily dealt with. You can:
- Spray your plant with a steady stream of water to dislodge bugs.
- Treat infected leaves using an insecticidal soap.
Peperomia Hope Diseases
While peperomia are not necessarily prone to disease, there are certain conditions that can affect your plant. Loss of leaves is the first general sign that your peperomia might not be happy.
As mentioned, the peperomia may lose leaves if there is a temperature drop. They are also more susceptible to disease in colder temperatures.
Though not likely, your plant may experience issues with fungi, bacteria and viruses. Diseases which are common to the peperomia genus include:
Recognised through brown rings which form and disfigure the leaves.
Should your plant contract a ring spot, the best treatment is to destroy the plant and avoid it contaminating any other plants.
Recognised through small, pimple-like masses which form on the underside of the leaf.
Plants with low potassium and calcium are particularly susceptible.
Regulate your soil levels through regular soil testing.
Recognised through a visible infection of leaf blades.
This can be prevented by regular re-potting and ensuring your soil remains well-draining.
Peperomia Hope Growing Guide Summary
No matter how you look at it, the peperomia hope is a great option when looking for that ideal indoor plant, especially for the beginner green thumb.
Whether you’re thinking on your desk or in your kitchen, the peperomia is a fabulously ornamental fauna. It’s also a perfect fit for a plant wall – which is all the trend right now. Peperomia also makes really great gifts, especially because they are quite easily cared for.
Most importantly, make sure you pop your peperomia in the perfect spot, with semi-shade and warmer temperatures. It will purify your air while looking pretty, and this- all year round!
You really won’t need more reasons to make this perfect potted plant your next pick. Add a touch of 'hope’ (and some cleaner air) to your home today.
So, there you have it. Your go-to handbook when considering growing the Peperomia Hope in your home. Make sure you give your plant the right soil and just a little bit of love.