How To Care For Peperomia Obtusifolia

Officially, 2022 has been proclaimed the Year of the Peperomia by the National Garden Bureau. Despite being offered as houseplants since the 1930s, NGB notes that “Peperomia are enjoying their well-earned moment in the sun.

More than 1,000 species in the genus have a variety of leaf shapes, including some with lance- or heart-shaped leaves and others with almond- or oval-shaped leaves. Their leaves might be gray, red, or even completely green, marbled, or striped. Peperomia plants, which can be found on the forest floor and are indigenous to tropical regions like southern Florida and South & Central America, can withstand reduced light levels.

Wait until your plant blooms to see if it belongs to the Peperomia genus. Peperomia’s “rat-tail inflorescence, or cluster of blooms, is a means to recognize its species,” according to the National Garden Bureau. But Peperomia plants are grown more for their lovely foliage, easygoing temperament, and ability to tolerate pets than for their flowers.

A succulent-like form of Peperomia called Peperomia obtusifolia was first discovered in the South American rainforests. Despite having no connection to either Ficus elastica, also known as the Rubber Tree, or Hevea brasiliensis, the main source of natural rubber, it is known by the nick name “Baby Rubber Plant.”

The glossy, spoon-shaped leaves of the Peperomia Obtusifolia are thick, upright stalks that hold water. The plant’s leaves will naturally shrivel during a drought and puff up after rain. The leaves are normally a vivid green, but they can also have marbling-like white-and-green variegation.

Although they can tolerate low indirect light, the majority of Peperomia plant species prefer medium to bright indirect light. Intense, direct sunlight is not good for Peperomia plants.

Water once every two to four weeks, letting the potting soil dry out in between. Expect to water your cactus more frequently in brighter light and less frequently in darker light.

Some of the less succulent forms of Peperomia, which are native to the tropics, can benefit from greater humidity. But take care not to overwater them. When coupled with wet potting soil, yellowing and dropping leaves may indicate overwatering.

Peperomia plants, like the majority of typical houseplants, prefer a temperature range of 65F to 75F. Your houseplants are probably at ease in your home if you are. To avoid temperature changes and drafts, keep plants away from heating and cooling units as well as open doors and windows.

Due to their small size and compact nature, members of the Peperomia genus make for popular indoor plants. Most Peperomia plants will remain quite little indoors, never growing taller than two feet.

Peperomia are typically simple indoor plants to grow. Although they are resistant to the majority of plant pests, they should nevertheless be treated as soon as they show up with weekly applications of neem oil or an insecticide, as well as routine wipings of the afflicted plant. These are some additional typical plant issues to watch out for:

The Peperomia family welcomes pets! Since peperomia are non-toxic, you can keep them close to your pet pals without worrying. To be safe, it’s important to always keep new houseplants out of the reach of curious animals and young children.

How simple is it to maintain Peperomia obtusifolia?

Baby rubber plants are available in almost every greenhouse and even some grocery shops because caring for them is so simple. You may get Peperomia obtusifolia online right here as well.

Remember that this plant comes in a variety of cultivars, some of which are more popular than others. The green variety is the one you’ll see the most frequently, but there is also a Peperomia obtusifolia “variegata” with cream marbling in the leaves.

Do you adore young rubber plants? You’ll be relieved to learn that the genus Peperomia continues. Additionally, have a look at the quirky-leaved Peperomia caperata (emerald ripple Peperomia)!

How should Peperomia obtusifolia be cared for?

The Peperomia obtusifolia comes in many different variegated varieties. The care advice in this essay is applicable if you have one of them. One distinction is that they require a little more light to preserve and bring out the lovely variegation.


The Peperomia obtusifolia is similar to many other houseplants in this regard. It prefers and performs best in moderate to bright natural light. One of mine blooms in the guest bathroom beneath a skylight, and the other in my dining room, 10 feet from a wide bay window.

Although I’ve never tried growing it in lower light, I assume it would be tolerant of mild to low lighting.

Simply make sure to keep yours out of the hot, direct sun because the leaves’ thick, meaty texture will burn.


Succulent-like Peperomia obtusifolias store water in their fleshy, thick leaves, stems, and roots. Avoid overwatering this epiphytic plant since it will suffer from root rot.

My mine was nearly dry until I watered it once more. Every week in the summer and every two to three weeks in the winter.

I just published a tutorial on how to water houseplants. You can use this to determine the variables that will affect how frequently you water yours. I always let you know how frequently I water each of my individual houseplants so you have a reference point and can change the frequency to suit your needs.


Your houseplants will also feel comfortable in it if you do. Just make sure to keep the vents for the air conditioning or heating as well as any chilly drafts away from your peperomias.


In nature, peperomias thrive in humid conditions. They also gather water through their leaves because their roots are tiny.

I moisten the foliage every time I water the plant because I live in a dry desert region. I also occasionally put mine out in the rain to add some moisture and wash the greenery off.

If your house is dry and you feel it needs it, you could spritz your Peperomia obtusifolia a few times a week. Another choice is to place the plant on top of a saucer that has been filled with small rocks and water. The rock prevents the roots from getting wet.

Feeding / Fertilizer

Every spring, I lightly apply worm compost to the majority of my indoor plants before covering it with a thin layer of compost. For these smaller plants, like the Baby Rubber Plant, a 1/4 coating of each is sufficient. Here is a description of my worm composting and feeding system.

In the late spring, mid-summer, and at the end of the summer, I feed my Peperomias with Eleanor’s vf-11. Here, because the growing season is lengthy, they value the minerals that this plant food offers. For your plant, once or twice a year might be plenty. For foliar feeding, you can also put it in a spray bottle.

Don’t over-fertilize your Peperomia obtusifolia since salts can build up and damage the plant’s roots if you do. Brown stains on the leaves are the result of this.

Avoid fertilizing any indoor plant that is under stress, such as one that is drenched in water or bone dry.

Last but not least, avoid fertilizing indoor plants in the late fall or winter when they need to rest.

Soil / Repotting

Check out the article and video on repotting peperomias for information on the ideal time to do it, the methods to take, and the soil mixture to use. They prefer a thick, chunky, and well-draining blend, to put it simply.

They don’t require frequent repotting because their root systems are small. Every five years, I repot mine to replace the soil mix or if the roots are emerging from the bottom. And I only go up by one pot size, from four to six or eight.

This basic repotting instruction manual will be useful to you, especially if you’re a novice gardener.


I occasionally have to remove a dead leaf. I’ve already pruned the Baby Rubber Plant a few times because of how quickly it grows. The thick, long stems cause the plants to flop out of the pot. I’m letting the mother plant do its thing, as I mentioned in “Size,” so I can observe how long the stems will grow.

Are Peperomia obtusifolia plants tolerant of misting?


They can grow well in bright light and, for the variegated varieties, in some direct sunshine for a few hours. Direct sunlight should be avoided if the leaves are dark green since it will damage them; yet, variegated varieties may lose their variegation if not given enough light. Windows that face south, east, or west are ideal, but again, this depends on the color of the leaves.


Watering the infant rubber plant is not too difficult. After letting the top soil totally dry out, water it well. When you first start cultivating Peperomias, it can be advisable to err on the side of less watering rather than too much because overwatering can be more harmful than not enough. You don’t want to overwater this plant and cause the soil to become saturated.

Don’t worry too much about the soil being dry throughout the winter because the thick leaves will retain water.


It is recommended to utilize a peat-based soil with good drainage. A excellent mixture is 2 parts peat to 1 part perlite or sand. Other mixtures will also work, but the key is that the medium drains effectively and is well aerated.


Since this plant’s root system is not extensive, you won’t need to repot it or move it up a size very frequently. A young plant that has outgrown its current pot may be repotted in the spring if the soil or at least the top soil should be changed annually. To avoid the soil becoming saturated, it is preferable to lean toward a smaller pot rather than a container that is overly large. For Peperomias, shallow pots are a suitable choice.


Use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every two weeks in the spring, while the plant is growing, and once a month in the summer. From autumn through spring, no feeding is necessary.


This species does benefit from humidity. You can spritz the foliage and/or set the plant on a pebble tray with water at the bottom during the warmer months. If the air is not too dry, most dwellings should be good with their natural humidity.


Taking a few centimeters of stem tip cuttings is a simple way to reproduce an organism. Remove a petiole (tip) with one or two leaves on it that is 5 to 8 cm long. The cutting should be placed in a very small pot with fresh, wet potting soil. Try to maintain a warm environment with temperatures around 20°C (68°F) and lots of bright light (warmth and light is the key to success). On the cut that is being planted, you might want to apply a rooting hormone.

However, variegated varieties may lose their variegation, leaf cuttings are another way to reproduce the baby rubber plant. To find out which technique of propagation works best for you, you might wish to try a few leaves and stem tips. Before planting, I would give cuttings with leaves or stem tips a day to dry out. Wait for fresh growth to appear, avoid overwatering, and when sufficient growth has taken place, switch to a larger pot.


You can pinch out the top of some stems to stop growth if they start to overgrow; otherwise, they start to look spindly and out of shape. Try to grow and prune them to have a bushy appearance to make them look their best.

Potential Problems

Lack of water is the main reason why a plant starts to wilt. Wilting can also be brought on by over fertilization and sunshine. Overwatering may also be indicated by limp leaves and stems, but by examining the soil, it would be simple to determine whether there has been an excessive amount of watering or not.

Pests don’t seem to be a big problem for peperomias, but fungal diseases can be problematic and may be brought on by overwatering the plant.

Lack of light is the most frequent culprit, while a lack of fertilizer can also result in color loss.

Peperomia requires sunlight, right?

The Magnoliid family of flowering plants, which includes the family Piperaceae, dates back thousands of years. The majority of these plants are tropical, and they are the source of many of the botanical oddities and essential oils that we use today. Magnoliids include avocados, bay laurel, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and magnolias. The order Piperales, which includes the family Piperaceae and the genus Peperomia, is part of the group Magnoliids.

In contrast to plants Peperomia is distantly related to, they are grown for decorative purposes rather than for food. Their flower spikes are carried on a spike rather than a perianth, which would have petals and sepals. An easy method to recognize a Piperaceae plant that is in bloom is by its spike, or inflorescence. Although it may not be the most gorgeous flower, Peperomia plants are grown for their exquisite foliage rather than their flowers. They have the semi-succulent, flexible, eye-catching, and pet-friendly qualities that make for good houseplants.

With the exception of the roots, peperomia can be propagated from any part of the plant. If given the right circumstances, stem or even leaf cuttings can take root, which makes them highly valuable in the horticultural sector. It is unknown whether this capacity is an ancient trait or simply an oddity of evolution, however it is more prevalent in more ancient lineages. Peperomia species have been offered for sale as houseplants since the 1930s due to their ease of cultivation.

Although they can tolerate low indirect light, the majority of Peperomia plant species prefer medium to bright indirect light. Intense, direct sunlight is not good for Peperomia plants.

In general, peperomia are simple to grow as indoor plants. Although they are resistant to the majority of plant pests, they should nevertheless be treated as soon as they show up with weekly applications of neem oil or an insecticide, as well as routine wipings of the afflicted plant. These are some additional typical plant issues to watch out for: