The Peperomia obtusifolia ( pep-er-ROH-mee-uh ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-uh) is commonly called the Baby Rubber Plant. Specifically, an evergreen perennial with an upright growth habit. Furthermore, oval leaves are dark green, shiny and smooth. Water is stored in their thick leaves. Therefore, they shrivel in drought and plump when water is available. Additionally, thick stems can grow up to 2 feet tall (61 cm). In fact, they are succulent-like growing in a slight zig-zag pattern.
Absolutely perfect for a plant lover new to peperomias. In fact, you should be able to find this beauty at local garden centers or big box stores. Indeed, many popular Peperomia obtusifolia varieties exist. Specifically, Peperomia obtusifolia `Variegata’, Peperomia obtusifolia `Marble’, Peperomia obtusifolia `Minima’ and Peperomia obtusifolia `Golden Gate’.
There are over 1500+ Peperomia pronounced (pep-er-ROH-mee-uh) varieties. Particularly grown for their leaves. Rather than their flowers. Common Peperomia names include: Spoonleaf Peperomia, Baby rubber plant, and Radiator plant. Famous American horticulturist Liberty Bailey (1858-1954), named it the Radiator Plant. Plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. Additionally, read more about the many different Peperomia varieties here.
Place your Peperomia in bright, indirect sunlight. In fact, the peperomia plant even tolerates low light at times. However, avoid placing the shiny plant in direct sunlight as it can sunburn. If the plant is not provided with enough bright light, it will tend to become leggy. Specifically, stretching itself towards the available light. Definitely prune it back to retain the compact appearance of the plant. Nevertheless, move the plant to a brighter location if this happens.
Water your Peperomia thoroughly. In particular, make sure that the soil is evenly moist. If the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry to the touch, then it is time to water. Next, allow water to flow through the pot’s drainage holes. Furthermore, avoid overwatering your plant. Whereas, it will bring about root rot problems.
Alternatively, the plant has almost little to no watering needs in winter. Therefore, water your peperomia plant sparingly.
Peperomias prefer high humidity and temperatures from 55° to 80° F (13°-27° C). During colder months with low humidity, set the plant on a pebble tray of water. Or, place it near a humidifier. In addition, the indoor plant is winter hardy to USDA zones 10 to 12.
Like most Peperomias, obtusifolia grows best in fertile, well draining soil. Be sure to not use soil that is too compacted or heavy. In fact, this can result in prolonged periods of water retention. Specifically, resulting in root rot. Furthermore, improve the texture and fertility of your soil by adding compost or top soil at planting time.
During the growing season, peperomias will appreciate a diluted liquid fertilizer. Specifically, every two weeks or once a month in spring and summer. However, no feeding is required in the cold, chilly season.
When your peperomia is ready for repotting, be sure to add some fresh potting soil. Additionally, this will replenish the peperomia’s nutrients. Furthermore, repot your Baby Rubber Plant after it doubles in size, or every 2-3 years.
Genus name Peperomia comes from 2 Greek words. Peperi meaning pepper and homoios meaning resembling. The plants resemble, and are closely related to, true black pepper (Piper nigrum). Furthermore, its specific epithet means blunt-leaf. As well as that, common names include: Baby Rubber Plant, Pepper Face, Blunt Leaf Peperomia, Decorative Pepper, Dwarf Pepper, Fleshy Peperomia, American Rubber Plant, Hanging Peperomia and 豆瓣绿, 圆叶椒草.
Of course the Peperomia obtusifolia is a great looking plant. In fact it is low maintenance and easy to find. Indeed a perfect addition to any plant collection. If you’d like to read more about growing houseplants, I’ve listed some other articles that you might be interested in below.
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