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.
- H: 6-12″ (15-30 cm)
- W: 6-9″ (15-22 cm)
USDA Zone 10-12
Pronunciation: pep-eh-ROH-mee-ah ob-too-sih-FOH-lee-ah
- American Rubber Plant
- Baby Rubberplant
- Baby Rubber Plant
- Oval Leaf Peperomia
- Pepper Face
There are over 1500+ Peperomia 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.
The Peperomia obtusifolia plant is a very easy plant to propagate. This can be done from stem or leaf cuttings.
The rooting medium should be very light and airy, and the ends of the cutting should be dipped in a good rooting hormone.
Peperomia Stem Cuttings
First, choose a healthy stem with a couple of dark green leaves each at the tip. Second, use sharp clean shears to make a clean cut just below the joint. Third, leave 2-3 leaves at the tip of the stem, and remove any lower leaves. Fourth, dip the ends of the stems in a rooting hormone.
Fifth, prepare a pot with well-draining soil and plant your cutting. Finally, water the soil and press down gently around the cutting.
Peperomia Leaf Cuttings
To propagate peperomia using only leaf cuttings, simply choose a few healthy leaves. Next, cut them off cleanly, leaving a little bit of stem still attached. Finally, dip the bit of stem into some rooting hormone and follow the stem instructions given above.
Place the pot of stem cuttings or leaf cuttings in bright, indirect light. Preferably consistently warm temperature between 60°-70°F (15°– 21°C).
The spindles or spikes you see pop up are actually the flowers of the plant. They form in a cluster of tiny flowers on the end of a long stem.
What to do with Peperomia flower spikes?
Peperomia obtusifolia’s strange flower spikes will remain in place for a few months before they fall off on their own. In fact, it is a good idea to remove flower spikes once they’ve finished flowering as they can sap the energy of the plant.
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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