Peperomia or Radiator plant is one of the best air purifying woody perennial plant that mostly thrives in loose, humid soils. They can grow easily in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world at office and residences.These plants have great decorative value and serve best in the USDA Zones 10-12. Though the plant is grown as ornamental foliage the entire plant is edible and cooked raw. The plant is used as both food item and as a medicinal herb that has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to solve many health issues.
- 1 Peperomia Plant Varieties
- 2 How to Grow Peperomia from Seeds?
- 3 Peperomia Plant Propagation Methods
- 4 How do you Care for Peperomia Plants?
- 5 What is peperomia plant?
- 6 What are the Companions for peperomias?
- 7 What are the Health Benefits of Radiator plant?
- 8 How often you water peperomia plant?
- 9 How to prune Peperomia plants?
- 10 Why Peperomia plant leaves turn yellow?
- 11 Is peperomia safe for cats and dogs?
Peperomia Plant Varieties
There are more than 1000 species cultivated worldwide in tropical and sub-tropical regions. But most of the species are found in South, Central America and in Africa. Some varieties include peperomia prostrata, rainbow peperomia, jelly peperomia, peperomia Japonica, Columbian peperomia and Isabella peperomia are slow growing houseplants and may take years to grow outdoors. All these varieties are based on its growing conditions and plant structure.
|1||Beetle peperomia||Small dark green leaves with creeping stems|
|2||Belly button peperomia||Little dark green leaves close to stems|
|3||Bibi peperomia||Small lance-shaped dark green leaves|
|4||Peperomia perciliata||Heart-shaped leaves with red stems|
|5||Variegate teardrop peperomia||Glossy green leaves with golden edges|
|6||Red edge peperomia||Green leaves with red-purple edges|
|7||Peperomia rubella||Small dark green leaves with reddish-purple stems|
How to Grow Peperomia from Seeds?
Gardeners often grow peperomia plants for their attractive flowers, ornamental foliage and you just need proper care to grow them in right growing conditions. Here is the step by step procedure to grow peperomia plants from seeds.
- Before planting select a desired peperomia plant variety you wish to grow them in pots.
- Choose a pot or container of size 6-8 inches both wide and deep. Fill the pot with well-drain fertile soil and also maintain the soil pH between 6.0 – 6.5. If necessary add organic mulches to improve the soil fertility and to maintain soil moisture levels.
- Water the plant regularly and also allow it to dry for some time after watering. The thick leaves of radiator plants can withstand water for longer periods without moisture. Do not overwater the plant as it may result in the root to rot.
- Place the pot in a window location where it grows well in bright indirect sunlight. These houseplants can even grow under fluorescent lights. To maintain the room temperature between 60-80F.
- When you provide sufficient water and sunlight the seedlings may germinate within 15-30 days. You can start fertilizing the plant when matures.
- These plants may reach up to 12 inches height and 6 inches for dwarf varieties when you start growing in your home. Flowers are very small and the most interesting leaves produce fragrances.
- Pests like caterpillars, mealy bugs, mites, scales, fungus gnats and thrips greatly damage the radiator plant. These plants easily attract insects and to repel them use natural insecticides to deter pests surrounding your favorite plants.
- Diseases are also a common problem for plants and may die if they are infected with bacterial, fungal and viral diseases. Pythium is the most common disease found in peperomia. Prune the dead or diseased leaves, stems of radiator plant if necessary.
- Sometimes nutrient deficiency can be the reason for the plants to be affected by these dreadful diseases. To overcome this problem use fertilizers that not only acts as disease resistant but also provides sufficient nutrients to the plants.
- Fertilize peperomia houseplants once in every month in spring and summer season. Use organic fertilizers such as N-P-K (3-1-2) fertilizer, compost, organic manure, eggshells, Epsom salt and baking soda to improve the plant growth.
Peperomia Plant Propagation Methods
Propagating peperomia is easy by taking stem or leaf cuttings. Both these methods are quite simple to implement than growing from seeds. It takes less time to mature the plant when compared to the other growing methods. The propagation method of radiator plants from leaf and stem cuttings are listed below…
Most peperomias propagate from leaf cuttings only. The best time to propagate radiator plants from leaf cuttings is spring season. In this method cut the leaf along with the stem. Place all the separate leaf cuttings in a single pot and cover them with damp soil. Now cover the pot with a plastic bag and make few holes to allow air into it.
Place the pot at room temperature and remove the plastic bag after few days to prevent rotting & to allow fresh air. New plants will emerge from the base of the leaf. You can also re-pot the plants into individual pots when they are big and root well in soil.
Growing peperomias from tip cuttings is an another way to boost the plant growth. Cut the growing tip of radiator plant using a sharp knife or scissors. Now remove the bottom leaves attached to the parent peperomia plant and place it in a well-drain moist soil. Water the tip cuttings regularly in small amounts. After few days the roots develops and matures completely. You can transplant it to the outdoor garden for fast and better growth. Planting outdoors helps peperomias to receive sunlight and nutrients from the soil.
How do you Care for Peperomia Plants?
- Fertilize the plant during the fall season for better results.
- Test the nature and ph of the soil before planting them in pots.
- No need to feed the plant with fertilizers in fall and winter season.
- Water the plant once in a week to maintain the soil moist but not soggy.
- Do not overwater the radiator plant as it can result in root rot disease.
- Place the pot near a window location to receive sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
- Follow the instructions & warning labels on seed covers and fertilizers before applying them to the soil.
- Make sure the pot or container has enough holes at the bottom for air circulation and proper drainage.
What is peperomia plant?
Peperomia plant is a shallow root herb that grows to a height of 20-45 cms. These are characterized by succulent stems, heart-shaped leaves and the seeds are attached to the fruiting spikes. Leaves in red, gray or pale green color at its borders. Flowers do not smell at all and grow about 2 inches vertically above the foliage.
What are the Companions for peperomias?
Companion planting helps to improve the plant growth by promoting flower blooming, fast growing and harvesting time. Christmas cactus, peace lily, dracaena are the good companions for peperomias. Insect repellent plants cannot grow well with peperomias as they could inhibit the plant growth.
What are the Health Benefits of Radiator plant?
Peperomia in traditional medicine to treat a headache, acne, joint pains. Mainly the roots help to treat fever and aerial parts for dressing wounds. Avoid heavy dosage of peperomias as it may result in several other health-related problems.
How often you water peperomia plant?
Apart from regular watering, if your peperomia plants are wilting then the plant is not getting enough oxygen to the roots. During this stage water peperomias sparingly i.e. twice a week and allow the fertile soil to dry between the successive watering. Make sure you do not over water the plant as it may result in root rot disease.
How to prune Peperomia plants?
Start pruning peperomia plants when it reaches to a height of 15 inches using knife or scissors. Prune only the damaged leaves, foliage and stems for every 2 months throughout the year. It is done to control the size and growth. Heavy pruning is not required as it permanently damages the plant growth.
Why Peperomia plant leaves turn yellow?
If your peperomia plant leaves are looking dull then it caused by the too much of sunlight or insufficient amount of nutrients supplied to the plants. Discoloration of leaves (yellow) and flowers is due to overwatering of peperomia plants. To overcome this problem allow the soil to dry out for some time and also avoid getting water on the leaves which can cause the plant to root rot disease.
For more information refer: Why are my plants turning yellow?
Is peperomia safe for cats and dogs?
The plant has striking leaves that acts as ideal houseplants and is safe for both cats and dogs. They like to grow in moderate light conditions and add beauty to your home, especially for pet-lovers home. These are not for animal or human consumption directly.
It’s fun to grow and enjoy peperomias starting from seeds or cuttings in your home that keeps the surrounding atmosphere hygiene. If you have amazing ideas about growing peperomias, please share your experience with us in the comment section.