I love to wake up to the view of my beautiful plants adorning my room, and one such beauty to wake up to is the peperomia genera.
The Peperomia plants belong to the Piperaceae family and they constitute quite a variety of dryness-resistant plants that are typically short, leafy, and pretty!
You might know these plants by their common names such as—“radiator plant” and “baby rubber plant”. There happen to be over fifteen hundred different species—with the same easy maintenance requirements for you to choose from!
Once fully mature, these plants grow up to anywhere between 6 inches (15 cm) to 12 inches (30 cm) in height.
How to propagate Peperomias?
Peperomia plants are easy to propagate—thanks to their succulent leaves and stems, which make them perfect for propagation through different ways—in water and soil through stem cutting and leaf cutting. Remember, you can propagate the plant only when it’s mature enough. I would suggest you do peperomia propagation during Spring or in the Summers when the plant grows to its full glory. With the required amount of indirect sunlight and humidity, you should see new roots form. A propagating plant should be left alone, untouched in this period.
Things you will need to propagate your Peperomias
- Sharp sterile scissors or a knife
- Small towel or transplating shovel
- Containers for water
- Small pots for planting
- Potting mix
Ways to Propagate Peperomia
Now, Peperomia can be propagated in both soil as well as water, so the choice is yours—you can choose to go with either of them.
However, when it comes to using soil, the Peperomia can be propagated through stem cutting and leaf cutting. Remember not to cut more than 1/3rd of the plant to propagate or the parent plant might get damaged.
Propagating Peperomia through stem cuttings
To make this a success, here are some steps that you could follow:
- Focus on about an inch of the plant and cut off the leaves, if any, from that area. Do this in Spring when the growth of these plants is the most active and prolific.
- Take the part that you have cut and then place it, cut-end down, in a bowl that is full of the potting mixture.
- Cover this setup with a polythene bag to trap the heat and moisture inside and substitute for a greenhouse. This is when you have to be extra careful, though. The watering has to be consistent and meticulous because, at this point, you have to ensure that the soil does not dry out at all.
- Give it a few weeks before tiny roots begin making their appearance. When this happens, your Peperomia plant will be all set to be repotted in a more convenient spot in a few days!
Stem cutting is the best propagation method, in my opinion, to opt for if you are propagating a variegated peperomia.
Propagating Peperomia plants through leaf cuttings
- Cut a healthy-looking leaf from the existing plant from the base of the stem.
- While you can use the entire leaf, I would recommend you cut the leaf into two parts across the width.
- To encourage new root growth, dip the cut edges of the leaf into the rooting medium.
- Place the cut edge of the leaf in the soil at 0.3-0.7 inches(1-2 cm) into the potting mix after making a small hole in the pre-mixed pot. Water thoroughly after making sure that the potting soil around the cutting is firm.
- The next step is to cover the pot. I would recommend you use a polythene bag to cover the top of the plant.
- Once that is done, all you need to do is leave it under bright indirect light at room temperature.
- Once you notice the plants are growing (when it has developed new roots and eventually new leaves) they can be potted in individual pots.
However, the leaf-cutting propagation method is best suited for solid varieties of peperomia plants only.
Pro tip—Remove the cover for a few hours on alternate days to prevent excessive humidity from building up.
Propagating Peperomia plants through water propagation
This method is worth a try if you do not wish to get your hands dirty!
All you need to do is:
- Snip a little part of the stem. Make sure it is not just a leaf, but a part of the actual stalk.
- Leave the little piece of the stalk in a cup of water for a few weeks.
- If you get lucky, about four to six weeks should be enough before you notice little roots sprouting out of the stalk. Of course, it may take longer, but hey, we can keep our fingers crossed!
- Once the roots start coming out, you can replant the stalk into the soil that is, ideally, a slightly acidic potting mix—an orchid mix should also serve your purpose just fine!
- After this, you have to keep nurturing your baby plant as you would do with almost any other nascent sapling.
- Try to ensure that the cup you put your little plant in has drainage holes, to drain out any excess moisture and that the air you are rearing your plant in is just the right amount of humid.
- Eventually, your tiny little stem cutting will start sprouting new roots and leaves.
Transplanting Your Peperomia: points to keep in mind
The moment you see new roots form and/or new leaves, your peperomia is ready to be planted. You must keep in mind not to damage the roots when transplanting your peperomia plant into a new pot.
- When transplanting your plant, remember to use different pots, and these pots should have a well-draining potting mix with proper drainage holes.
- Keep the plant in a nice humid environment and avoid moisture build-up in the soil, or else it will get moldy!
- Place your new plant in a warm and bright location but definitely not under direct sunlight.
Taking care of a newly propagated Peperomia plant
Your newly propagated plant needs to be under the right conditions to grow properly. Make sure to meet all these requirements, and you are good to go.
Peperomia plants thrive in medium to bright light, so morning sunlight or indirect sunlight is just perfect for its growth. Simultaneously providing about twelve to sixteen hours of artificial lighting will do wonders to support your plant’s growth and development.
While intense direct sunlight can harm the plant by blazing the leaves, inadequate sunlight can result in insufficient leaf growth or pallor of the plant—something you want to avoid!
Peperomia plants are summer lovers. It is in summers that their growth happens most actively and therefore during these months, they thrive in the hot and humid conditions. They do not survive in temperatures below 50°-55° F (10°-12.8°C), so in the winter months, try to provide an artificial source of heat (not direct heat)—maintaining a balance of its ideal temperature of 65°F to 80°F (18-26°C) and humidity level.
Pro tip—Avoid cold drafts from windows and doors!
The Peperomia plants love steamy, humid heat. If in the summer months it’s not possible for you to recreate the ideal environment for your plant, you could place the plant in pebbles and water. Just take a flat container, fill it up with pebbles and water, and place your plant in there.
This is a trick that helps to increase the ambient humidity for plants like the peperomia genera, which need heat and humidity for survival. A small-scale humidifier would act in the same manner, so if you have the resources, you could consider investing in one!
These plants respond well to heat and humidity throughout the year, but during summer these conditions become crucial to the growth and survival of these plants.
As I mentioned earlier, your newly propagated Peperomia plant barely needs any extra attention, and you don’t even have to water it unless the top of the soil gets dry! Although it is okay if the soil goes without water for some time, this “dry” period should not be prolonged (remember to check the moisture in the soil from time to time).
Use a well-draining potting soil to pot the plant to ensure just the right amount of water is retained. The leaves of the Peperomia plants themselves are thick and succulent, so they are capable of storing water to avoid shriveling and drying out.
However, I would advise you to let these plants grow in dry conditions as saturating them or stagnating water around their roots can cause the roots to rot or encourage the growth of fungi, which is not a desirable situation.
So, when it comes to watering, leave your plant alone for as long as the soil does not get completely parched, and it will be fine.
I love the epiphytic nature of these plants, which means that they are accustomed to growing on other trees—sending their roots into their barks to procure moisture and nourishment.
So while potting your propagated Peperomia plant, the chief focus should be upon recreating a living environment for the plant that will be close in its resemblance to the natural setting that these plants are used to.
I use loose, large-grained soil with an acidic pH balance (below 7.0) for these plants, so again, a standard orchid mix should do the trick.
Pro tip— Add some vermiculite to a regular potting mix to lighten it as this type of soil texture will work as well!
When you will be propagating your plant through stem or leaf cutting you are already adding fertilizer, so you need not add more whilst your plant is in its propagating period.
In the wild, the peperomia plants barely need any nutrition outside of what it is already receiving from the bark of the host plant.
Similarly, at home, there are no major changes to the principle when it comes to potting and maintaining these plants. The less fertilizer you add, the better chances are of its survival.
If you face any problems with your peperomia plant (leaves losing vigor, dark spots on the plant, et cetera) they may be caused by excess or insufficient light, moisture, or heat, mostly.
Adding fertilizers has little to no consequence on these plants, and will naturally not solve any problems that your plant may be facing.
FAQ’s on Peperoma Propagation
Why should I propagate my Peperomia Plant?
Propagating plants that can grow from a little snipping of, say, the stem of a mature plant, is the easiest and least expensive way to get yourself a plant. Asexually propagating Peperomia plants is the swiftest and, in my personal experience, the most natural way for you to bring your peperomia plant up from scratch. Propagating your peperomia plant also receives brownie points for being genetically identical to the healthy and strong parent plant that you snipped the stem cutting or leaf from!
When should I propagate my Peperomia plant?
Get your first stem cutting and plant it in. Take good care of it so that it can grow into a healthy and happy plant. After this, you can snip stem cuttings from your plant whenever you want! Mostly, propagating during summer and spring is the best option, because this is when your plant will be growing the most actively and rapidly. But, this definitely does not mean that you can not propagate your plants in winter!
Why are my Peperomia plant cuttings not propagating?
The major reason behind this is too much stagnant moisture in the soil, or the potting mix is way too saturated and is beyond your baby plant’s tolerance level. Another reason your peperomia is not propagating is because of a problem with the humidity of the air in which your plant is growing. To be fair, your peperomia plant will not pose too many problems for you. So most likely, it is an issue with the environmental humidity or the soil’s moisture content.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.