Peperomia Ferreyrae pronounced as pep-er-ROH-mee-uh FAR-rer-ay belongs to the extensive plant genus of Peperomia. It has other fun names also such as Happy Bean or Pin Cushion Peperomia. This semi-succulent plant is native to Peru and South American rainforests. This plant was named after a Peruvian botanist, Alejandro Huerta Ramón Ferreyra (1910-2005).
Peperomia Ferreyrae is a slow-growing but sturdy tropical plant. It can easily survive with moderate neglect; therefore, it is suitable for busy plant growers. The Happy Bean plant needs ample sunlight, excellent drainage, and infrequent watering to thrive.
This Peperomia species will grow throughout the year, unlike some other succulent plants that go dormant in winter. So you have to follow the care instruction for the whole year. Don’t let this fact stop you from having a Happy Bean plant as your houseplant because the care for this plant is easy and straightforward.
This particular plant does not resemble other Peperomia species in terms of its appearance. Each leaf node has several thick but narrow leaves that are lime or apple green in color. The leaves are uniquely shaped with curved and pointy edges.
This plant will grow bushy and upright. You can train the plant according to your preference or let it grow freestyle. Greenhouse, conservatories, and window sills are the best locations to grow Peperomia Ferreyrae.
Just like other Peperomia plants, Happy Bean also needs plant care similar to that for succulents to stay happy and grow healthy. The most important considerations for this plant are humidity and light levels but take special care about overwatering the plant.
If you want to learn more about how to look after your Peperomoa Ferreyrae keep reading. We have prepared a complete Perperomia Ferreyrae Plant Care guide.
Basic plant care for Peperomia Ferreyrae
Use a well-draining peat-based mixture for your Peperomia Ferreyrae. You can prepare it using 2 part peat and 1 part perlite or sand. It is important to have good aeration for the mixture. But at the same time ensure water retention to allow the roots to absorb necessary nutrients from the soil.
You can also use a regular potting mix but add hummus and organic matter to increase the fertility of the soil. Add some chopped mulch to help the soil retain water and stay moist.
Generally, the best time to plant the Peperomia Ferreyrae is March. After the initial planting, fill the bottom of the pot with water to give the soil a good drink and let it dry.
The soil pH for this plant should be ranging from 5-7, i.e., acidic to neutral.
Outdoors it can grow in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12. Following are the planting seasons of Peperomia Ferreyrae in these zones:
- Spring for hardiness zone 10a.
- Spring to summer for hardiness zone 10b.
- Spring to autumn for hardiness zone 11.
- Any time of the year for hardiness zone 12.
Understanding watering requirements for this plant is tricky because it needs moist soil at the same time; it’s very sensitive to overwatering. Underwatering the Ferreyrae plant will cause wilting, whereas over watering will rot the plant.
Overall it has low to average water requirements but needs consistent watering in the growing season. You should water the Ferreyrae plant only when the soil feels dry. Water the plant thoroughly, i.e., until water starts flowing from the drainage holes.
The plant will require less water in winter, so in cold months add water only to moisten the soil.
I would recommend watering less if you are unsure about how much water the plant needs because over watering does more damage to Peperomia plants than underwatering.
When overwatered, the stems and leaves will have a mushy appearance. It is important to use a container with drainage holes so that excess water can drain away, and the roots don’t sit in soggy soil. You can use a moisture meter to help you monitor the dryness of the soil.
You’ll have to experiment to understand the watering habits for your plant. The semi-succulent leaves can store a certain amount of moisture, making this plant a drought tolerant. So your plant won’t wither or die if you forget to water it once or twice. The leaves near the base will shrivel if the plant is allowed to dry out too much.
A great tip to avoid overwatering is to let the topsoil or 50% of the soil dry out completely and then water thoroughly. This method has very low chances of overwatering and helps you find a balance between under and overwatering.
Providing correct lighting conditions for Peperomia Ferreyrae is important else the plant will lack growth. This plant will enjoy bright but indirect light. The best indoor location can be the north or east-facing window.
It needs medium to bright indirect light for 4 to 6 hours every day. It will benefit from a few hours (1 or 2) of direct morning or evening sun since the sun rays are not very harsh at that time.
This plant can survive low light conditions, but it cannot withstand direct sunlight.
The ideal temperature range for Peperomia Ferreyrae is 18 to 23 degrees Celsius (65 – 75 oF). This plant is not winter hardy, so the minimum temperature should not be lower than 10 degrees Celsius (50oF). Bring it indoors if the temperature in your region drops below 10 degrees Celsius at night.
Never place the plant near radiators or vents since sudden temperature changes and cold drafts can cause serious problems like leaf drop. It will also dry out the plant more quickly.
This Peperomia plant grows really well in average to high humidity levels. But if you notice dry air or lack of humidity, you can raise the indoor air moisture level by misting the foliage or grouping several plants together.
Another easy and inexpensive alternative is to place a pebble tray filled with water under the plant if the air gets too dry during summer months.
You may have to use a humidifier during the winter months to maintain the desired humidity levels. Otherwise, the plant will start shedding its leaves.
Fertilize the Peperomia Ferreyrae plant in the growing season, i.e., spring. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer and apply every two weeks. In summer, you can reduce the application to once a month.
You can also apply an all-purpose or foliage plant fertilizer in spring and summer at the manufacturer’s recommended rate. You don’t have to fertilize the plant after the summer until next spring season.
This plant will grow better if kept root-bound. You have to repot the Peperomia Ferreyrae only when it outgrows its current pot. You can go one size up in terms of pot size.
Based on my gardening experience, it is better to repot in spring because this gives the plant enough time to grow strong and establish itself in the new position. While repotting, you can trim the roots back about a quarter before planting.
Use a well-aerated potting soil, like cactus, succulent mix, or an orchid blend for the newly potted plant. Frequent repotting is not necessary for this plant, but I would suggest refreshing the potting soil once a year.
Peperomia Ferreyrae is a low maintenance plant because it doesn’t take over the neighboring plants, nor it requires frequent pruning.
If your plant is growing out of shape, you can trim it by pinching the stem tips. If stems and leaves begin overgrowing, you can prune certain stems to stop growth. Otherwise, they grow very thin, and the plant loses its charm.
Light pruning is encouraged by gardeners because it will rejuvenate the plant and stimulate the growth of new foliage and branches.
Knowing how to propagate your plants not only helps you expand your plant collection but also saves your favorite plants in case the mother plant has a serious disease or fungal infection.
Always use a clean pair of pruning shears, scissors, or knife. Using clean tools is the first step for the success of propagation. This will not only protect the mother plant but also keeps your cutting safe from any disease. As a precautionary step, always clean your tools before and after taking the stem cuttings.
You can propagate the Peperomia Ferreyrae in any of the following ways, but the only requirement is to take the cuttings in spring or summer:
Stem Cuttings in Soil
- Choose a healthy stem with few leaves on it. Take 2 to 3 inches long cutting by making a cut on the lower node or joint. Try cutting at an angle of 45 degrees, so the cut has a greater rooting surface area.
- Let the cutting dry for 24 hours; you can lay it on a bench or any outdoor place. This will allow a protective callus tissue to form over the cuts.
- Remove the lower leaves but leave at least two or three leaves on the cutting. It is better to take more than one stem cuttings for propagation.
- Plant the cutting in a light and airy rooting medium and, as an additional step, dip the ends of the stem cuttings in a good quality rooting hormone. This will help the cutting root faster. A standard recipe for a lightweight mix is ½ part peat and ½ part perlite.
- Water the potting mixture and slightly press the soil around the cutting. Make sure the bottom nodes are covered with the potting mixture.
- Make a few holes in a clear plastic bag and use it to cover the pot; this creates a greenhouse environment to hold humidity. Or you can insert the cutting in a propagation case. If you live in a cold climate, you may have to provide bottom heat of about 70-75o
- You can plant all the cutting in a single pot or dish but keep them 1 inch apart. Do not seal the bag completely because excessive humidity is harmful to this semi-succulent.
- Don’t forget to check your plant regularly and remove the plastic bag for an hour or two every day. This will encourage air circulation and prevent rotting. It will also allow the cutting to absorb light. After a few weeks, roots will start appearing, and new growth starts on the stems.
- Let this young plant grow for one or two weeks before transferring it to a shallow pot or container. Peperomia Ferreyrae has a shallow roots system, so avoid using a heavy potting mixture for your cutting.
Stem Cuttings in Water
I prefer propagating my peperomia plants in water rather than soil. In this method, you can clearly see if anything is wrong with the roots or what’s the growth rate. You can resolve any issue before loosing your whole cutting.
- Follow the above steps to take cuttings and place them in a jar of water. Submerge the nodes in water. Place the container or jar in a location with bright indirect light—Monitor the water level and quality on a daily basis. Make sure you replace the water every week or two.
- Follow the same steps for water propagation; the only difference is instead of rooting your cutting in the soil you will submerge it in water. Provide warm indoor temperatures of about 20 Celsius.
- The roots will start appearing within a week or two. For water propagation, wait until the roots are at least 2 inches long before potting the cutting in its permanent pot. This will give the plant sufficient growth to deal with the transition.
- An interesting method adopted by some gardeners is to add small amounts of the potting mixture to water every day. Repeat this until all the water is replaced by soil. This will naturally help the young plant adjust to the new growth medium and prevent any transplant shock.
The blooming season for this species is summer and autumn; the flowers are about 12 inches long.
Peperomia Ferreyrae produces clusters of tiny yellow-green flowers, but these blooms are not the main attraction for this plant.
Peperomia Ferreyrae plant can grow up to 15-20 cm tall and 10-25 cm wide. New growth will develop from the nodes just below the stem. The stems are about 3 inches long and feature slender green leaves.
With its distinctive long leaves, this is a unique Peperomia plant. The fleshy leaves grow upwards and have visible dark green grooves on the edges. The leaves are peapod or bean-shaped with semi-succulent stems.
This plant has whorled leaves, which means there are three or more leaves at a single node that are equally spaced. Peperomia Ferreyrae plant has small bushy growth. Because of the compact size, it’s perfect as a desk or shelf plant.
Common Problems for Peperomia Ferreyrae
Mealybugs: Almost every Peperomia species is susceptible to these tiny bugs. These tiny pests feed on growth points and easily spread from one plant to another. Mealybugs can even live in roots. Check your plant for white masses on the underside of the leaves and stems.
To treat mealy bugs, dab them with cotton swabs of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. As a precaution, test a small part of the plant and wait for 1 or 2 days to check if it causes leaf burns.
Spider mites: Plants with small infections of spider mites recover easily, but for high populations, they need extra attention. Spider mites can cause significant damage that stresses the plant. Ensure that the plant gets adequate light to prevent mite infections.
Spider mites usually hide at the undersides of the leaves. If there are any webs on these areas, treat your plant with neem oil. They multiply in warm and dry conditions during winter, so raise the indoor humidity level.
Whiteflies: These heart-shaped insects will live on the undersides of leaves, and they fly over the plant whenever it is disturbed. They feed on the plant nutrients and secrete honeydew, which increases the risk of fungal diseases.
You should wash the plant foliage with a strong stream of water. As an additional step, rub the leaves with a weak insecticidal soap solution to completely get rid of whiteflies.
Wilting: It happens for two reasons; overwatering or underwatering. An underwatered Peperomia Ferreyrae will have wrinkled, dry, or wilted leaves. The tips of the leaves may be crispy (another indicator for underwatered plants). The soil will also feel excessively dry upon touching. Rehydrate by watering the plant well and allow the soil to absorb water.
Overwatering will eventually kill the roots of your Peperomia Ferreyrae. And the dead roots cannot absorb water leading to underwatering. This issue should be resolved immediately to prevent any further damage. A simple solution is to stop watering and let the soil dry out.
Trim the damaged foliage and water the plant sparingly now. If your plant has severe wilting, repot it to a new pot with fresh soil. Make sure you trim the diseased roots before planting
Any leaf changes or sudden leaf drop is caused by temperature changes or cold temperatures. Try to maintain constant room temperature because indoor temperature changes shock the houseplants.
Extra Tips for Peperromia ferreyrae care
- Clean the leaves regularly because the thick leaves can collect grime and dust. Make sure the translucent window is not blocked by any dust particles because this will reduce the plant’s ability to absorb light.
- Rotate your Ferreyrae plant every week or so to make sure the plant has even growth.
- If you want to propagate by leaf cuttings, take leaves from the top part of the plant instead of the bottom.
Peperomia Ferreyrae Care: FAQ
Is Peperomia Ferreyrae pet friendly?
Yes, this plant is pet friendly since it is nontoxic. But still, it not an edible plant, so keep it away from your pets.
I just got a new Peperomia Ferreyrae and leaves are turning black, what is wrong?
Since you recently got this plant, it was probably sitting in a shaded area in the nursery for a long time. Now sudden exposure to sunlight might be causing the leaves to turn black. There are other possibilities like you may be overwatering your plant or its suffering from root rot. I would recommend examining the root system.
My plant has limping leaves what can I do?
Excessively dry soil and limp leaves indicate your plant is dying. Place the plant in a saucer with water for 10 minutes so the soil can be moistened. The leaves will also regain their strength in a few hours. If the leaves are limp with moist soil, you overwatered your plant. Remove your plant from the soil and let it sit bare root for 24 hours.
Is this plant a succulent?
This plant has care instructions similar to that for succulents, but it’s semi-succulent in nature.
What is the best location to display Peperomia Ferreyrae?
This is a small and compact plant, so it’s perfect for your office desk or bookshelf. Just keep it away from radiators and cold drafts.
What is the growth rate for the Peperomia Ferreyrae?
Peperomia Ferreyrae is not a fast-growing plant. During the growing season, also it experiences moderate growth, but the plant won’t grow very big in size.
Why do the leaves curl on Peperomia Ferreyrae?
Curled leaves for this Peperomia plant indicate it needs more water. Water your plant more frequently during summer months and fertilize properly during active growth.
To conclude, Peperomia Ferreyrae is an epiphytic perennial, but it differs from the traditional species and has a different growth structure.
This low maintenance plant is great for people who are just getting into houseplants. It can easily tolerate low light conditions compared to other houseplants. The leaves are translucent, which allows them to absorb more light.
This plant takes the shape of a small shrub, making it a good choice for miniature gardens. In nature, it grows in forest floors among rocks and bushes where it receives high humidity. They appreciate high humidity in indoor spaces as well.
Get your Peperomia Ferreyrae plant from the nearest plant nursery or better buy it online.