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Peperomia Glabella Care – A Practical Guide

Peperomia Glabella Care – A Practical Guide

Are you looking to decorate your home or office with a plant? If you are, the Peperomia Glabella is a perfect choice.

Unlike other houseplants that require paradise-like living standards, this species can survive in less-than-perfect conditions.

Also known as the Cypress Peperomia, this plant doesn’t mind little light and inconsistent watering. This makes it ideal for homeowners with zero experience in this area.

The Peperomia Glabella belongs to the Piperaceae family and has been found in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and in Florida, USA according to the Atlas of Florida Plants.

Here is an in-depth overview of how you can care for the Peperomia Glabella.

 

 

How to Care For Peperomia Glabella

 

Soil

Peperomia Glabella can be grown in any soil as long as it has good drainage. This is to prevent the plant’s delicate root system from rotting. Types of soils with the best drainage include sand and silt.

I usually plant my Glabella in loam soil, which is simply a mixture of sand and silt. I also incorporate peat moss into my potting medium and for good reasons. For one, this substrate holds water well while also providing good drainage and aeration.

Two, it aids in the absorption of nutrients. By adding peat moss, you’re guaranteeing that any nutrients you add won’t end up being rinsed out once you water the plant.

Finally, peat moss is not as compact as other organic materials. This aspect enables water and nutrients to be absorbed and distributed efficiently throughout the soil.

 

Light

For the Peperomia Glabella to develop its vibrant foliage, it needs just the right amount of bright natural lighting. You can easily achieve this by placing it on a Northern or east-facing window where there’s no direct sunlight.

In case your window faces the south as mine does, be sure to place your plant behind a sheer curtain. This way, you’ll provide access to sunlight without exposing it to the harmful UV rays.

But, can the Cypress Peperomia survive in a space that has zero access to natural light? Sure, this plant is hardy and can tolerate low lighting. However, its foliage will suffer and is likely to turn yellow.

If you intend to place your potted plant in such a space, consider investing in fluorescent lights. These will work just fine since the Glabella has low to medium lighting requirements.

However, be careful when purchasing fluorescent lights. Opt for narrower tubes as they are energy-efficient and emit brighter light.

 

Watering

Like most Peperomias, the Glabella plant has succulent leaves. These double up as water storage areas, which means you only need to water it lightly.

Experts recommend watering every week or whenever the top two to three inches of soil are dry. Now, while this is excellent advice, it might not work for everybody.

Depending on where you live, you might end up under-watering or over-watering. This will be detrimental to your plant’s health.

To avoid such a situation, I always assess the soil’s condition before deciding whether to water it. I poke the soil with my finger and water only if it feels dry and crumbly.

Being a hardy plant, Peperomia Glabella can go for weeks without water. But in case you let the soil dry out completely, you’ll need to give it a good soak. Here is how I soak my Glabella when the soil is too dry:

  • I start by removing the plant from the saucer and placing it in a sink. I then fill the basin with at least 3 inches of cold water.
  • Next, I let the plant absorb water via the drainage hole for about 45 minutes.
  • Once my plant has soaked up enough water, I touch the soi’s top layer to check if it’s wet. The goal here is to have the water reach the top 2 to 3 inches of soil. If it hasn’t yet, I add water from the top to saturate the soil evenly
  • When the soil is damp enough, I drain the basin and let the plant rest while it drains water. Finally, I put the plant back on its saucer and in its initial spot.

 

Temperature

Peperomia Glabella will do well in average home temperature. It ranges between 65°F and 75°F (18°C-24°C).

 

Humidity

If you grow your Peperomia plants indoors as I do, you probably experience difficulty figuring out the right humidity level. But it’s quite easy.

I always start by researching the humidity level that the respective plant needs if it were growing in its natural habitat. Next, I try to create a similar environment indoors.

Peperomia Glabella originates from the tropical cloud forests, where humidity levels reach 90%. However, this plant thrives in areas with a 40 to 50% humidity level.

If your home’s humidity level is too low, which is common in winter, there are several things you can do to raise it:

 

Position it alongside other plants

Plants give off moisture through tiny pores in their leaves called stomata. This process is referred to as transpiration, and it can help create a more humid environment for your Peperomia.

 

Create pebble trays

Another technique for improving humidity is to create pebble trays. Look for clean trays and arrange pebbles on them. The pebbles should take up at least an inch of the tray.

Next, add water to the trays so that the gravel is submerged halfway.

Now, place the pots on the trays. Make sure these containers don’t come into contact with the water as this could cause the root system to rot.

 

Mist your Peperomia

Given that the Cypress Peperomia doesn’t need an overly humid environment, misting is the best way to increase moisture. All you need to do is look for a spray bottle, fill it with water and spray on your plant when the need arises.

 

Fertilizer

While it’s not mandatory, it’s good practice to nourish the soil with fertilizer. Experts recommend 20-20-20 fertilizer, which contains equal amounts of iron, nitrogen, and potassium.

Before application, ensure you dilute the fertilizer’s strength as some of them can be too strong for your peperomia. Also, don’t apply too often. During summer and spring, add it once every fortnight. In fall and winter, reduce the frequency to once per month.

 

 

Propagation

Given its aesthetic value, it’s not surprising that many would like to propagate the Cypress Peperomia.

To do this successfully, start by picking a couple of the plant’s stems. These should have leaves to the end. Then, using your gardening shears, cut out a quarter of an inch just below the node. Be sure to extract several stem cuttings so that you have spare ones to use. Also, do your best to make the cut at a 45-degree angle. Doing so leaves more room for the development of the root system.

And now to the fun part- propagating! There are two ways that you can go about this: soil and water propagation.

 

Soil propagation

Personally, I prefer soil propagation. It’s much easier as one doesn’t have to acclimate the roots later on before transferring the plant to soil.

So, you’ll start by placing the cutting in a small pot containing your preferred potting mix or substrate. During placement, ensure you place the cutting deep enough in the substrate to the extent the nodes are covered in soil. Next, water thoroughly.

Finally, place your pot in a partially shaded area or space with bright, indirect light. Monitor the growth process keenly and make necessary improvements as the need arises.

For instance, you might have to add a plastic bag over the cutting and the pot to lock in moisture. If you’re forced to take this step, be sure to make tiny holes in the wrap to allow for ventilation.

 

Water propagation

Put your cutting in a jar filled with water to the point where the nodes are entirely submerged. Place this pot in an area with bright, indirect lighting. Keep tabs on the water level and top it off anytime it’s too low. Also, replace the water with a fresh amount at least once a week.

With both techniques, it takes a week or more for the root system to develop. Once the roots start to form, give it a few more weeks to allow it to grow to a few inches in length. I usually wait until my Peperomia’s roots reach three to four inches long. The longer the roots are, the less fragile they are, making them suitable for transferring to a different pot.

 

Growth

An interesting fact about the Peperomia Glabella is that it can grow both epiphytically and terrestrially. An epiphyte is simply a plant that grows atop another plant or object for physical support. Terrestrials, on the other hand, grow on or from the land.

When it comes to size, this Peperomia species don’t get very big. On average, it grows to 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. You can identify it using its dark green, oval-shaped leaves, and red stems.

 

Repotting

One advantage of the Peperomia Glabella is that it doesn’t need to be repotted too often. It can last up to three years in its current substrate.

However, if the soil is infiltrated with pests or mold or becomes too compact, substituting the affected soil with a fresh potting mix is necessary.

When repotting, you’re free to use a container of the same size or a slightly bigger one. It’s also good to retain a portion of the initial mix. I always retain half of the potting mix and add half of the new substrate.

Once your new potting mix is ready, gently remove the plant from its initial container. Next, remove as much of the old soil from the area around the roots before placing it in the new medium.

Finally, water the plant to enable it to settle firmly in its new habitat.

 

Common Problems with Peperomia Glabella

Peperomia Glabella is a highly-resilient plant. Thus, it’s not easily susceptible to pests, diseases, and other issues that plague houseplants. If you encounter any complication, it’s probably because you aren’t taking good care of your plant. Here are some common problems and their respective causes:

  • Dull, fading leaves – this is an indication that you’re exposing the plant to too much sunlight
  • Wilting- this can happen if there’s not enough humidity or water
  • Wilting accompanied by leaf loss- this is a sign of overwatering
  • Leaf edges and tips turn brown- chances are, there are cold drafts in your home

 

Hacks to Keep Peperomia Glabella Problem-Free

  • There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your Cypress Peperomia grows healthily
  • Only water when the soil is dry to touch
  • Fertilize occasionally to provide enough nutrients
  • Transfer to a different pot if the soil is infiltrated with pests, diseases or mold
  • Place the potted Glabella away from direct sunlight
  • Improve moisture levels by misting or grouping with other plants

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Peperomia Glabella

 

How do I acclimate my Peperomia Glabella from water to soil?

If you used water propagation but decide to move your plant to a soil medium later, it’s advisable to acclimatize it first. Placing it directly in the soil substrate can exert too much stress on the root system.

For a better outcome, start with a mixture containing equal parts water and soil. Gradually increase the amount of soil as you decrease the amount of water. Do this until you have a potting medium consisting purely of soil.

 

Should I prune my Peperomia Glabella?

Pruning this plant is not mandatory. It’s only necessary if you want to reduce the size of excessively large parts; be it the leaves, foliage or stems. You can also prune when you want to get rid of damaged stems, or dead growth.

Before starting this process, first, identify all the growth that needs to be pruned. Mark off these sections using chalk or thread. Using your pruning shears, cut these sections at their point of origin, and you’re done!

 

Why do the leaves on a Peperomia Glabella sometimes become limp and wilt?

You may get distressed when you see some of the leaves on your Peperomia drooping. But there’s no need to get alarmed. This is not unusual, and it’s easy to resolve. Leaves droop because the soil is too dry or when the humidity level is too low.

If you identify humidity as the culprit for your leaves drooping, increase the moisture level. You can achieve this by misting, using a humidifier, or grouping your Peperomia Glabella with another plant. However, if the cause is overly dry soil, give it a good soak to prevent further wilting.

 

Where can I grow a Peperomia Glabella?

This plant is highly-adaptable; hence, it can thrive both indoors and outdoors. If growing it indoors, you’re free to plant it in a shallow saucer, pot or a hanging basket. Just be sure to maintain the right conditions, that is, a slightly humid environment, well-draining soil, and bright lighting. I like planting my Peperomias in pots.


 

Conclusion

Peperomia Glabella is an easy-to-care-for plant, making it ideal for novice and experienced gardeners alike. It’s low maintenance as it doesn’t need frequent watering. Plus, it thrives just fine in low light conditions.

That said, it’s good to maintain the right conditions for its growth. This will enable it to develop vibrant foliage, which is sure to add a touch of elegance to your home.

These conditions entail a rich and well-draining soil, bright natural light, slightly humid space and watering when the soil is dry to touch.

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