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Peperomia Hope – A Complete Care Guide

Peperomia Hope – A Complete Care Guide

Peperomia Hope is a lovely hybrid cultivar belonging to the wide and varied genus of popular houseplants, Peperomia.

It is a cross between Peperomia deppeana and Peperomia quadrifolia, both of which are low growing vining epiphytes with small green round leaves on thin stems. 

If you want to grow Peperomia Hope in your garden, the first challenge you’ll face is identification. The plant closely resembles many of its cousins. 

The arrangement of the leaves along the stem in groups of four is very similar to Peperomia Tetraphylla. The leaf venation or the light oblong stripes along the leaves are similar to the popular Watermelon Peperomia.

The small round shape of the leaves is similar to Peperomia Quadrangularis. So, it can be somewhat confusing for the uninitiated.

The important thing is to know what the plant likes or doesn’t like if you decide to grow Peperomia Hope. The genus is commonly found in the tropical regions of Central and South America. 

Therefore, the ideal Peperomia Hope care conditions would be to provide it with temperatures consistently above  64°F (18°C), moisture like a succulent, forest-like humidity, filtered light and breathable soil.

Your Peperomia Hope will be happy as a puppy. Let’s dig in.

 

Peperomia Hope Plant Care

The ideal Peperomia Hope care conditions would be to provide it with temperatures consistently above 64°F (18°C), moisture like a succulent, forest-like humidity, filtered light and breathable soil.

 

Soil

All epiphytes have but one ask – their roots need oxygen. A well-draining mix helps in providing the roots with the much needed aeration. Your regular garden soil would need to be amended with things that add a bit of grit. What I like to use are coco-chips, brick bits, mineral rich river sand, and finally perlite.

Although Peperomia Hope is a sort of a succulent with fleshy leaves, it does need consistent moisture. The soft stems sag if the soil dries out too much.

So while draining materials are needed, so are moisture-retentive items. For me, these are sterile compost, coco peat, peat moss, soft mulch, animal dung manure like cow dung manure. Note that they are all organic components.

The wonderful thing about adding organic soil additives for Peperomia Hope care is that they not only improve the moisture holding capacity of the soil, they increase soil acidity. If you want to grow Peperomia Hope, you’ll need a soil pH of 6 to 6.6.

So, keep the organic to non-organic ratio of about 50/50. Finally, the simplest soil hack for Peperomia Hope care is to simply mix peat and perlite 50/50.

 

Light

The way to grow Peperomia Hope is to give it adequate filtered light. I’ve seen many gardeners say that they are perfect low light plants.

Well, there’s merit in this statement because Peperomia Hope care doesn’t require bright sun. That said, the green leaves start looking jaded if it’s in low light for a prolonged period of time.

Let me give you some ideas for suitable spots to grow Peperomia Hope. If you have a balcony, you can grow it in a railing planter.

The bright shade of balconies work great for this plant. If you have an east window or a south window with consistent lighting that would be great too. 

What is not suitable for Peperomia Hope care is direct sun rays. So, if that’s the case in your home you place it behind sheer curtains or about a meter (3 feet) away from the window.

In winters, you’ll either need south windows for consistent light or grow lights for 12 hours a day.

 

Watering

Watering is perhaps the “make or break” aspect of Peperomia Hope care. It’s closely linked with the potting soil you use. For this section, I am going to assume that you got the soil right, i.e. a 50/50 mix of organic and draining components. 

The test is when you water the pot, all the water should leave through the drain hole within seconds without bringing the soil along with it.

If you get this right, then the next thing you can do is to adopt the top-soil touch test on a regular basis. Pinch the top one inch of the soil mix. If it feels dry and crumbly then that’s your watering day.

For me, the cycle is once in three days in peak summers. As winters thickens, it gradually drops to 10 days or even 2 weeks. What I’ve observed is that as long as you grow Peperomia Hope away from direct harsh sunlight, it can take a bit of drought but it won’t tolerate water logging for very long.

Remember, the bottomline is that Peperomia Hope likes moisture despite its seemingly succulent qualities. What it doesn’t like is for the roots to be choked in waterlogged soil. So, the key to watering lies in the soil.

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for Peperomia Hope care is between 65° and 75°F (18° – 24°C). It’s a moderate warmth loving plant with no frost tolerance.

If you live close to the equator you can grow Peperomia Hope outdoors throughout the year. Otherwise, it is best to move your pot indoors in the colder months away from the cold drafts.

Peperomia Hope care can get tricky in cold weather countries. Although it is said to be a temperature tolerant tropical plant, I’ve not had success with it when temperatures go below 55ºF (13ºC).

The fleshy plant dies at the slightest sign of frost. One Peperomia Hope care point is to keep it away from drafts of air-conditioners and heaters. They stress easily under extreme temperature fluctuations.

If the temperature stays above  86°F (30°C) that too can stress the plant. So if you live in warm regions then make sure there’s sun protection and adequate watering, perhaps even everyday.

 

Humidity

Peperomia Hope is actually quite tolerant to a range of humidity conditions. Because the genus is native to rainforests you’d expect that the plant would be humidity loving.

But Peperomia Hope does quite well even in drier air conditions. In my experience, the typical household conditions of 40-50% humidity is quite sufficient. 

That said, they wouldn’t mind a bit of humidity by way of a humidifier or a pebble tray. All I am saying is you needn’t stress about this.

One of my top humidity hacks is to huddle up a few of my favorite tropical evergreens and place my Peperomia Hope plant in their midst.

If you have high humidity, just be sure the leaves are not kept wet for prolonged periods or this can lead to rot and disease. Good air circulation is as important as humidity for proper Peperomia Hope care. Very important for disease prevention.

 

Fertilizer

I usually wouldn’t recommend any chemical fertilizers for epiphytes of any kind. That said, Peperomia Hope being a hybrid variety actually does respond well to fertilization. 

The first step to Peperomia Hope care is to enrich the soil with slow release manure. I ensure this while potting the plant including by rich organic additives in the soil mix. 

In addition to this you can administer a balanced liquid fertilizer like a 10-10-10 about once a month. Just make sure it’s 3 or 4 times more diluted than what’s prescribed on the packaging.

So, for example, if the Rx ratio is 5ml per gallon of water, make it 5ml per 4 gallons of water. 

I am particularly a fan of the fish emulsion fertilizer. Easy to dilute and the plants seem to love it. You could even use good quality succulent fertilizer too.

My Peperomia Hope care schedule includes a balanced fertilizer once a month during growing months and I stop feeding the plant in winter months.

 

Propagation

Literally every part of the wonderful Peperomia Hope plant will lend itself to propagation. This in fact is my favorite aspect of peperomias in general.

Since Peperomia Hope has fleshy stems, I like sticking the stems in soil or water for rooting. This curious plant will even root from half a leaf, by the way.

The tiny round leaves of Peperomia Hope can pop little pups if given the right conditions. Leaf propagation is a great science experiment for children to engage themselves in, during their summer holidays.

Just make them put 5 leaves for propagation every day for 30 days. On the 30th day, compare the first batch of 5 leaves with the last one. It’s pure joy.

Peperomia propagation is one of those activities that can cement an enduring love for gardening in children.

 

Growth

You can grow Peperomia Hope 6 to 8 inches high and as wide as you give it space to expand. You can train it like a ground runner. However, don’t expect it to trail aggressively.

It is a slow grower and it won’t cover space too soon. I prefer to give them a small hanging basket or an attractive ceramic tabletop planter. These planters exploit the aesthetics of the Hope plant in the best possible way.

Peperomia Hope plants aren’t known for their flowers, but they do have inconsequential blooms likes little spike or upright cat tails.

I quite like how the whole pot of vining plant goes up in small spikes during the growing months. The foliage is the real show stealer.

The small leaves grow as whorls in groups of four along stems, like little clovers. Although Peperomia Hope isn’t a succulent, the leaves give that impression.

Low light can make the plant have leggy growth. If you want to grow Peperomia Hope into a compact and bushy mound, trim the long vines and propagate them in the same pot. Also, make sure it’s getting the right amount of light and hydration.

 

Potting

The ideal way to grow Peperomia Hope is as desktop plants or hanging baskets. Any place where you want the foliage to trail out of the sides of the pot is a great place for Peperomia hope.

Given the compact size and non aggressive growth pace, even terrariums are great. Consider growing them in terracotta planters for better root moisture management.

If you want to hang them then there are these coir baskets that work great for Peperomia Hope.

As far as repotting is concerned, when the plant outgrows the original pot I simply divide the roots and split the mother plant into two smaller ones.

Alternatively, you can prune and propagate Peperomia Hope often to control the growth. In my opinion, no other manner of repotting is required for this plant. 

However, if you feel the roots are too cramped or that the plant has become slow growing or that water isn’t draining properly, you may need to repot the plant carefully.

The stems are delicate and break easily while repotting. So that’s something you need to watch for.

 

Peperomia Hope Propagation: Step-by-step Guide

 

Propagate Peperomia Hope from leaf cuttings

  • Wait until June, just ahead of the growing season in the tropics.
  • Cut a few healthy leaves along with the petiole from a bug-free mother plant.
  • Let the cuts callous out for a day. 
  • Pop the leaves 4 inches apart in a germination tray with a 50/50 peat/perlite soil mix.
  • The stalk should be firmly under the soil. Press down the leaf in the soil just a bit.
  • Insert hairpins through the leaf into the soil so that the leaf veins are firmly in contact with the soil. Flat, like coasters on a table.
  • Place the tray in 70°-75°F (21 – 24°C) under a growlight, misting the soil regularly.
  • The soil moisture should be maintained but shouldn’t be wet because your leaf will definitely rot away.
  • New plants will start growing from the leaf base in four to eight weeks

 

Propagate Peperomia Hope from stem cuttings 

Some people don’t have much success with leaf cuttings. For them I’d recommend the stem cutting method which is fairly straightforward and fail-proof for most home growers.

  • Use a mother plant that is fairly mature and has been flowering regularly
  • Check the base of basal branches and choose a branch that is thick and healthy
  • Cut about three to inches of stem tip with several leaves on it and set it aside to callous for a day.
  • You either stick this in water or evenly moist soil (50/50 peat + perlite)
  • Place this in warm partial shade and make sure the water stays at room temperature under ALL circumstances.
  • The stem should take root in around 4 to 8 weeks

 

Propagate Peperomia Hope through ground layering

With trailing Peperomias this is quite straightforward. The training vines sprout roots when in contact with soil. You can exploit this habit and twist back some of the trailing vines of the Hope plant into the soil.

To assist the rooting process you may hold down the stem close to the soil with the help of hairpins. The roots will appear at the leaf nodes. 


 

Common problems with Peperomia Hope

 

Pest control

As the Peperomia Hope is a herbaceous plant with fleshy stalks, sap sucking bugs or pests could be an issue. We’re talking mealybugs, aphids, scales. Here are some precautions you should take.

  • Check the underside of leaves regularly because that’s where the bugs start appearing. If you spot even a single bug, pinch off the leaf immediately.
  • Wash my plant on a watering day and make sure the leaves dry out. The plant should be kept where there’s good air circulation so that the leaf surface dries up.
  • Include an organic insecticide like neem oil or insecticidal soap in your Peperomia Hope care routine as a best practice. 

Some of the other common problems seen when you grow Peperomia Hope are listed below:

 

Fading dull leaves

If you grow Peperomia Hope for its light to deep green this isn’t something you want to see. It’s probably due to low light. So move the pot to a bright spot.

 

Leaves dropping off suddenly 

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, if your Peperomia Hope is exposed to cold draft the leaves will turn a dark brown and fall off. You know what to do next. Immediately bring the plant indoors. 

Secondly, I would immediately check for a root rot indicated by the base of the plant being soggy and dislodged from the roots. An important part of Peperomia Hope care is watering and soil. 

If the plant is young there’s, unfortunately, little you can do to save it. If it’s a mature plant with several branches, salvage healthy stems and repot them in a sterile airy mix. 

 

Brown spots on the leaves 

If the brown spots are spreading then it is a fungal infection arising due to excessive wetness on the leaves. If you’ve been watering from the top and drenching the leaves you should stop that immediately and forever. Remove affected leaves. Keep the plant in an airy ventilated spot.

 

Leaf edges burn 

Either direct sun exposure or chemical salts in the water can burn up the leaves. Using RO water helps not just peperomia but all delicate houseplants in general.

 

Old leaves discolor and the plant looks dull and slow-growing 

Yellowing of leaves is a typical sign that the plant isn’t getting enough nutrients. Give it a light balanced fertilizer to improve the NPK levels for a few weeks. Rainwater misting regularly is also helpful. If it’s a mature plant, you can repot it with a lot of good slow-release organic manure.

 

Tips to grow Peperomia Hope problem-free

  • Despite succulent leaves and stems Peperomia Hope needs consistent watering
  • Keep the soil well draining to avoid water logging
  • Include organic soil additives while potting
  • Never water from the top wetting the leaves
  • Peperomia Hope prefers good lighting but not direct sun
  • Fertilize using balanced liquid fertilizer diluted 3 to 4 times the strength during the growing season 
  • Grow Peperomia Hope in terracotta pots to allows roots to dry out
  • Wash your Peperomia Hope plant once in a way to keep pests at bay
  • Use natural insecticides like neem oil treatment as a preventive
  • Propagate Peperomia Hope abundantly to cover for losses

 

Frequently asked questions about Peperomia Hope

 

Is Peperomia Hope a succulent?

The plant has leaves that are slightly thick like succulents, but they are essentially epiphytes. Most of their needs are like succulents with the difference that they need more moisture and humidity than succulents. Certain other varieties of Peperomia however have even more succulent-like features.

 

Can you grow Peperomia Hope under artificial light?

They can grow very well under fluorescent light kept on for about 12 hours a day.

 

Is Peperomia Hope good for ground cover?

Peperomia Hope is a low growing trailing plant but not an aggressive grower. In my observation it doesn’t cover the surface fast enough. Unless you’re OK with the pace of growth I wouldn’t recommend it for ground cover. 

Conclusion

Peperomias Hope is a great plant to have for people with small spaces. The low growing habit makes it very versatile for indoor use. You can grow Peperomias Hope on a table top or as a windowsill plant or in your kitchen or bathroom. The bright green leaves with their clover like formation never fail to add character to the space. 

If you want to expand your indoor garden collection with similar compact Peperomia plants I’d recommend Peperomia Quadrangularis or Peperomia metallica. You can consider some easy growing aroids for indoor growing too. Have a look at Monstera Dilacerata or Neon Pothos. Even these add a splash of green to your home.

Happy gardening!

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