Today we are discussing a small-sized Peperomia plant known as Peperomia Magnoliifolia (Pep-er-ROH-mee-uh Mag-noh-lee-eye-FOH-lee-uh). This plant is also famous among gardeners as Spoonleaf Peperomia and Desert Privet. This plant is adaptable to many different conditions, which makes it the best fit for any beginner.
When growing Peperomia Magnoliifolia indoors, position it in medium to bright light keeping away from direct sunlight. A well-draining potting mix with orchid bark, coco coir, and charcoal is best for this plant.
This is an air purifier that adorns indoor spaces in hanging baskets or simply in pots. It originates from tropical parts of the West Indies and Venezuela. Peperomia plants are very diverse in terms of their shapes and foliage.
This plant has two cultivars one is tricolored, and the other is variegated. The tricolored Magnoliifolia plant has leaves with yellow or red edges. Whereas the variegated version has gold and green colored leaves.
- 1 Peperomia Magnoliifolia Plant Care Guide
- 2 Common Problems for Peperomia Magnoliifolia
- 3 Tips for Growing
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions about Peperomia Magnoliifolia
- 4.1 Is Peperomia Magnoliifolia good for terrariums?
- 4.2 Why is my Peperomia Magnoliifolia wilting despite regular watering?
- 4.3 Is Peperomia Magnoliifolia an air-cleaning plant?
- 4.4 What is the best location for Peperomia Magnoliifolia?
- 4.5 My variegated Magnoliifolia is fading, why is that?
- 4.6 Can I grow Magnoliifolia under fluorescent lighting?
- 4.7 Is misting harmful for my Peperomia Magnoliifolia?
- 5 Conclusion
Peperomia Magnoliifolia Plant Care Guide
A loose but well-draining, rich mixture is an ideal medium for Peperomia Magnoliifolia. Make sure you keep the potting soil moist in growing seasons.
Any regular potting mixture is suitable as long as it fulfills the criteria mentioned previously. The following recipe has worked great for almost all my Peperomia plants.
An equal part of orchid bark and charcoal mixed together with potting soil. Add some worm composts as a top dressing. You can add some coco coir for better drainage because it provides good aeration and water retention and yet drains well.
Research has proven that coco coir is more environment-friendly than peat moss, which is another favorite ingredient of most gardeners.
Based on the observation that overwatering is the biggest issue for Peperomia, a well-draining mixture is a must for growing any Peperomia. You can create a custom mix using peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand.
Depending on temperature and light, this Peperomia species might need to be watered daily. But normally you have to water the Magnoliifolia once the top 3-4 inches are dried out. Water the potting mixture thoroughly until you see water running down from the drainage holes.
Watering the plant is where most people go wrong in Peperomia’s care. Therefore it is important to understand your plant’s watering requirements.
You might consider watering your plant every other day as an over enthusiast plant parent but remember that’s only going to harm your plant.
Overwatering is the easiest way to kill any Peperomia plant, including Magnoliifolia. Major signs of overwatering or waterlogged soil are yellow leaves, rotting stalks, and wilting. A heavy pot also indicates an overwatered plant.
I water my indoor Peperomias after 6 or 8 days, depending on the soil condition. Outdoor Peperomias might have different watering frequencies because they are exposed to different climates. Let the soil condition serve as your actual guide to decide whether your plant needs any water.
The drying of soil in between waterings is necessary for this Peperomia. Remember that most succulent/ semi-succulent species of Peperomia are tolerant of dry and erratic conditions. So go easy with watering the Peperomia Magnoliifolia.
When grown inside, Peperomia Magnoliifolia should get filtered sunlight. My Peperomia Magnoliifolia is doing great under moderate light in north and east-facing windows. Using fluorescent lights is the best option for low light areas since these can be managed more easily without the risk of sunburns.
Peperomias are very sensitive to direct sun as this scorches the beautiful foliage. But if placed in very low light, Magnoliifolia starts developing leggy stems. This happens because the plant starts growing in the direction of light. You can experiment to find the ideal spot for your Magnoliifolia in your house.
If you want to keep it on a patio or outdoor garden, make sure the foliage is protected from the afternoon sun. You have to grow it in a lightly shaded spot with an hour or two of morning or evening sunlight.
The variegated versions need bright sunlight to maintain their colored foliage. So position it accordingly. The plant starts turning green if placed in very low light conditions.
In simple words, this Peperomia species likes growing in partial to full shade.
The Spoonleaf Peperomia thrives at room temperature throughout the year. The minimum winter temperature should be around 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). You can reduce the watering frequency in winter once the temperature starts getting close to the minimum.
The acceptable temperature range for this plant is around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26 degrees Celsius).
This plant likes to grow in areas with 40-60% humidity levels. For dry climates, provide adequate humidity through frequent misting or placing the potted Peperomia in a gravel tray.
The easiest way to ensure proper humidity is to grow your Peperomia Magnoliifolia in your bathroom or kitchen. These are the moistest areas within any household.
Fertilized Peperomia plants have better and fast growth compared to unfertilized plants. If you want to go for liquid fertilizer, apply it twice every week during growing months. Dilute the liquid fertilizer at the recommended rate or half-strength if unsure. I use a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer for my Magnoliifolia in the growing season only.
Whereas for controlled-release fertilizer, you have to add the pellets only once at the beginning of the growing season.
Do not feed your Magnoliifolia in winter because the plant is not growing much. The extra fertilization can lead to salt buildups. Know that overfertilizing can create more issues for your plant compared to under fertilizing.
It is a good practice to leach the soil in early summer to get rid of any harmful buildups that might have accumulated.
Most Peperomias like staying root-bound in small pots, so do not bother yourself about repotting very often. I repot my Peperomia Magnoliifolia when it starts overgrowing its pot. This is roughly after 2 or 3 years.
Repotting will also prevent the potting soil from being too compact. Compact soil will reduce the drainage ability of the soil over time.
You can easily repot your Peperomia Magnoliifolia using the following instructions:
- Gently remove the Magnoliifolia from its current pot. Try removing the previous potting soil from the roots. Make sure you do not damage any roots while doing this.
- You can use cutting shears or scissors to untangle or trim any damaged roots.
- Prepare a potting mixture that’s suitable for a Peperomia plant, as discussed previously. Pour half of the mixture in the new pot.
- Transfer the plant to the new pot by gently placing it in the soil. Pour the remaining mixture at the sides to entirely cover the root ball.
- Without compacting too much, firm the soil around the plant roots and sides. You can do this by pressing with your fingers.
- Water the Peperomia Magnoliifolia to help the soil settle in the new pot.
This plant needs average maintenance throughout the year. However, if you notice your plant has become top-heavy or leggy, it is best to prune some parts. You can use these parts for propagation that will be discussed in detail in the next section.
Trim the plant every now and then to maintain a compact and ornamental appearance. Some say Peperomias can handle aggressive pruning, but I would not suggest as that can shock your plant.
Pruning is great for not only grooming your plant but also to remove any dead growth, including yellow, brown leaves, and diseased foliage. Detecting and removing unhealthy leaves and stems is important for your plant’s health.
The extra stems you saved while pruning your Peperomia Magnoliifolia can be used for propagation in the spring or summer season.
- Sterilize your cutting tools by wiping them with rubbing alcohol before as well as after propagation. This should the first step in any propagation process.
- Cut at least 6 inches long stem with 2 leaves on it from a healthy Peperomia Magnoliifolia plant.
- Take a small pot and fill it with a well-draining potting mix.
- By making a small hole in the potting mix, plant the cutting 3 inches deep. The lower leaves should not touch the soil.
- Now fill the hole with potting soil. Thoroughly water your cutting until the soil is saturated. After that, water only when needed, but don’t let the top layer of soil dry out.
- Place the stem cutting in a location with high humidity and bright light. You should provide bottom heat for extra warmth.
- Some growers like covering the plant for high humidity. But I would suggest not covering with polythene or plastic bag as the succulent leaves can already store enough water. The cutting could easily rot if kept in a damp or excessively humid environment.
- The cutting will start rooting in 4 to 6 weeks.
- This method is great whenever your plant is overgrowing its container. Simply divide it into a manageable size to encourage growth on the plant.
- Remove the Magnoliifolia plant from its pot and carefully brush soil around the roots. Trim the dying roots with scissors and avoid damaging the healthy roots while doing this.
- Divide the root ball into several sections; the number of sections will depend on the size of the root ball. Each section should have at least 2-3 stems.
The blooms for this plant do not have any significant fragrance. These blooms are pale green and packed tightly on slender spikes. The spikes are mostly present at stem tips or around leaf joints.
This plant starts blooming once mature. Luckily the blooms continue all year long. Peperomia Magnoliifolia also grows small fruits.
This Peperomia species has large foliage with upright growth habit. Despite its compact size, this plant spreads via the brown stems to create mats of beautiful green leaves.
This plant has a mature height of 12 inches. The fleshy, thick leaves give this plant a succulent look.
Common Problems for Peperomia Magnoliifolia
Mealybugs are clever, little insects that hide and feed on your plant. If you notice any white cottony growth on your plant out of nowhere, your plant probably had mealybugs. They can also appear as brown growth in an immature stage.
Mealybug eggs hatch in a week or two, and the nymph becomes an adult within the next few weeks. You may get mealybugs from a new plant that was recently bought or via contaminated potting mixture.
The main signs of infection are deformed leaves, stunted growth, leaf drop, and yellow leaves. Mealybugs are mostly present at leaf joints and veins.
Getting rid of these annoying pests might seem difficult but believe me, it is not impossible, especially if the infection is small. Remember that heavy infestation can kill your plant, so it’s better to get rid of them as early as possible.
All you have to do is quarantine the infected plant from others to prevent the spread. Then apply organic pest control products like neem oil.
Red Spider Mites
These mostly attack the Peperomia Magnoliifolia in the spring or summer season. The main symptom is a disfigured plant with stunted growth. These simply create white webs on your houseplant. They use these webs for protection and to crawl to different parts of the plant.
You might notice them only when the population has reached a large number. Therefore it is best to inspect your Magnoliifolia plant while watering or pruning.
In addition to webs, you may notice that the leaves have a dusty appearance. The leaves also look discolored, curly, and dried up since the mites are feeding on plant sap.
Mites thrive in winter when the indoor climate is warm and dry. Under favored conditions, they multiply rapidly. Within a few weeks, the female mite can lay hundreds of eggs, and these eggs can hatch.
These pests cause more damage to your houseplants compared to mealybugs. Avoid using synthetic pesticides because most spider mite species are resistant to them.
Remove the mites by dabbing some rubbing alcohol on the leaves and stems. Ensure you don’t miss the undersides of the leaves, leaf joints, and axils.
Bring your plant to a sink or tub and wash it with a solution of insecticide soap. Finally, rinse the plant with clean water to get rid of dead mites.
It will require several applications to completely get rid of spider mites. You might have to use a combination of different chemical and organic products.
Tips for Growing
- Spraying the foliage with water from time to time keeps it dust-free.
- Maintain good air circulation for your Peperomia Magnoliifolia to prevent diseases.
- Do not let the potting soil for your Peperomia Magnoliifolia completely dry out in between watering.
- The thick leaves act as a water storage system; therefore, I would advise keeping the potting mixture on the drier side. Excessive watering can drown the roots leading to root rot.
- Overfertilizing should be avoided because it can cause toxicity of some nutrients while deficiency of others. Fertilize according to instructions or less if not sure.
- Do not rush repotting your Peperomia plant. Only repot when necessary.
- The easiest way to kill almost any Peperomia species is through excessive watering or heavy potting mix. Make sure you always avoid these.
- Rotate the pot regularly to allow even distribution of sunlight; else, the plant starts leaning towards the light source.
Frequently Asked Questions about Peperomia Magnoliifolia
Is Peperomia Magnoliifolia good for terrariums?
This plant prefers high humidity and likes staying compact that makes it a great Peperomia plant for terrariums.
Why is my Peperomia Magnoliifolia wilting despite regular watering?
You are overwatering your plant. This results in a lack of oxygen for roots, which leads to a wilted plant.
Is Peperomia Magnoliifolia an air-cleaning plant?
According to NASA research, all Peperomias absorb and reduce the level of harmful chemicals from the air.
What is the best location for Peperomia Magnoliifolia?
This ornamental plant can be placed anywhere on your office desk, dining table, or bookshelf. The compact size makes this plant an attractive and easy addition to any corner of your house.
My variegated Magnoliifolia is fading, why is that?
Your plant is not receiving enough light. With low light, the plant will become dull, and the variegation will start fading. A simple solution for this is to move the pot to a brighter location.
Can I grow Magnoliifolia under fluorescent lighting?
Fluorescent lighting is the best option to grow any Peperomia plant, including the Magnoliifolia. This is the most suitable choice if you are located in a low light area.
Is misting harmful for my Peperomia Magnoliifolia?
Misting is great for maintaining humidity for your houseplants. So I would suggest misting your plant with filtered water every 3-4 days.
This Peperomia species has eye-catching, small foliage that’s a unique feature of this plant. The leaves are succulent and almost circular in shape. Once you understand the basic care, this plant demands very little attention from you. This plant is an annual and is highly suitable for container gardening in mild climates.
Peperomias are wonderful as houseplants because they are easy-going and require very little care. Another plus point is that they tolerate a wide variety of lighting conditions. You can read about other varieties like Peperomia Hoffmannii, Ivy Peperomia, and Peperomia Verticillata.