All Peperomia species are fun plants to grow, including the one we will discuss today, Peperomia Metallica. The plant named is pronounced as Pep-er-ROH-mee-uh Meh-TAL-ih-kuh.
This plant is also known as Red Tree, and it is a small-sized Peperomia.
Peperomias are, no doubt, the easiest houseplants to grow. This species requires a peat-based soil with regular watering from spring through summer.
Adding some plant food will help the plant maintain the colored foliage throughout the year. This plant likes average household humidity.
This species has dark red leaves with a silver lining in the middle. It’s a perfect plant to add a touch of color to your indoor garden.
The foliage varies in fall colors ranging from red, pink, purple, and dark brown. Due to its coloration, it is believed that this plant is an understory species.
There are many variations of Peperomia Metallica, native to Columbia, Ecuador, and some regions of South America.
Many online nurseries have the popular variation named as Peperomia Metallica var. Colombiana.
This special plant is a must-have for every plant collector. Keep reading and learn the basic care for Peperomia Metallica.
- 1 Peperomia Metallica Basic Plant Care Tips
- 2 Common Problems for Peperomia Metallica
- 3 Tips for Growing Peperomia Metallica
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions about Peperomia Metallica
- 4.1 Why is my Peperomia Metallica wilting?
- 4.2 Which fertilizer is best for Peperomia Metallica?
- 4.3 Where should I place my Peperomia Metallica?
- 4.4 How much shade does this species need outdoors?
- 4.5 Can I use artificial lights for Peperomia Metallica?
- 4.6 Can this species survive in low light?
- 4.7 What happens if I overwater the Peperomia Metallica?
- 4.8 My Peperomia Metallica is taking very long to dry out; what should I do?
- 5 Conclusion
Peperomia Metallica Basic Plant Care Tips
Peat-based soil composition is best for Peperomia plants, including this one. You can prepare your own mix using 1 part perlite/ sand with 2 parts peat. Ensure the potting mix has good drainage as well as aeration.
For outdoor planting, grow it in well-draining soils with partial shade. The USDA hardiness zones of 10-11 are great for outdoor gardening of this plant. The soil pH needs to be between 5 to 7.5.
To water the Peperomia Metallica, allow the topsoil to dry well and then water the soil thoroughly. Never overwater or let the soil get soggy; if unsure, skip the watering.
Adding unnecessary water might seem a good idea as an over enthusiast plant parent, but it is only going to harm your plant.
This plant needs regular watering sessions in spring as well as summer. However, in winter, reduce the watering to once a week only. Remember, this species is a semi-succulent; therefore, water carefully to avoid over or under-watering.
Bright light is best for the multicolored foliage of the Peperomia Metallica. Plants with dark green or multicolored leaves cannot tolerate direct sun. Therefore keep it in a filtered position, use window blinds or any other sheer cloth to diffuse the sunlight.
The ideal temperature for this houseplant is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius). Keep in mind anything lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) will result in no growth.
Regarding the temperature, try to follow the tips given below for Peperomia Metallica:
- Avoid placing the plant in drafty doors, windows, or next to the air conditioner.
- Avoid placing the plant next to the radiator or heater.
- Avoid placing the plant in freezing temperatures outside with a risk of frost.
This species likes humidity. However, the average household humidity is enough. If you want to raise the indoor humidity level, mist your Peperomia Metallica or place the plant on a pebble tray.
To ensure proper air circulation, use a small fan near the plant.
The fertilizer will encourage growth on your plant. Therefore feed your plant in the growing phase using a diluted liquid fertilizer.
You can repeat the application after two weeks. I use a 10-10-10 general fertilizer. If you go for synthetic fertilizer, cut the strength by half.
Skip fertilizers or plant food in autumn and winter as the plant is not growing actively during these two seasons.
You do not have to repot or increase the pot size very often for this plant. However, refreshing the potting mixture is necessary, do this annually in early spring.
Repot your plant whenever it is suffering from a disease or has outgrown the pot. I would recommend repotting Peperomia Metallica after 1-2 years because it likes being root-bound.
Repotting will refresh the soil mix by removing the compacted soil. If you cannot replace the whole potting soil, at least replace the top layers of the soil. When choosing a pot for repotting, remember a large pot will lead to waterlogged soil.
When it comes to pruning Peperomia Metallica, you do not need to be delicate with it. Peperomia Metallica is quite tolerant of pruning, so there is no need for you to hold back.
One of the reasons why I prefer Peperomia plants is because they are delicate in appearance but still very strong.
For cosmetic purposes, I tend to never hold back on pruning with this plant. I take every opportunity to:
- Remove any dead growth.
- Get rid of any leaves that are damaged or have been infected with a disease.
Detect any unhealthy foliage early on and get rid of them as soon as possible since this will prevent your plant from facing any problems in the future.
There are no specific methods that you must follow when pruning your Peperomia Metallica since it is not delicate. But make sure not to be overly harsh with it either as it is still a living thing and can get damaged.
You can easily propagate Peperomia Metallica plants, and it is a great way of expanding your collection as you can share it with friends and family. The method you choose for propagating your plant depends on you.
However, Peperomia Metallica is propagated best from the leaf cuttings.
To know how to propagate your Peperomia Metallica through leaf cutting, follow these tips:
- Start with a tray that you will use for propagation or use a plant pot. Remember to do this before doing anything else. Use a soil mix of potting compost and perlite.
- Make sure your tray and every other equipment that you use is clean and sterilized. This is to avoid any future fungal diseases due to unsanitary practices.
- Cut a healthy leaf from your plant. You can cut this leaf from anywhere on the plant, such as the base of the stem. Use sharp gardening scissors or shears for this process.
- You can use the whole leaves, but it is recommended that you cut the leaves into two across the width.
- Dip the cut edges of your leaves into the rooting agent. This will encourage faster growth of the roots. This step isn’t necessary, but it is recommended.
- Within the potting medium, create small channels by using a knife or spoon; because of this, you will easily be able to insert your leaf cutting at least half an inch into the potting mix.
- Insert the leaf-cutting from the edge where it has been cut. Secure the potting soil around the cutting.
- Water the tray or pot.
- Now create a greenhouse for the plant by simply using a plastic bag. Wrap this plastic bag around the pot. If you have a cover for your propagation tray, then use it.
- You should leave your propagated plant under bright indirect sunlight under normal room temperature.
- Remember to remove the cover after every few days to get rid of any excess humidity, or else the plant will be at risk of developing fungal diseases.
- Eventually, the plant will start to grow, and you will notice the growth of new roots from the cut edges of the leaf. Once the new roots grow in, the plant will eventually grow a shoot, and then leaves will develop.
- Once the plant has grown slightly and has developed several new leaves, you can then pot them into individual pots.
This species has spiky red flowers, which are the main reason this plant is known as Red Tree. The beautiful flowers appear in late summer.
This plant has an upright growth habit with a mature size of 8 inches in height and 6 inches in width. The leaves on Peperomia Metallica are red-colored with silver veins in the middle.
This plant is a bushy Peperomia, and the leaves are elliptical in shape.
Some growers describe the leaves of this plant as a chocolate-colored with pink or red, even purple leaf undersides. The petioles are also pink colored; therefore, this plant is a colorful houseplant.
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Common Problems for Peperomia Metallica
Pythium has several species that can cause different types of diseases. But not every species of Pythium can cause crop loss.
Plant diseases that are caused by Pythium are divided into two groups:
- Diseases that affect parts of the plant that are connected to the soil, such as roots and seeds.
- Diseases that affect the plant that is above the ground, such as the leaves, stems, and flowers.
Plants that are infected at the roots and stems become water-soaked and collapse if this happens to a growing seedling, then the seedling will die at the soil line.
However, if older plants get infected by Pythium, then they are not always killed but do develop rotting in the roots. On some occasions, the plant may end up dying.
To avoid the spread of Pythium, check the roots to see if they are showing signs of rotting. Use a pot that has proper drainage and never overwater your plant. Keep all your gardening equipment clean, and sanitized.
Cercospora Leaf Spot
Cercospora leaf spot is occurring due to a fungus named Cercospora hydrangea. This is an infectious disease and is the most common disease found in plants that are kept as ornaments.
This disease rarely causes the plant to die, but if it becomes severe, then it will reduce plants’ vigor by defoliation. Cercospora leaf spot can become less severe if the plant is kept under a shade.
Proper sanitation is required to keep this disease dormant. The fungus can survive on the leaves that fall on to the group or that remain on the plant even after they get removed.
This is why you must get rid of every leaf that is not attached to that plant to avoid future infections.
Remove all spotted leaves at any time during the growing seasons. This should especially be done when new leaves are starting to form.
Water your plant from below through the drip irrigation method. Splashing water from above the plant can cause further spread of this fungus from one leaf to another.
The fungus gnat is an insect that tends to target indoor plants. Their love for indoor plants is due to the higher humidity and moister levels indoors as compared to outdoors.
You will know of their presence once you see an adult fungus gnat flying around the house, especially in areas such as the window or close to the plant.
The adult fungus gnat is harmless to humans, but they can be quite a nuisance as they tend to be as irritating as flies.
The best way to get rid of fungus gnats is by never overwatering your plant since they love soil that is damp, especially during the winters.
To create your own insect killer that is organic and not harmful to your plant, all you need is a combination of peppermint, cinnamon, and sesame oils.
Red Spider Mites
Red spider mites tend to target several species on plants. You will find that once one of your plants has been infected, red spider mites will be seen everywhere else as well.
This is why it is important to take care of your plant beforehand so that you can avoid red spider mites.
If your plant has been infected by red spider mites, then you will notice that it is unhealthy and dusty.
This dust is the red spider mites, and if you look at the dust close up, then you will see that it is moving around.
You can also look under the stems and leaves of your plant as they often create webbing on the underside of your plant.
They are not easily visible to the naked eye, but with a magnifying glass, you will be able to know.
To control and remove red spider mites from your plants, use natural predators such as ladybugs. You can use insecticidal oils and sprays as well.
Mealybugs are one of the few issues almost every plant faces if it has not been taken care of properly. These pests love feeding off of every plant’s sap, which then causes the leaves to curl up and turn yellow.
They love playing hide and seek, so look at the most unexpected areas of your plant as they tend to be great hiders.
If you find that mealybugs have infested your garden, then simply apply alcohol on a cloth or cotton pad and wipe the plant with it.
If the infestation of these pests has gone out of control, you can use pesticide sprays as well. If possible, try using organic pesticide spray.
Tips for Growing Peperomia Metallica
- Few hours of morning or evening sun will help the Peperomia Metallica plant grow well.
- Rotate the plant every week to make sure it is receiving an even amount of light, water, and nutrients.
- Peperomia Metallica likes staying in places with 60-90% humidity.
- Use a well-draining soil mix because this plant does not appreciate sitting in wet soil at all.
- Clean the foliage regularly to keep it clean and shiny.
Frequently Asked Questions about Peperomia Metallica
Why is my Peperomia Metallica wilting?
This Peperomia species will wilt due to water stress; it’s either overwatering or under-watering. Make sure you provide water only when necessary. This is when the top few layers of soil have dried out.
Which fertilizer is best for Peperomia Metallica?
You can use any houseplant fertilizer. Anything from quick-release fertilizer to slow-release fertilizer is great for this species. You can even utilize organic fertilizer like fish emulsion.
Where should I place my Peperomia Metallica?
Peperomia Metallica is a great plant for an office desk and terrarium.
How much shade does this species need outdoors?
This plant likes partial shade to full shade for outdoor planting.
Can I use artificial lights for Peperomia Metallica?
Artificial lights are a great option for growing several houseplants. You can use artificial lights or inflorescent bulbs for 12-14 hours to keep your Ppreomia Metallica happy and thriving.
Can this species survive in low light?
This particular Peperomia species will not grow much under too much sunlight; therefore, low to medium sunlight is the best.
What happens if I overwater the Peperomia Metallica?
Overwatering Peperomia plants will lead to root-rot. Therefore you should always avoid this situation; make sure you water only when soil is dry.
My Peperomia Metallica is taking very long to dry out; what should I do?
When container plants take very long to dry out, the main reason is that the soil has become too compacted. Compacted soil can also lead to root-rot. The best solution is to repot your Peperomia Metallica plant. Refreshing the soil will also remove the compacted soil.
The Peperomia Metallica is mainly grown for its unusual foliage and flowers. This is a compact Peperomia with trailing stems, and it brightens up any indoor space with the stunning foliage.
The leaves have a metallic sheen and stripes at the center. Despite the complex textured foliage, this is an easy to grow houseplant.