The obsession with Peperomias never ends; here is another one that’s gorgeous and rare. The tiny, heart-shaped succulent leaves and reddish-pink stems make Peperomia Perciliata an amusing plant. This plant can be grown in baskets, terrariums, or as an underplant.
This plant grows well in peat or perlite based organic mixture. With minimal watering needs, it is happy when you water it every 7 to 10 days and keep it in 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In terms of light, you should opt for bright, filtered light.
This plant is now an endangered Peperomia; I got my cutting as a gift from a friend. To my surprise, this plant is a trailing houseplant, unlike other members of its family.
Peperomia plants are related to the Pepper plant family. Peperomia plants are the easiest plant to grow indoors; in fact, they are famous as radiator plants due to their quick adaptability to indoor climate. The name radiator plant was given by Liberty Hyde Bailey, who is considered the father of American horticulture.
According to GardenTags, March is the best time to plant a Peperomia Perciliata. Some sources list this plant as Panama Peperomia because it is believed to originate from Panama.
Mine is spreading and thriving in all directions. Therefore, after a successful planting experience, I’m here to share some useful tips with you.
- 1 Basic Plant Care Instructions for Peperomia Perciliata
- 2 Common Problems for Peperomia Perciliata
- 3 Tips for Growing
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.1 My Peperomia Perciliata has fading dull leaves; how can I solve this issue?
- 4.2 How many hours of natural light are recommended for this Peperomia?
- 4.3 Why is this species considered a dainty Peperomia?
- 4.4 Can I introduce animals in my vivarium right after planting my Peperomia?
- 4.5 What is the best lighting for Peperomia Perciliata?
- 5 Conclusion
Basic Plant Care Instructions for Peperomia Perciliata
This perennial needs an overall rich and free-draining soil mixture. It will be ideal if you maintain the soil pH between 6.1 to 6.5 (slightly acidic). I would suggest going for a peat-based mix instead of a regular gardening mix.
You can also use an organic potting mix (3 parts) that is amended with perlite (1 part). This mix will ensure excellent drainage.
This plant has a semi-succulent nature, so it is better to allow the soil to dry before the next watering to prevent stem or root rot. This succulent nature also allows your plant to handle occasional droughts if you forget to water.
Keep a close eye on the soil moisture to decide when your plant needs to be watered. In my experience, this variety needs very little water.
I like to check my plant for watering every 7 to 10 days. Summer months are the active growing period of this plant, so you should add liquid plant food while watering.
Generally, this Peperomia requires bright, indirect light for indoor growth. However, a few hours of direct sunlight are great for the growth of Peperomia Perciliata leaves. Remember that this plant will not appreciate extreme conditions of strong sunlight or deep shade.
I rotate my plant in eastern and western exposure windows within my apartment. Avoid keeping it in a direct sunlight window unless you have sheer curtains or shade cloth. I would suggest experimenting with your plant to find its likes and dislikes. Finding the perfect lighting spot can be tricky, but I would recommend placing the pot at least a foot or two away from the window.
This plant will also thrive with grow lights. I would suggest using good quality horticulture grow lights that can be installed on top of the pot and the terrarium as well. This plant can be placed in partial shade in outdoor locations.
The best temperature conditions for this plant are 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 35 degrees Celsius).
Just like other members of its family Perciliata is not frost-hardy, making it a sensitive plant for winter. This Peperomia can handle a minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Maintaining proper indoor humidity levels is another requirement of plant care. You have to keep the Peperomia Perciliata in 40 to 50% humidity at least.
If you are keeping your plant in a terrarium, cover the top for high humidity. Leave a 1-inch gap to ensure air circulation in the microclimate.
There are several natural and synthetic options for feeding houseplants. You can add manure or compost before the growing season or go for a balanced houseplant fertilizer throughout the growing season.
The only precaution about fertilizers for Peperomias is that you should follow the manual or the instructions by the manufacturer.
You do not have to repot it frequently. But if necessary, it can be transferred to a bigger pot after a few years. You should select a pot that fits the root ball of your plant. Choosing a very big pot can cause flooding. Another tip is to repot in spring.
You can prune your Perciliata plant if it gets out of hands or untidy. Pruning will not only improve the growing conditions but also enhance the appearance of your plant. But make sure you use disinfected tools while pruning. Otherwise, there is a risk of disease spread.
I always prune my Peperomia every two months throughout the year. This helps me maintain the size and keeps the plant disease-free.
Remember, the best time for propagation is either spring or summer. This vigorous grower can be easily propagated with cuttings in water or soil. Take more than one cuttings, so you have several baby Perciliata plants. Propagating Peperomia Perciliata is easy; just follow the steps I have discussed below.
Water Propagation of Peperomia Perciliata
- Propagating plants in water is straightforward and exciting. Take a cup or jar and fill it with distilled water. If you will use tap water, let it settle for a few hours to dissipate chlorine or fluoride.
- Take a few inches long cutting with a leaf or two on it. It is mandatory to have at least one leaf node; otherwise, the cutting will not root.
- Cutting should be taken with clean/sterilized tools and at an angle. You have to make a clean incision.
- Now insert this cutting in the water. Position your cup or jar in a bright location with a warm temperature.
- After 5 or 6 weeks, your cutting will start developing small white roots. You have to let the cutting grow for a few more weeks after this before moving it.
- If you enjoy water propagation, you can keep growing the cutting in water for several months without any issue.
- I would suggest moving it to the soil after you have several new roots and leaves on the cutting. This will ensure your baby plant does not develop weak water roots.
- After transplanting the baby Perciliata plant to the soil, you have to give it plenty of moisture and humidity to keep it healthy. You must choose a pot with drainage holes.
- The bathroom window is a great location for this new plant.
Soil Propagation using Stem Cuttings
- Soil propagation is the most widely used method among gardeners. Find a healthy stem on your Peperomia Perciliata. Make sure the stem has few lush green leaves on it.
- The health of the parent plant is very important for the growth of the new cutting. Therefore always take cuttings from healthy parts of the plant.
- In a small terracotta pot, prepare a regular mixture of well-draining soil. Soil plays an important role in the indoor propagation of Peperomia plants.
- You have to use a light and airy rooting medium to help the cutting thrive. You can mix 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite. Also, get a small quantity of rooting medium to help the leaves and tip grow faster.
- You can follow the recipe mentioned in the soil section since that mix is appropriate for both baby and mature plants.
- Get rid of all the leaves in the lower end of the cutting. Make sure the leaf node is exposed. Now, as an extra step, dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder.
- Now your cutting is ready to be buried in the soil. You can cover your pot with a plastic sheet or bag to create a tiny greenhouse. You can even use a plastic bottle for this. This ensures a constantly humid environment.
- Don’t forget to add a few holes in your humidity setup; this allows better air circulation.
- For successful propagation, this cutting needs a bottom temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and bright sunlight. Within a few weeks, you will have new plants sprouting.
- Once the cutting is established with some healthy roots, you can transfer it to a 3-inch pot or basket.
Soil Propagation using Leaf Cuttings
- Another method for expanding your Peperomia collection is leaf propagation. You need the same soil and equipment, as mentioned in the previous section.
- The only difference is that in this method, you will take several leaves from a healthy plant with small stems attached to them.
- Rooting hormone is beneficial in this method also. Simply place your healthy leaves in the soil and let them grow new plants.
- Some growers complain that leaf propagation takes longer, but it is worth all the wait.
If you thought this plant only has gorgeous leaves and stems, you are wrong. This plant also has delicate white flowers that are a treat for the eyes.
These flowers compliment the green, red and pink shades of the plant, making Peperomia Perciliata a rare beauty. The blooms are only 1 inch or smaller in size but fragrant once in full bloom. The flowering spathes are long white peduncle looking, unlike regular flowers you would expect on a plant.
This Peperomia will grow about 2-4 inches in height and 8-18 inches in width. Initially, it grows upward, but once it reaches a height of 2-3 inches, it will start trailing. This plant has leaves in varying sizes that add striking beauty to its appearance. The fleshy foliage also has slight variegation. The leaves are mostly dark green in color.
This species is considered a slow grower, but you can grow it inside a terrarium for faster growth.
Common Problems for Peperomia Perciliata
Peperomia plants are very resilient against pest and disease attack. Most issues can be prevented with good horticultural practices and environmental conditions. Some of the common issue for Peperomia Perciliata are discussed below:
If pests like mealybugs, spider mites, or aphids start showing, it’s time to use the help of insecticide or neem oil. Root mealybugs, spider mites, and brown scale insects reach your indoor plant when you introduce a new plant. Therefore, the best preventive measure is to check the plant thoroughly and buy from a reputable nursery.
Mealybugs are present as a cottony mass on different parts of the plant, like leaf axils or undersides. If they are not treated at the early stages of the infection, the plant will have stunted growth leading to death.
Spider mites are very tiny therefore often ignored on plants. The only indication of their presence on the plant is the damage caused in the form of stunted, curled, and brittle leaves.
Scale insects or brown scales are also houseplant pests that live under a protective shell. Stunted growth, combined with a weak plant, means this pest has been feeding well on your plant.
Thrips are only 1/20 inch in size. They use their sharp mouths to feed on the plant. They not only damage the plant by feeding but also spread other viruses like the tomato spotted wilt virus. One point to remember about this pest is that under-watered plants are more vulnerable to thrip infection.
- Dab the infected areas with a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
- Prepare mild solution water with dishwashing soap. Thoroughly wash your plant with this solution.
- If your plant is heavily infected, you will have to perform soil drench using a good quality pesticide. Just make sure the solution does not remain standing at the bottom of the pot.
- You will have to remove some of the bugs manually using a toothbrush or knife. Make sure you don’t damage the plant while scrapping the pests.
- If you use a commercially-made pesticide or any other chemical product, please make sure you follow the instructions by the manufacturer.
Most issues worse due to neglect, so we can say neglect is the biggest enemy of houseplants.
Your Peperomia Perciliata will start losing its leaves if it’s kept in too cold temperature. To avoid this situation, make sure the plant remains under a constant temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15-18 degrees Celsius).
Root rot in Peperomia Perciliata can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Foliage is getting mushy, dark, and soft.
- Excessive wilting of leaves.
- Weak new growth.
Once you notice any of the above symptoms, you will have to repot your Peperomia Perciliata to save it from dying. Use fresh soil and trim the rotten parts for fast recovery. Additional care is to avoid soggy soil by altering the watering schedule.
If you find that the majority of the roots are mushy and soft, it is best to dispose of the plant because repotting won’t do any good.
This disease occurs when plants stored in warm, humid environments are exposed to sudden chilling. It spreads throughout the plant as the plant tissues wither and wilt. Some of the indications include:
- Tan or blacks dry spots at the middle of the leaf.
- Dark margins around several leaves.
For treatment, start by pruning the infected foliage. Next, improve the ventilation around the plant and make sure it is exposed to a stable temperature. You should also spray your Peperomia with foliar fungicide.
Peperomia Ringspot Virus
This viral infection first appears as brown lesions on random leaves. Followed by a leaf falling once the infection gets worse. The infected plant should be destroyed immediately since there is no remedy for this virus. You should also sterilize all your equipment after destroying the infected Peperomia.
Tips for Growing
- You have to water your Peperomia Perciliata once the top inch or so is dry
- This plant has to be placed in a bright but shady location for optimum sunlight
- This plant does well in under potted conditions rather than over potted. Therefore repot only when a bigger pot is needed.
- Spring is the best season to perform propagation
- Fertilize your Peperomia Perciliata regularly from spring to summer for better plant health
Frequently Asked Questions
My Peperomia Perciliata has fading dull leaves; how can I solve this issue?
Fading, dull leaves are caused by excessive sunlight exposure. Move your plant to a position with a combination of shade and sunlight. Trim these leaves and let the plant recover from sunlight damage.
How many hours of natural light are recommended for this Peperomia?
This variety needs 6 hours of bright sunlight every day. So you should keep it in a sunny location with plenty of indirect sunlight.
Why is this species considered a dainty Peperomia?
Because the flowers are very fragile, hence the name dainty Peperomia.
Can I introduce animals in my vivarium right after planting my Peperomia?
Let your plant establish itself for a few months before introducing any animals like frogs in the vivarium.
What is the best lighting for Peperomia Perciliata?
This Peperomia grows well in dappled shade or full sun as long as the light does not fall directly.
This is a rare species for any plant collection. It shows off the small leaves and white flowers. This creeping variety makes a great garden cover.
Since Perciliata is a hard-to-find species, make sure you take special care to keep it thriving and alive.
As a trailing houseplant, this plant will look lovely in a hanging pot. This plant is great for gardeners with limited indoor space since it thrives well in a small terrarium. Keep in mind that with more humidity and warm temperatures, this Peperomia will have a faster growth rate.
Another interesting creeping Peperomia is Peperomia Quadrangularis.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.