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Peperomia Scandens Step-By-Step Care Guide

Peperomia Scandens Step-By-Step Care Guide

Peperomia plants have been around for many years and are still famous as easy-to-care houseplants. Peperomia Scandens belong to the Piperaceae or the peppers plant family.

It is a slightly demanding plant in terms of care and attention. But don’t worry, we have prepared a complete guide for you to understand its growing conditions. With proper care, this plant will thrive for several years.

Peperomia plants need to be in free-draining good quality potting compost at a bright spot in filtered sunlight. Water only when the soil has dried out. If you’re planning to put it outside, choose a shady spot, and make sure the soil isn’t heavy.

This hanging Peperomia is native to the tropical rain forests in Mexico and South America, where it trails from huge trees. It has a shallow root system. The leaves and stems can store water so the plant can easily survive for some time without water.

The Peperomia Scandens has therefore rather stiff stems according to the University of Florida.

For indoor planting, it requires partial light, and for outdoor planting, it needs partial shade. Outdoors choose a shaded patio or any other covered area for your Peperomia plant. This is a sturdy trailer with thick and glossy leaves.

There are two versions for Peperomia Scandens, one has green leaves, and the other one has variegated leaves.

This plant is also famous as Cupid Peperomia or False-Philodendron because of the heart-shaped leaves. The botanical name for this plant is Peperomia Nitida.

Plant lovers mostly admire Peperomia Scandens for its ornamental foliage. The light green, heart-shaped leaves have a thin white or pale yellow border.

The young leaves for variegated version are entirely cream-colored but develop green markings as the plant matures. The other version has completely green leaves. Whereas the stems near leaf joints are light pink in color, making the plant look delicate.

The hanging peperomia or variegata is the most popular subspecies of Peperomia Scandens grown as a house plant.

An ideal way to decorate your garden space with Peperomia Scandens is to display it down from a hanging basket. This Peperomia species is hard to find as compared to other Peperomias.

 

 

Peperomia Scandens Care Guide

 

Soil

To grow a Scandens plant, I would recommend a well-draining, peat-based potting mixture. Make sure the potting mixture has good air circulation.

Prepare it using 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. You can easily grow it outdoors in ground covers in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.

The soil pH should be ranging from 5-7.5. This Peperomia plant needs plenty of air around its roots, s a relatively loose potting mixture with good drainage should be ideal for it.

 

Water

Water the Peperomia Scandens moderately in the summer season and sparingly in winter. Never let the potting mixture become water-logged, as it will lead to root-rot.

Allow it to dry out between water applications, but avoid letting the soil dry out entirely. Generally, under average indoor conditions, you should water the plant every 7 to 10 days.

It’s a good practice to check the top few inches of soil before watering the plant. If it feels dry, water it thoroughly; otherwise, your plant does not need any water right now.

Always irrigate the plant using room temperature water to prevent the plant from temperature shock.

Your indoor plant might require more water than the outdoors one in winter because central heating will make it dry out faster.

Understanding the watering needs of the plant is very critical for Peperomia since that’s where most people go wrong.

Overwatering is a common problem for many plant growers and often goes unnoticed until the plant shows some indication.

If your pot is heavy and the plant has rotting stalks, yellow or wilting leaves, your Peperomia is also a victim of overwatering.

 

Light

Peperomia Scandens grows best in bright, indirect light. Protect your plant from the summer sun. Make sure you position it in such a way that it does not get excessive direct sunlight, as this will cause leaf scorching.

A north-facing window is the best position for this plant. Choose a spot with partial shade in the summer season, but for winter, you can grow it in a brighter spot.

Peperomia plants have a weird habit of becoming stretchy or leggy if grown in areas with insufficient light. This happens because the plant tends to grow in the direction of light. Simply move the Scandens plant to a different location with better lighting.

If you grow it in a densely shaded area, the variegated appearance will reduce, and the leaves will become more cream-colored. The growth will also slow down.

This plant can also be grown under fluorescent or artificial light, which makes it an easy-to-care plant for offices and apartments. You can also place it on tabletops and window sills where it gets 12 to 16 hours of artificial light.

For outdoors, grow in a location with partial shade and filtered light such as beneath a tree. This will protect the plant from the direct afternoon sun.

The general rule is to avoid the two extreme lighting conditions, i.e., deep shade and direct sunlight. Anything in between works well for this plant.

 

Temperature

In summer, the plant prefers an indoor temperature ranging from 20-22 degrees Celsius (68-72°F). Whereas in winter, the optimum temperature range is 13-15 degrees Celsius (55-60°F).

Peperomia Scandens can be easily grown in almost any indoor space. For this reason, they are well-known as radiator plants. But in winter, the temperature should not drop below 10 degrees Celsius (50 oF).

 

Humidity

This plant will love warm, humid conditions throughout the year. But the succulent leaves can store some moisture due to which it can tolerate low humidity levels.

 

Fertilizer

There are quite some options to fertilize Peperomia Scandens. This plant has low fertilizer requirements, but adding one is recommended since it helps the plant grow faster. Feed your plant with a standard liquid fertilizer every 14 days from spring until late summer.

You can also use a balanced 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer once every month in the growing season.

If you want an easier option, use controlled, slow-release fertilizer only once during the growing season according to the label instructions. The best choice for any plant is organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion. This should be fed strictly based on the manufacturer’s instruction.

You don’t have to fertilize during autumn and winter. Remember that over fertilizing causes more problems compared to under fertilizing. Overfertilizing will cause the toxicity of some nutrients and the deficiency of others.

 

Repotting

You should repot the plant every 3-4 years, especially when it has become pot-bound. You should also repot the plant if it’s wilting badly.

Before repotting, trim the damaged parts carefully. Brush away the waterlogged soil from the roots and examine the root ball. Remove the diseased roots without damaging the healthy ones.

It is important to use sterilized tools to prevent the spread of root-rot.

Now repot the plant in a new pot with the fresh potting mixture using equal quantities of potting compost and perlite.

Water the plant very lightly once planted, later water it after one week. If you want to grow it as a climbing plant, provide adequate support.

Repotting will also prevent the potting mix from being too compacted. Being compacted reduces the drainage efficiency of the soil.

Almost every type of pot works well, but consider using a brass or copper container for growing them as a hanging plant since it complements the foliage and creates a classic look.

 

Pruning

This fast-growing plant will quickly fill the hanging basket so you’ll have to prune the plant to maintain the compact appearance. Also, remove any dead leaves or stems that indicate damage or diseases.

You can also let the Peperomia Scandens grow like Pothos by allowing the vines to creep outside and around the pot. Trim a few stems to achieve the preferred look and force growth.

 

Propagation

Propagating Peperomia Scandens is very easy and an ideal way to expand your collection for this hard-to-find species. You can grow the cutting as a new plant yourself or gift it to someone.

It is better to propagate variegated plants via stem cuttings because this will maintain the leaf variegation. Always ensure that your gardening tools are clean and sterilized. This is very important to prevent any fungal disease, which is the biggest issue regarding the success of propagation.

 

Stem Cuttings in soil:

  • The first thing is to ensure you choose a healthy stem for cutting. Take stem cuttings anytime from April to August. Using a sharp knife or pruning shears cut off about 8cm (3 in) from the tip shoots. However, more leaves are better but take a cutting with at least two pairs of leaves.
  • Remove any leaves on the lower part and dip the end in rooting hormone. This will help the plant root faster and stronger. Now insert the cutting in a potting mix of 1 part peat and 1 part coarse sand or perlite. The cutting should be 1-2 cm deep in the potting mixture.
  • Water the potting mix and cover the pot with a polythene bag or propagation tray. If you are using a polythene bag, make sure you make several ventilation holes in the bag.
  • Keep the cutting in bright, indirect light. Remove the cover every day to prevent excessive humidity, which can cause fungal diseases.
  • Maintain a room temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius ( 65oF) until the cutting roots. When the plant has developed a few pairs of new leaves, transplant it to a permanent pot.

 

Stem Cuttings in Water:

  • Follow the steps mentioned above to take the cuttings. Remove the leaves from the lower nodes and submerge the cutting in water in a glass container.
  • Make sure at least 2 nodes are in the water, and the remaining leaves are above the water level. If you soak the entire cutting in the water, you are depriving it of oxygen. You can add rooting powder to speed up the growth rate.
  • Change the water regularly to prevent bacterial growth. Place the cutting in a location with medium to bright indirect light.
  • The roots will develop from the leaf nodes in 2-6 weeks. Once the roots are few inches long, you can easily grow your cutting in potting soil. Simply transfer to a pot and follow the care instructions discussed above.
  • Bury the new roots in the soil and keep the foliage above the soil. The original leaves may die-off since the cutting was utilizing its nutrients during growth.

 

Sometimes the newly propagated plant looks droopy for the initial two weeks. This is normal, and the plant will naturally recover.

 

Blooms

Peperomia Scandens has tiny greenish-white flowers borne in slender spikes or panicles.

 

Growth

Peperomia Scandens will reach maturity in 2-5 years. This plant requires more attention when it’s young.

This is a fast-growing plant and can reach a height of 1.2-1.5m (4-5 ft) and spread 0.3m ( 1 ft) when grown as a climbing plant. The leaves are around 5cm (2in) long.

 

How not to kill your Peperomia Scandens

Peperomia Scandens Care

 

Common Problem for Peperomia Scandens

When buying a Peperomia Scanden, choose a plant with good variegated leaves and strong growth.

Wilting: Peperomia Scandens will wilt for two reasons; over-watering or under-watering. An underwatered Scandens plant will have wrinkled and dry leaves with crispy leaf tips.

In this case, the soil will be arid. If you dig a bit deeper, you’ll notice the soil is dry up to the bottom, and the roots are deprived of water. Simply water your plant and monitor the moisture levels.

Peperomia plants are more sensitive to overwatering. It will cause root-rot, which will eventually kill the plant roots. If your plant is not severely damaged, just reduce watering and let the soil dry out.

Remove the damaged foliage or stems and make sure now you water the plant sparingly. Otherwise, you have to repot the plant after trimming the damaged parts.

 

Leaf Dropping

It can be part of the normal plant life cycle or due to a problem. As the Peperomia Scandens plant matures, it will shed some lower, old leaves to spend its energy on new growth. This is normal, but if the plant is dropping leaves in large quantities in different areas, there is some problem.

The first reason could be transplant shock; to solve this, try to optimize plant care to help it adjust in the new environment and recover.

The next possible cause is overwatering; to prevent this regularly, check the soil to know if your plant needs water or not. Some growers also suggest that leaf drop can be due to an infection or disease. This is rare, but it is better to inspect the top and bottom of the plant leaves.

 

Yellow leaves

They are an absolute nightmare for indoor gardeners. Since they can be due to so many reasons, it takes forever to figure out the actual reason for yellowing leaves on your plant. It could be improper watering, excessive sunlight, temperature, or transplant shock.

For Peperomia plants, the top reason for yellow leaves is excessive sunlight. This plant will not do well in prolonged direct sunlight exposure. Based on their natural tropical habitat, they like warm environments but grow under tree canopies. So mostly they don’t receive direct light.

You can read our detailed article about yellow leaves to better understand the causes and treatments for this issue.

 

Leaf curl

It is a rare issue for Peperomia Scandens, but it is caused by bugs, pests, or nutrient deficiency. Check your plant for pest infections and treat it according to the type of pest found. Another reason for leaf curl is calcium deficiency. This happens when you overwater a plant with acidic soil.

High acidity will reduce the calcium in the soil leading to a lack of calcium nutrients. Excessive application of nitrogen or phosphorus fertilizer can also prevent the plant from absorbing calcium.

 

Oedema

Avoid buying a plant with any black patches or blisters. The blisters are a symptom of oedema, which is caused due to over-watering. This is a psychological disorder that develops when roots absorb water at a faster rate. This can also cause the leaves and stems to turn black, soft, and rot.

You can fix this situation by making sure there is no excess water in pan or saucer. Allow the mixture to dry thoroughly before watering and reduce watering frequency. Remove the damaged stems or leaves and dust the plant with sulfur.

 

Pythium

It is the most common disease for Peperomia plants. It causes root and stem rot. This disease can quickly kill your healthy peperomia plant. This fungal infection thrives in waterlogged soil, that is why it is essential to avoid overwatering any Peperomia species.

This fungus will usually start from the roots, and the stems will have black spots or blotches. Early symptoms for this include wilting, plant drooping, and a general decline in plant health.

You should immediately examine the plant’s root system; the roots affected by pythium are soggy and weak. If you want your plant to survive, aggressively prune the damaged roots and repot it in a new pot.

 

Fungus Gnats

They are the tiny black flies found on the potting soil. The adult gnats don’t cause any severe damage, but the larvae feed on the plant roots. Reduce watering for your plant and apply a layer of sand on the top of the soil to control them. You can sprinkle some cinnamon powder on the soil.

 

Mealybugs

They are mostly found on the lower part of the leaves. They also cause sooty mold. The infected plant will have stunted growth. You can get rid of them using any insecticidal spray or soap, but neem oil is a more effective remedy.

 

Spider Mites

If you notice any webbing under the leaves or at leaf axils, your plant is infested with spider mites. Spray the Cupid Peperomia plant with insecticidal soap or oil to get rid of the mites. Keep the humidity levels high by misting the leaves or keeping the pot on a pebble tray.

 

Tips for growing Peperomia Scandens

  • If your plant has burnt leaf tips or edges, immediately move the plant to a shady location.
  • Peperomia plants are affected by temperature conditions; they start dropping leaves when it’s too cold. If this happens, just move your plant to a warmer location and avoid draughts.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Is the Peperomia Scandens toxic?

This plant is absolutely safe for humans and pets. You can easily place it anywhere in your house since they don’t pose any danger in case of contact or ingestion.

 

What are the black spots on the leaves?

Black or brown spots on the Cupid Peperomia leaves indicate leaf spot disease. The first step is to isolate your plant from other healthy plants and remove the damaged leaves. It is best to prune the plant aggressively to remove any remaining infected parts.

 

How to save a dying Peperomia Scandens?

The worst sight for any gardener is to see their beloved plants die. If your Perperomia Scandens plant is also dying, the top factors to notice are light and watering conditions. Just alter the watering schedule and adjust the plant location to improve plant health.

 

Conclusion

This is a gorgeous trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves and is perfect for indoor gardening because of its ability to tolerate low light. It is an excellent plant for beginners. It does well in the majority of indoor conditions, but cold and damp conditions are the worst for growing this plant.

 

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