A native plant species from tropical South and Central America, the lush Peperomia serpens is an easy plant to upkeep at home.
It’s a wonderful choice to add some vibrant green to your home decor whilst instilling the most refreshing, purified air and earthy tone.
Their heart-shaped leaves will be your breath of fresh air. Peperomia serpens also make beautiful hanging pot plants as they include ongoing vines that dangle in the most precious, elegant way.
You don’t need a big living space to take in these plants and even the most lazy, happy-go-lucky person can care for these low maintenance plants.
Peperomia serpens Plant Care Basics
Having good drainage is essential for Peperomia serpens to grow. These plants like things light, but rich.
Because they are pot plants as well, you should ensure that enough air can seep through them. Rich, loamy soil would be ideal. Loamy soil is characterized as a balanced mix of sand, silt and clay. The soil acidity should roughly have a pH level ranging from 5.0 to 6.0.
If you are unfamiliar with which soil to use among a plethora offered in the market, consider coconut coir to provide good drainage and air circulation.
Coconut coir, or just coco coir for short, is made from the shell and husk of coconuts. They are more environmentally friendly compared to the usual peat moss that is used in growing Peperomia serpens.
Though, the downside to coco coir is that because they are not a pure soil, additional nutrients and supplements must be
mixed into coco coir for it to behave the same way as any soil.
Most plants require good lighting to thrive. Peperomia serpens is no exception to this rule.
However, it is important to stay cautious about how much lighting is too much lighting.
Placing under direct sunlight is not a good idea. Instead, give these plants a bit of shade.
Partial and moderate lighting is essential to have them flourish.
Thus, they make the most easygoing houseplants for such low-upkeep.
Watering plants is perhaps the most challenging responsibilities in owning a plant as you must use your judgment for this task.
Peperomia serpens can sustain without being constantly watered on a daily basis. Their leaves are thick and have similar physical features of a succulent plant.
To know when to water a plant and how much water is appropriate, check the texture of the soil. If there are still wet patches in the soil, you can wait out on watering the plant for a little longer.
You want the soil to dry out about 1-2 inches down from the surface before you water it.
Nonetheless, do ensure that the pot which you placed the Peperomia serpens in has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain out.
If you have trouble assessing when to water this friendly houseplant, just know that it needs to be watered at least once a week.
With time and learning through your eyes, you will grow to understand its needs and how much is too
much and how little is too little.
The ideal temperature for Peperomia serpens is about 20°C, which is 68°F.
They can sustain in higher temperatures just as long as the air at home isn’t dry nor is there too much bright light.
On the contrary, these plants don’t do too well in cooler temperatures. Therefore, it is vital to
stay alert especially when the weather begins to cool.
Since Peperomia serpens are native to tropical climates, they are able to endure moderate to high humidity levels ranging from 40% to 50%.
As most homes may get uncomfortable with high humidity levels, perhaps due to health and skin reasons like eczema, you may consider misting your plant from time to time to maintain a consistent moderate to high humidity level.
As with watering Peperomia serpens, the same goes for fertilizing this plant.
Too much fertilizing can be more detrimental than too little because over-fertilizing can cause too much nutrient buildup causing harm to the plant.
Peperomia serpens only need light fertilizing.
As a basic rule of thumb, plants need to be fertilized because soil itself is not enough to provide all the necessary nutrients for plants to grow and sustain.
Fertilizers contain nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. When purchasing fertilizers, you may notice a three digit number ‘#-#-#.’
This shows how many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium there are in the mix, respectively. For Peperomia serpens, you would need an even mix of 10-10-10. You may fertilize once a month.
To propagate Peperomia serpens is easily done as it is easily said. Obviously, you can grow this plant using seeds.
However, if you want to use an existing Peperomia serpens you already have at home, you can plant more using two methods.
The first method is to cut the stem of the plant with its leaves still intact.
Then, place that cut piece into a glass jar of water where the water is filled up before it reaches the leaves.
Be sure to change the water once a week, perhaps more using your intuition. Do note to place the glass jar in bright lighting, but not directly under the sunlight.
Once you notice that the roots have grown roughly two inches, place them in a pot with soil.
The second method is to take the cutting of the plant and directly place it in a potting mix right after cut.
The only downside to this second method is that you can’t enjoy watching the roots grow as you can from the glass jar.
Further details on how to propagate Peperomia serpens can be found later on in this article.
One reason Peperomia serpens make ideal houseplants is because of their size.
They are relatively small, with most of them growing up to one foot.
It is rare for this plant species to grow to two feet, but it is not unheard of.
Peperomia serpens does not take long to grow either – they grow quite fast. Within one growing season, you can see the leaves start to sprout and become runny in their roots.
Potting Peperomia serpens share the same instructions as detailed in propagating the plant.
Small pots work just fine for these houseplants, just ensure that there are holes at the bottom to guarantee excess water drainage and a healthy circulation of air.
Propagation more in depth/different methods and step-by step
To explain propagation of Peperomia serpens further, I will detail two methods to do so here: leaf cutting and stem cutting.
A basic first step is to have your potting ready and that all equipment to be used in the propagation clean.
By leaf cutting, cut a healthy leaf off a stem. You can either use this whole leaf or cut the leaf in half by its width.
One thing to invest in is rooting powder. You would want to dip the cut leaf into rooting powder to help initiate new roots to grow.
Then, create a small funnel shape in the pot to insert the leaf 1-2cm down into the potting mix. Once inserted, you can patch up the soil around the leaf.
After this step, you can add some watering to the plant. It would be helpful to have a propagation tray, or something that serves the same function, to cover the cutting to add some humidity for its growth.
Remove this cover every few days for a few hours to avoid excess humidity levels, however. Of course, place the pot in the proper lighting environment outlined above.
By stem cutting, cut a stem with a few leaves still attached to it.
Dip the cut end into rooting powder and just like the leaf cutting, create a funnel hole in the potting mix and insert the cut stem in there.
Patch back up the potting mix to enclose the cut stem in the pot. From here, you can follow the same instructions as above for the leaf cutting method.
Common Problems with Peperomia Serpens
One common problem with Peperomia serpens is the amount of watering it gets. Most people ultimately use their naked eye to judge whether or not their plants need watering.
Underwatering is easily resolved by just adding water to the soil to make up for its thirst.
On the contrary, over-watering is the more serious problem.
Over-watering the plant will cause the leaves and roots to wilt. When this happens, you should stop watering in the meantime.
If the condition is too serious, consider repotting the plant after cutting off any dead leaves and roots.
Another common problem is the yellowing of leaves. Yellowing of leaves typically is caused by the amount of light and what kind of light Peperomia serpens is exposed to.
Tips to Keep Peperomia Serpens Problem-free
To keep Peperomia serpens problem-free, revisit the guidance provided in this article in regards to watering, lighting, types of soil and fertilizer and temperature and humidity levels ideal for this plant.
Ensure proper lighting for this plant is given – bright, but indirect sunlight.
For watering, use your naked eye to assess if the soil is wet or dry and use your fingers to feel if there’s still enough moisture to sustain the plant for a little longer before the next watering.
Another thing to be cognizant about is when seasons change and weather cools, so will the temperature and humidity levels of your home. Adjust the temperature accordingly when you see fit.
To maintain consistent humidity levels, you can try using a propagation tray, or something similar, to keep the plant moist enough to continue to grow and thrive at home.
These simple steps can go a long way and reward these friendly houseplants with a healthy, long-term lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Peperomia Serpens
What do I do if I over-watered my Peperomia serpens?
If you have over-watered the plant, take them in a shaded area and remove any dead or wilting leaves. Ensure that the pot is properly draining excess water. Worse comes to worse, you may need to repot the plant, which is explained in the next question.
How do you repot Peperomia serpens?
To repot this plant, you can follow basically the same method as potting. Repotting can take place once a year considering the fact that Peperomia serpens don’t grow to be big in size. Keep in mind though that if you are going to repot the plant, do so in the spring season, which is right before growing season.
Is Peperomia serpens part of the succulent family?
No, these plants are not succulents even though they share similar characteristic as them – tough, thick leaves and not requiring daily dosages of water. Peperomia serpens is in the Piperaceae family and can withstand high humidity levels compared to their succulent friends.
Do I need to constantly prune Peperomia serpens?
Pruning is a means to cut or trim your plant when it gets to a large size, typically about fifteen inches or more. This is to scale back the size of the plant to control its growth. When pruning, try not to cut too much. Focus on the dead and wilting leaves and some roots that may hinder on the overall appearance of the plant.
Peperomia serpens is perhaps one of the most ideal plants to welcome in your humble abode. They are easy to care for and to look after without the slightest hassle.
You don’t have to worry about being a neglectful caregiver to such plants that can endure hardships and a little patch of
Though that is not to say you shouldn’t show some love to these eye-catchers – a little love goes a long way. They will give you the most vibrant and zen living environment in the comfort of your own home.
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.