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The Peperomia caperata Frost is a compact herbaceous plant that fits well with other Piperaceae collections.
You can find over a thousand species from this genus, but this one looks divine with its heart-shaped leaves.
The leaf coloration resembles the Peperomia watermelon, with dark green veins colored frosty white. One thing you will agree with is that this is a tropical beauty.
What Are Peperomia Plants?
Peperomia frost scientific name is Peperomia caperata Frost. The Peperomia genus is a group of tropical plants in Central and South America known as radiator plants.
They are hardy plants with thick leaves, making them drought-tolerant. If you are a newbie gardener, you will appreciate having the Peperomia Frost in your collection, as this one is easy to care for.
It originates mainly from Brazil and is called peperomia silver frost because of its color. It fits in well on any window sill and is relative to the pepper family.
Still, before caring for the silver frost peperomia, let’s look a bit closer at this plant.
The peperomia frost is a compact plant with heart-shaped foliage. The leaves tend to be green with veins that run through it with a frosting of silver.
The tropical plant remains evergreen during fall and winter, but no new growth will occur. The leaves are thick and succulent; you should wipe them down with a damp cloth once a month.
During the bloom time, you see green spikes with tiny white flowers emerging forming clumps on a reddish stem. These flowers have no scent, and you must trim them out after blooming. Flowers only appear on a mature plant.
The peperomia frost only reaches a foot tall and are slow–growing plant with a naturally rounded form.
Peperomia Frost Plant Care
The Peperomia Frost is a flowering perennial epiphyte that grows on the surface of a host such as trees or plants. While the leaves look fleshy, it is not succulent and needs high humidity to survive. So before we get to all the essential Peperomia Frost care basics, check out the short-list here:
Peperomia Caperata Soil Mix
The fascinating thing about the Peperomia Frost is that it grows in soil-less environments such as trees. You may also find it growing in rock crevices or rotting bark. So the ideal potting soil is a mix of non and organic matter that is 50/50.
We recommend using a mix of peat/perlite mix. If you’re creative, you may want to make your soil. Use a combination of coco chips, sand, and pumice to help make the ground gritty yet porous. This provides your peperomia frost plant with well-draining soil to retain moisture but drain freely from the drainage holes.
You can use sterile garden compost, mulch, or organic manure for organic matter. Using these potting mixes helps provide a moist potting mix keeping the roost humid and warm. Another ingredient we like is crushed bark to provide moisture retention.
Alternatively, you can always buy a store-bought succulent mix and add some perlite. A tip is to use a shallow pot with a layer of gravel or pebbles in the bottom.
Peperomia Frost Light
Finding the correct lighting for your Peperomia Frost can be a challenge. The plant prefers medium and low light at all times.
Keep it protected from direct sunlight if you want those leaves to remain vibrant and not wilted. You can also place houseplants in diffused light during the morning.
Place it under a bigger plant to filter the rays or use some shade cloth when grown as an outdoor plant. If you notice your poor plant looking a bit pale, it is too little light, and best to move it to brighter light.
In contrast, burned leave is too much direct sun, and best to move your plant to bright indirect light.
How to Water Peperomia Frost
Peperomia Frost care is prone to root rot with overwatering, but it can also be susceptible to underwatering. The key is to keep the soil moist but not bone dry. You should know how to strike a balance.
You can let the ground dry out up to 50% before giving it a good watering. When drenching your plant with water, allow it to run freely through the drainage holes. Avoid having your Peperomia plants sit in standing water.
During winter, most tropical plants do not need regular watering. Nonetheless, if you see the leaves drooping, use lukewarm water to quench your peperomia frost thirst.
Your peperomia frost enjoys a moderate yet warm environment. So the best temperature is between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Still, peperomia plants do not enjoy cold winters or cold drafts as they can die, and best to keep them in a warm environment.
Another concern is the high temperatures that could cause the leaves to dry out. So during winter, bring your plant inside to keep it warm. But do not place it near the AC, heater, or drafty places as they easily stress with temperature changes.
Your indoor plants can tolerate average household humidity. While it thrives in damp yet muggy environments, it can endure dryness for a little while. So even if the moisture during winter drops to 50%, it can work for this plant.
But to keep those leaves looking great, added humidity helps. You can use a pebble tray or humidifier or give it a misting to provide moisture. Another crucial thing is air circulation, maintaining proper ventilation.
Organic Fertilizer Peperomia Frost
We are not fond of chemical fertilizers for our epiphytes, so it helps to stick to organic feeding. When repotting, add some rich organic manure to the mix.
But try to triple-dilute the solution if you have a houseplant fertilizer like a liquid fertilizer. So if the ratio is 5ml per gallon, make it three gallons of water.
During the growing season, you can use a balanced fertilizer once a month, and during winter, stop feeding.
How to Propagate Peperomia Frost
When June arrives before the growing season, you can use leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, or plantlets to propagate your peperomia silver frost. Then, you can gift your family and friends these gorgeous small plants.
Propagation Peperomia Frost Leaf Cuttings
Cut a healthy leaf or a few from a healthy plant along the petiole.
Leave a few healthy leaves to be callous for a day.
Prepare a germination tray filled with a fresh soil mix of 50/50 peat and perlite.
Take the leaves and place them four inches apart in the tray.
Place the stalk firmly under the soil and insert a hairpin through the leaf into the ground. Doing this helps keep the veins in contact with the potting.
You can place them under artificial light and mist them occasionally.
A new plant should grow from the leaf in about four to eight weeks.
Peperomia Frost Plants Stem Cuttings
While you can take a couple of leaves to propagate peperomia frost, you can also use stem cuttings. But for this method, you must use a plant that flowers regularly. Choose a basal branch at the thick base.
You can take a three-inch stem cutting with a few leaves attached. Place it to callous for the day. As mentioned above, you can stick it in water or moist soil.
Place it in partial shade and not direct sun, and it should root within a few weeks.
Peperomia Frost Propagation Plantlets
When your plant shows small pups found at the base, you can separate them after they grow bigger. Yet only do the separation when you plan to repot your plant. You can then place them in shallow containers with the correct soil and water to grow.
- Cut a few leaves found along the petiole and make sure your mother plant is bug-free.
- Leave the leaves to callous for a day.
- Prepare a germination tray filled with 50/50 peat and perlite.
- Take the leaves and place them four inches apart in the tray.
- Place the stalk firmly under the soil and insert a hairpin through the leaf into the ground. Doing this helps keep the veins in contact with the potting.
- You can place them under artificial light and mist them once in a while.
- A new plant should grow from the leaf in about four to eight weeks.
While leaf cuttings are the best, you can also try stem cutting for success. But for this method, you need to use a plant that flowers regularly. Choose a basal branch at the thick base. You can cut about three inches of the stem with a couple of leaves on it.
Place it to callous for the day. Now, you can stick it in water or place it in moist soil, as mentioned above. Place it in partial shade and it should root within eight weeks.
When your plant shows small pups found at the base you can separate them after they grow bigger. Yet only do the separation when you plan to repot your plant. You can then place them in shallow containers with the correct soil and water to grow.
USDA Growth Zone
When looking at the USDA hardiness zones, you can plant your Peperomia plant in zones 10 to 12. The plant is a great attractive stand-alone houseplant that will brighten up any space.
Potting Your Peperomia Frost
The root system of the Peperomia plant is small and mound-forming. So the plant does not need a lot of substrates.
Still, the plant can become a bit root-bound in a small pot, as it might swim in a bigger one. Further, the roots enjoy being air-exposed, so your soil needs to be porous.
It helps to take care when repotting as the root system can break easily. Yet if it grows slowly and dull, you can transplant it with more manure and soil mix in the same pot. Ensure that the soil mix is well draining.
Pruning Silver Peperomia Frost
Peperomia plants need little pruning as it grows as a compact plant. But you can remove the dead peperomia frost leaves to keep it looking beautiful. You can do this all year round when it occurs.
When your peperomia plants look leggy, it results from too little light, and best to move them in bright indirect sunlight. The best time to trim your peperomia frost is at the start of the growing season in spring.
All you do is cut the stems at the soil level above a node where new growth emerges.
One thing about your Peperomia Frost is that it is pet-friendly and fits in well with these varieties.
The plant has pointed leaves that are dark green with a silver light-green stripe looking like a watermelon. This variety can grow eight inches tall and works well in tight spaces adding a splash of color.
This variety also has pointed leaves with dark green tops with a silver sheen and deep red bottoms. It can flower when it receives enough light, and the dark color works well in a space with less natural light.
The Peperomia obtusifolia has rounded leaves with a gloss and also comes in variegated cultivars. Some of these plants have a marble pattern, while others are white on the edges.
Peperomia Frost Diseases & Pests
As with most houseplants, this one can also be bothered by pests and diseases, as seen here:
As the plant has fleshy stalks, you find aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scales loving the leaves.
So always check the underside of the foliage, as this is where those naughty bugs start.
You can bathe your plants when you water them and ensure the leaves dry out.
Lastly, you can use an organic insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Here are some other common problems:
Fading dull leaves turning a deep green can result from low light. You can move your plant to a bright spot.
Leaves drooping and falling off are exposed to chilly drafts; if it stands outside, bring it indoors. Also, check for root rot at the base, as it looks soggy or dislodged. If it has this problem, you can try to propagate it.
Brown spotted leaves can be a fungal infection due to wetness on the leaf. Remove the affected leaves and water your plant at the base.
Burnt leaf edges are too much sun or can be chemical salts in the water.
Yellowing leaves are a sign that your plant needs more nutrients, and using a fertilizer can.
Frequently Asked Questions
The peperomia plants are not toxic to humans or pets, making them safe in the home. Still, we recommend caution as it might not be edible and can result in an upset stomach. While a peperomia plant is used in salad, peperomia frost is not one of them.
Your Peperomia caperata might have a fungal disease or pest infestation. The best is to diagnose the cause and apply appropriate care as needed in our pest and disease section.
Your peperomia frost might be too dry or standing wet soil. If sopping wet, repot your plant and freshen up the soil. Or you can water your plant well, allowing the excess water to drain from the holes.
We recommend a potting mix that drains well, like a succulent one, and provides your peperomia frost with enough drainage in a container made of clay.
For a bone-dry peperomia frost, please place it in a pail of water until saturated and leave it to drain, and keep it in dappled light and not direct sunlight.