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Whether it is an office tabletop or adding flair to your home, give the joyful Peperomia Obtusifolia plant a try.
Oh, my word, what a tongue tie it is. Yes, we knew saying the word out loud leaves a lot of slosh on the tongue. So give it another try. “pep-er-ROH-mee-uh ob-too-SIH-FOH-lee-uh.”
Great, you got it. This is one subtropical rainforest evergreen of 1600 species. That’s a lot. But with its fleshy green leaves, it became the Baby Rubber Plant, also known as the Pepper Face Plant.
Amazingly, it grows as ground cover in the shade, as a low-growing potted indoor plant, and as a hanging garden plant, wow! Now, are there any special requirements in Baby Rubber Plant Care? Let’s find out.
Botanical Name: Peperomia Obtusifolia
Common Name: Baby Rubber or Pepper Face
Family Group: Piperaceae
Blossom: Green White
Growth: Bushy, Compact, and Upright
Growth Rate: Trailing growth up to 4 feet per year
Flowering Period: Summer until autumn
Origin: Central and South America
Soil pH: Neutral to acidic
Sun Exposure: Full sun partial shade
You will adore this plant for its deep green and round foliage. The stems are a deep red and fit into smaller spaces well with their compact growing habit. You can hang the baby rubber plants as it trails in the right conditions.
Obtusifolia Baby Rubber Plant Care Basics
If you have one of the numerous variegated forms, you’re in luck. Peperomia obtusifolia care in the article applies to them all. The only difference between these succulent-like beauties is the variegated species need more light to bring out their gorgeous variegation.
Best Potting Mix
The Peperomia depends on good drainage and needs a well-draining potting mix with drainage holes to prevent root rot. Another thing is not to go and suffocate your plant with tight soil as it prefers air around its roots. Now, do not get us wrong, the plant is not picky, and some peat moss mixed with gravel and sand works the best.
Furthermore, a great tip we learned from us is to leach the soil once a year to remove excess salts. You can even do it twice a year in summer.
Here it depends on what Baby Rubber plant Peperomia you’re dealing with. Do you have a variety of green leaves? Then they thrive in bright indirect light and need sheltering from the sun.
For indoor placement, you can put them at the east or west-facing window.
For south-facing windows, you can place your green-leafed variety by the window. The color-leafed Rubber Plant Peperomia Obtusifolia prefers a bright spot with only a few hours of the morning and late afternoon sun.
Watering Peperomia is not difficult, believe us. All you need to do is keep checking the top layers and wait for the soil to dry. However, do not wait for the rest of the ground to dry up. Once you find the surface completely dry, you can water Peperomia to provide it with moisture.
Neither do you need to remove the waterlogging? During winter, you can give your plant less water and make sure to use tepid, distilled, or rainwater. While watering, it is best to water the ground directly and not the fleshy leaves or the stems.
So watering from below works better. Yes, we knew you were going to think, why not? The reason is that the houseplant is different from your other exotic plants and stores water in its leaves and stem. In turn, this can cause overwatering, leading to root rot.
Temperature & Humidity
This is an easy-to-please plant when it comes to temperature. As long as the room temperature is between 50 to 75 degrees F, your Baby Rubber plant will keep thanking you. The only thing your Peperomia Obtusifolia Baby Rubber does not enjoy is cold drafts.
So best keep it away from heating vents or an AC (you do not want it to get the sniffles.) Okay, it will not get a runny nose, but the leaves will start to dry out from the heat or can go into cold shock standing for too long in drafts.
In South America, the Peperomia grows in shady areas and gets moderate light. Therefore, it makes sense to place these houseplants in a place with average humidity. Yet, some extra humidity does help by giving it a regular misting with a hand mister.
Another great option is using a pebble tray. Or place your plant with your other houseplants for some company and humidity.
You can provide your Rubber Plant Peperomia Obtusifolia with a balanced fertilizer twice a month during spring and summer. However, in winter, only feed your plant monthly, and best not to overfeed as it can lead to brown spots on the leaf.
Moreover, in the first year of cultivation or after transplanting, it will not be necessary to provide fertilizer. Some great options are worm compost followed with a light compost layer over it during spring. Only a 1/4 inch of each is enough for this small plant. Neither feeds your indoor plant if it is bone dry or even soaking wet.
The root system of the Baby Rubber Plant Peperomia is small and needs no transplanting often. So please give us a yeah. You can repot yours every five years and provide it with fresh soil or if you see the roots growing out of the drainage holes.
Luckily, you only need to increase the size of the pot from four to six inches or six to eight inches.
Another reason why you would repot your plant is when you propagate it. Occasionally, it would help if you trimmed some of the spent leaves as it grows fast. So you may find you need to prune it often if you want to keep it in a small form.
When it comes to baby rubber care and Obtusifolia Peperomia propagation, it is fairly simple. The best way to cultivate your Baby Rubber plants is through stem tip cuttings.
Stem Tip Cuttings
- From the mature, healthy stems of the Baby Rubber plant, make an 8cm long cutting with at least three leaves. Do this below the leaf node.
- Before proceeding, remove the lower leaves.
- Now place the cuttings in fresh soil (you can dip them in a rooting hormone before planting.)
- Once the cutting is in the potting soil, place a plastic bag to form a dorm over it.
- Keep the ground moist until you notice its roots.
- Remove the humidity chamber from time to time to water and help prevent mold buildup.
When doing this, place your Baby Rubber plant in a bright warm spot but not in direct sunlight. Now be patient, please it takes time for the cuttings to root up to five weeks. Once you notice it has roots, you can remove the dome and proceed by transplanting the babies into pots, depending on the size of pot you use.
Another alternative is to place the cutting in water and re-pot it later.
The plant is native to South America ( Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico ) and will grow in places with similar climates or similar to their natural habitat. If you live in the USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, both the Peperomia Obtusifolia green and Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata species will thrive.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Diseases & Pests
As with most indoor and outdoor plants, your Baby Rubber plants can also go through some difficulties. Here are some telltale signs and how you can take care of them.
If any of the leaves die, it can be a lack of sunlight or a sign that the air is too dry. The best is to provide your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata or other species with a bit more light or misting.
It can be root rot caused by overwatering. If you are unsure, it is best to remove your plant from the container to check for signs of a mushy root and remove it without harming the healthy roots. Clean the vessel before placing it back in fresh soil.
The leaves shrivel
It is not always a bad sign, and nothing much to be concerned about. Yet, it can also be of accumulated salt in the ground, and the best is to give it a flush of water twice a year to remove those salts. You can do this by gently running water through the ground and allowing it to drain well.
Curling or drooping leaves
The chance is that it is not getting the amount of water needed to thrive. But overwatering can also cause this to happen. Furthermore, it can be a sign of a bug infestation such as spider mites.
We recommend you inspect the leaves on the underside to see if you notice any pests.
If spider mites or any other infestation is causing harm to your plant, it is easy to provide Peperomia Obtusifolia care. First, isolate your foliage from the other plants and gently shake them off. However, it does not always solve the problem.
We recommend using some Neem oil on the leaves, and if it does not work, try using predatory mites to help.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Varieties and Similar Plants
Do you want to add colorful foliage without too much work to your exotic plant collection? Then these Peperomia varieties are sure to catch your attention.
The Watermelon Peperomia is a gorgeous variety of this plant with rounded yet pointed leaves. The foliage is dark green with a silvery lightish green stripe looking like a watermelon. The plant works well in tight spaces where you want a splash of color and life.
Metallic Peperomia also has pointed leaves with dark green and a silvery sheen, while the bottom of the leaf is a deep red. The plant flowers are in bright indirect light, and it is ideal if you have space with less natural light.
The String of Turtles Peperomia is becoming a popular houseplant. It has round tiny leaves and grows slender, trailing like vines resembling a turtle’s shell. You notice spotted light/dark green patterns on the leaves. The plant looks fabulous in a hanging basket to cascade over a shelf or table.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Peperomia obtusifolia provides you with many benefits, from reducing the carbon dioxide levels to increasing humidity in your living space. Furthermore, it helps remove certain pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and benzene.
To add to the mix, it reduces airborne dust levels and keeps the temperature down. Imagine what this plant can do for you in your home. Just amazing.
Peperomia obtusifolia is considered the wealth plant as it attracts good fortune, wealth, and abundance. The round leaf symbolizes prosperity and money in “feng shui.”
The Peperomia obstusifolia, baby rubber plant needs occasional misting especially if the living space has dry air.
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