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Peperomia obtusifolia: care

Peperomia obtusifolia: care

The Peperomia obtusifolia is a plant, generally grown indoors for its climatic needs, highly valued for its elegant appearance and the showy pattern of its leaves. Its care is very simple, so it is also a species totally suitable for beginners or amateurs without much time.

If you want to learn how to give your plant everything it needs, join us in this EcologíaVerde article where you will find a guide on the Peperomia obtusifolia care.

Characteristics of Peperomia obtusifolia

Although its scientific name is Peperomia obtusifoliawe usually refer to it as peperomia veriegada or simply peperomia, although it is not the only one of its kind, which has more than 1,000 species. It is an initially bushy plant that comes from South America and as it grows it lets its stems lean and lose verticality, this being part of the natural process of plant development.

Its most striking feature are its pretty evergreen, leathery, rounded leaveswhich can be of a brilliant dark green or variegated, combining green and yellow. The plant does not usually grow beyond about 25 cm both in height and width, and its inflorescence appears in a white flower spike, usually in summer. Indoors these do not grow much, but in any case they are far from being the most important ornamental feature of the plant.

Location of Peperomia obtusifolia

Given its origin in Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean islands, it is not hard to imagine the type of climate that this plant needs. It is because of this that it is usually grown as an indoor plant, since peperomia does not tolerate frost, so in climates with cold winters the plant cannot be left unprotected. The ideal climate for this plant is between 16ºC and 21ºCbeing the minimum temperature that the plant supports without serious damage of 12 ºC.

What houseplantthe peperomia needs a location as bright as possiblenormally next to a closed window or another source of natural light, but always protected from drafts, which are quite harmful.

Outdoors, the ideal is place it in partial shade, that is, protected from direct sun but in an area with a lot of indirect light. Above all, it is important to keep it protected from the midday sun hours.

Peperomia obtusifolia: care - Location of Peperomia obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia irrigation

Peperomia requires a certain level of humidity, both environmental and in terms of irrigation. Therefore, it needs frequent waterings but not too abundantwhich keep the substrate slightly moist but free from puddles.

In the warm months, the ideal is to water approximately every 48 hours, while in the cold months you can go to weekly watering, always paying attention to the level of humidity of the substrate or the soil according to the local climate conditions.

It also helps a lot to contribute humidity to the plant if the weather is dry, as it is in most homes. There are several methods for this, such as placing glasses of water around the plant, changing the water every 3 or 4 days, or placing the pot on a plate containing good-sized stones or pebbles and some water that does not cover them. With this last method, it is ensured that the naturally evaporated water constantly maintains a certain level of humidity around the plant, without damaging its roots.

Here you can learn some more tips on When to water the plants.

Substrate and fertilizer for Peperomia obtusifolia

The plant is not demanding as far as its soil is concerned, the only really important thing being that it provides a good drainage and aeration. Normally some of enriched universal substrate with perlite, although you can always resort to the universal mixture that we recommend here, with peat, coconut fiber and earthworm humus in equal parts, as well as vermiculite and perlite. As always, this will lead to a light substrate, very nutritious and with great moisture retention properties, but not prone to waterlogging.

Regarding the fertilizer, it will suffice to add some ecological fertilizer in the form of organic matter at the base of the plant every 15 days in the warm months. Use worm castings, compost or bokashi, or liquid manure if you don’t have access to any of these fertilizers and haven’t gotten around to producing your own.

Peperomia obtusifolia: care - Substrate and fertilizer for Peperomia obtusifolia

Reproduction of Peperomia obtusifolia

Multiplying peperomia is quite simple and can be done by various methods, the simplest and with the greatest chance of success being stem cuttings, especially if it is done in summer. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Disinfect a very sharp scissors or knife.
  2. Take a cutting of about 10 cm, always choosing a stem that appears healthy and has at least 4 leaves.
  3. Moisten the base in rooting hormone, which you can make yourself at home with products that everyone has. Here we tell you how to make natural rooting.
  4. Plant it in a new pot with a suitable substrate.
  5. Water generously after planting and keep the plant protected from direct light for the first few days.

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