Peperomia (lat. Peperomia) is a tropical, evergreen shrub. An exquisite member of the Pepper family (Piperaceae). The perennial is most often found in the tropical forests of South America, and also grows in Asia and Africa. Likes to settle on tree trunks, loose peaty soils or rocks.
There are more than 1000 species, each with its own characteristics and characteristics, but the care is almost the same for all.
It grows up to 40-50 cm in height. It is valued for its decorative, leathery leaves, which have a bright golden or metallic color, with white, less often lemon-yellow stains. It blooms with tail-shaped white inflorescences, towering above the foliage, then very small dry berries form in their place, which easily fall off when touched.
Other names: Peperomia, Rat-tailed plant, Percepiform.
Peperomia - popular types:
Peperomia creeping (Peperomia serpens) - differs in a wide ovate leaf shape. Foliage is green or variegated in color. Shoots are erect or hanging.
Velvety peperomia (Peperomia velutina) - erect stems, red, short-petiolate leaves, rounded, about 1 cm in size. The leaf plate is green with small veins of a light shade.
Peperomia maculosa is a terrestrial plant with thick, erect stems. The leaves are large, wide, up to 15 cm long, rich green color with white veins. Peduncles are quite long, up to 40 cm.
Peperomia clusiifolia (Peperomia clusiifolia) is a terrestrial plant with brown stems, tough green leaves with a purple tint. The leaves grow up to 14 cm long and 10 cm wide.
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Due to its decorative beauty and relative unpretentiousness in care, it won the hearts of many flower growers.
Grown in an apartment, office or winter gardens, taking into account the creation of proper conditions. Species with creeping or hanging shoots are grown as an ampelous plant, placed in hanging pots. Miniature species are combined with other epiphytes. Flower arrangements with peperomia look bright and attractive.
Can be grown hydroponically, the plant does well without soil.
A sophisticated decorative creation will decorate with its presence a modern interior, bring freshness and harmony into it. The main thing in caring for a tropical guest is to shelter her from direct sunlight, to observe the rules of watering and temperature regime.
Lighting. The best place to place a flower is an east or west window, here it will be protected from the aggressive effects of sunlight.
If the apartment is facing south, take care to create shade for the sensitive plant and place the pot away from the window, otherwise the leaves will begin to wither and lose their attractive appearance.
For variegated species, it is advisable to use artificial lighting, species with pure green foliage are more comfortable in the shade without additional lighting.
Temperature. The most favorable temperature for the growth and development of peperomia is from 20 to 22 ° C in the summer and from 18 to 20 ° C in the winter. It reacts poorly to changes in air temperature, so do not allow drafts and do not move the flowerpot with a flower to a balcony or veranda on summer days. Also try to keep the plant pot away from electrical appliances.
Air humidity. Does not require strict adherence to the humidity regime. Nevertheless, for better growth, it is recommended to periodically spray it with settled water at room temperature in the summer months.
Watering. In spring and summer, watering is abundant, with purified soft water, once every seven to ten days. In the autumn-winter period, watering is reduced to once every two to three weeks, since excessive moisture can provoke rotting of the root system. Monitor the condition of the leaves, if they wither and fall off, this indicates insufficient watering.
Top dressing. Fertilizers need to be applied from the beginning of spring to the end of autumn every two weeks, and in winter, once a month is enough. Complex mineral fertilizers intended for indoor plants are suitable.
Transfer. A young plant should be replanted every year, and after reaching the age of three, every two years. Choose a pot not too deep, 3-5 cm wider in diameter than the previous one. At the bottom of the container, install drainage with a layer of 5-6 cm, for this, broken brick or expanded clay is suitable. The soil should be loose, fertile with weak or neutral acidity.
Trimming and shaping. To achieve more branching, it is recommended to pinch the top of the shoots.
Bloom. In the summertime, long inflorescences appear, in appearance resembling plantain inflorescences.
Reproduction. Reproduction is carried out by several methods: dividing the bush, cuttings and leaves. The easiest and most affordable way is to divide the bush during transplantation. A densely overgrown bush can be divided into 2-3 small ones. When separating, be careful not to harm the roots of the plant.
When propagating by cuttings, choose an apical or stem cutting that has one or two nodes and plant it in a ready-made mixture consisting of peat, sand and leafy earth, mixed in equal proportions. It is advisable to cover the container with a glass jar, maintain a temperature of 25 ° C.
After a month, the cuttings will take root, they can be planted in prepared pots and looked after like an adult plant. You can also get a stalk with roots by simply placing it in a container of water.
Diseases and pests. If you do not follow the rules of care, peperomia can suffer from parasites: thrips, scale insects, spider mites, which will help to cope with special insecticidal preparations. At the initial stage, you can do with wiping the leaves with soapy water.
Due to fungal infections, rotting of the root system can occur. This occurs in cases of waterlogging of the soil, transplanting into new soil and reducing irrigation are required. Allow sufficient intervals between waterings to allow the soil to dry out.
The pallor of the leaves indicates an excess of sunlight, try to find a more shaded spot for the flower. Falling leaves indicate too cold indoor air or lack of moisture in the soil.
Plant in winter. Peperomia does not have a rest period, in cold weather it only lasts longer between waterings, and the temperature should not drop below +16 ° С. Try to avoid cold drafts.
Interesting Facts. Peperomia actively fights for the purity of the air, destroys pathogenic bacteria, so it can often be found in children's rooms or doctors' offices.