(pe-per-o' mee-ah)

Common name: Peperomia

Family: Piperaceae, Pepper

Height x width: 8-12" x 12-24" depending on species

Foliage: mainly alternate, fleshy, often long-stalked, elliptic to ovate to heart-shaped, variously colored

Flowers: upright spikes, white or greenish, often not produced indoors, insignificant

Light: bright to moderate, many tolerate low

Temperature: moderate

Watering: allow to dry between waterings

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: average, thick-leaved species often tolerate dry

Soil: well-drained

Pests and Problems: root rots if too wet, mealybugs; sensitive to cold and drafts

Growth habit, uses: foliage, some species for groundcovers or hanging

Other interest: native to tropical and subtropical America; from the Greek peperi meaning pepper, and homoios meaning resembling, refering to its resemblance to the related Pepper genus

Other culture: easy, adaptable, popular

Propagation: softwood, leaf, leaf bud cuttings or seed


Those marked * are most commonly seen as species.

*argyreia (ar-gii' ree-ah)--Watermelon Peperomia, rosette-forming, upright, heart-shaped, leathery, deep green, silver-striped leaves

caperata (ca-per-ah' tah)--mound forming, long stemmed, deeply corrugated, heart shaped, deep green leaves

clusiifolia (clue-si-fol' ee-ah)-- Red-edged Peperomia, obovate, slightly concave, green leaves purple tinged when young

dolabriformis (do-la-bri-for' miss)-- Prayer Peperomia, robust, erect, purse-shaped from two halves folded upwards and fused along margin

fraseri (fra' ser-ii)-- Flowering Peperomia, upright, rosette forming, stiff, heart-shaped, shiny dark green leaves pale beneath with red veins

glabella (gla-bell' lah)-- Wax Privet Peperomia, spreading, slightly obovate leaves dotted with black glands

griseoargentea (gri-zee-o-are-gen' tee-ah)-- Ivy-leaf peperomia, rosette forming, heart-shaped, silvery gray leaves with copper edges


incana (in-ca' nah)--Felted Peperomia, stiff, semi-erect later spreading, broadly ovate gray-green leaves with white-wooly hairs

maculosa (ma-cu-lo' sah)-- Radiator Plant, robust, erect becoming straggly, ovate, shiny dark green leaves


marmorata (mar-mor-ah' tah)-- Sweetheart Peperomia, rosette forming, heart-shaped, dull to bluish green leaves striped silvery-gray with indented veins

metallica (me-tal' li-cah)-- Red tree, erect, bushy, elliptic dark red leaves with a broad silver central band

nivalis (ni-val' iss)-- variably creeping or erect, boat-shaped and keeled bright green leaves, whitish beneath, crowded at stem tips, anise-scented sap


*obtusifolia (ob-tu-si-fol' ee-ah)-- Baby Rubber Plant, stiff and upright, elliptic, leathery, dull green leaves

orba (or' bah)-- Princess Astrid, erect, bushy, ovate, softly hairy, gray-green leaves with a broad silver central stripe


*rotundifolia (ro-tun-di-fol' ee-ah)-- Yerba Linda, creeping, usually epiphytic, slender fleshy stems with minute hairs, rounded bright green leaves

rubella (ru-bel' lah)-- erect becoming straggly, whorls of 4-t elliptic, pale-veined leaves coppery beneath


scandens (scan' dens)-- False Philodendron, trailing with heart-shaped leaves

velutina (ve-luu' ti-nah)-- upright, bushy, broadly elliptic, fleshy, velvety dark green leaves with pale veins and red beneath


verticillata (ver-ti-cil-lah' tah)-- erect, rounded to obovate leaves, pale green above and pink-red beneath, softly white hairy


Those marked * are most commonly seen.
Cultivar species foliage, habit, other
*'Emerald Ripple' caperata deep green, darker stripes along veins
'Green and Gold' obtusifolia golden yellow margins
'Little Fantasy' caperata dwarf, dark green
'Luna Red' caperata dark crimson leaves and stems
'Pixie' orba dwarf form of species
'Silver Heart' marmorata pale green, broad silver stripes
'Tricolor' caperata pale green, central pink, wide cream edges
'Variegata' clusiifolia red margins, creamy variegated
'Variegata' glabella creamy yellow margins
*'Variegata' obtusifolia wide white or yellow margins
'Variegata' scandens broad yellow margins, tends to revert

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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