Scientific name: Peperomia Obtusifolia
Synonyms: Baby Rubber Plant, Pepper Face Plant, American Baby Rubber Plant
The Baby Rubber Plant is a fantastic succulent variety of Peperomia, with large ovate deep green foliage, and sometimes marbled forms, that in time will cascade if left to get long. They are popular staples in any houseplant collection, often prized for their ease of care and low maintenance growth habit. Best of all like many Peperomia they can handle a variety of lighting conditions, and come in many forms.
Natives of South American Jungles, these fabulous plants love high humidity and warmth, however, they’ll handle average room temperatures and will tolerate bouts of drying out. It is best to water these delightful houseplants the moment you note they are dry, and never to allow the potting soil to stay too wet as this will lead to irreversible rot.
While young, the Peperomia Obtusifolia make for amazing tabletop plants, especially for an office desk where there may only be artificial lighting. Though they'll be happy anywhere as long as the light isn't too low. In time, as they grow older an mature, their stems will elongate and eventually start to trail, adding to their charm. At this stage they make a fantastic accent piece for a shelf or high counter.
Toxicity: These plants are not considered toxic.
Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia) Common Symptoms
- Wilting Wrinkling foliage: This is a clear indication that your Baby Rubber Plant is dehydrated and in need of a good drink. As much as these are succulent, they require regular watering. Always allow the potting medium to reach dryness, but try to avoid prolonged periods of dry soil that can cause root desiccation. If you find your plant wrinkles and wilts often, check your watering regime and adjust. Click for more on Identifying Over vs Underwatering in Houseplants.
- Dull fading foliage: Often this is caused by too much light, especially direct sunlight. Check your plant lighting conditions, and if it is receiving direct sunlight, relocate to a position with medium to bright filtered light.
- Wilting, leaf drop and soft stems: Check your watering regime, as this is a indication that you may be overwatering, especially if rot has set in. Peperomia, especially the more succulent varieties prefer their potting mix to dry completely between each watering. Be sure that your planter is draining correctly and avoid allowing your Baby Rubber plant to sit in water.
- Browning leaf tips: This is often caused by a cold draught hitting your plant. Avoid placing your Peperomia near an open window or in the icy down draft of an aircon. If you find this is happening and your plant is not in a draft, you may need to raise the humidity by placing your Baby rubber plant on a pebble tray.
- Variegated/Marbled form turning plain green: Like with many variegated plants, they will need a little more light than recommended to keep the plant happy and healthy, whilst still keeping their variegation from fading. If you find that your Marbled Baby Rubber Plant is turning plain green, then check the lighting. It is always recommended to keep Variegated Peperomia in bright filtered light, as a medium to low light position will lead to the leaves reverting to plain green.
- Pests: The Baby Rubber Plant is relatively pest-resistant, however, they can be susceptible to common household pests if not kept in their optimal conditions. If Pests are detected immediately quarantine and treat with an organic pesticide, until the infestation subsides. Click here for more on Identifying and Treating Common Pest Infestations.
Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia) Care Instructions
- Origin: South America
- Height: Approximately 20cm - 30cm in length.
- Light: Loves bright filtered light best will tolerate medium and artificial lighting..
- Water: Allow the soil to dry out 80% of the way between each watering. Avoid soggy soil as this will lead to rot.
- Humidity: Average to high humidity is best. In high humidity water less often.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 26°C.
- Soil: A well-draining organic potting mix amended with perlite and some medium bark chunks to create a well-draining airy mix.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once every month during Spring through Summer.
- Repotting: Peperomia have a fine root structure, so do not require frequent re-potting. If you note roots poking out the drainage holes or your plant has stalled in growth, re-pot no more than 3cm large than the previous planter.
- Propagation: The best way to propagate Peperomia is via stem cuttings. Chose a stem approximately 8 -10cm in length. Snip and dip in rooting hormone. Stick cut end in slightly moistened potting medium, place in a clear bag in a bright spot. Check regularly to ensure the medium stays moist to the touch. Your plant is established and can be removed from the bag once new growth has formed.
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