Botanical Name: Peperomia caperata
A member of the Piperaceae family, this compact plant has short stems covered by heart-shaped, deeply ridged leaves. The leaves are green, sometimes with a blush of red, and dark green veins.
In summer or fall, you may see slender flower spikes that look like rat's tails.
Peperomia is easy to grow and usually trouble-free. The most common variety is 'Emerald Ripple' with a compact growing habit... 'Variegata' has white leaves with a splash of green. Some have reddish-green leaves, such as 'Burgundy'. Choose a plant with the leaf colors and patterns that you like. They're all easy to grow.
Don't overwater. The only thing that really bothers this plant is soggy soil. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Water sparingly in winter. Wilting leaves is likely because drainage is poor and its roots are not getting enough oxygen.
Repot in spring, only when the plant has outgrown its pot. Move it into a container that's only slightly larger, because a container that's too big will hold too much water and may cause root rot. Also, be sure to use a container with a drainage hole.
Leaf drop may be caused by a build-up of salts in the soil from soft water or too much fertilizer. You can see accumulated salts as a white crusty deposits on the surface of the soil. Fortunately, it's easy to flush out excess salts.
Its textured leaves and low-growing mound of foliage make it an ideal addition to a dish garden or a terrarium. And it loves the humidity.
Height: 8 in (20 cm)
Light: Low to bright light. Protect this plant from direct sunlight. Light from an east- or north-facing window works best. Peperomia caperata thrives under indoor grow lights, making it a good choice for an office plant.
Water: Keep soil barely moist. Allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Water less in winter, allowing the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.
Humidity: Moderate -- around 40-50% relative humidity. Use a humidity tray or room humidifier, if needed. Or put your plant in a terrarium...it thrives in the moist air like its native rainforest habitat.
Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C
Soil: Light potting mix that contains perlite or sand to help drainage. Peperomia likes some air around its roots.
Fertilizer: Feed monthly spring through fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Take leaf cuttings in spring.