25 December 2012

Peperomia - A Christmas Gift

I decided to give a few plants as Christmas gifts this year - it makes sense, since I picked up several plants out of people's trash and rehabilitated them.  The plan was to repot them into something nice and write about how to take care of them.  I also have some packets of slow-release fertilizer I thought I would include with the card.  Here are my care instructions for Peperomia:

The Peperomia plant is a tropical house plant grown for its interesting and variety of foliage.  Looking at its slightly succulent appearance, you would think that it comes from an arid region, but, in fact, it lives in the shade of South American rain forests.  Although the flowers are usually insignificant, there are numerous varieties of this plant that have different shapes, colors and textures of leaves.

Being a tropical understory plant, Peperomia like bright, indirect light and they are very comfortable in a cool environment (65-75 degrees), like most homes.  They like a more humid environment, so, like other house plants, keep away from heating vents and you may want to set them on a gravel tray with water or mist them regularly to increase humidity.

When watering Peperomia, they like the soil to stay moist, but they don’t like to be overwatered.  Signs of overwatering include wilting and raised scab-like protrusions on the leaves.

Beginning in the spring, they will need to be fertilized regularly either with a diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks, or with a slow-release fertilizer a couple of times during the growing season.

There is little need to repot Peperomia often.  They are shallow-rooted and like to be slightly rootbound.  But when you do repot, there are a few things to remember:  either remove the plant from its pot, root prune and repot, adding organic matter such as compost;  or repot into a slightly larger pot, adding compost or other organic matter.

1 comment:

Betty said...

Jenion, what about Christmas cactus? I just bought one and it is very pretty and I want to be able to keep this one...It is root bound now, should I re pot it?
I love that you gave Plants and instructions. I did that one year and painted the pots myself, but, didn't write the instructions...they are in Plant heaven now.
thanks Betty