Peperomia has been declared by many in the houseplant community as 2022’s Houseplant of the Year and I can’t disagree with them. Peperomias are probably one of my favorite houseplants because they vary so widely in appearance and are composed of over 1,500 different species. Some look so dissimilar that the only way to know for sure that they are a Peperomia is by observing their “rat-tail” inflorescence. Some are bushy like Peperomia ‘Rosso’, some are Trailing like Peperomia prostrata, or upright like Peperomia Piccolo Banda. All are uniquely beautiful and fulfilling to grow at home.
Where do they grow?
One characteristic that most Peperomia tend to share are semi-succulent leaves or stems which one can deduce means they grow in environments where water isn’t always readily available. This may seem confusing considering that most Peperomias are native to tropical rainforests but it makes sense once you understand how many of them grow. Many Peperomia grow as epiphytes on trees and in rock crevices in rainforests where they don’t have access to ground water, just rain fall and humidity. Understanding how they grow in the wild can help you care for them better and keep you from overwatering them and turning them into mush (speaking from personal experience).
Most of these Peperomias are growing along the forest floor or in the understory where they receive only dappled light. This tells you that they can thrive in a lower light situation in the wild but you will need to provide some kind of light source when trying to grow them in your home. Depending on the species this could mean medium to bright indirect light which can be achieved by placing the plant anywhere near a bright window to right on the window sill. The direction that your window faces is important as well. An unobstructed North or East facing window will provide bright morning light which is less intense and more suitable for Peperomia than a West or South facing window.
Come visit the Greenhouse to embrace the year of the Peperomia by adding a new species to your houseplant collection!
Some of Our Favorite Varieties
*This article was written by Savannah Atwell
(Tallahassee Nurseries Greenhouse Manager, FNGLA Florida Certified Horticulture Professional).