Propagation Methods and Care Tips for Your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata

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Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata is a stunning plant with a unique appearance that makes it an excellent choice for indoor gardeners.

In this detailed care guide, we’re diving into the hows, whys, and whens of everything that your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata needs to stay healthy.

Read on to learn more about where you can buy this Peperomia, along with its exciting attributes and common pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata?

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata, commonly known as Peperomia Variegata, Pepper Face, and Blunt-Leafed Peperomia, is popular among plant lovers for its attractive variegation. It also carries a lot of other common names, such as:

Decorative Pepper

Dwarf Pepper

Fleshy Peperomia

Pepper Face

American Rubber Plant

Hanging Peperomia

Variegated Baby Rubber Plant (While it’s called the Baby Rubber Plant, it’s not related to the rubber tree)

This is a trendy plant these days. In fact, the National Garden Bureau declared 2022 the Year of the Peperomia. NGB cites, “Peperomia are having their much-deserved time in the sun, though they have been sold as houseplants since the 1930s.”

This stunning and quirky plant should be placed near an east or west-facing window to flourish indoors. Outdoors thrives in hardiness zones 10-12.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Origin And Family

The variegated Peperomia is a member of the Piperaceae family. This variety of Peperomia comes from Central and South American forests, including Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean. As an indoor plant, it has done well in most households when it has a lot of access to humidity.

This stunning plant, at least Peperomia Obtusifolia, was first described in 1831 by Albert Gottfried Dietrich.

Where To Buy

There are several ways to find Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata for sale, and a wide variety of “Variegata” plants are available online. Some stems have a comprehensive, creamy white edge with an uneven, silvery green center splash contrasting the young stems’ deep red hue. Others have leaves with white and green flecks that are less striking but quite lovely. Regardless, their shapes offer fantastic seasonal hues.

You could buy a cutting or seedling at the nursery and order fully grown plants online. One option is to purchase on Etsy.

For very affordable prices, you can buy a Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata for about $10 for 4-inch potted plants and up to $20+ for larger plants.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Plant Size

The Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata is a fast-growing houseplant best placed near an east or west-facing window. In homes, it can reach an average height of 6-12 inches and an average width of up to 10 inches.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Care Needs

This succulent-like variety of Peperomia will thrive beautifully when it’s properly cared for. It likes to grow in mostly dry soil and bright indirect light.

In most situations, you’ll want to water your Peperomia when the top half of the soil is dry. Drench the soil deliberately until you see water oozing out from the bottom of the pot. As a humidity-loving plant, it will be in its best health when provided abundantly with this requirement.

We’re making it convenient for you to care for your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata with the extensive list of tips below.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Care Difficulty

The Pepper Face is typically considered easy to care for in most circles. For growing conditions, key factors to take into account are the amount of light and the well-draining soil that this plant has.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Growth Rate

The growing speed of a Blunt-Leafed Peperomia is typically fast. Indoors, it reaches a mature height of 6-12 inches.

You can control this plant’s height with proper pruning during the growing season in the spring and summer.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Potting

In terms of the size of the potting container, we recommend using a medium container. Most materials, including terracotta, plastic, or clay, will work perfectly.

Peperomia Variegata is at risk to root rot. Make sure there are ample drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Repotting

This Peperomia typically needs to be repotted every 3-5 years or when you find roots growing out of the drainage holes. However, this plant does not need to be regularly repotted because it has a small root system.

When you notice that the plant has outgrown its pot, you may consider moving it to a new and a size bigger pot made of plastic, terracotta, or clay that’s shallow to prevent waterlogging. Avoid damaging the main root ball at any costs.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Soil

A regular commercial potting soil is your best bet for growing medium for your Pepper Face plant. Peat, peat moss, and perlite are ideal for the soil. An African Violet soil mix is also okay, as the two plant families have similar soil requirements.

Aeration and drainage are necessary for this plant which is easy to care for.

Here are some terrific growing medium options to choose from:

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata pH

pH for this plant should be around 6.0-6.6, meaning your Blunt-Leafed Peperomia likes acidic soil. If you’re repotting on schedule or adding new soil from time to time, the pH level wouldn’t be as much of a concern as if you’re growing this plant outdoors.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Water

The right amount of watering is crucial for houseplants. If you water it too much, you could contract fungus infections and root rot. On the other hand, if there is insufficient watering, the plants may develop brown, malnourished leaves. For optimal health, Peperomia Variegata generally prefers mostly dry soil.

One way to check for moisture is to stick your finger in the pot. When the upper half of the soil is dry, it’s time to water your plant.

Good drainage and aerated soil are must-haves for Peperomia Variegata. Rule of thumb: Don’t allow your plant to sit in water for an extended period.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Light

This houseplant prefers bright indirect light. Too much light and its leaves will get damaged. Too little light and it will lose its variegation.

If you’re worried that your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata isn’t getting enough light, you may need to move it near a window or consider using artificial lights. Here are some basic options for you to consider:

Avoid putting your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata in direct sunlight, as this could extremely damage or even kill it.

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Fertilizer

The Pepper Face’s growing season is in the spring and summer. During this time, fertilize your plant once a month using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

In the colder seasons, when this plant’s development naturally slows, you don’t need to fertilize.

Propagating Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata

There are different ways to propagate Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata. For higher chances of success, follow the steps we’ve laid out below for each unique method.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Stem cuttings (or leaf cuttings) directly planted in the soil are hassle-free of Peperomia Obtusifolia propagation. It is advisable to propagate this plant actively growing during early spring to summer.

1. Cut. Find a healthy section of your plant with new growth. Make a cutting at least 3 inches long with some visible nodes. Make sure you’re using sterilized scissors to avoid bacterial infection.

2. Plant. Place the stem tip cutting in damp rich soil with the nodes buried. Then, compress the dirt around the stem to keep the cutting in place.

3. Maintain. Frequently moisten the soil to encourage faster rooting. Keep the plant near a window in bright, indirect sunlight.

4. Wait. In about 2-3 weeks, you should see new buds on the top fleshy leaves. This means that your cutting is now rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Your Pepper Face can also be rooted in water with these easy steps:

1. Cut. Take a few cuttings that have fresh leaves and a few nodes.

2. Submerge. Put your cutting in some water and submerge it in a mason jar or other clear container. Remove any bottom leaves that are submerged in the water.

3. Maintain. Place your propagation jar in a room that is 68°F on average and well-lit.

4. Refill. Replace with fresh batch water every few days to prevent bacterial infections.

5. Transplant. Move the cutting into damp, sterile potting soil once the roots have reached a length of at least one inch.

Humidity And Aeration for Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata

High humidity (between 60% and higher) is best for your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata.

Crispy leaves and browning edges often characterize the lack of humidity in houseplants. Consider getting a humidifier or placing your rubber plants in well-lit spaces with naturally higher humidity (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).

Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata Temperature

Peperomias are also known as Radiator plants because they love warm drafts. Keep the temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit to provide them with the warmth they need

Like most Peperomia plants, this stunning houseplant will appreciate consistent temperatures throughout the year. Do not use hot or cold water when watering your plant. Keep it at a safe distance from heat sources (such as furnaces and heating vents), sudden drops in temps, and cold (like open windows during the winter).

Flowers

Being able to provide the best conditions for your plant and making sure it is at its happiest, you might be able to see narrow spikes of off-white flowers. You must know, however, that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.

As for this appealing plant, its flower is not particularly attractive, and they are often referred to as “rat tails.” You can use your imagination as to what that looks like. Thankfully, these plants are grown for their variegated foliage rather than their flowers, their low maintenance needs, and their non-toxic nature.

Non-Toxic

The Pepper Face is not toxic to children or pets. No ingredients in the plant that are determined harmful to humans. This plant will also not harm dogs or cats if ingested, as stated by ASPCA.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata
Common Name Peperomia Variegata, Pepper Face, Blunt-Leafed Peperomia
Plant Family Piperaceae
Origin Central and South America including Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape round to oval and cup-like
Leaf Color dark green
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate fast
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water when the top half of the soil is dry.
When To Fertilize once a month during growing season
Preferred pH 6.0-6.6
Humidity Range 60% and higher
Toxic To Pets? No
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata

In most situations, Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata is a plant that’s resistant to diseases and pests. There are, however, a few known issues that can affect it. Below we’re discussing common problems and solutions to protect this version of the baby rubber plant.

Spider Mites

Houseplants occasionally invite unwanted visitors into your house in the form of pests. The spider mite is one such occurrence. The adult mites can be seen quickly scurrying around when disturbed, but the larvae won’t be visible.

Neem oil combined with water can be misted on the leaves of your plant to help get rid of spider mite larvae. Sprays made of organic Pyrethrin are also available and work well at eliminating adult mites. Be mindful to select pesticides that are safe for people to inhale when you spray them indoors.

Scale Insects

Adult scales are stationary and covered in a waxy coating. However, they will produce small, crawling bugs.

You can remove armored scales, but you must do so delicately using your fingertips or an old ID card. Take care not to rip the glossy green leaves of your Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata.

To eliminate scale insects, use neem oil, horticultural oil, or insecticidal soap. Spray your plant with a general insecticide when you observe crawlers that are active. After a week, repeat the process with a second application. Below are some goods we suggest:

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are white, fuzzy insects that suck the nutrients from plants and are the botanical equivalent of head lice on humans. These pests can stunt plant growth or even kill your Blunt-Leafed Peperomia.

To send these nasty crawlers packing, you can directly spray them with neem oil (but remember to dilute it in water first). Another option is to take a cotton ball, soak it in Isopropyl alcohol, and rub it over the leaves and stem.

If you have several houseplants, you may need to quarantine your infected Blunt-Leafed Peperomia until there are no more signs of mealybugs.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you notice browning tips on the leaves of your Peperomia Variegata, you might need to double-check on several factors.

Make sure the humidity indoors is high enough. Filter the sunlight with curtains if it’s shining too harshly on your plant. Don’t apply too much fertilizer. Allow the water to pass through the soil for a few minutes to remove unnecessary salts and minerals.

Drooping Leaves

Mealybugs and other pests that infest the Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata can cause the succulent-like leaves of this beautiful plant to droop. This problem can also be caused by underwatering, lack of humidity, and lack of nutrients.

Yellow Leaves

Sometimes, you may see yellow leaves on your Pepper Face, which can signify trouble. Factors that cause this problem include moisture stress, improper lighting, nutrient imbalance, inconsistent temperatures, insect infestations, bacterial or viral infections, and many others.

To narrow down the problem, you must consider recent weather changes or how you care for your plant.

Root Rot

The most common cause of death for the Blunt-Leafed Peperomia is root rot, which occurs when you overwater your plant. Remember that you should only water when the top half of the soil is dry.

Poor drainage is another source of root rot, and this Peperomia needs standard commercial potting soil that drains well.

When choosing a pot for your plant, ensure there are drainage holes to allow excess water to flow through. Clay pots and unglazed ceramic planters can also help absorb moisture from the soil and slowly release it into the air.

Similar Plants to Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata

Love Peperomia Variegata? Here are some other variegated plants with attractive foliage you should try:

Hoya Carnosa Compacta Variegata – This beautifully variegated plant is uniquely ornamented with curly leaves and vines similar to thick ropes. They look so good in hanging baskets to show off their stunning trailing leaves. Adding to the appeal of this plant is its dainty, star-shaped flowers that earned its Porcelain Flower name.

Hoya Krimson Queen – The Hoya Krimson Queen looks like a genuine queen. It has thick, waxy leaves with stunning multicolored variegation. This Hoya is well-liked for its beauty and its ability to withstand drought.

Conclusion

The Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata is an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts, primarily due to its attractive variegation.

If you’re searching for an additional plant for your collection or are just getting started as an indoor gardener, use the tips you’ve learned from us to start growing Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata today!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

Let's grow together!

Brent Hellendoorn

Brent is excited about all things minimal, and thus environmentally sustainable. From kitchen-scrap composting to indoor herb gardens and air-purifying houseplants, he enjoys continual learning and innovation. In simple, eco-conscious living, there is always room to… grow!

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