Peperomia Care

a photo of peperomia obtusifolia

     Peperomia is another large genus comprising of over 1,000 species, each with its own unique appearance. The variety of plants within this genus is astounding! These plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions all around the world, though most are concentrated in Central and South America. Peperomia obtusifolia (pictured above), commonly called the baby rubber plant, is native to Florida! This is an easy to care for group of plants that have found their way into many households. Let's get into the care!


     Most peperomia are adapted to live in areas below the tree canopy, meaning they are well suited to many areas of the house! They do best in medium to bright, indirect light. Some species will tolerate low light, as well, but if you notice the plant etiolating (stretching towards the light), consider moving the plant to a brighter area or obtaining a grow light. Looking up which species you have will help to determine what light level these plants will need. Any plants that have variegation will need to have more light in order to thrive and keep the variegated ratio high.

Water and Soil

     Peperomia are often sold in the same section as succulents because of their succulent leaves and ability to tolerate drought, however, many more peperomia species will meet their demise in a succulent arrangement. Plants like the String of Turtles, Peperomia prostrata, is a tropical epiphyte, growing in the rain forests of Brazil. It does best to have its soil consistently moist, rarely allowing the soil to dry, if at all. Many other peperomia will have a signal to their grower that they are ready for more water, if they are forgotten for too long. For those with flat leaves, like the above mentioned Peperomia obtusifolia, the leaves should be stiff. If they become flexible, it is time to water! For plants like Peperomia ferreyrae, Peperomia dolabriformis, Peperomia nivalis, and Peperomia axillaris, that have windows on the topside of their leaves, they will demonstrate the need for water when the windows become thinner. Their leaves will also become a bit more flexible when they need water. For most peperomia, they will benefit from the top inch of soil drying before watering once again.

A watermelon peperomia in a grey pot with a sage green background

     Remember, to water properly, the soil must be completely saturated. This is true for top and bottom watering. If watering from the top, continue watering until water flows out of the bottom of the pot, then add some more for good measure and allow the excess to drain. If watering from the bottom, allow the pot to soak in enough water until the soil is saturated to the surface. Depending on the size of the pot, this could take minutes or hours. Remember to check the soil before watering to avoid over watering. Over watering is the frequency of water, not the quantity.

     Peperomia do best in soil with a high organic content, the "dirt" portion of potting soil. Most regular potting soils straight from the bag are perfect! Amending the soil is not necessary for these plants. Succulent soil can be okay for some species, but they do much better in typical potting soils without a specialty.


     All peperomia make fantastic beginner plants, and with the variety they provide, there really is a peperomia for everyone! As always, if you are concerned about your plant, please reach out with any questions you have!

Happy growing!

<3 Gina