Peperomia is a genus of more than 1000 species of small, compact perennial epiphytes growing on rotten wood, in the family Piperaceae. Peperomia is native to tropical America, with a few in Africa. It is also known as Radiator plant, Baby Rubber Plant, Emerald Ripple, or Wax Privet, and grown for its ornamental foliage, and sometimes for their flowers.

Peperomia varies considerably in appearance from species to species, from threadlike, trailing stems to thick, fleshy, stout stems. The leaves, 2.5-10 cm long, are smooth and fleshy, oval with leafstalk at or near the center of the leaf blade, or heart-shaped or lance-shaped, with some species have red petioles. The leaves can be solid green or variegated with stripes, marbled or bordered with pale green, red or gray. The inconspicuous, tiny flowers are grown in the form of greenish yellow to brown conical spike like an inverted catkin. The stems and leaves of Peperomia species contain the poisonous alkaloid.

Among some of the most popular Peperomias are :

Cupid Peperomia (P. scandens variegata): It is a trailing peperomia with pink stem and 5 cm long leaves. The leaves are variegated with green and cream color. The stem grows up to 1.2 m long and can be trained to a support or allow to grow in a pot or hanging basket.

Creeping Peperomia (P. prostrata): It has trailing red stems and tiny leaves, 0.7 cm long, with silver or bronze marking. It can be trained to a support or allow to grow in a pot or hanging basket.

Watermelon Peperomia (P. argyreia): It has red stems and large fleshy leaves with deep stripes. Flowers are produced in conical spikes.

Baby Rubber Plant (P. clusiifolia): It has deep green fleshy leaves with purple edges.

Desert Privet (P. magnoliaefolia variegata): The most commonly found peperomia in stores and garden centers. It has large, variegated, succulent leaves with deep green and gold color.

Peperomias is an easy-to-care plant and almost problem free. It prefers bright light, but not under direct sunllight, and can grow well indoors. The plant should be allowed to dry out between watering. Do not let the leaves wilt or the plant will lose its leaves. Mist them occasionally.

Propagation is by seeds or cuttings.

Watermelon peperomia (<i>Peperomia argyreia</i>)Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)
Author: Montrealais (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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