You’ve found it if you’re looking for a houseplant that’s simple to grow yet doesn’t sacrifice appearance. Although the Peperomia obtusifolia, or baby rubber plant, does produce flowers, this species is primarily preferred for its attractive, shiny foliage. And to grow this one, you don’t need to be an expert in houseplant care!
To learn how to develop a baby rubber plant in your own house and take care of Peperomia obtusifolia, continue reading.
|Common Name||Baby rubber plant, pepper face plant|
|Botanical Name||Peperomia Obtusifolia|
|Plant Type||Perennial, Herbaceous|
|Mature Size||Up to 1 ft. tall|
|Soil Type||Clay, Sand, Loam|
|Soil pH||Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline|
|Bloom Time||Periodic through the year|
|Hardiness Zones||10-12 (USDA)|
|Native Area||South America|
Peperomia Obtusifolia (Baby Rubber Plant) Care
For Peperomia obtusifolia care, a temperature range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is excellent (or 18 to 26 degrees Celsius). As a result, your home’s temperature should be perfect for this one! Your plants won’t thrive if the temperature falls into the 50s (or low teens) or if your home is drafty.
Baby rubber plants want a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent. Try placing your plants in a bathroom with a window if your home is on the dry side; this area has a tendency to be more humid. Even if the humidity is on the low side for people as well, you might want to use a humidifier.
You don’t need to repot these plants very frequently because they have limited root systems and don’t typically grow very quickly. Usually, once a year is more than enough.
You can move up one or two pot sizes if your infant rubber plant does start to become root-bound, which you can tell if the roots are emerging out the bottom of the pot. Always select a planter with a drainage hole, as you ought do for all indoor plants.
Nutrient-rich, well-draining soil is ideal for growing baby rubber plants. To aid in drainage, you can easily utilize standard mixes and add a big fistful of bark or perlite. Since this plant resembles a succulent, it won’t tolerate having its roots left in standing water.
Compost can be added as an organic supplement if you believe the soil is deficient in nutrients to advance your Peperomia obtusifolia care. Worm castings are a good way to increase the level of richness.
They can grow well in bright light, and the variegated varieties may benefit from a few hours of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight should be avoided if the leaves are dark green since it will damage them; yet, variegated varieties may lose their variegation if not given enough light. Windows that face south, east, or west are ideal, but again, this depends on the color of the leaves.
Watering a baby rubber plant is not too difficult. After letting the top soil totally dry out, water it well. When you first start cultivating Peperomias, it can be advisable to err on the side of less watering rather than too much because overwatering can be more harmful than not enough. You don’t want to overwater this plant and cause the soil to become saturated.
Don’t worry too much about the soil being dry throughout the winter because the thick leaves will retain water.
Due to the plant’s small root system, you won’t need to repot it very frequently. A young plant that has outgrown its current pot may be repotted in the spring if the soil or at least the top soil should be changed annually. To avoid the soil becoming saturated, it is preferable to lean toward a smaller pot rather than a container that is overly large. For Peperomias, shallow pots are a suitable choice.
Use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every two weeks in the spring, while the plant is growing, and once a month in the summer. From autumn through spring, no feeding is necessary.
This species does benefit from humidity. You can spritz the foliage and/or set the plant on a pebble tray with water at the bottom during the warmer months. If the air is not too dry, most dwellings should be good with their natural humidity.
Taking a few centimeters of stem tip cuttings is a simple way to reproduce an organism. Remove a petiole (tip) with one or two leaves on it that is 5 to 8 cm long. The cutting should be placed in a very small pot with fresh, wet potting soil. Try to maintain a warm environment with temperatures around 20°C (68°F) and lots of bright light (warmth and light is the key to success). On the cut that is being planted, you might want to apply a rooting hormone.
However, variegated varieties may lose their variegation, leaf cuttings are another way to reproduce the baby rubber plant. To find out which technique of propagation works best for you, you might wish to try a few leaves and stem tips. Before planting, I would give cuttings with leaves or stem tips a day to dry out. Wait for fresh growth to appear, avoid overwatering, and when sufficient growth has taken place, switch to a larger pot.
The Peperomia Obtusifolia Problem
The fact that Peperomia obtusifolia don’t frequently have problems is one of the finest aspects about caring for these plants. Nevertheless, you must continue to watch out for common insect pests like mealybugs and spider mites.
Fortunately, since rubber plants are rather small, removing opportunistic guests is not too difficult. Bring the afflicted plants to the sink and spray any bugs there if you do notice them hanging out on the leaves. That will teach them!
You must keep an eye out for the typical issues when it comes to the leaves. You’ll need to examine your watering practices because both over- and underwatering can result in yellowing, wilting, browning, and leaf drop. In the event that your young rubber plant was overwatered, you might need to repot it and cut off any rotted roots.
Edema, which is fortunately quite typical in houseplants and is more of an aesthetic issue than anything else, was one problem I faced with my baby rubber plant. If you regularly water too early or too late, you run the risk of unwittingly tricking the roots into absorbing more water than they can take. As a result of the extra fluids, infant rubber plant leaves may develop scabbing, especially on the underside.
Are both cats and dogs safe to consume Peperomia obtusifolia?
The ASPCA claims that Peperomia obtusifolia is non-toxic, so your pets and kids won’t be harmed if they munch on a few leaves.
Do keep in mind that pets may vomit and/or have diarrhea after ingesting any plant. Houseplants become depressed as a result. You might want to put your young rubber plant out of reach if your pets have a tendency to eat leaves.
You’ll need to be on the lookout for the typical issues when it comes to the leaves. You must carefully examine your watering practices because both over- and underwatering can result in yellowing, wilting, browning, and leaf drop. If your infant rubber plant was being overwatered, you might need to repot it and pull out any rotted roots.
Buying Peperomia Obtusifolia
Baby rubber plants are available in almost every greenhouse and even some grocery shops because caring for them is so simple. Peperomia obtusifolia is also available for purchase online.
Remember that this plant comes in a variety of cultivars, some of which are more popular than others. The green variety is the one you’ll see the most frequently, but there is also a Peperomia obtusifolia “variegata” with cream marbling in the leaves.