Raindrop Peperomia: The Ultimate Care Guide
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Without Any Extra Cost to You!
Last Updated on May 3, 2022 by Gary Stephen
Peperomia Polybotrya is one of the most popular species from the Piperaceae family. It comes with a beautiful emerald green raindrop-shaped leaf design. Thus, it is also often called raindrop peperomia.
Aside from its adorable appeal, it is also compact and such a breeze to care for. You can grow it both indoors and outdoors. Hence, it is quite impossible not to fall in love with this flexible house plant.
If you find Peperomia Polybotrya interesting too but don’t know how to care for it yet, then this write-up is just perfect for you!
In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about Peperomia Polybotrya. We will provide you the basic care guidelines. So, you will have the know-how on growing them properly. Moreover, we will also present to you the best products you can use to achieve healthy growth.
Let’s get this started now.
- 0.1 Facts About Peperomia Polybotrya (or Raindrop Peperomia)
- 0.2 Is Peperomia Polybotrya a succulent plant?
- 1 Fundamental Care Guide for Peperomia Polybotrya (Raindrop Peperomia)
- 1.1 Size
- 1.2 Light
- 1.3 Watering
- 1.4 Fertilizer for Raindrop Peperomia
- 1.5 Soil for Raindrop Peperomia
- 1.6 Transplanting
- 1.7 Propagation
- 1.8 Infestations
- 1.9 Maintenance
- 2 Wrapping Up:
Facts About Peperomia Polybotrya (or Raindrop Peperomia)
Before digging into the main topic, let us get to know the brief history of this plant first.
Peperomia Polybotrya is among the many species that belong to the Piperaceae family. It is native to South America particularly in parts of Colombia and Peru.
The name itself is being derived from two Greek words. “Peperi” meaning pepper and “hom” that connotes as being similar or like. Thus, Peperomia may simply translate to “pepper-like”.
Because of the distinct shape of this plant, it is also being associated with different terms. This well includes raindrop peperomia, coin plant, or coin-leaf plant.
Is Peperomia Polybotrya a succulent plant?
This is one of the most common questions we often encounter with this species: is Peperomia a succulent plant?
The answer is, No.
It is easy to mistake raindrop peperomia as a succulent plant because of its thick and fleshy leaves. But, unlike succulents, Peperomias love humidity and requires more water than typical succulents. After all, they originate from the loamy and dampish rainforests of South America.
Fundamental Care Guide for Peperomia Polybotrya (Raindrop Peperomia)
Peperomia Polybotrya is a compact-sized plant. Under the right conditions, it can grow an average of up to one foot in height. Its mature leaves then can widen 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
That said, it makes a popular choice among gardeners with tiny spaces like such in urban housings. It is also the perfect size for adding a piece of greenery to windowsills and balconies.
Light means life for plants.
Thus, if placed in the right spot, plants are sure to thrive at their best.
Peperomias can be grown in both indoor and outdoor grow spaces. Like most houseplants, raindrop peperomia favors bright yet indirect lighting. It is ideal to place them in an environment with a room temperature range of between 65°F to 80°F.
Be cautious not to expose them to direct sunlight. The intense heat may cause the leaves to dry out and get sunburnt.
So, when growing it outdoors, make sure to place it under a shady spot. Enough for some rays to touch the plant, but not too much to cause damage.
Meanwhile, if you are trying to grow it indoors, it is best to place it near a window with bright lighting. In most times of the year, an eastern-facing window gives you gentler rays of morning sunshine. You may need to adjust the positioning though during the hotter summer season.
If you do not have a window or an outdoor space, there is no need for you to panic yet. Technology has a solution for absolute zero sunlight. In such cases, you can instead make use of grow lights<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. Choose lamps that can offer a sun-like effect. Also, note that the size may vary depending on the number of pots you are trying to grow in your space.
Here are some of our top picks for indoor grow lights.
- Relassy Full Spectrum Sunlike Grow Lamp
- Fauna Full Spectrum Dimmable LED Grow Lamp
- Elaine Full Spectrum Sunlike Grow Light with Timer
- Yoyomax Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
- VOGEK Full Spectrum LED Grow Light with Timer
A “leggy” plant is one tell-tale sign that it is not getting enough sunlight. A light-deprived plant would tend to stretch out and lean towards the area of a possible light source. Thus, it becomes weirdly bent that is prominent towards a certain side only.
If you notice such, heed action and secure a brighter spot for your plants the soonest as possible. Or, you can also try to supplement it with artificial lighting from the grow lights.
Most gardeners, especially the newbies, tend to struggle with overwatering. Peperomia is not an actual succulent but it has similar features as theirs. In the sense that its thick and fleshy leaves and stems also have the ability to store water. So, it can withstand longer periods of non-watering than typical plants.
Considering that, it is very easy to overwater a Peperomia. Having said that, it can instead benefit some dry time between watering sessions. That is especially true during the spring and summer seasons
Some gardeners though try to play safe by using a soil moisture meter. This is a simple and inexpensive tool that is worth having in any kind of garden. It consists of probes that detect the actual level of moisture in the soil. This is a “no-brainer” way to determine whether your plant needs watering or not.
Here are some of our top picks for soil moisture meters:
- Reotemp Garden and Compost Moisture Meter
- VegTrug Soil Tester with Smart Plant Monitor
- IPPINKA Sustee Plant Moisture Sensor
- Classy Casita Plant Soil Moisture Tester Kit
- Sonkir Soil 3-in-1 Moisture Tester
To avoid overwatering, do check the soil first before attempting to water. To do this, simply stick your finger in the soil. Try to feel for moisture. If it feels dry and leaves very minimal soil residue in your fingers, then it’s about time to water it.
But, if the soil still feels wet and tends to stick to your fingers, then leave it as is for the meantime. This usually indicates that your plant still has enough moisture within. Try to check again after a day or two.
Fertilizer for Raindrop Peperomia
To ensure optimal growth, it is ideal to feed Peperomia Polybotrya with fertilizers. It doesn’t have to be intensive. A basic all-purpose plant fertilizer is enough to supplement its nutrition. You can apply this about once a month during the warmer seasons. Or, as often as recommended in the product description.
But amidst wintertime, though, the plant tends to be inactive and hibernating. Thus, it is best to limit watering activity and cease giving fertilizer during this period.
Our top picks for fertilizers:
- Miracle-Gro Liquid Indoor Plant Food
- Miracle-Gro Shake N’ Feed All Purpose Plant Food
- J R Peters Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer
- Schultz Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
- Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus
Regardless if you are using a liquid or dry fertilizer, it is important to follow proper dilution. A too-concentrated ratio can burn and damage your plants. On the other hand, giving your plants an overly diluted mixture may not suffice its nutrient requirements too.
Furthermore, it is also best to opt for water-soluble fertilizers. This type of plant food is much easier for crops to absorb. Thus, rendering it more effective to use.
Soil for Raindrop Peperomia
Since Peperomia Polybotrya stores water on its own, it has a higher tendency to get overwatered. In that sense, it is a must to use soil with good drainage and aeration. A regular potting mix for African Violets will work best for raindrop peperomia.
Our top picks for potting soil:
- Espoma Organic African Violet Potting Mix
- Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold African Violet Mix
- Miracle-Gro African Violet Potting Mix
- Espoma Organic Perlite
- Premier Horticulture Sphagnum Peat Moss
If you do not have access to African Violet potting soil, you can still create your own potting mix. Just combine 50% peat moss and 50% perlite to promote optimal drainage.
Unfortunately, Peperomia Polybotrya has a relatively weak root system. If not handled with the utmost care, the process may put it at a greater risk of damaging the fragile roots. Thus, it is unlikely advisable to transplant unless it is really deemed necessary.
The only time you can consider transplanting is when the plant already starts to outgrow its own pot. A compact root system leaves very little space for proper drainage and further growth. Thus, it needs to be repotted into a slightly bigger pot to give it more room to grow. This can usually take place every 2 to 3 years.
Our top picks for decorative planters:
- 6-Inch Flower Pot with Drainage and Saucer
- Speckled Indoor Flower Pot with Drainage Holes
- 8-Inch Full Depth Round Cylinder Pot
- 10-Inch Ceramic Planter Pot with Drainage Hole and Saucer
- 14-Inch Bloem Planter with Pre-Drilled Hole and Saucer
Repotting your plant enables you to renew your plant’s potting soil. Giving it another fresh start to continue to flourish. Moreover, this also provides you the chance to change its aesthetics. Choose decorative planters that match the theme of your space. This is one quick tweak that can help improve your decor.
Apart from repotting, it would also be a good idea to propagate your Peperomias as it matures. Doing so will allow you to shape up your existing plant by pruning off its unkempt leaves and stems. It is like giving your plant sort of a haircut.
Most importantly, it is also a good chance for you to produce new cultivars from it. You can use these to further add green to your space. This plant’s adorable appeal and compactness also make it an amazing gift idea. Moreover, you can make some profit by selling them too. Why not, right?
Propagating Peperomia Polybotrya is pretty easy. There are actually two basic ways to do this: leaf-cutting or stem-cutting. The important thing to remember is to take these cuttings during spring or early summer.
To further increase the chances of success, most growers prefer to use rooting hormones. This chemical mixture is often used to stimulate the growth of stronger roots most especially in ornamental plants. It may either come in powder, liquid, or gel form. But, most prefer the powder type because it is easier to work with.
Method #1: Propagation by Stem Cutting.
- Start by selecting a healthy stem. There should be about 2 to 3 leaves in that cutting.
- Trim off the leaves at the bottom to expose a short segment of the stem.
- Dip the cutting tip into the rooting hormone if using any.
- Plant the dipped stem into the potting mix.
- Firm the soil to make sure the placement of the stem is stable.
- Water the potting soil thoroughly.
- Place the cutting in a spot with bright indirect lighting.
- Keep the potting soil moist to promote growth. But, at the same time be very careful not to make it soaking wet to prevent root rotting.
- Leaflets should start to sprout after a week or two.
- Wait until the new growth already forms a cluster before transplanting to a bigger pot.
Method #2: Propagation by Leaf Cutting.
- Select healthy leaves. Better yet, you can also use the trimmed extra leaves from your previous stem cuttings. That way, you minimize wasting your precious plant.
- You can opt to use the entire leaves.
- Or, you can also try the split-leaf technique for faster results. With this, you cut the leaf horizontally in half.
- Dip the cutting tip into the rooting hormone if using any.
- Plant the dipped leaves into the potting mix.
- Firm the soil to make sure the placement of the leaves is stable.
- Water the potting soil thoroughly.
- Place the cutting in a spot with bright indirect lighting.
- To promote humidity, cover the cuttings with a tray or plastic sheet.
- Remove the cover and aerate every few days to prevent the fungus from developing.
- Let it sit undisturbed for a few days or so until new roots have grown.
- Once the cutting had developed multiple new leaves, you may now transplant it to a bigger pot.
- Make sure not to transplant the cutting prematurely. Doing so can damage the new growth, as Peperomia tend to have shallower roots.
Our top picks for rooting hormones:
- Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder
- RootBoost Rooting Hormone Powder
- General Hydroponics RapidStart Rooting Enhancer
- Dip N’ Grow Liquid Rooting Concentrate
- Technaflora Rootech Cloning Gel
Make sure to always sterilize your tools before and after each use. This will prevent contamination of your plants and their cuttings from possible diseases. Thus, take some time to give your tools a good wash with soap and water. Alternately, you can also disinfect by soaking it in 70% Isopropyl alcohol.
Peperomia Polybotrya is such a hardy plant. It doesn’t easily get infected with pests and diseases. The most common problems growers encounter though are the red spider mite and mealybug infestations.
Both of these pests suck the sap out of the plant’s leaves leaving the affected area with small yellow spots. Eventually, these leaves will dry out and fall off.
So, if you notice your raindrop peperomia starting to develop yellow spots, immediately inspect your plant. If there is the presence of webbing around the stem, this may usually indicate red spider mite infestation. Otherwise, if you find cottony patches on the leaves and the axils, this might be a mealybug infestation.
Both pests are fairly easy to treat though. You just have to regularly clean the plant and apply neem oil spray. You can also use insecticidal soap spray alternately. This is the most natural and safest way to treat spider mite and mealybug infestations.
Our top picks for neem oil and insecticidal soap sprays:
- Neem Bliss 100% Organic Pure Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil
- Verdana Organic Cold Pressed Neem Oil
- Natria Organic Neem Oil
- Natural Guard Spinosad Soap
- Safer Brand Ready-To-Use End All Insect Killer
As soon as you discover an infestation, it is important to isolate the affected plants the soonest as possible. You have to separate it from the rest of the healthy cultivars to keep them pest-free. Again, you have to ensure proper disinfection of your garden tools to prevent cross-contamination.
Peperomia Polybotrya doesn’t require special maintenance. Considering as well that they don’t grow out too tall nor too bushy. But, once in a while, it would be also great to give it a groom. Pruning wilted flowers and leaves gives way for new blooms to grow.
Misting is another thing you can do to groom your plant. Occasional spraying of water onto the leaves helps to remove dust and give it a good rinse. Cleaning it also prevents the occurrence of infestations.
Our top picks on best pruning shears and mist sprayers:
- Vivosun Gardening Pruning Shears with Straight Stainless Steel Blades
- Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears
- Growneer 3-Pack Pruning Shears
- 10-Ounce Plant Mister Spray Bottle
- 20-Ounce Fine Mist Plastic Plant Spray Bottle
Make sure not to overdo misting too. Spraying can consequently increase the humidity. Thus, too much of it can have an adverse effect on your plant as well. If possible, choose a fine-mist sprayer to get better control of the amount of water.
There you go! We’ve named all the basic care tips you need to know when growing Peperomia Polybotrya. This plant is fairly easy to care for. Thus, you don’t need many complex skills to cater to its needs.
It is also worth noting that the guideline we provided is pretty much universal. So, you can also apply these tips to most types of ornamental plants. Now, ain’t that a sweet bonus for you?
Happy growing, we hope this plant brings you plenty of joy!