Botanical Name — Peperomia obtusifolia
Common Name — American rubber plant, Baby rubber plant and Pepper face
Plant Family — Piperaceae
Peperomia obtusifolia is an epiphytic plant that is native from Mexico to northern South America. It grows upwards in a bushy manner and likes warm and humid conditions. There are many cultivars and over a 1000 species of Peperomia.
- Peperomia obtusifolia prefer 3 to 4 hours of bright indirect light. Avoid the leaves from receiving too much direct light since that can burn the leaves. They can be placed on a East facing window sill. If you have South or West facing windows, place a couple of feet away from the window and or provide shade with a sheer curtain.
- Baby rubber plants like room temperatures around 65 to 80 F. Night time temperatures can go down to 60 F. They like to be warm and are not cold tolerant.
- They like moderate to high humidity, at least 50%. If your home is dry, especially during the winter months, your plant can benefit from misting with tepid water or a humidifier.
- Allow the soil to completely dry to 1 inch down between waterings. Water thoroughly when dry and let the excess drain out the bottom of the planter. Water more frequency during the spring and summer months. Reduce watering as often in the fall and winter months. Their succulent leaves store water so the soil can be dry. Err on the side of underwatering then overwatering.
- Use a well aerated, quick draining potting mix that is peat moss based.
- Small greenish-white flowers will appear on spikes in Spring.
- In Spring and summer, fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer.
- Peperomia plants propagate reliably from stem cuttings. Use a clean sharp knife to remove a healthy branch. Also remove leaves at the base of the cutting; leaves that are buried in soil or submerged in water can encourage rot.
- Let the sap on the cutting dry for about an hour, then brush with rooting hormone. Place in moist soil and keep in a warm environment while the plant reroots. During this period, keep the soil consistently moist.
- Watch out for mealy bugs or spider mites.
- Overwatering can cause root rot or fungal diseases.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- You can pinch down the tops of stems to stop leggy growth. This will promote new growth and keep a bushy appearance.
- These plants have shallow root systems, and thus do not require frequent repotting. You can repot to refresh the soil or if the plant has outgrown its pot. Choose a planter 1 size up from it’s current planter.
- Peperomia obtusifolia are non toxic to cats and dogs.