How to grow and care for Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) Indoors

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Columnar Peperomia, Peperomia columella

Botanical name: Peperomia columella
Family: Piperaceae
Common names: Columnar Peperomia, Pearly Peperomia

Columnar Peperomia Description

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) also called Pearly Peperomia is a succulent plant which bears fleshy upright stems from which arise tightly packed, alternately arranged succulent leaves.

The stems in Columnar Peperomia are the height of about 20 cm and branch profusely at the base to give rise to a multitude of upright stems.

These stems look like columns and hence the common name, 'Columnar Peperomia'. Columella is the Latin word for little columns.

The Columnar Peperomia leaves are fleshy, bright green and bear the shape of a horseshoe. At the leaf apex is a transparent window through which light gets to the photosynthetic tissue.

The transparent windows in Columnar Peperomia are water storage structures which come in handy in the drought conditions.

In the beginning, the stems grow upright and later become a pendant, making them perfect for cascading in a hanging basket.

Columnar Peperomia Flower

Under bright light, Columnar Peperomia may produces rat-tail like inflorescence.

Columnar Peperomia Origin

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) species is endemic to the deserts of western South America.

Columnar Peperomia, Peperomia columella

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) Care Indoors

Columnar Peperomia Light Requirements

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) grows best in bright light. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

Too little light for your Columnar Peperomia will result in a leggy plant which is an attempt by the plant to reach the light source.

Keep your Columnar Peperomia away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Columnar Peperomia

Water Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Significantly reduce watering for your Columnar Peperomia during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your Columnar Peperomia has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in root-rot disease.


Temperature for Columnar Peperomia

Columnar Peperomia requires an average warmth in the range of 15-260C. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for these plants. If the temperatures are outside this range, they impact the growth of the plant negatively.

Protect your Columnar Peperomia from cold draughts as the cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Columnar Peperomia Plant

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) thrives in a high humidity environment.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your Columnar Peperomia. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Columnar Peperomia

Feed Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Columnar Peperomia during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Columnar Peperomia

Repot Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use a pot one size larger than a current one and ensure that the pot for your Columnar Peperomia has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Columnar Peperomia Soil

The best soil for Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Cactus and Succulents Soil is ideal for Columnar Peperomia.

How to Prune Columnar Peperomia

Pruning Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

As your Columnar Peperomia ages, it becomes straggly, therefore, cut back the stems during the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) Propagation

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) propagation can be done in 3 ways; from leaf-cuttings, from stem-cuttings or by plant division.

1. How to propagate Columnar Peperomia from leaf cuttings in water

Columnar Peperomia Plant leaf cuttings root easily, therefore there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take leaf cuttings from a healthy Columnar Peperomia Plant and ensure each leaf cutting has a petiole.

Allow sometime for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of your Columnar Peperomia Plant leaf cuttings to prevent rotting.

Place the leaf Columnar Peperomia Plant cuttings in a jar of clean plain water and change the water every 5-7 days.

Place in warm shaded place until growth begins at the base of the cuttings leaf petiole. Allow enough time for substantial growth of the roots and new leaves.

Transfer the rooted Columnar Peperomia Plant cuttings to individual pots and place in a cool shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until the new Columnar Peperomia Plants are well established after which routine care can begin.

For a fuller Columnar Peperomia Plant, plant several plants in one pot.

2. How to propagate Columnar Peperomia from stem cuttings

Columnar Peperomia Plant stem-tip cuttings root easily, therefore, there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Columnar Peperomia Plant and ensure each cutting has at least 2 sets of leaves.

Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of stem cuttings to prevent rotting.

Insert the cuttings in moist rooting soil and place in warm shaded place. Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed.

Transfer the rooted stem cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller Columnar Peperomia Plant, plant several cuttings in one pot.

3. How to propagate Columnar Peperomia Plants by division

Take out your Columnar Peperomia Plant from its pot and divide it into several sections.

Pot these sections in individual pots and place in a cool shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges on the sections.

Allow the new Columnar Peperomia Plants to be well established before transplanting.

Columnar Peperomia, Peperomia columella

Photo Credit: Logee's Greenhouses

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) Problems Indoors

Columnar Peperomia brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in Columnar Peperomia are due to sudden drop in temperature from cold draughts.

Remove all the damaged leaves and keep your Columnar Peperomia away from cold draughts to maintain an average room warmth.

Columnar Peperomia dropping leaves

There are many and varied causes of dropping leaves in Columnar Peperomia.

One possible cause of dropping leaves in your Columnar Peperomia is that the temperature is too low.

Move the plant to a warmer spot away from cold draughts and maintain an average room temperature.

The second possible cause of dropping leaves in Columnar Peperomia is that the plant has been underwatered causing the foliage to wilt and drop.

Water the plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings but reduce watering during the cold season.

Here is an outline on 12 reasons why Peperomia is dropping leaves (with solutions).

Columnar Peperomia brown, shrivelled leaves

Brown and shrivelled leaves in Columnar Peperomia are due to too dry air (low humidity). The plant prefers a humid environment.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your Columnar Peperomia. read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Columnar Peperomia dry and shrivelled leaves

Dry and shrivelled leaves in Columnar Peperomia are due to excess soluble salts in the soil from the water or excess feeding.

Regularly flush out the salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes and repeat the process several times.

Columnar Peperomia leggy stems

Leggy stems in Columnar Peperomia are due to low light. Columnar Peperomia grows best in bright light. It will also thrive under flourescent light.

Cut back the stems to rejuvenate growth and move the plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

Columnar Peperomia wilted and discolored leaves and corky swellings under the leaves

Soggy soil for Columnar Peperomia is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves and corky swellings under the leaves.

This is an indication of root-rot disease. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Columnar Peperomia diseases

Columnar Peperomia diseases; Leaf Spot Disease and Root-rot. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Columnar Peperomia pests

Columnar Peperomia pests; Spider Mites, Whiteflies and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) toxic?

Columnar Peperomia (Peperomia columella) like other Peperomia Plants is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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