Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) Care, Propagation and Common Problems


Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) also called Baby Rubber Plant or American Rubber Plant is a compact upright growing Peperomia with cupped leathery leaves which resembles a rubber plant and hence its common name 'Baby Rubber Plant'.

The flowers in Pepper Face Plant are narrow spikes of white flowers which grow in a winding manner.

American Rubber Plant is a hardy plant that will thrive even when the growing conditions are less than perfect. It does not require too frequent watering but needs bright light away from direct sunshine.

Baby Rubber Plant is a popular houseplant and numerous cultivars have been developed including variegated ones.

Pepper Face Plant, Baby Rubber Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia

Botanical name: Peperomia obtusifolia
Family: Piperaceae
Common names: Pepper Face Plant, Baby Rubber Plant, American Rubber Plant

Origin

Peperomia obtusifolia is an evergreen perennial that is native to the tropical rain forests in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Is Pepper Face Plant toxic?

Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) like other Peperomia Plants is non-toxic to both humans and pets. The plant is safe to grow in the home.

Where to Buy

Baby Rubber Plants are a perfect addition to your collection. You may acquire these plant online from Etsy.

Peperomia obtusifolia Care Indoors

Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) requires bright light away from direct sunlight, moderately warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Peperomia obtusifolia requires regular pruning to keep it neat and minimize pest and disease infestations. Repotting is only needed when the plant becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Pepper Face Plant, Baby Rubber Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia

Watering

Water Pepper Face Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in root-rot and loss of the plant.

Light Requirements

Pepper Face Plant grows best in bright light away from direct sunshine but it can tolerate medium to low indirect light.

Bright light is necessary for Baby Rubber Plant to maintain the bright and intense color of the leaves especially for the variegated types.

Keep Baby Rubber Plant away from direct sunshine as it can lead to discoloration of the leaves.

If the natural lighting is not adequate, instal a grow light to supplement it. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth between 18-250C is ideal for Pepper Face Plant. 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. Keep the American Rubber Plant away from cold draughts as they can cause brown tips and leaf drop.

Average room humidity is adequate for Pepper Face Plant. It has no need for high humidity. However, if the room temperatures are very high, consider raising the room humidity. High temperatures cause the air to become too dry.

To elevate humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Feeding

Feed Pepper Face Plant with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period to promote a lush growth.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Potting Soil

The best soil for Pepper Face Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for for Baby Rubber Plant. Buy quality multi-purpose potting mix online from Amazon.

Repotting

Repot Pepper Face Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. However, you can refresh the soil at the beginning of the growing season if not repotting.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one as it grows slowly and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy to avoid root-rot. Check out these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

A shallow rather than deep pot is preferable for Baby Rubber Plant as it has a small root system.

Pruning

Pruning Peperomia obtusifolia involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy as well as discourage pest and disease infestations.

To encourage a bushy compact growth and to control growth of the Baby Rubber Plant, regularly pinch off the growing tips. You can use the stem tips to propagate new plants.

Propagation

Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) can be propagated in 2 ways; from leaf cuttings or from stem-tip cuttings

1. How to Propagate Pepper Face Plant from leaf cuttings

The leaf cuttings root easily, therefore there is no need for a rooting hormone. Take leaf cuttings from a healthy Pepper Face Plant and ensure each cutting has a petiole.

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

Once callused, place the leaf cuttings in a jar of clean plain water or in a propagation station and change the water every 5-7 days.

Place in warm, well-lit 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 cuttings to individual pots in moist, free-draining soil and place in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight. For a fuller plant, transfer several plants into one pot.

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

2. How to propagate Pepper Face Plant from stem-tip cuttings

The 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 Baby Rubber Plant and ensure that each cutting has at least 2 sets of leaves.

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

Once callused, insert the cuttings in moist, free-draining soil and place the set up in warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and there is substantial growth on the cuttings.

Transfer the rooted Baby Rubber Plant stem cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant, transfer several cuttings into one pot.

Pepper Face Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia Problems

Pepper Face Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) problems include brown leaf tips, dropping leaves, dull leaves, wilting, diseases and pests among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to solve them.

Dropping leaves

There are many and varied causes of dropping leaves in Pepper Face Plant. One possible cause of dropping leaves is too low temperature.

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 Baby Rubber Plant is the plant has been underwatered causing the foliage to wilt.

Water the plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Decrease watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

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

Diseases

Pepper Face Plant diseases include leaf spot disease and root-rot disease. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately with Neem oil.

Pests

Pepper Face Plant is prone to spider mites, whiteflies, scale insects and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants. Treat it with Insecticidal soap as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Wilting and loss of leaves

Wilting and loss of leaves in Pepper Face Plant is an indication of soggy soil and or overwatering.

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and maintain moderately moist soil. Also, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

Brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in Pepper Face Plant are due to sudden drop in temperature from cold draughts. Remove all the damaged leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy. Keep it away from cold draughts and maintain an average warmth.

Dull and lifeless leaves

Dull and lifeless leaves in Pepper Face Plant are due exposure to hot direct sunlight. Protect the plant from hot direct sunlight or move it to a more shaded spot.

You liked it? Share on social media.

Recommended

Amazon Associates Disclosure


Homeplantsguide.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.