How to grow and care for Teardrop Peperomia Indoors

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Houseplant, Teardrop Peperomia, Peperomia orba

Botanical name: Peperomia orba
Family: Piperaceae

Teardrop Peperomia is a semi-succulent, slow growing, compact plant which grows to a height of about 6 in. It bears delicate, oval-shaped leaves and hence the name teardrops. The leaves are fleshy and dark-green in color. When the plant matures, a white line appears down the center of the waxy leaves. The stems are fleshy, red and grow by trailing stems which makes this plant perfect for a hanging basket.The plant is easy to care for and is ideal for a terrarium too. Teardrop Peperomia has many cultivars like 'Variegata', 'Pixie', 'Pixie Green', 'Pixie Lime' among others.

How to Grow Teardrop Peperomia (Peperomia orba)

Light

Teardrop Peperomia prefers bright light to light shade. It will also thrive under flourescent light. Too little light will result in leggy plants and loss of leaf color. Keep it away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Teardrop Peperomia liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist. Avoid overwatering as it can lead in root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth between 15-260C is ideal for Teardrop Peperomia. Protect the plant from cold draughts as the cause leaf drop. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Teardrop Peperomia thrives in a high humidity environment. Set pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity.

Feeding

Feed Teardrop Peperomia with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Teardrop Peperomia during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.

Pruning

Pruning Teardrop Peperomia involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy. As the plants age, they become straggly. Cut back the stems during the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Teardrop Peperomia (Peperomia orba)

Teardrop Peperomia can be propagated from leaf-cuttings, stem-cuttings or by division.

Propagating Teardrop Peperomias from leaf cuttings
Leaf cuttings root easily, there is no need for a rooting hormone. Take leaf cuttings from a healthy Teardrop Peperomia. Ensure each leaf cutting has a petiole. Allow sometime for the formation of a protective callous tissue over the cuts. Place the leaf cuttings in a jar of clean plain water and change the water every 7-10 days. Place in warm shaded place until growth begins at the base of the petiole. Allow for substantial growth of the roots and new leaves. Transfer to individual pots and place in a cool shaded place. Maintain the soil moist until the plant is well established. For a fuller plant, plant several plants in one pot.

Propagating Teardrop Peperomia from stem cuttings
Stem-tip cuttings root easily, there is no need for a rooting hormone. Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Teardrop Peperomia. Ensure each cutting has at least 2 sets of leaves. Insert the cuttings in moist rooting soil. Place in warm shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed. Transfer to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant plant several cuttings in one pot.

Propagating Teardrop Peperomias by division
Take out the Teardrop Peperomia from its pot and divide it into several sections. Pot up these sections in individual pots. Place in a cool shaded place. Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new Teardrop Peperomias to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Teardrop Peperomia (Peperomia orba)

  • Brown leaf tips and edges
  • Brown leaf tips and edges in Teardrop Peperomia are due to sudden drop in temperature from cold draughts. Remove all the damaged leaves and keep plants away from cold draughts.

  • Sudden loss of leaves
  • There are two causes of sudden loss of leaves in Teardrop Peperomia. Either temperature is too low; move to a warmer spot or the plant has been underwatered causing the foliage to wilt.

  • Brown, shrivelled leaves
  • The cause of brown and shrivelled leaves in Teardrop Peperomia is too dry air. Teardrop Peperomia prefers a humid environment. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Teardrop Peperomia can also be grown in a terrarium as high humidity can be maintained.

  • Dry and shrivelled leaves
  • Excess soluble salts in the soil from the water or excess feeding will cause dry shrivelled leaves in Teardrop Peperomia; flush out the salts by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes. Repeat several times.

  • Leggy stems
  • Leggy stems in Teardrop Peperomia are due to low light. Cut back the stems to rejuvenate growth and move the plant to a brighter spot.

  • Leaves wilted and discolored. Corky swellings under leaves
  • Waterlogging of Teardrop Peperomia is the cause of these. This is an indication of Root-rot disease.

  • Diseases
  • Common diseases in Teardrop Peperomias are Leaf Spot disease and Leaf Viral Diseases.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Teardrop Peperomias are Aphids and Mealy Bugs.

Toxicity

Teardrop Peperomia (Peperomia orba) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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