The peperomia is an adorable indoor plant that is strong, adaptable, and easy-going. But the problem comes when its foliage attracts bugs. And, experts say bugs on peperomia can give you enough headaches if not treated correctly or at the right time. But why do peperomia attract bugs and how can we get rid of them?
A healthy peperomia doesn’t attract bugs at all. However, if the plant’s living conditions are not appropriate, the plant becomes a victim of bug infestation. The most common pests that infest peperomia are aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, thrips, whitefly, scale, and mealybugs.
Detailed information on these bugs certainly helps you prevent their infestation on your beloved peperomia. You will be an expert to avoid their further intrusion too.
Let’s go through the article to know about the bugs that may invade peperomia. We will find out ways with which your beloved peperomia gets rid of bugs too.
Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.
What are the common bugs that attack peperomia?
As mentioned earlier, the bugs that invade peperomia are :
- Spider mites
- Fungus gnats
Get more acquainted with these pests and learn to identify them. Track hints that may help you to save your peperomia from pest infections.
We will also talk about the ways of eliminating these stubborn pests. And explore possible solutions to each of the problems out there.
Keep skimming through the article and be a savior to your peperomia because who knows your plant better than you!
If some tiny, greenish, sucking flies begin to stay in peperomia plants, they are none other than aphids.
They love to stick themselves to your houseplants and bring hefty damages to them. Aphids emit a sticky liquid honeydew on the leaves and stems of peperomia.
Consequently, the leaves turn yellow, and the shape of the foliages gets distorted. Leaves begin to fall extensively.
The scariest issue with these tiny pests is that they can reproduce fast and grow in large numbers very quickly.
The following tips will help you out to identify the aphids quickly.
- Tiny in size, green in color
- Reproduces rapidly
- Disturbs growth of the plant
Your plant will give you some hints that it is affected by aphids. These are:
- Slow growth
- Foliage turning yellow
- Distorted leaves
- Leaf fall
- Adhesive remnants
Spider mites are hard to spot due to their miniature size. Check if any fine webbing is there between the foliage of your plants. Also, look carefully at both sides of the leaves for evidence of these tiny minor bugs. Its size is more or less 1mm wide and comes in a variety of colors.
Spider mites drill the leaves of peperomia to get at the fluid within. Affected plants can develop stippled discoloration or generalized leaf yellowing. If overlooked, the infection may even kill the plant.
- Deep brownish or reddish webs
- Webbing between the foliage
- Discoloration of leaves
- Rapid breeding
- Dusty leaves
- Curling of leaves
- Withered leaves
- Stunted growth
- Brownish stains on the foliage
|Essential Plant Supplies||Check Out On Amazon|
|Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix||Buy Now|
|Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food||Buy Now|
|LED Grow Light for Indoor plants||Buy Now|
|Kensizer Soil Tester, 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Meter.||Buy Now|
|Heavy Duty Gardening Tools with Non-Slip Rubber Grip||Buy Now|
|Govee Bluetooth Hygrometer and Thermometer||Buy Now|
|Humidifiers for Home and houseplants||Buy Now|
|Houseplants Self Watering System with 30-Day Digital Programmable Water Timer||Buy Now|
|Drain Smart 9” 2-Pack Drainage Discs - Perfect for any Potted Plants||Buy Now|
Looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.
Gnats are an annoyance to not just your peperomia but to your home too. The damages they do to the plants are not a big issue. The major complication appears when they creep into living areas of your home or congregate around windows.
Sometimes it brings significant harm to the plants too. The immature gnats damage plants by infiltrating pathogens into the soil or creating injuries on the plant roots.
- Resembles mosquitoes
- The body’s length is around 2.5 mm.
- Lives close to or on the soil of peperomia plants as they are not-so-good fliers.
- The larvae are 1/4 inch long. The head is black, and the body is white and transparent.
- Brownish or reddish spot in the leaves
- Dry leaves
- Foliage color changing in yellow
- Dwarfy growth
Scale is a common pest to a wide range of houseplants and other shade and fruit trees. Scale insects that infect peperomia fall into two different categories: soft and armored scale.
The soft scale doesn’t have a hard coating. Instead, a powdery, waxy, cotton-like coating works as a protection shield for it. Whereas armored scales with a hard shield-like layer, formed from shed skins, safeguards them against natural predators and chemical pesticides.
Scale insects perforate leaves and branches to suck the sap within these plant tissues and feed themselves. The plant suffers from undernourishment and dies out eventually.
- Brown or white lumps
- Oval in shapes
- Brown spots in leaves
- Foliage discoloration
- Immatured growth
Mealybugs are pink, soft-bodied insects covered with a white coat, cottony-like material. In case of low humidity or excess heat, this coating keeps them safe from drying out. At the same time, it will help detect them on your houseplants.
Mealybugs are found in groups rather than individually. They love to live near the plant’s protected areas, for example, where the leaves attach to the stems.
- Deformed leaf growth
- Produces honeydew – a kind of sticky fluid that develops sooty mold
- Pink body with a white coat
- Stunted growth
- Leaf falling
Whiteflies look similar to tiny white moths or even mealybugs. Insects are usually pale in color, almost transparent, and have a powdery whitish wax coating.
Whiteflies are extremely sensitive. When the host plant toils, they quickly shift from there, making them hard to catch. Both nymphs and adults feed sap to themselves and secrete honeydew.
- Molds of honeydew undersides of the leaves and stems
- Powdery whitish wax
Infestation symptoms indicate:
- Hindered growth
- yellowing of leaves
- leaf drop.
Thrips are tiny bugs. Their size is less than 1/16 inch and is sleek with fringed wings. They survive on the sap of indoor plants like peperomia.
It’s difficult to identify Thrips in your peperomia because of their size and shape. Still, these are the hints you may follow
- Brown patches on plants skin slowly turning pale
- Foliage turning to Silver color
- Deformation of young fruits
- Black spots on leaves
- Yellow blotched areas on foliage
Why do peperomia get bugs?
If you notice any pest damage to your peperomia, don’t delay taking the right action. Before it’s too late, save your peperomia from bugs.
Some of the significant issues that introduce bugs in peperomia are as follows-
No matter what climate you live in, excess watering is one of the significant issues leading to peperomia pest infection. Sloppy soil raises the humidity levels around the plant. And excessive humidity level increases chances of fungus attacks.
Sometimes, even if you are not pouring excess water into your peperomia, it still suffers from fungus intrusion. Then you may need to check the drainage system. A blocked drainage hole under the plant containers doesn’t let the excess water pass.
If you think the overwatering is responsible for bugs, you may check out these things to resolve the issue.
- Check any blockage under the pots. If you find any, change the container.
- Make sure your plant soaks the right amount of sunlight. Keep the peperomia in broad daylight for at least two to three hours each day.
Lack of air circulation
Make sure air circulation is hassle-free for your peperomia. It accelerates the drying of the soil, reduces the chances of fungal and bacterial attacks. Therefore, your plant may live a long and bugs-free healthy life.
To fix the air-circulation problem, please keep these things in mind.
- Don’t keep your plants too close to each other. Congestion leads to less ventilation of air.
- Make sure you place your peperomia in a place that supports enough space for air movement.
Moisture in the air helps plants to grow. But excess humidity attracts and nurtures bugs. Pests, being of tiny sizes, need moisture to nourish their bodies. Otherwise, they will dry out and die.
Overwatering and climate conditions are two major factors contributing to high humidity for plants.
How to get rids of bugs on peperomia?
Let’s divide the prevention against bugs into two stages-
- Pre-infection care
- Post-infection care
Before bugs attack your peperomia, you should do certain things to avoid that.
Bring healthy plant home
Nurseries that sell baby plants keep them close to each other in a humid environment. That makes the plants prone to pests. Check a new plant thoroughly before you buy and bring it home.
Provide ample air ventilation
Don’t place your peperomia too close to other houseplants. Give enough space for air circulation.
Maintain the potting soil
Don’t forget to remove dead leaves regularly. Otherwise, it will compost the soil of the pot and raise the moisture level of the potting soil. That brings more risk of bug attack on peperomia.
Repot plant if the pot is found damaged
Don’t be tempted to use old or broken containers as pots. Old pots may contain larvae of bugs and may damage, even kill your plant.
The pot, if broken, gets moistened by the environment and invites fungus. Think of repotting your peperomia if the pot is broken or old.
If you find pests have already infested your peperomia, then take the following quick action to save it.
Isolate the infested peperomia
Once you notice pests in your plant, immediately quarantine it to stop spreading the attack on neighboring plants too.
Trim the infected parts
Cut the infected parts of peperomia so that the bugs can’t affect the whole plant. When you prune the damaged foliage or stem, it helps the plant to recover soon.
Rinse it thoroughly
When your peperomia plant is still in the initial stage of infestation, watering it is an excellent idea to remove the pest from the plant.
Apply organic pesticides
Use homemade disinfectants made of natural ingredients. Your plant will recover without a trace of chemicals.
Any of the following solutions you may try:
Garlic and hot pepper paste
Grind 5-6 peppers and 2-3 garlic cloves together to make a paste. Mix water to it and strain the paste. Now spray the water on sick peperomia.
Eucalyptus oil proves to be a helpful remedy. It cures your plant of pest attacks and gifts it a long healthy life. Blend ¼ teaspoon of Eucalyptus oil in 500 ml of water and pour the mixer into a sprayer.
Sprinkle the solution to affected peperomia every ten days. Shake it well before apply.
Neem oil is the most traditional and old-age organic miticide used for household plants. It’s even easy to prepare.
Just put a tablespoon of neem oil in a liter of water and jerk it well. Use once on peperomia in 15 days and see the change.
Alcohol is effective in removing repelling pests. Take 1-2 cups of 70 percent of isopropyl alcohol and mix it with a liter of water. For the best result, apply the solution every 7-14 days a month.
You can spray diluted Cinnamate every three or four days on damaged peperomia. It’s herbal and safe to use.
Nowadays, good-quality commercial miticides are available both in online and offline markets. You can pick any for pest treatment. Read the instructions carefully before use.
But we suggest you avoid commercial pesticides unless it’s an absolute emergency because organic solutions are always better than chemical ones for your plant.
Prevention is better than cure. Take care of your beloved peperomia so that pests don’t dare to attack it. Avoid overwatering and give ample indirect sunlight to it. Ensure the soil is well-draining and keep an eye on extra water passing through the pot’s holes.
If infested, use homemade organic solutions. Try neem oil, garlic, and pepper paste for pest infection. You can go for chemical solutions too with an expert’s guide. Don’t underestimate the minor bugs; they all have the potential to damage utterly, even kill your plant.
Inspect your peperomia regularly to check for a bug infestation on it.
Ref: University of Florida, Sage Journal, University of Vermont, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Rutgers, The University of Arkansas, Britannica, Wikipedia, Peperomia Diseases, NC State University.