Peperomia or the radiator plant can spruce your household with its exotic succulent-like look. But you might be thinking of getting more peperomias or gifting one to someone. You need not buy one as you can propagate. How? Let’s find out.
Peperomia can be propagated in many ways as it can grow roots even from a leaf. You can snip a small part of the branch or cut a leaf, including the petiole, or even cut a leaf in half and put that in water or soil for root growth. Once you notice that the roots have grown 1-2 inches long, you can transplant the peperomia in a new pot with a well-draining potting mix.
We will discuss all the methods of propagating peperomia in this guide. One thing to note, you must always choose a healthy leaf or a healthy cutting for successful propagation.
If you have a healthy and thriving peperomia, it is best to propagate from that plant instead of buying a new plant. But if your peperomia is dying for some reason and you have failed to revive it, you can take a healthy cutting from that plant and propagate to give it one more chance.
Let us dive into this guide and check out the different ways of propagating peperomia.
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When to propagate peperomia?
Propagation of peperomia has the highest chance of success in the spring and summer months. This is primarily because these seasons are the growing period of the peperomia plants.
The plant receives ideal temperature and humidity levels during this time, leading to fast root growth.
However, you should propagate a peperomia only if it has grown and matured. Propagating a baby plant might not be a great idea.
How to propagate peperomia?
Let’s not keep you waiting and learn the ways of propagating the peperomia. But before that, take a look at all the things you’ll need to propagate the peperomia.
- Sharp and sterilized pruners or scissors
- Container for water propagation
- Small pot
Ways of propagating peperomia
You can propagate a peperomia plant in different ways. You can take stem or leaf cuttings and propagate them in water or soil.
Let’s take a look at the processes that we are going to discuss.
- Propagating through stem cuttings
- Propagating through leaf cuttings
- Water propagation
Now let’s discuss these in detail.
Propagating peperomia through stem cutting
Step 1 – Select the cutting
First, take a good look at your peperomia plant and find out the healthiest stems that you can take a cutting from.
You can take one or more cuttings. You can do this even when you are pruning the plant and do not want to dispose of the healthy cuttings.
Step 2 – Take the cutting
Use a pair of sterilized pruners to take the cutting. Sterilizing will help to eliminate any chance of the spread of bacteria or fungi.
Make sure to make a clean cut as that will encourage root growth. With a messy cut, the chances of unsuccessful propagation increase.
Step 3 – Place the cutting in the soil
Take the cutting and place it in a small pot after filling it with the potting mix.
You can use the chopsticks to make holes in the potting mix before placing the cuttings in it. This will help avoid any friction or damage.
Step 4 – Provide the ideal conditions for growth
You can cover the pot with a plastic bag to trap the moisture and heat. This will act as a greenhouse that will speed up the growth of your cutting.
You must place the pot in bright indirect light as that is a must for faster growth.
Try to keep the soil moist for the roots to grow, so do not let the soil go dry. You must be careful with the watering as you do not want to overwater the cuttings either.
Step 5 – Wait for the roots to come out
Wait for a few weeks for the roots to come out.
When you are propagating through the soil, you will not see the root growth every day.
We suggest not taking out the cutting too often to check the roots that can be damaging for the roots and the plant.
Give enough time to the plant to grow roots. You will also notice the growth of leaves over the soil.
Once the plant has grown big enough, you can move it to a bigger pot and let it thrive.
Propagating peperomia through leaf cutting
Same as propagating through a stem cutting, keep the pot prepared by filling it with soil mix.
Step 1 – Choose the leaf
Look for a healthy leaf and cut it from the base of the stem of your existing peperomia plant.
You can either use the entire leaf or cut the leaf in half.
It would be best to select more than one leaves for this.
Step 2 – Clip the leaf
Use a pair of sterilized scissors and make a clean cut on the leaf or leaves you want to propagate.
Step 3 – Dip in the rooting medium
If you have a rooting medium handy, you can dip the edges of the cutting in it to encourage root growth.
It is fine to skip this step if you don’t have a rooting medium.
Step 4 – Place the leaf in the soil
Use the chopsticks to make small holes in the potting mix.
Place the cut edge of the leaf in the soil and make sure that it is at least 0.3 to 0.7 inches into the soil.
Step 4 – Provide ideal conditions for root growth
Water the potting soil thoroughly to make sure that there are no air pockets inside.
Cover the pot with a polybag so that it can trap moisture and heat.
Place the pot under bright and indirect sunlight and keep it at room temperature.
Step 5 – Wait for the roots to grow
Give it a few weeks and let the roots develop.
After the root development, you can plant these leaves in bigger pots.
Note: Do not forget to remove the plastic covers to prevent excess humidity that can damage the plant.
Water propagation of peperomia
Water propagation is the easiest way after forgetting your stem and leaf cuttings. All you need is water and a glass jar or container.
Also, this is less messy than propagating in the soil. Let’s check the steps to follow to propagate your peperomia in water.
Step 1 – Choose the stem or the leaf with the petiole
Choose a healthy stem or a leaf with a petiole.
A petiole is a part that connects the leaf with the main stem. It is essential to include it in the case of water propagation.
Step 2 – Take the cutting
Take the cutting similarly as you would do in case of propagating in the soil.
Use sterilized pruners or garden shears to make a clean cut on any healthy stem or leaf.
In the case of stem cutting, do not keep too many leaves. Keeping two or three leaves will be enough.
Step 3 – Put the cutting in water
Fill a glass jar with water and put the stem or leaf in the water.
Make sure that only the petiole is inside the water and not the leaf.
Step 4 – Wait for the root growth
In case you use a glass container, you can see the development of the roots.
Leave the stem or the leaf in the water for a few weeks. Change the water of the container if it gets dirty or at least once a week.
You can add a little fertilizer to the water.
You might see root growth in about 4 to 6 weeks. However, it can take longer than that.
Step 5 – Transplant
Once the routes have come out and grown long enough, plant it in the pot.
Use a slightly acidic potting mix for this.
Step 6 – Take care of the plant
You need to take care of the baby plant and give them enough water, temperature, humidity, and light.
With the right care, you will soon notice new root growth and leaf growth.
Why is my peperomia cutting not growing roots?
Here are some of the common reasons behind unsuccessful propagation or your peperomia cutting not growing roots.
- Saturated potting mix
- Lack of humidity
- Insufficient light
Peperomia cuttings require ample humidity to grow leaves fast, but that does not mean that the soil should be soggy.
Keep the soil moist without overwatering it.
Light will also help speed up the growth of peperomia cutting. So do not cut back on providing sufficient light.
How to take care of a newly propagated peperomia?
Although peperomia does not demand much attention, it is always best to be careful with your newly propagated plant.
You must check the plant and make sure that it is receiving all the requirements.
Here are the factors that you need to keep an eye on.
Peperomia prefers medium to bright indirect sunlight. Find a place in your house where the peperomia will get sufficient indirect light throughout the day.
If your house doesn’t receive enough natural light, you can use artificial lights and provide 12-16 hours of that to your peperomia.
Do not place the plant in a low light area as that will slow down the growth.
Also, avoid direct sunlight as that can scorch the leaves.
Although peperomia is a tropical plant, its stem and leaves resemble a succulent as they are thick and can retain more water.
This implies that the peperomia plant will not require as much water as the other tropical plants.
Always check the soil and ensure that the topsoil is dry before you water your peperomia.
Do not follow any watering schedule blindly, as you do not want to make the soil soggy that can lead to root rot instead of root growth.
While choosing the soil, remember that peperomia prefers a balance between water retention and drainage.
Use soil with a slightly acidic pH.
You can add some vermiculite to a regular potting mix to get the ideal soil for your peperomia.
You can also use a mix of 50% peat moss and 50% perlite.
Peperomia can survive without extra nutrition when growing in its natural habitat as it draws nutrition from the bark of a tree host plant.
However, since that is not the case when growing as a houseplant, you must look at some fertilizers to support its growth.
Although many peperomia owners do not add any fertilizer to their plants, you can add a diluted dose of a well-balanced liquid fertilizer if you are not noticing much growth.
However, you should be very careful with the amount and frequency of fertilization as peperomias are not heavy feeders.
Peperomia comes from the tropical climate, where it receives high-temperature levels.
The ideal temperature range for a peperomia growing as a houseplant would be between 65-80°F
You should never let the temperature fall below 50-55°F as they cannot survive in low temperatures.
Keep the peperomia away from cold drafts and frost during winter.
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Peperomia enjoys humid conditions, but 40-50% of room humidity works well for these plants.
If you think your peperomia is not getting enough humidity, you can use a payable tree or a humidifier to adjust the humidity levels.
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.