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Peperomia caperata (Emerald Ripple Peperomia)

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Scientific Name

Peperomia caperata Yunck.

Common Names

Emerald Ripple Peperomia, Emerald Ripple Pepper, Ivy-leaf Peperomia, Green Ripple Peperomia, Little Fantasy Peperpmia

Scientific Classification

Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia

Description

Peperomia caperata is a dense, mound-forming, semi-succulent plant up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and as wide. It is an epiphytic plant with rosettes of long stemmed, wrinkled, deeply corrugated, heart-shaped, dark green leaves on red-tinged stalks. The leaves are up to 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) long and deeply veined with an attractive, corrugated surface. Leaf color is close to black along the corrugations. The tiny, whitish-green flowers, in up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long spikes, bloom in summer and early fall atop thin, reddish flower stalks which rise well above the foliage.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Peperomias are not particularly hard plants to grow and their small size and delicate leaves make them perfect for desktops and dish gardens. They will rarely overtake their neighbors or shade them out. In short, they are perfectly mannered and attractive little plants. The biggest problems are usually related to watering. They like steadily moist soil, but can be very sensitive to overwatering. Overwatered Peperomia tend to wilt or have raised, scab-like protrusions on their leaves. Don't be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, but massive leaf-drop is usually due to a temperature change or fertilizer problem. Lastly, Peperomia are susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on the stems or undersides of leaves. These plants thrives when slightly pot-bound, so don't over pot them.

Repot plants in spring, especially to refresh the existing soil, but place either back into the same size container after root-pruning or go up only one pot size. The largest Peperomia remain relatively small, so they will never grow into large specimen plants. Most species can be relatively easily propagated from leaf cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Peperomia.

Origin

Peperomia caperata is native to Brazil.

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