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Peperomia dolabriformis (Prayer Pepper)


Scientific Name

Peperomia dolabriformis Kunth

Common Names

Prayer Pepper

Scientific Classification

Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia


Peperomia dolabriformis is a shrubby succulent with stems that become woody with age and fleshy, purse-shaped, light-green leaves. It grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and can be either rosette-forming or erect laxly branched. The leaves are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) wide.  Each leaf's two halves are fused and folded upward along the dark green margins with darker-green windows along their curved upper surface. Flowers are small, green-white, and appear on a green, up to 16 inches (40 cm) long inflorescence.

Peperomia dolabriformis - Prayer Pepper

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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 Peperomias tend to wilt or have raised, scab-like protrusions on their leaves. Do not be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, but a massive leaf-drop is usually due to a temperature change or fertilizer problem. Lastly, Peperomias are susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on leaves' stems or undersides. These plants thrive when slightly pot-bound, so do not 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 Peperomias 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.


Native to the warm valleys of northern Peru.



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