Peperomia graveolens Rauh & Barthlott
Ruby Glow, Ruby Glow Peperomia, Ruby Peperomia
This species is endemic to southern Ecuador. It occurs in forest understories of the Andes at elevations from 6,560 to 8,200 feet (2,000 to 2,500 m).
Peperomia graveolens is a small succulent that forms a cluster of short branched reddish stems that bear unique leaves with wine burgundy red undersides and transparent green "window" on the upper surface. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Leaves are thick, fleshy, v-shaped in cross-section, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. The tiny yellowish-white flowers have an unpleasant smell and appear densely arranged in simple, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long racemes on an up to 10 inches (25 cm) long burgundy red stem. The racemes resemble a rat's tail.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 small 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. Don't 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 the stems or undersides of leaves. These plants thrive 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 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.
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