Peperomia rubella Hook. & Arn. ex C.DC.
Peperomia rubella is a beautiful small plant with fleshy, elliptical leaves generally arranged in clusters of 4. It features prominently scarlet red stems and leaf undersides. The top of the leaves is green with a unique pattern. It will grow upright until about 4 inches (20 cm), where it will then fall to sprawl out as a vine. It produces greenish-white, panicle-like flower spikes in summer.
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 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. 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, 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.
Peperomia rubella is endemic to Jamaica.
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