Peperomia polybotrya is a beautiful plant for the indoors, growing lush and green. Its contemporary look and heart-shaped leaves place a smile on most admirers’ faces. Also called the raindrop plant because of its strikingly shaped leaves, it’s genuinely a decorative plant.
|Botanical Name||Peperomia polybotrya|
|Common Name||Peperomia Raindrop, Coin-Leaf Peperomia, Coin Plant, Chinese Money Plant|
|Size||12 to 15 inches|
Peperomia Polybotrya Origin
Peperomia polybotrya belongs to the pepper family from the Greek word peperomia derived from peperri, meaning pepper. Originated from the tropical areas of South and Central America, these Peperomia species are succulent plants, keeping water in their leaves and stems.
Collectors sometimes confuse these plants as epiphytes and succulents because they have fixed their roots on trees and rocks. However, they are not similar to epiphytes since they can absorb food from their host. The raindrop plants can also grow on lawns and other outdoor areas. But they are happier indoors.
How to Care for a Peperomia Polybotrya
A genuine houseplant, Peperomia polybotrya, is low maintenance, grows no bigger than a foot in height and cleans the air. Its distinct foliage and viny stems allow growers to use these plants as decorative arrangements.
These raindrops make an excellent choice for novice plant growers because they are easy to maintain. Add these houseplants to any easy-to-grow list by following these simple instructions on caring for the plants.
Light and Temperature
Peperomia polybotrya grows both indoors and outdoors with moderate light. Indoors, collectors place the plants close to the windows, ensuring the bright light reaches the houseplants. Morning and afternoon sunlight are best for the plants to thrive.
In general, direct sunlight is harmful and will burn the leaves. If outdoors, place these raindrop plants in the shade. When growers notice the plants stretching for the sunlight, they know the Peperomia polybotrya needs more light.
These houseplants love the cool and humid conditions, with the ideal temperature range of 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, these Peperomia raindrops do well in humidity, which is unnecessary. Growers can provide moderate misting or leave a water bowl near the plants. Some growers use a humidifier, which helps increase the moisture in the air.
Keeping to a watering patter makes these Peperomia raindrops, so they have an optimal growth rate. Water them at regular intervals throughout spring and summer. Steer clear of overwatering these beauties because it will cause yellowing and wilting of the leaves. Overwatering also causes root rot, which is very hard to remedy.
Check the soil before watering, making sure the top two inches of the soil is dry then water. Since the stem and leaves of the Peperomia polybotrya holds water, it’s easy to overwater. These houseplants can survive intervals of drought, so during the winter, water sparingly.
A balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer or an organic fertilizer works well with raindrops. Try to dilute the liquid fertilizer and give it to the plants monthly during the growing season.
Stay away from fertilizing during the winters. Also, during their first year, do not add fertilizer to the newly bought Peperomia polybotrya or recently repotted plants.
Peperomia polybotrya also grows flowers. Growers find them atop the stems. They look interesting because raindrops have tiny flowers that look like a mouse’s tail. Their flowers grow in clusters on a stem, looking like bushy spikes.
A sweet-smelling fragrance accompanies these flowers, but they don’t last longer than a couple of weeks. When the flowers fade, use a sharp pair of sterilized pruning shears and remove the faded spikes. Otherwise, the flower stem will rot, causing some unwanted conditions for the plants.
These Peperomia raindrops tolerate pruning very well. Pruning handles the irregular form and shape of these houseplants. When one of these plants has grown out of proportion, pruning helps restore them to their ornamental looks — delicate and compact.
The process also helps dispose of dead leaves, signs of disease and damaged parts of the indoor plants. Consistently use a sharp pair of pruning shears and gently cut the unwanted foliage off the plants.
Handling unhealthy foliage as soon as possible means the houseplants will stay healthy and beautiful. It also ensures the damaged or diseased part of the plant doesn’t happen again or spread.
Peperomia polybotrya root system is not durable, so repotting is unnecessary. However, if one of these houseplants is in a small container, it needs a larger pot. Overall, it’s a good idea to repot a raindrop every two to three years.
Repotting gives growers a chance to change the old potting mix and put in the new — half potting mix and half new potting are best. The soil needs to drain well, so some growers mix 50 percent perlite into the peat moss. Some growers have success with African Violet potting mix.
Once the raindrop plant is out of its old planter, ensure there is no soil stuck to the roots. Gently clean the old potting mix off. Their roots are delicate and are accessible to damage, so it’s essential to be extra careful.
Move the Peperomia to a slightly larger container or similar to the old one. Try not to compact the soil. Let the roots breathe. Once in their new pot, water the plants generously to settle down into their new home.
Peperomia polybotrya is easy to maintain and can last for many years without a problem. Meal bugs and red spider mites are likely the only problem these plants may encounter. These tiny buggers will draw the sap from their leaves, leaving small yellow spots. Eventually, the foliage loses its moistness and falls off.
When an infestation occurs, it needs handling right away. Or, keep these buggers at bay with regular cleanings of the indoors and plants. Gently wiping the leaves with a soft, damp cloth once in a while also helps. Even neem oil helps keep these buggers away.
If the Peperomia raindrops become infested, treat with insecticide, soapy water and neem oil. Keep treating every week until there are no signs of the critters.
Peperomia polybotrya can live a long time without getting any diseases. The secret is to buy the healthiest plant available from a reliable and trusted nursery or shop. Drooping, spotted leaves means disease or pests, so try not to purchase a raindrop with any signs of damage.
Generally, these houseplants remain healthy but they may catch ring spot, which is a virus. It appears as brown, dying ring markings that disfigure the foliage. Leaves look twisted, cupped or curled. Severe cases the plants become stunted. If rings form near each other, the outlined circles merge, forming irregular patterns.
Unfortunately, growers need to discard the infected plants because they will not recover. Taking cuttings from uninfected areas of the plant may help salvage the raindrop plant. Ensure the propagate cutting are in a potting mix that is new without the possibility of getting infected.
Pythium is another infection attributed to fungi and only happens to Peperomia plants living in waterlogged planting mix. Pythium attacks the roots and stems quickly, catching some plant owners off guard. Black spots on the stems, pale, drooping and curling leaves are signs of the fungi.
Don’t overwater these plants and have soil that drains well is the only prevention and cure. Prune and repot the Peperomia raindrop, and try using fungicide to stop the problem.
How to Propagate Peperomia Polybotrya
Propagating Peperomia polybotrya is a straightforward process and easy to do. However, propagate these plants in the springtime or the latest early summer. The stem of leaf cuttings is the most successful method of propagation.
Here are the detailed methods of propagating Peperomia raindrops successfully.
Using Leaf Cuttings
- Set up a propagation tray or plant pot before cutting the leaves. All the equipment and tools used for propagating must be clean to prevent the spread of bugs or fungal diseases.
- Cut a healthy leaf using sharp scissors or pruning shears.
- Make the cut cross width for fast and better results.
- Apply root hormone to the ends of the leaf cutting to foster root growth.
- Make a tube in the soil of the potting mix using a spoon. Then, insert the leaf cutting one inch deep into the medium.
- Water the medium thoroughly once the leaf cutting is at the edge of the soil.
- Cover the leaf cuttings with a plastic bag. Remove the bag for a couple of hours every few days to keep excessive humidity under control. Too much moisture can lead to fungal disease.
- After some time, shoots and fresh leaves will sprout.
- When multiple leaves form, move the new plants to their own pot.
- Do not remove the baby raindrops from their propagation tray or pot too early because their roots are too shallow to establish a base in their own container.
Using Stem Cuttings
- Stem cutting is a more straightforward method to propagate Peperomia polybotrya.
- Cut a healthy-looking stem of the raindrop plant, ensuring it has two to three leaf nodes.
- Remove the leaves from the stem cutting bottom to expose its area.
- Dip the exposed area of the cutting in rooting hormone. Place the cutting into the potting mix and pack down the soil around the location of the cutting.
- Water the potting medium thoroughly.
- Maintain moist soil, making sure the fresh cuttings get a good amount of filtered sunshine. Tiny leaflets will appear after a week or two.
- Soon these baby plants will grow into a plant. After clusters appear in a couple of weeks, transfer these plants to their own containers.
- Once the plants are in moist soil, it takes about 60 days to develop roots. During the first 40 days, roots grow, and roots appear.
- From 60 days, transferring the baby plants into their own containers occurs. Follow the care tips in this article to ensure the Peperomia raindrops do well and are happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Peperomia Polybotrya a Chinese money plant?
Peperomia raindrops are an exact likeness of the Chinese money plant of the Pilea Peperomioides. The leaves of the raindrop are thicker and more pointed. In contrast, the Chinese money plant has rounded leaves and a wooden stem. These two species have no relation.
How Tall does Peperomia Polybotrya grow?
The tallest of these raindrop plants get 12 inches. Any taller is very rare. These beauties usually stay small and are also climbers, which causes them to reach 12 inches.
Why is my Peperomia Polybotrya curling?
Bugs and nutrient deficiency cause the leaves of the Peperomia to curl. Check for insects. If the plants have them, then treat them with insecticide. If there are no pests, then it’s calcium deficiency. Overwatering causes this in an acidic medium, reducing the calcium. Also, excessive use of phosphorus or nitrogen can stop Peperomia Polybotrya from absorbing the calcium and curling the leaves.
Is Peperomia Polybotrya toxic to pets?
Peperomia raindrops are slightly toxic. In fact, pets should not chew or swallow the plants. So, keep them away from pets and even children.
Peperomia polybotrya is a delightful plant to grow indoors, rewarding the space with lush and green foliage. Its modern look and heart-shaped leaves allow these plants to decorate a room naturally.
These genuine houseplants purify the air and are low maintenance, growing no bigger than 12 inches in height. Thus, they make an excellent choice for beginner plant growers, following these simple instructions on caring for the plants.
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