Indoor gardening has never been more popular than it is right now. One of the most exotic plants to grace your home with, the Peperomia rosso – a member of the Piperaceae family, is a definite treat for anyone with a green thumb and a love for tropical plants.
Its small size, combined with its beautiful combination of dark green and red leaves, makes it a lovely sight to behold. This mixed breed of Peperomia Marmorata and Peperomia Metallica is famous for its ability to grow in different temperatures and humid levels.
You may also hear it being referred to as Radiator Plant or Emerald Ripple Pepper in the stores and among indoor plant enthusiasts.
|Botanical Name||Peperomia Rosso|
|Common Name||Radiator Plant, Emerald Ripple Pepper|
|Size||8 inches high and wide|
|Pet Friendly||Yes, Non-toxic|
Peperomia Rosso Origin
Peperomia rosso, native to Brazil, Central, and South America, is a plant closely related to true black pepper. It belongs to the Piperaceae family, along with pepper plants and other almost 3600 species.
The name “Peperomia” is derived from a combination of two Greek words, peperi and homios which altogether means “pepper-like.”
Obed Smit, the owner of Dutch company Smit Kwekerijen, is the main man behind “Peperomia rosso,” who started a breeding program to breed this plant. It was brought to the market by Eden Collection.
How to Care for Peperomia Rosso
Peperomia plants are relatively easy to care for but, when they are grown indoors, their ability to fend for themselves is limited, unlike their counterparts that grow outdoors in the wild.
Knowing how to care for Peperomia rosso is important in ensuring that you continue to enjoy its presence in your home. Here are some tips to keep them healthy!
Light and Temperature
Peperomia rosso prefers indirect light. It doesn’t do well in straight sunlight as it will scorch its leaves. However, they grow healthy in either partial sun or with some morning and evening sun.
You can use fluorescent lighting when growing these indoor plants, and if you want your Rosso to really flourish, don’t keep them in overly dark areas of your home, as the lack of light will make their growth process slow down.
It also needs to be kept away from heat sources such as radiators and heater vents. This plant will not thrive in a place with many windows and doors where cold or hot air can flow in and out. You may also want to avoid placing this plant near doors and windows where it might catch a draft.
The best temperature range for this plant is 55° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit ( 13° C – 24° C ).
Peperomia rosso has quite particular needs. It tends to suffer when the soil is too dry or too wet, and it needs consistent water — but not too much! It likes to be watered from below and loves to feel the water soaking into the soil.
When the soil feels mostly dry (50-75%), it’s time to water it as the fragile roots can not tolerate extremely dried soil. Also, make sure to let the excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot before putting it on the saucer.
Water well once a week or maximum in 10 days during summers and springs, ensuring saturation of the soil.
Create a watering schedule and stick to it. Please make sure you never wet the plant’s foliage as it will induce black mold growth, which will lead to rotting.
If you have kept your Peperomia rosso outdoors, it is highly recommended to reduce the water intake and not water them in colder months and when the autumn hits.
Peperomia rosso blooms in the spring and summer; most Peperomia Rosso indoor plant owners will need to fertilize their plant to get the plant to its maximum growth, i.e., 8 inches high and wide.
When growing your Peperomia rosso, avoid over-fertilizing. Instead, feed the plant once per month in spring and summer with a diluted houseplant fertilizer.
Dilute general houseplant fertilizer to half the recommended strength put in the soil after every three watering seasons.
If you use fertilizer sticks, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Don’t forget to make sure that the fertilizer doesn’t come in contact with the plant’s leaves. In the winter seasons, it is recommended to fertilize once every month.
It’s best to avoid fertilizing plants for a few months after repotting. If you wish to fertilize, wait until six months have passed before doing so. Then begin fertilizing your plant in early spring.
Also, do not do this activity immediately after bringing home plants, as you do not know how much time has passed since the plant is in that pot. It’s best not to fertilize it for six months too.
While most plants don’t often bloom in the home, the Peperomia blooms aren’t showy by any stretch of the imagination. The flowers don’t resemble flowers, and instead, they’re reminiscent of sea anemones!
The flowers will bloom during the summer season as these are the longest days of the year, and they need 12 hours of daylight to appear.
These unique perennial house plants produce small, greenish-white flowers that grow at the end of reddish spikes that are 2″ – 3″ inches. The flowers are scentless.
Pruning a Peperomia rosso is relatively easy and not frequently required to shape it, as it’s a slow-growing plant. However, if the leaves are getting gnarly or dying off, that means it’s time to give your little friend a trim!
Old leaves that are yellowing or showing signs of decay should be regularly removed to make way for new growth. Once you remove such leaves, remove the dead branches and flowers to give them a refreshing look.
While the plant isn’t particularly fussy about the timing of its annual pruning, the start of the spring is the best time to prune it. However, ensure that you don’t over prune it as it will damage its look because it is a slow-growing plant.
Emerald Ripple prefers to be root-bound but makes sure it has room to grow. Your succulent doesn’t want its roots to feel cramped. So don’t force it to live in a teeny tiny pot!
As a rule of thumb, re-potting once a year is sufficient to keep it healthy.
If you notice the roots beginning to grow out of the bottom holes, it’s time for a move to a bigger one. Re-potting this plant is tricky due to delicate roots, so find a proper container and use high-quality soil.
When repotting, start by providing it with a well-drained succulent potting mix. Cactus/Orchid potting mixes are some efficient alternatives.
You can also put some gravel into the mix to keep the soil airy around the roots. These plants need airy and moisture-retaining soil to thrive. Once you have re-potted your plant, pour some water into the soil to ensure that the roots settle down.
The Peperomia rosso is a great plant to have around because it doesn’t get infected with pests and diseases easily. However, if your plant is showing signs of stress, there are some pests that could be part of the problem.
The most common trifecta of troublemakers includes mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs. If you notice any of these on your Peperomia leaves top and bottom, or cottony white masses, you should treat it immediately or risk the plant’s health.
Treating pests and diseases on a Peperomia rosso doesn’t have to be a pain. They can be easily treated with conventional pest treating methods.
Please note that if you are overwatering your plants, spider mites and fungus gnats can appear too.
The Peperomia rosso plant is a resilient plant that experiences almost no diseases or pest problems.
Ringspot is a problem caused by Cucumber Mosaic Virus but can be remedied by cutting off the affected leaves. So if you notice a few withered or deformed leaves on your Rosso Peperomia plant, feel free to cut them off — it should be back to its cheerful self in no time!
How to Propagate Peperomia Rosso
Peperomia rosso is great for propagating new plants. When you want to increase your plant family, cut a stem below a leaf and stick it into the water — roots should develop in about two weeks. Then, once you’ve got your bubbly little friends, you can transplant them directly to soil and keep them well moist!
If you’re looking to grow more plants, use the old ‘cut-and-paste’ method: Cut long stem pieces with leaves, roughly 5cm in length. Place cuttings into some fresh compost and make it firm around the stem. Water lightly and ensure your plant is moist and has plenty of indirect, bright sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Peperomia rosso is an excellent choice for indoor plants as it is very low maintenance with little to no pest infestation and disease risk. The best kinds of lighting for this plant are natural light or fluorescent bulbs, so if you want this beauty inside your home, try keeping them near a window or porch/patio.
This plant can thrive and look pretty good in dish gardens, hanging baskets, and terrariums. For those who live in tropical regions, this plant can also act as a ground cover in a shady area as long as you provide indirect sunlight and well-aerated soil.
Be sure to check out all of our Plant Care Guides!