Peperomia puteolata

Parallel Peperomia

Peperomia puteolata is commonly known as the parallel peperomia, and has a similarity with watermelon peperomia in terms of the leaf pattern resembling the rind of a watermelon.



Description

Native to South America, the Peperomia puteolata is a perennial plant species found covering forest grounds with its quick spreading nature. Although its growth habit is upright it's also slightly trailing in nature. Patterned leaves, rather than the non-showy flowers produced is their attractive feature.

Foliage: Small whorled ovate leaves patterned in dark green and white venation that look similar to the rind of watermelon fruit. These leaves only grow to a few centimeters in tenth and the soft but sort of woody looking 'reddish in color' stems may grow up to 45cm in height.

Flowers: Peperomia puteolata can produce small white flowers on spikes like many other peperomias. The flowers that could appear during spring are non-showy and the spikes left behind don't offer too much attraction either.

Care level and growing:The parallel peperomia would be easy enough for a beginner grower and advanced indoor gardener to grow indoors. Enough bright light, avoiding dry air and cold temperature drops, and no overwatering should enable this species to thrive indoors.

Windowsills, conservatories and greenhouses are ideal locations and places for the peperomia to thrive. Like other peperomias this plant also grows well in a terrarium.


Facts

Origin: South America.
Names: Parallel peperomia (common). Peperomia puteolata (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): 45cm or longer trailing stems.
Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Peperomia puteolata

Peperomia puteolata 'credit - Jerzy Opiola'

Peperomia puteolata Care

Temperature: Ideal temperatures of 65-75ºF (18-24ºC), and no lower than 50ºF (10ºC). Avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts.
Light: This peperomia requires bright light without direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight may scorch the leaves. Not enough light, growth will be lacking.
Watering: Water when the soil becomes dry to the touch then provide a thorough watering. Peperomias are semi-succulent in nature which makes overwatering a big problem, but they do need more watering than many succulents. When lacking water the plant will just wilt, which is easy to resolve. During winter - water much less.
Soil: A peat based potting mix is best used that drains well. 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite is a good mix. Other mixes work well as long as they drain well, and can retain some moisture.
Re-Potting: Repot when the plant outgrows its current pot which should not be very often and only one size up. The Peperomia puteolata has fairly small roots which makes it suitable to be potted in a shallow pot or even better with other peperomias.
Fertilizer: During spring and summer fertilizing with a liquid feed at half strength or less every two weeks will encourage growth and leaf color. Stop feeding at the end of summer.
Humidity: Normal indoor humidity levels should be fine. During the summer misting the leaves is advisable and grouping plants, especially other peperomias may help improve humidity.
Propagation: Leaf and stem tip cuttings may be propagated. The leaves on this species are smaller and less succulent than other peperomias, which makes stem tip cuttings the best option. Take a few centimeters of stem tips with one or two leaves attached and at least one node. Allow a day for the wound to heal then transplant into a small pot with moist soil, partly peat and perlite or vermiculite. To encourage new growth, provide warm temperatures of about 20ºC (68ºF) with bright light, and you may wish to use rooting hormone on the cut and cover the pot/tray with a plastic cover.
Pruning: You will most definitely need to pinch out stem tips once the plant matures. Pinching out the stem tips will help to keep the plant at the correct size and make its appearance look full rather than leggy. When pruning take cuttings for propagation.

Potential Problems

The peperomia puteolata isn't a problematic plant. Watering too much is the main offender as this causes root rot and can kill. Pests don't seem to be a major issue.

If it's not growing very well, lack of light could be the problem. A spot of regular feeding could encourage growth if the plant's lacking nutrients and lighting seems to be fine.



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