Peperomia rotundifolia

Trailing Jade Peperomia

Peperomia rotundifolia is commonly known as the trailing jade, not to be confused with the popular jade plant from the Crassula plant genera.



Description

Native to South America rain forests, the Peperomia rotundifolia is a perennial epiphyte plant species found crawling through and on rock crevices, trees, rotten logs and the forest ground. Within its natural habitat the trailing jade thrives on moisture, tropical temperatures and shaded sun.

Peperomia rotundifolia close up picture

Peperomia rotunifolia 'James Steakley'

There are well over a 1000 Peperomia species that this plant belongs to and this one is quite different in appearance than others, but also has its similarities in terms of growth habit and succulent type leaves. These look great with other Peperomia varieties as part of a collection, and they group together well.

Foliage: Lengthy soft stems produce many small rounded leaves along the stems that may intertwine and weave in and out of each other. The near round leaves are quite thick and soft succulent, like other Peperomias. On close inspection, lighter green veins are noticeable within the darker green leaves.

Flowers: Peperomia rotundifolia can produce small flowers on spikes, however, they're non-showy and the main attraction is the trailing stems and leaves.

Care level and growing: Most homes would be able to accommodate this plant and provide the correct conditions. Humidity and light are important.

Greenhouses, conservatories and windowsills are best suited places to grow this species. Small pots or hanging baskets that encourage trailing are best used.

Unfortunately these are not as easy to purchase as many other Peperomias in garden stores. If you see one for sale you're in luck - buy it!


Facts

Origin: South America.
Names: Trailing jade, round leaf Peperomia (common). Peperomia rotundifolia (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): 25 - 30 cm or longer trailing stems.
Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Peperomia rotundifolia growing over rocks

Peperomia rotunifolia 'Natural Habitat'

Peperomia rotundifolia Care

Temperature: Ideal temperatures of 65-75ºF (18-24ºC), and no lower than 50ºF (10ºC).
Light: Bright light without direct sunlight is best suited. A small amount of morning or evening sun won't harm, but midday sun could scorch the leaves and harm the plant. South, east or west facing areas are best suited and check if the plant needs to sit further back from the window.
Watering: Overwatering is the worst offender for most Peperomias including this species. This is because of its succulent nature and small roots . Allow the soil to become dry then water thoroughly. During the winter reduce watering to a minimum. Better too little than too much.
Soil: A peat based soil is best used that drains well. 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite or sand is a good mix. Other mixes will work well, but the main point is for the medium to drain well and be well aerated.
Re-Potting: The trailing jade rarely requires repotting. A soil or top soil change is a good idea once a year but only repot when the existing pot is much too small. Remember the roots are very small which makes it easy for the soil to become waterlogged and will harm the plant.
Fertilizer: During spring - while the plant is growing use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every 2 weeks, and once a month during summer. No feeding is required from autumn to spring
Humidity: During the summer mist the leaves. As the plant does prefer high humidity, grouping it together with other plants is a good idea. This will increase humidity within the area. If dry air problems occur - make efforts to improve the humidity, but most will be fine with normal indoor humidity levels.
Propagation: Stem tip and leaf cuttings can both be propagated. Take a few centimeters of stem tip with one or two healthy leaves attached and allow the tip or leaves 'if taking leaf cuttings' to dry out for a day, and then plant them in moist peat based potting mix. Try to provide warm temperatures of about 20ºC (68ºF) with bright light. Rooting hormone may be used on the wounds when propagating and a plastic cover over the pot/tray will improve humidity and provide warmth.
Pruning: Pinch out stem tips when the plant is overgrowing to keep it in shape. When pruning take cuttings for propagation.

Potential Problems

The trailing jade Peperomia is not a troublesome plant, although overwatering and cold conditions may cause serious harm including plant rot. Sudden drops in temperature or cold drafts can also cause problems. There is no known major issue with pests.

If its not growing very well, lack of light could be the problem.



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