Peperomia rotundifolia, trailing jade
Peperomia Hope is a great houseplant for beginners and experienced growers alike.
With its delicately trailing stems, lightly striped fleshy leaves, and tolerance for a wide variety of conditions, this little plant is sure to fit right into any home or office space.
Don’t be fooled by this plant’s delicate appearance, though. It’s an easy-to-grow plant that can tolerate a little neglect and adapt to most conditions.
Position Bright, indirect sunlight
Watering Water when soil is almost dry
Size 6 to 8 inches high and wide
Climate Up to 64°- 78°F
Propagate Stem and leaf propagation
Toxicity Not poisonous to cats, dogs, or other pets
This delicate-looking little plant is a hybrid cross of Peperomia Quadrifolia and Peperomia Deappeana. It is similar in appearance to a watermelon peperomia. Its name, peperomia, is a combination of two Greek words. Peperi is the Greek word for ‘pepper’, and ‘homois’ is the Greek word for resembling. Therefore, it is said that this plant resembles a pepper plant.
It isn’t a vegetable, however. Instead, Peperomia hope falls into the category of a perennial epiphyte, but it is also considered a succulent. Epiphytes are plants that have roots that can absorb nutrients and moisture from both the air and water.
It isn’t uncommon to find these types of plants clinging to the bark of trees in their natural habitats. And although this plant is considered to be a variety of succulent because it can store some water in its fleshy leaves, it prefers a more humid environment than a typical succulent.
Peperomia Hope Care
Despite its slow-growing nature, this plant is a joy to watch develop. There really is nothing not to love about its easy-care and pretty, trailing foliage. Here in this article, I’ll share with you all you need to know about just how to provide the right conditions for your very own Trailing Jade plant.
Peperomia Hope thrives in bright, indirect sun. It can tolerate low-light situations, but it definitely does not love the direct sun. In fact, if you put your hope plant in direct sun, the green leaves will fade or burn, and over time, too much sun can even kill your pretty little plant.
If you keep your Peperomia hope in a southern window, you’ll want to hang up some sheer curtains to filter out the harsh light. Better yet, keep your hope plant in an east-facing window so that it gets morning sun but not intense afternoon light. In the warm summer, you could even keep your plant outside on a shady balcony where it will receive indirect light but not full sunlight.
If your peperomia does not receive enough light, it will get leggy and long as it tries to find sunlight. If this happens, you can trim off the ends of the stems (with a few leaves attached) and replant them in the pot. Replanting the cuttings will help your plant look fuller; just be sure to increase the amount of light it gets so that it doesn’t get leggy again.
Peperomia Hope needs warmth and will grow best between temperatures of 65˚ and 75˚ Fahrenheit. It won’t tolerate frost, and leaving these little cuties outside will surely kill them when temperatures dip. Keep them away from cold drafts and air conditioning vents, as well.
Height & Spread
I love the petite nature of Peperomia Hope because it can slot into an otherwise bare gap on a shelf or window sill and won’t become overbearing as one of my smaller house plants. At full maturity expect it to grow to about 6 to 8 inches high and just about as wide.
These tiny plants grow slowly, but they do have sweet trailing stems. These little trailing stems make them ideal plants for a small hanging planter or basket. You’ll find small clusters of four leaves growing along the stems.
Like most house plants, I’ve found that the most difficult – and most important – part of caring for your Peperomia Hope is getting the watering schedule just right. Nothing kills a tropical houseplant faster than overwatering it.
It’s important to note that this plant likes moist soil, but it does not want to sit in soggy soil. So you’ll need to use a well-draining, quality houseplant soil that we will discuss more below. But using suitable soil will help with watering. You also need to use a pot with drainage holes in the bottom so that excess water can drain away.
When the top inch of soil is dry, you know it is time to give your plant a drink! Place your pot in the sink and water thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage hole in the bottom. Allow all of the water to drain away, and if you are using a plant saucer, be sure to empty it. Don’t water again until the soil feels dry.
Your peperomia hope will tolerate too little water better than it will tolerate too much. If you see the little leaves starting to look a bit shriveled, it is probably time to give your plant a drink. It will need more frequent watering during the summer growing season than during the dormant winter season.
Peperomias, like other epiphytes, need oxygen to their roots. So a well-draining soil mix is a must to help with moisture control and oxygen. Getting the soil right will help ensure the plant has enough moisture but does not get root rot from soggy soil.
You can’t just plop your peperomia into any old dirt and hope for the best. You need to create a soil mixture that has good aeration but retains a little soil moisture. One great example would be a 50/50 mix of peat and perlite.
Peat isn’t the most sustainable type of ‘soil’ on the market, so if this is important to you, you might want to try some alternatives, such as using coco coir instead.
You could use a commercial houseplant soil with a bit of extra grit or pumice mixed in, or even try using some African Violet potting soil such as Espoma Organics African Violet Potting Mix. Whatever you choose, just make sure that the soil drains well and does not promote soggy roots.
If you are looking for a flowering houseplant, you might be disappointed with a Peperomia Hope. These little beauties are primarily grown for their pretty foliage because they rarely bloom indoors.
When they do bloom, they grow tiny little flowers perched on the top of long spikes. The flowers are insignificant, and you don’t need the plant to flower for propagation.
That being said, if your Peperomia Hope does begin to bloom, you can pat yourself on the back for providing such excellent care. And if it isn’t blooming, you can keep trying to get those plant conditions perfected, and maybe it will surprise you with a bit of flowering gift.
How to fertilize Peperomia Hope
In my opinion, peperomias aren’t heavy feeders at all. If your soil contains any sort of time-release fertilizer, you won’t need to give it any extra. Whatever fertilizer is already in the soil should be enough to keep your plant happy.
However, if you are using soil that does not have fertilizer, you may want to fertilize the plant.
The easiest way is to use a commercially made liquid houseplant fertilizer with a 10-10-10 N-P-K. You’ll want to dilute this to about ¼ of what the directions say because a little will go a long way!
Fertilize your peperomia hope about once a month during the spring and summer growing season. Then, in the late fall and into the winter, your plant will go dormant. It will stop growing or grow very slowly, and it won’t need to be fertilized at all during this time.
Avoid over-fertilizing your plant because I’ve found that this will cause chemicals to build up in the soil. Also, too much fertilizer over time will burn the roots and cause your plant to wither and die.
Every houseplant needs to be pruned once in a while, and your peperomia hope is no exception. Sometimes they get a little leggy from too little sun, sometimes leaves and stems can die off, and sometimes you just want to encourage y our plant’s foliage to look fuller and bushier. All of these are good reasons to trim up your hope plant.
When possible, the best time to prune your peperomias is in early spring, before they start their season of rapid growth.
If you find leggy stems, you can simply snip them off at the base of the plant or right above a cluster of leaves. Also, snip off any dying leaves or broken stems so the plant can put its energy into new growth.
If you want your plant to be fuller, you can give it an all-over ‘hair cut’ and propagate the cuttings by sticking them back into the soil.
Peperomias grow slowly and enjoy being a little bit root-bound, so don’t go crazy by frequently repotting your plant. If you need to re-pot your Peperomia Hope, choose a suitably sized pot or planter with a drainage hole and a place for the stems to trail over the sides.
That being said, terracotta pots are an excellent choice because they will help control the moisture around the plant’s roots.
The stems of your hope plant are a little bit delicate, so be gentle when repotting. You can re-pot your plant by sliding it out of its current pot. Then, if desired, you can split the mother plant into two plants and repot it into two different pots.
Fill the pot partway with the appropriate soil, as described above, and gently place the plant into the pot. Backfill around the plant carefully so you don’t break any stems. Water as usual and keep your plant in its regular place until it has acclimated to the new pot.
How to Propagate Peperomia Hope
One of the best parts about growing Peperomia Hope is how easy these plants are to propagate. There are several methods you can use.
The easiest way to propagate your hope plant is to snip off a stem so that the cutting has a few leaves. Then, poke the cut end into the soil and care for the plant as usual. It will grow into a new plant!
You can also stick the end of the stem into the water and watch it root if you like.
Because this plant is also a succulent, you can propagate it from leaf cuttings. Simply lay the leaves on top of the soil, and it should begin growing new little pups within a month.
Another easy way to propagate your peperomia hope is through ground layering. The trailing vines will sprout roots if you lay them on top of the soil.
You can simply place the trailing ends back into their own pot or place them on top of the soil in another pot. Wherever there are leaf nodes that come in contact with soil, new roots will sprout. Eventually, you can cut them away from the mother plant when the roots have grown into the soil.
Common problems with Peperomia Hope
One of the most common problems with peperomia hope is root rot. Root rot happens when there is too much moisture around the roots of the plant. Essentially, the plant’s roots cannot get enough oxygen, and the plant drowns.
You can prevent root rot by using the correct soil, as discussed above, and only watering your plant when the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch. Also, make sure your pot has good drainage and always empty the pot’s saucer to make sure your plant isn’t sitting in water.
Overwatering can also cause moldy soil, fungus, and bacterial issues.
Since peperomias are primarily grown as a houseplant, there aren’t too many pests that will bother them inside your home. However, mealybugs can be a problem for any houseplant. You will know you have mealybugs when you see a white, cottony substance on the underside of the plant’s leaves.
Mealybugs suck the plant’s sap, which will weaken its growth. An infestation can kill your plant. If the infestation is minor, you can simply rinse the bugs off of your plant. However, a more severe infestation will require the application of pesticides. I recommend neem oil. You could also mix a few drops of dish soap with water and spray that on the mealy bugs.
Sometimes, wilting leaves are a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough water. But with peperomias, it is also a sign that your plant has the wrong type of soil. Peperomias need plenty of oxygen to their roots, and soil that holds too much moisture will drown them. But, conversely, the lack of oxygen might cause them to wilt.
If this is the case, just repot your plant with a mix of potting soil and perlite to give it some more aeration. Hopefully, your plant will perk up within a few days.