Peperomia rubella

Scientific Name

Peperomia rubella Hook. & Arn. ex C.DC.

Scientific Classification

Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia


Peperomia rubella is a beautiful small plant with fleshy, elliptical leaves generally arranged in clusters of 4. It features prominently scarlet red stems and leaf undersides. The top of the leaves is green with a unique pattern. It will grow upright until about 4 inches (20 cm), where it will then fall to sprawl out as a vine. It produces greenish-white, panicle-like flower spikes in summer.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Peperomias are not particularly hard plants to grow, and their small size and delicate leaves make them perfect for desktops and dish gardens. They will rarely overtake their neighbors or shade them out. In short, they are perfectly mannered and attractive little plants. The biggest problems are usually related to watering. They like steadily moist soil, but can be very sensitive to overwatering. Overwatered Peperomias tend to wilt or have raised, scab-like protrusions on their leaves. Don't be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, but massive leaf-drop is usually due to a temperature change or fertilizer problem. Lastly, Peperomias are susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on the stems or undersides of leaves. These plants thrive when slightly pot-bound, so don't over pot them.

Repot plants in spring, especially to refresh the existing soil, but place either back into the same size container after root-pruning or go up only one pot size. The largest Peperomias remain relatively small, so they will never grow into large specimen plants. Most species can be relatively easily propagated from leaf cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Peperomia.


Peperomia rubella is endemic to Jamaica.


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1. Beetle Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia quadrangularis

Height and Spread: 8-12 inches

Also known as Peperomia angulata, it is a small houseplant with creeping stems. It produces dark green leaves with beautiful, light green vertical stripes. This interesting plant is perfect for hanging baskets as crawling stems enhance its beauty.

Growing Tips

It grows well in moist, well-drained soil and prefers low to moderate light.

2. Belly Button Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia verticillata

Height and Spread: Up to 3 feet

Belly Button peperomia is an attractive species with little, plump, dark green leaves that gets a velvet texture with age. This charming specimen is ideal for both ground cover and as an indoor plant, making it one of the best peperomia types!

Growing Tips

It grows best in humid and moist conditions with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid overwatering, mainly in winter.

3. Columbian Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia Metallica var. columbiana

Height and Spread: 2-8 & 4-10 inches

Columbian peperomia is ideal for container gardening. It is an erect perennial with dark-green to black leaves that are burgundy to dark red beneath. Every leaf has a metallic-silver stripe at the center. This variety is perfect for a rock garden or a terrarium.

Growing Tips

This lovely plant prefers partial sunlight and humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil.

4. Bibi Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia trinervula ‘Bibi’

Height and Spread: 7-10 inches

Bibi peperomia is a charming, easy-to-grow houseplant, prized for its lance-shaped dark green leaves and creeping red stems. It grows in a spreading form and is suitable for window sills, terrarium or vivarium.

Growing Tips

Bibi peperomia is drought and humidity tolerant and does well in partial or dappled shade.

5. Cupid Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia scandens ‘Variegata’

Height and Spread: 8-10 & 10-20 inches

The cupid peperomia is the variegated version of peperomia scandens. Just like the name, it displays heart-shaped, light green leaves, with creamy gold edges. This variety can spread up to 20-30 inches, which makes it ideal for planting in hanging baskets.

Growing Tips

It thrives well in partial light indoors. Locate it under partial shade if growing outdoors. Allow the soil to dry between watering, as it can cause rot.

6. Golden Gate Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Golden Gate’

Height and Spread: 7-8 inches

This beautiful and compact houseplant showcases glossy, variegated leaves with a dense, bushy appearance. ‘Golden Gate’ is suitable for offices or shaded areas as it grows well in low or fluorescent lights.

Growing Tips

It thrives in well-draining soil. Water the plant when top-soil is dry to 1 inch.

7. Jelly Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia Clusiifolia ‘Jelly’

Height and Spread: 9-18 inches

Jelly peperomia has striking wide, oval-shaped leaves adorned with a pink and cream-hued edge. It also features spikes of green-white flowers. This easy to care plant is ideal for shelves and small tables, making it one of the best peperomia types!

Growing Tips

This variety enjoys bright or moderate light conditions and withstands shade as well. Avoid overwatering.

8. Isabella Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia hoffmanii

Height and Spread: 6-12 inches

Isabella is prized with beautiful, tiny succulent-type leaves, on a round rope-like trailing vine. This variety is an ideal small creeper for hanging baskets or terrarium as it grows up to 10-12 inches long with a similar spread.

Growing Tips

Grow this beautiful plant in full sun to partial shade in average well-draining soil.

9. Peperomia Perciliata

Botanical Name: Peperomia Perciliata

Height and Spread: 2-4 & 8-10 inches

Peperomia Perciliata shows off small, heart-shaped leaves on red stems. This interesting plant can grow up to 2-4 inches tall and eight or more inches wide. You can grow it in terrariums or as an underplanting to upright or taller plants.

Growing Tips

The Perciliata variety thrives well in full sun to partial or dappled shade and slightly acidic soil with pH 6.1-6.5.

10. Peperomia Japonica

Botanical Name: Peperomia Japonica

Height and Spread: 4-6 & 8-14 inches

Perfect for growing in terrariums, small pots, and hanging baskets or as a ground cover, Peperomia Japonica is another climbing small green-leafed variety, with red or green stems.

Growing Tips

Use a well-draining potting mix amended with peat moss. Allow the soil to dry between watering.

11. Varigated Teardrop Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia orba ‘Variegata’

Height and Spread: 4-6 & 8-12 inches

‘Teardrop’ is a low, mounding plant that produces glossy green leaves designed with golden-yellow edges. Varigated teardrop peperomia is ideal for planters, terrariums, and hanging baskets.

Growing Tips

It prefers rich, well-draining soil and occasional watering for optimum growth.

12. Teardrop Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia orba

Height and Spread: 8-10 & 10-12 inches

This compact variety is perfect for hanging planters and terrariums. The plant exhibits light green, thick succulent type leaves, with a light silver stripe under the midvein. It spreads with maturity and forms tiny white spikes.

Growing Tips

Keep the plant in a bright location. Water at the base of the plant, avoiding leaves.

13. Red Ripple Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia caperata ‘Red Ripple’

Height and Spread: 6-9 inches

Red ripple variety is popular for its red-purple, deeply textured heart-shaped leaves. You can grow it as a houseplant as well as a groundcover outdoors. This beautiful variety is one of the best peperomia types!

Growing Tips

It grows best in partial shade with moderate watering.

14. Red-Edge Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia clusiifolia

Height/Spread: 6-12 & 6-10 inches

Red edge is one of the easiest variety to grow. It features spoon-shaped, dark green glossy leaves, with beautiful red edges. Ideal for growing in baskets and pots.

Growing Tips

This peperomia grows well in warm, humid conditions with regular light watering.

15. Rainbow Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia clusiifolia ‘Rainbow’

Height and Spread: 6-12 & 6-8 inches

If you are a beginner in gardening, then plant Rainbow peperomia, as this variety thrives on neglect. It shows off light green leaves with yellow-pink borders. Perfect choice for dish gardens and hanging baskets.

Growing Tips

‘Rainbow’ variety does well in bright, warm, and humid conditions.

16. Peperomia Serpens

Botanical Name: Peperomia serpens

Height and Spread: 2-4 & 12-24 inches

The heart-shaped leaves with deep veins of this peperomia can brighten up any dark corner of your living room! The trailing form of this adorable plant is perfect for terrariums and hanging planters.

Growing Tips

This peperomia variety flourishes in partial or dappled shade, in slightly acidic soil with pH 6.1-6.5.

17. Peperomia Rubella

Botanical Name: Peperomia rubella

Height and Spread: 6-8 & 10-12 inches

This stunning variety displays small, fleshy leaves that are olive green on the top and red on the back with red stems. As the plant matures, it forms a beautiful trail that can be grown in the small dish garden paired with other miniature plants.

Growing Tips

Grow the plant in the bright indirect sun, allow the soil to dry between next watering.

18. Peperomia Prostrata

Botanical Name: Peperomia prostrata

Height and Spread: 12-24 & 8-12 inches

Also known as string of turtles, it is a small vining plant with round dark green to purple-colored leaves, patterned in white veins. It looks beautiful in hanging planters, where it cascades over the sides of the container.

Growing Tips

Peperomia prostrata likes moist soil though it is also quite sensitive towards overwatering.

19. Watermelon Peperomia

Botanical Name: Peperomia argyreia

Height/Spread: 6-8 & 10-12 inches

Watermelon peperomia is adorned with rounded, fleshy leaves patterned with dark green and silver markings, resembling a watermelon’s rind. It is mainly grown as a houseplant, though it can be planted outdoors in the warm climate of USDA hardiness Zone 10-12.

Growing Tips

It favors bright, indirect sunlight, and humid conditions.

Peperomia Plant Profile

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Peperomia (Peperomia spp.) is a genus of plants containing more than 1,500 species, with the common types often being grown as compact houseplants. Also known as radiator plants, they are neither as striking as begonias nor as hardy as dracaena, which might account for their relatively low profile in the world of houseplants. But these plants have all the features we look for in a good houseplant: They tolerate a range of growing conditions, sport interesting foliage, and stay relatively small.

The species vary in appearance, though many feature leaves that are rounded and slightly thick. And while many peperomia plants have bright green leaves, the foliage can come in different colors, textures, and patterns. In general, they make for slow-growing and low-maintenance plants. You typically can plant them anytime as houseplants, though planting at the start of the growing season in the spring is ideal.

Botanical Name Peperomia spp.
Common Name Peperomia, radiator plant
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size Typically less than 1 foot tall and wide
Sun Exposure Part shade
Soil Type Loamy, medium moisture, well-draining
Soil pH 6 to 6.6
Bloom Time Year-round (insignificant blooms)
Flower Color Usually yellow to brown
Hardiness Zones 10 to 12
Native Areas Tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America

Basic Plant Care Instructions for Peperomia Rubella

This plant needs moist soil so prepare a potting mixture that can retain moisture well. I grow my Peperomia Rubella in a loamy potting mixture that is rich in organic matter.

You can also prepare your own mix with ½ part peat moss and ½ part perlite. But make sure the mixture drains well because the potting soil should not remain wet.

Peperomia Rubella grows well outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11. The soil pH should be ranging from 5 to 7.5.


This Peperomia species has average watering requirements. Even though this plant needs slightly moist soil, it is highly sensitive to overwatering. Overwatered Rubella plants start wilting and have scab like protrusions on the leaves.

I always water my indoor plants in the morning between 8 to 10 am this is great because it allows the plant to dry throughout the day.

Water this plant moderately in summer using room temperature water. In winter, you can reduce watering frequency and quantity for this Peperomia.

Let your plant dry out between waterings at least 1/3 of the potting mix should be dry before the next watering session. Like other Peperomias, this one also has succulent leaves, which means you can skip watering once or twice without the risk of killing your plant.

Water it from above to distribute moisture throughout the soil evenly.


Peperomia Rubella should be kept in indirect light for the best results. You can choose any location with moderate to high light levels for this plant.

The ideal lighting condition for indoor planting is bright, indirect light, but it can also withstand low light levels. Protect the plant from direct sunlight by diffusing the sunrays. Especially afternoon sun as it can damage the foliage, causing sunburns. Few hours of morning or evening sun are great for plant growth.

Remember that outdoors Peperomia Rubella likes to grow in partial shade. Generally, medium or bright light encourages faster growth and produces more leaves on Peperomias.


This plant is not picky about temperature it will thrive in average household temperature throughout the year, 60 to 80 o F (15.5 to 26 degrees Celsius). The minimum temperature should not be lower than 59 o F (15 degrees Celsius).

In sub-tropical, warm areas, this plant may be grown outside as ground cover. You can keep this plant at any outdoor location like a balcony or patio as long as the temperature remains around 70 o F.


The Rubella plant can tolerate high humidity levels very well. But it grows happily in average humidity levels. 60-90% humidity is the favorite of Peperomia Rubella.

This plant will favor daily misting however, misting it after 2,3 days is also fine. Misting will create a humid environment around your houseplant as the water evaporates.


Plant food or fertilizers supply your plant with all the necessary nutrients needed for maximum growth. They can provide whatever the potting soil lacks. There are three options for fertilizing the Peperomia Rubella:

Water-soluble or liquid fertilizers – Dilute this fertilizer in water and apply it while watering your plant. This should be used every two weeks, depending on the label instructions.

Slow-release fertilizer – These controlled fertilizers should be applied once during the growing season. You have to work the fertilizer into the soil carefully.

Organic fertilizers – For fertilizers like fish emulsion, you should strictly follow the instructions on the label. I have been feeding all my Peperomia plants with an organic nitrogen-rich fertilizer once a month.

Stop fertilizing the plant in late October to allow the plant to rest in winter months. You can resume feeding in late February.


Peperomia Rubella does not need frequent repotting because it likes growing slightly root-bound. Never over pot your Peperomia plants. Only go one size up.

Refresh the existing soil in the spring season every year and repot once in every three years.


Pruning is a great way of keeping your plant’s appearance according to your likings. This plant might become untidy as it matures, you can prune the Peperomia Rubella to keep it under control and manage its appearance.

Make sure the pruners are sharp and clean. This will lessen the chances of disease or fungus spread.


Learning and understanding the propagation of Peperomia Rubella is easy and straightforward.

Peperomia plants are the easiest to propagate you can take stem, leaf, or tip cuttings. Propagation by cutting involves removing a part of the plant and putting in a rooting medium like soil or water.

After a few weeks or months, with little luck and attention, the small cutting will grow into a young plant. Propagating in the right season is the first step for successful propagation. For all Peperomia species, spring and summer is the right time for propagation since the plant is actively growing.

For propagation, you’ll need a clean pair of scissors or shears, a clear plastic bag, a small pot, and rooting hormone. Disinfect the gardening tools before you start the propagation you can use rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. This reduces the risk of transferring any infection or diseases to the mother plant.

  • Take the cuttings from a healthy and mature plant. You might be tempted to take more than one cutting at the same time but make sure you don’t remove more than 1/3 of the parent plant. Otherwise, the original plant will be damaged.
  • Make a cut just above the leaf joint on a healthy stem. Use a sharp instrument to avoid unnecessarily injuring the mother plant. If you want, you can remove the extra lower leaves.
  • Taking more cuttings will increase your chances of success because if one fails, you can depend on the other one.
  • An important thing to point out is that the cutting should have at least two pairs of leaves with a growing tip or node. A 6 inches long cutting is perfect for propagation.
  • Place your cutting under medium to bright indirect light, and replace the water once a fortnight or when it goes murky if you are propagating in water.
  • You can add a small quantity of rooting hormone or seasol to speed up the process, but this is optional.
  • Once the roots sprout, let the Rubella cutting grow in water for a few weeks before transferring to the soil. The longest the cutting can survive in water without rotting is about five months.
  • For soil propagation, follow the same steps and use a light, airy potting medium. Avoid propagating in dense soil because the roots may not develop properly.
  • Once the roots are few inches long, take a small pot and load it with good quality potting soil, as discussed in the soil section. Bury the roots in the center of the soil by gently pressing with your fingers. The new baby leaves and the mother leaves should be above the soil.
  • There are chances that the original leaves might die. Do not panic if this happens, because this simply means all the nutrients of the original leaf were consumed in the propagation process. Snip off the leaf if it’s dying.
  • You can use small wooden sticks to keep the cutting straight. Continue the usual plant care discussed previously for the young Rubella plant.
  • Be patient, and do not overwater your cutting if you don’t see any sign of growth. It can take three weeks or one month for root development and longer for the leaves. In warmer months, the roots may appear faster because of a favorable environment.

For propagation by leaf cuttings, follow the same steps using a leaf from a healthy Peperomia Rubella.


The majority of Peperomia plants are grown and admired for their foliage, including the Peperomia Rubella. However, in summer, Peperomia Rubella produces greenish-white, panicle-like flower spikes.

The spikes have a texture similar to catkins, but they rise like tentacles over the leaves of the plant.


Peperomia Rubella can have two completely different types of leaves old leaves are green with pointy tips, whereas young leaves are rounded with heavy white veining.

Each plant is unique with a mixture of both types of leaves. The leaves and stems are fairly frizzy. The leaves are uniquely patterned and arranged in clusters of 4.

The adult plant is 40 inches(100 cm) in height and about 15 inches(40cm) in the spread.

Watch the video: Peperomia propagation

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