Peperomia Obtusifolia: Baby Rubber Plant Care

What is a Peperomia Obtusifolia?

This fleshy succulent Peperomia Plant is native to the rainforests of Central and South America.

You will find this plant in shops and nurseries under other names like Baby Rubber Plant, American Rubber Plant, Pepper Face Plant, or Peperomia Green.

This plant features large leaves and thick stems. The leaves have a glossy sheen, making the plant shine under bright light.

Each of these leaves grows 2-4 inches in length.

The standard version of this plant has solid dark green leaves, but there is a variegated version as well known as Peperomia Obtusifolia Albomarginata or Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata.

What-Is-A-Peperomia-Obtusifolia

The second one flaunts marble patterned variegation in white and yellow color.

The Baby Rubber plants are refreshing to look at and compact with their moderate growth rate.

So you can keep it almost anywhere in your house, including the dining table, study desk, or kitchen.

This tiny Peperomia will reach an average size of 1 ft (25 to 30 cm).

Although the flowers are not the most attractive feature of this plant, Baby Rubber Plant Peperomia can produce flower spikes that feature small white blooms.

The blooming continues throughout spring, summer, and fall.

How to Care for a Peperomia Obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia (baby rubber plant) is a succulent peperomia that can be grown indoors or outdoors in warm climates.

Proper care includes watering and lightening when needed, propagating when necessary, and maintaining soil conditions that support growth.

Read further for more information on Peperomia Obtusifolia care.

Temperature and Climate

The temperature rule for Peperomia Plants is that if you are comfortable with the temperature, your plant will be too.

They do not like extreme weather, so avoid cold drafts or hot summer temperatures. They will not enjoy sitting next to a heating or cooling source.

The suitable temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 23 degrees Celsius).

The Peperomia Obtusifolia is not finicky in terms of humidity.

To some extent, it can tolerate dry air; however, average household humidity levels will help the plant grow well because it’s native to humid forests.

Light

Light-For-Peperomia-Obtusifolia

The green leaves of these house plants need medium to low light conditions such as partial shade.

Bright, indirect light keeps the leaves lush green but never exposes them to intense or direct sun.

If you grow the variegated version, your plant can handle 2-3 hours of morning or evening direct sunlight.

Providing adequate light is essential for the variegated Peperomia Obtusifolia otherwise, it will lose the marbling effect and leaf color.

Watering

The thick leaves of this plant can help with watering. If the leaves look plump and fresh, they have some moisture stored, and you can skip watering for now.

You do not want to overwater your succulents.

Whereas if the leaves look shriveled up, you should water the plant.

Moisture is vital for this plant’s growth; however, letting the soil dry is essential too.

The best approach is to perform a finger test before watering and always use pots with drainage holes.

As mentioned earlier, Peperomia Obtusifolia likes bright sunlight, but this will also increase the water intake because the soil dries out faster.

Soil and Fertilizer

Soil-For-Peperomia-Obtusifolia

An essential quality of potting soil for the Peperomia Obtusifolia is good drainage.

But having fertile soil rich in organic matter is a big plus. This reduces the need for fertilizing now and then.

An inexpensive but well-draining soil mixture can be created with peat moss and perlite.

You can also add sand to this mixture. This mix will drain well and keep the root system aerated.

In nature, tropical plants receive nutrients from the soil through tree debris or decaying plant matter.

However, when grown as potted houseplants, you will have to provide light doses of diluted liquid fertilizer, especially if the soil is not rich enough.

Common Pests and Diseases

This Peperomia is vulnerable to common Radiator Plant pests such as mealybugs, aphids, scales, and spider mites.

You can spray it with horticulture oil weekly to prevent and treat pest infestations.

Excessive watering can lead to fungal diseases such as root rot which is detrimental the plant health.

Repotting

Repotting-Peperomia-Obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia is a compact plant with a small root system; therefore, you’ll need to repot them often.

If your Obtusifolia Baby Rubber Plant has overgrown the current pot, you can upgrade the pot in the growing season.

Do not go for a large pot; otherwise, the roots will be flooded with extra water after each watering.

A shallow terracotta pot is the best option for houseplants that require excellent drainage.

The soil should be refreshed annually to maintain drainage and nutrient content.

If you’re looking for a pot with drainage holes, we suggest this self-watering container. It is what we use for our indoor plants as there’s no need to worry about overwatering.

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Propagation

Propagating-Peperomia-Obtusifolia

With stem tip cuttings, you can propagate Peperomia Obtusifolia in a few easy steps.

Take 2-3 inches long stem cuttings from the mother plant with a short length of the nonwoody petiole and a few leaves attached.

Prepare a batch of fresh potting mix in a small pot according to the size of the cutting and apply the rooting hormone.

This stem cutting needs lots of light and warm temperatures to root in the soil. You can keep it in temperatures around 68 o F (20 o C).

The stem cuttings propagation method works for the solid and variegated Baby Rubber Plant.

If you have leftover healthy leaves after pruning the solid-colored Peperomia Obtusifolia, you can propagate using leaf cuttings.


For more information on propagating peperomia plants, read further about:


Pruning

Pruning the Baby Rubber Plants includes pinching the top leaves.

It is necessary to encourage or stop growth in a particular area and enhance the bushy look of the young plant.

You can also trim away the diseased or yellow leaves.

If you’re looking for a pair of shears, we highly suggest these super-sharp pruning garden shears. They seem to never dull, plus, they are easy on the hands.

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FAQ

How often should you water the Baby Rubber Plant?

Water the Peperomia obtusifolia once or twice a week in average light and temperatures, making sure to let the soil dry between waterings. It is best to water more often if your peperomia is in bright light and less frequently when it is in low light. If you haven’t established a watering routine for your Peperomia plant, you can underwater it a little since the thick leaves retain water.

Is Peperomia Obtusifolia an indoor plant?

Yes, the Peperomia obtusifolia is a great indoor plant because of its compact size. The Baby Rubber plant has a simple maintenance regimen and may grow in any typical indoor setting. Simply make sure your peperomia is planted in a container with plenty of drainage holes and placed in bright indirect light.

How big and fast does Baby Rubber Plant grow?

Rubber plants may grow up to 100 feet tall in their native habitat. However, rubber plants, if planted as indoor plants, may grow to be six to ten feet tall. Alternatively, you can plant them in your outdoor garden in USDA hardiness zones 10 or 11.

How Fast does Baby Rubber Plant grow?

Peperomia obtusifolia is a fast grower. It grows in a trailing manner and may reach heights of 3 to 4 feet each year when given the proper circumstances. It spreads to a width of 12 inches and has leaves that grow to a length of 2 to 4 inches.

Conclusion

Baby Rubber Plant is loved for its bushy appearance and decorative leaves. You can grow it in a greenhouse or keep it on your windowsill.

An essential point about Peperomia Obtusifolia care is maintaining the proper light levels to help this plant grow well indoors.

If you love variegated ones, you can try growing a Peperomia Obtusifolia Variegata.

Other Peperomia Plants to Consider

Baby rubber plants are just one type of Peperomia plant. Below you can find out more about other types of Peperomia plants and general care tips.

References

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