Peperomia – a simple yet beautiful plant that can provide many, many cuttings and propagate reasonably easy. However, much time and effort go into this.
So, whether you are a beginner or professional at gardening, as long as you have patience and the right sources, propagating peperomia plants may be of interest to you.
- 1 What Does it Mean to Propagate?
- 2 How to Propagate Peperomia?
- 3 What Propagation Method Should You Use?
- 4 How to Propagate Peperomia Cuttings:
- 5 Conclusion
What Does it Mean to Propagate?
Whether you are new to gardening or very familiar with it, you have probably heard of propagation.
However, if you need a quick refresher – propagating (specifically, asexual propagation) is when new plants are produced by using vegetative parts of a mother plant; these parts can be the roots, stems, leaves and more, depending on the plant type.
This article will focus on how to propagate the plant, peperomia.
Peperomia is a non-flowering, ornamental foliage plant. These plants typically prefer high humidity climates and moderate light. Despite these preferences, peperomia is commonly mistaken as succulents due to their leaves having a similar appearance.
Another common quality that these two types of plants share is that peperomia can be asexually propagated.
Also, this plant is fairly easy when growing and/or attempting to propagate.
So, follow along if you still wish to know how to propagate peperomia.
How to Propagate Peperomia?
While propagation may be something that is seen as relatively easy, a great deal of preparation and effort must go into this. For peperomia, it is best to propagate during the spring and/or summer.
Unfortunately, all propagating is up to chance, but that does not mean you will not be successful. There are also multiple methods of asexual propagation: cuttings, division, layering, and grafting/budding. Cuttings, however, are what we will be focusing on for this plant.
Using cuttings is a somewhat easy and common way to propagate peperomia. Peperomia is commonly labeled as one of the simplest plants to propagate and take care of, so do not fear if you are a beginner.
For a general overview: cuttings will need to be clipped, placed in water or soil to begin root growth, transplanted, and well taken care of (watering, proper lighting, humidity, etc.).
To begin, ensure that the plant you are getting your cuttings from is healthy and mature. Do not take more than one-third of the mother plant; this will cause damage to the mother. Also, keep cuttings in moderate to bright, indirect light.
What Cutting Type Should You Choose?
If you are cutting from variegated peperomia plants, only use stem cuttings.
Leaf cuttings tend to cause these plants to lose their variegated coloring. So, if you don’t want to lose the beautiful coloration, stick with the stem cuttings.
However, if you choose not to use stem cuttings or are not even clipping from variegated plants, you may be unsure of what to do. Luckily, both forms of cuttings have the same propagation process. The two main options of cuttings for peperomia are tip/stem and leaf.
When obtaining tip/stem cuttings, clip a vegetative shoot (the small stems that branch off of the main stem) from the mother plant. This shoot should have a small number of leaves.
If there are multiple leaves on the clipping, they can be cut off (and used as leaf cuttings). The reason behind this is that the less vegetation that the cutting needs to support, the higher the chances of your cutting developing strongly.
Once you have your cuttings, whether they be a leaf or tip/stem, they can (optionally) be dipped into rooting hormone powder as extra support for growth. The plant can then be planted into a pot with well-draining soil.
Needed Items and Extra Tips:
- A Healthy, mature mother plantA healthy and mature plant provides better chances of providing stronger cuttings.
- Selected CuttingsThere are several types of cuttings—the common types of cuttings associated with peperomia: Leaf with Petiole and Stem-Tip.According to EpicGardening.com, “if you’re propagating with a variegated peperomia, go with stem cuttings. They’re more likely to carry over the variegated colors to the new plant.”
- Knife or Shears
“Peperomia plants, in general, do not like to be overwatered and have shallow root systems, so they should always be planted in well-draining soil.” -Brittany Goldwyn
Goldwyn’s article also stated that they have found that general houseplant soil with perlite and peat moss works well.
The Spruce also recommends using soil that is “chunky, loose, and acidic.”
As cuttings are usually small, a large pot is not necessary. Once the plant begins to grow larger, transplanting to bigger containers will be required.
- Vessel for Water (if using water-propagation)
The vessel does not need to be large. There just needs to be enough water and room for the end of cutting to be covered. Also, it needs enough water and room for growing roots. Clear vessels (such as jars) are recommended as they provide an easy way to see the progress of roots and water quality.
What Propagation Method Should You Use?
What type of propagation method you choose is up to you. However, the cutting’s species, access to resources, timing, and climate should all be considered before deciding how to grow your cuttings.
The two methods that are being focused on are water propagation and soil propagation. Water propagation does turn into soil propagation, with an extra, yet cleaner, step. To decide what process is best for you, the two are explained below.
- This method is relatively easy. For water propagation, take your selected cuttings and place them into a container with water. Do not submerge the whole stem into the water – the end of the stem is the main part that needs to be covered. The reason behind this is that fully submerging the plant can prevent the stem from getting necessary oxygen.
- The water should be changed out every so often (especially if the water is becoming discolored).
- Eventually, these cuttings will begin to develop tiny roots. After the roots grow a bit, the cuttings can be transplanted to a pot with soil. Ensure that your plant is in a humid area, as the soil should stay damp. Adequate airflow is ideal, as humid, damp soil with poor airflow can cause mold to grow. After some time, the plant will begin sprouting and fully develop.
- For soil propagation, tip/stem cuttings are recommended but not required. Despite the cutting type that you use, cuttings should be planted into soil that drains very well. Cuttings need to be provided with a humid environment and moist soil.
How to Propagate Peperomia Cuttings:
- Take your cuttings. If using stem/tip, take roughly three-quarter inch cuttings.The fewer leaves on your stem-tip, the more strength the plant will have, due to there being less vegetation to support (this should not affect the fullness of your plant once it matures).
For Water Propagation
(if using soil propagation, skip the following two steps):
- Obtain a jar or other vessel that will hold water. Fill with water and place cutting into it. It will allow your cutting to begin growing rootsChange water every few days or when water becomes murky/discolored.
- Once roots begin to form and are a few centimeters long, repotting can take place.If there are signs of the roots beginning to rot before the desired length, begin transplant into soil. Root rot does not mean that the plant will not grow; chances are lessened but still there.
For Soil Propagation:
- When transplanting (or “planting” if using the soil propagation method), submerge the plant’s roots into a pot of soil.
Ensure that soil fully surrounds roots and that no air pockets are touching the roots.
Water your soil and leave the cutting alone.
- When soil becomes dry, water again.
Also, remember, while damp soil is ideal for cuttings, remember that a slightly water-deprived plant is easier to revive than an over-watered plant.
- After a few weeks to a month, you should see the plant progressing through its lifecycle!
Overall, peperomia is an excellent choice for a beginner plant – whether you purchase it as a mature plant or as a cutting. No matter how familiar you are with gardening, preparation and patience are needed most when propagating.
If you wish to propagate peperomia, ensure that your chosen species will do well, depending on the methods chosen. Again, the steps of propagating plants depend mostly on personal preference.
Plants take time to grow, so do not fret if you are not seeing results. Some cuttings will take at least six weeks even to begin forming roots.
Also, always remember, if your cuttings do not root or your plant does not survive, never be discouraged. Propagation is a game of chance, and it will not always turn out how one may hope.
Do a little more research, perhaps change some factors (such as lighting, soil type, moisture, etc.), and try again!