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Peperomia obtusifolia

Pronunciation: Pep-er-roh-mee-uh ob-too-sih-foh-lee-uh
Family: Piperaceae (pepper family)
Common Name: Blunt-leaved peperomia, marble peperomia, baby rubber plant, pepper face, florida peperomia, american rubber plant
Plant Type:
  • epiphyte, terrestrial
Height to: 6"-9"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid autumn
  • late autumn
Bloom Description: Blunt-leaved peperomia grows as a low shrubby looking creeping groundcover or as an epiphyte. It has vinelike elongated stems with leaves rising 6-9" above the soil or branch surface. Both stems and leaves are thick and fleshy with a smooth waxy surface. The minute greenish white flowers are tightly packed on slender 2-4" vertical spikes carried on hairy erect stems. The tiny smooth oval fruits develop partially embedded in the spike with their hooked beaks protruding from it.
Soil Type: Light, highly organic soil. A mix with lots of chipped bark and peat moss in it is ideal.
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: Peperomias are most easily propagated by division, but will also grow from stem or leaf cuttings.
Native to: The american tropics. It occurs in dense damp tropical hardwood forests and warm sheltered sloughs inside swamps on the caribbean islands and in south florida. The plants grow on stumps and tree trunks, in decaying wood and bark in the crevices of trees, or amongst logs and litter on the ground.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - this is a popular groundcover for tropical shade gardens or atriums, but it won't hold up where there is foot traffic. Blunt-leaved peperomia is one of the few plants that is really well suited to indoor life. It will adjust to steamy greenhouses and dry windowsills, and does fine with only indirect light. This species is recommended as a "clean air houseplant" to remove formaldehyde from indoor air. It is also suggested for landscaping vivarium habitats for captive tropical amphibians. Tolerance for muggy conditions makes it a good choice for bottle gardens too. Repot in early spring. Fertilize sparingly with a weak foliar spray. Avoid granular fertilizers that might burn the tender leaves. Peperomias are vulnerable to several diseases, which tend to spread rapidly through their succulent foliage. Plants with cercospora leaf spot have tan to black raised areas on the undersides of their leaves. Rhizoctonia leaf spot causes mushy dark brown to black irregular leaf spots with concentric raised and indented rings. Sometimes a web forms over the plants. Myrothecium leaf spots are watery areas of black and white rings that appears on wounded areas on the undersides of leaves. Phytophthora parasitica or pythium diseases cause the plants to rot at the soil line with mushy black tissue extending up into the leaves of the plants and down into the roots. The softened outer layers of the roots will then readily separate from the core. Sclerotium rolfsii causes a stem rot characterized by a brown mushy area with round tan brown spots and white fuzz at the soil line. Cuttings are especially vulnerable. Chemical treatments are available to control most of these diseases in the nursery, but home gardeners are probably wiser to throw out infected specimens and infected soil, and start over with clean pots and new plants. Slugs and snails can also cause serious problems on peperomias. warning blunt-leaved peperomia can be mildly toxic to some animals, but is generally considered safe around pets and children.
Seed photo: 0
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