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A baby rubber plant is a beautiful addition to any home or office. However, they can be delicate and may require some special care. This blog post will provide the information you need to keep your baby rubber plant healthy and thriving!
What is a baby rubber plant?
The Peperomia obtusifolia, a native of South America, is a perennial blooming epiphyte plant. It survives in humid jungle regions where it makes use of the nutrients supplied by tree debris and the natural tropical setting.
The cultivars include dark green-leaved, variegated, and Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Albomarginata’ with yellowy gold and green marbled leaves.
The foliage and development style of this plant are the primary reasons for its appeal as an ornamental plant. The leaves are glossy peltate, with petioles that grow a few centimeters behind the main stems, which are somewhat rounded.
Leaves are fleshy and succulent, with thin non-woody stems. Most will reach a height of between 25 and 30 cm, which must be pruned at the tips to direct, stop, and promote development.
The flowers on the baby rubber plant are inconspicuous. From spring to autumn, white flower spikes with tiny white blooms may develop 8 cm above the leaves, however, they are non-showy and not as attractive as other Peperomias.
Care level and growing
The majority of the Peperomias are simple to cultivate indoors and in pots. Humidity and light are both crucial.
The Baby Rubber Plant thrives in direct sunshine. The rate of development will be slower if the light is insufficient.
Generally, it is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in subdued light. It may be grown in windowsills, greenhouses, and conservatories with appropriate care. When selecting an area indoors to cultivate Peperomia obtusifolia, the amount of light is crucial.
The fleshy leaves, stems, and roots of Peperomia obtusifolia are succulent in nature, storing water. This epiphytic plant should not be overwatered because it will succumb to root rot.
I water my plant almost dry before watering it again. It is watered once a week in the summer and every two to three weeks in the winter.
- Origin: South America.
- Names: Baby rubber plant, American rubber plant, Pepper face plant (common). Peperomia obtusifolia (botanical/scientific).
- Max Growth (approx): 25 – 30 cm tall.
- Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
- Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Albomarginata’
Keeping the Baby Rubber Plant Indoors
Temperature: Ideal temperatures of 65-75ºF (18-24ºC), and no lower than 50ºF (10ºC).
Light: For the variegated types, bright light (a few hours) and some direct sunlight may assist them to develop well. If the leaves are dark green in color, direct sun is not required, but if they are too dark, then they won’t thrive so indirect sunlight is the answer.
Watering: The Peperomia plant is rather simple to water. Allow the topsoil to dry out fully before watering thoroughly. This plant can be damaged by overwatering, so it’s better to err on the side of less rather than too much when you’re first starting to grow Peperomias.
During the winter, water only when necessary since the thick leaves hold a lot of water. Don’t get too worked up about the soil being dry because
Soil: A peat-based soil that drains well is ideal. A good combination is 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite or sand. Other mixtures should work, but the most important factor is for the medium to drain properly and be aerated adequately.
Repotting: Because this plant has a small root system, you will only have to repot it once or twice in the course of its life. It’s a good idea to replace the soil and, if necessary, the topsoil every year. Instead of moving up a size too quickly, it’s preferable to choose a smaller container than
Fertilizer: In the spring, feed the plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer once every two weeks, and once a month during the summer. Foliage will turn yellow in the fall.
Humidity: This species enjoys a humid climate. During the summer, mist the leaves and/or place the plant on a pebble tray with water at the bottom. If the air is not dry, most homes should be sufficient with its natural humidity.
Propagation: Take a few centimeters of stem tip cuttings is a simple method to propagate. With one or two leaves on it, remove a tip (petiole) with around 5 – 8 cm of length. Plant the cutting in a tiny pot, adding a new potting mix that’s moist, and attempt to maintain temperatures of about 20 degrees and bright light.
The baby rubber plant may also be propagated using leaf cuts, although variegated types may lose their variegation. You might want to test different leaves and stem tips to see what propagation technique works best for you. I’d suggest waiting a day for each group of leaves or stem tip cuttings before planting them. Wait for new growth and don’t overwater!
Trimming: If stems and leaves begin to overgrow, you may remove the top of certain branches to prevent development; alternatively, they will grow spindly and out of proportion. Try growing and trimming them to give them a bushy appearance to maintain their best form.
Problems with the plant
When a plant begins to wilt, the most common reason is lack of water. Overfertilizing and too much sunlight can also cause wilting. Limp leaves and stems might also be an indication of overwatering, but checking the soil for excess moisture or drought would be simple.
Pest control – Pesticides are not required for Peperomias, but fungal ailments can be harmful if the plant is overwatered.
Leaves are fading in color or losing variegation – Although lack of light is the most frequent reason, a deficiency in fertilizer may result in color loss.
The lack of blooming might be due to a lack of light or fertilizer.
Sudden Leaf Drop – a rapid temperature change or too much water are possible causes.
A great house plant to add
Peperomia plants are easy to maintain, but they require a little more attention than other houseplants. That being said, keeping your baby rubber plant healthy is not that difficult! A few simple steps can help you keep it looking its best for years to come. The most important thing you need to know is how to water and care for the Peperomias to get them through their first year of growth without too much hassle.