Peperomias are old favorites that have gone in and out of fashion for decades, and they are enjoying a surge of attention. These small plants are perfect for modern living spaces and can thrive on a desktop, shelf, or windowsill. It’s a beautiful, diverse family that is wonderful to collect … as you’ll see from this list of my favorite Peperomia varieties!
There are many reasons why Peperomias are wonderful to collect. Here are just a few;
- Peperomias are typically undemanding and hardy as long as you don’t overwater them.
- They are small plants that seldom exceed a foot in height, so you can have many in a limited space.
- Peperomias have a fascinating array of stem patterns and leaf shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and growth styles.
- Their temperature requirements are perfect for growing indoors.
- Many are tolerant of low humidity – some even prefer it!
- Many Peperomias can adapt to a range of light conditions, including lower light situations. They do well in artificial lighting, too.
- Their typical growing season is during the winter when most plants are sitting dull and dormant in their pot.
- Most Peperomia varieties are extremely easy to propagate.
- Most varieties grow rather slowly, so they don’t quickly overtake your space or require frequent repotting.
- Peperomia are non-toxic to children and pets.
What are you waiting for?
Types of Peperomia
Unlike many plant families, not all Peperomia varieties share the same care requirements. There are groups within the genus that overlap with others:
- Epiphytic Peperomia have small root systems that are easily overwhelmed by overwatering. It’s easy to assume they need moist soil because they are tropical, but it will kill them quickly. Rosette types are in this category; for example, the famous “Watermelon” Peperomia. Many of this group enjoy extra humidity but adjust to living without it.
- Peperomias from higher elevations need stronger light than others, though they also need extremely well-draining soil and judicious watering. They often have fat, folded leaves. This group includes highland oddballs like the “Happy Bean” Ferreyrae and Columella … they do well in a sunny window with mild morning or late afternoon direct sun.
- Peperomias with two-toned leaves have darker undersides that conserve light: these tend to tolerate lower illumination. In fact, their color can fade if the light is too strong.
- Humidity-loving Peperomias are uncommon, but tuberous varieties actually need high humidity levels and consistently moist soil.
When it comes to Peperomias, don’t make assumptions! Always research your species.
50 Stunning Peperomia Varieties
The 50 Peperomia species and cultivars on this list are loosely ranked by availability, but keep in mind this varies dramatically depending upon your area. The ranking incidentally equates to expense but doesn’t relate at all to the difficulty of care … many rare Peperomia varieties are as easy to keep as the most common.
Popular variations and common or superseded names are included, but note that Peperomia names can be confusing. Retailer influence and extensive hybridization over the decades mean that many Peperomias don’t have a precisely defined lineage.
If you’d like to add to your collection of Peperomias, buying online is a great option. They ship really well and the variety available is so much better than anything I can find locally. Click here to see the beautiful selection of Peperomias available from Etsy (link to Etsy).
1. Peperomia Argyreia (syn: Sandersii)
This flashy variety, aka the Watermelon Peperomia, tops the charts in popularity and instant appeal. No one has to explain this plant’s attraction. The glossy green leaves are delightfully evocative of their common namesake, with stunning, off-center silver veins and red stems colored like the inside of a watermelon.
This bestselling Peperomia actually isn’t the easiest species for newcomers to keep, though it’s not truly difficult. The leaves are quite succulent; let the top two inches of soil dry out before rewatering. It likes a bright environment and appreciates humidity but will go without.
This is one of the most common Peperomia varieties, so you won’t have trouble finding it locally. It’s everywhere online. A variegated version is available and also quite common.
2. Peperomia Obtusifolia
This well-loved species has attractively rounded foliage on thick stems that grow in a slight zigzag pattern up to a foot long. The semi-succulent leaves are shiny and smooth.
The Obtusifolia is a wonderful beginner’s Peperomia. It loves bright indirect light but can tolerate a shady spot … it adapts to almost everything except overwatering. It would prefer not to be repotted frequently, though, and is generally best left in its nursery pot.
This longtime favorite is common enough to be found in local garden centers. Sometimes called a Baby Rubber Plant, each specimen is individualistic. There are in-demand cultivars with variegation, too.
3. Peperomia Orba
Commonly called the Teardrop Peperomia, this popular trailing variety stays perky and fresh year-round. It maxes out at about six inches tall and wide, so it won’t overgrow your space. The smallish oval leaves are shiny and slightly fuzzy with crisp indentation along the midrib.
This is an easy to care for semi-succulent: but beware overwatering! It prefers bright indirect light but is hardy overall.
Peperomia Orba is one of the most common and inexpensive Peperomia varieties – it has launched many collections. Popular hybrids include the Pixie Lime, Astrid, and Variegata.
4. Peperomia Ferreyrae
The friendly and unique ‘Happy Bean’ Peperomia produces a cheery cluster of green bean-shaped foliage. It stays compact and doesn’t need humidity, making it a great desktop choice.
The Ferreyrae is on the succulent side of the Peperomia family, so give it good light and let it dry a bit between waterings. It’s an average grower that doesn’t mind a small pot, but make extra-sure the soil is porous and never becomes sodden.
This is a very easy-to-find species … many gardeners don’t even realize it’s a Peperomia! It’s a great choice to add diversity to your collection.
5. ‘Hope’ Peperomia
This delicate looking plant is actually quite robust. It trails with pink- to orange-hued stems and has round, semi-succulent leaves.
The ‘Hope’ Peperomia likes bright conditions but fades and turns dull if the light is too intense. If you want to kill it quickly, keep the soil moist. Otherwise it will survive benign neglect.
This patented cultivar is widely available. It is a classic example of a vigorous hybrid that goes on to greater stardom than its progenitors – in this case, the Peperomias Quadrifolia and Deppeana. It’s sometimes confused with the lesser-known trailing species Teraphylla (and also with Rotundifolia and Pecunifolia).
6. Peperomia ‘Ruby Cascade’
The small, rounded foliage of this fast-growing stem plant is green on top and red-hued below, making it a splashy, colorful hanging plant. The stems start upright and topple as they grow to over two feet long – longer than most trailing Peperomias. It’s one of the faster growing Peperomia varieties.
The ‘Ruby Cascade’ is adaptable to a range of light. It likes bright conditions but bleaches in intense light; it will stretch if the illumination is low but can still look nice. It’s a great set-and-forget (and watch grow) variety. The soil should dry out between waterings; it’s a great choice for arid interiors because it doesn’t require humidity.
The ‘Ruby Cascade’ is probably a hybrid, but its lineage isn’t well documented. That hasn’t stopped buyers: it’s especially popular and common in North America.
7. Peperomia Tetragona (syn: P. Puteolata)
Commonly called the Parallel Peperomia, this memorable variety has almond-shaped leaves with crisp, alternating thin stripes of green and off-white that run alongside the midvein. The long, sturdy stems are orange-hued.
The Tetragona has semi-tropical characteristics and doesn’t mind higher humidity, but it can adapt to average levels. It likes bright, indirect light but handles medium conditions too.
In spite of its precise, clean-cut presentation, this is not a picky plant. It grows upright until the stems are long enough to topple over, so it can be grown as a short, manicured bush or a hanging plant. The Tetragona has received a surge of attention in recent years and is becoming more common.
8. Peperomia Graveolens
Also called a ‘Ruby Glow’ for its vibrant, red-hued undersides, this distinctive and popular variety features fat, canoe-shaped leaves and an upright growth pattern.
The Graveolens is easy to maintain, but it likes higher light than most Peperomias and is highly susceptible to root rot. Usually mass-produced and sold in small pots, it’s a relatively fast grower.
This is actually a rare plant in the wild that has proliferated through older cuttings to become widely available. Be aware that its indistinct rat-tail flowers give off an earthy odor some growers find distasteful in close quarters.
9. Peperomia Clusiifolia
This compact tri-color variety shares the form and care of the Obtusfolia but has wavy and elongated leaves. It comes in several variegation patterns, but cultivars commonly feature a white leaf edging fronted by a rosy blush … which accounts for its common name, the ‘Red Edge’ Peperomia.
The Clusiifolia is a good beginner’s plant and does fine with typical care for succulent Peperomias. The foliage colors up most strongly in bright (indirect) light.
This is a rather love it or hate it plant: some dislike the messy growth and muddy tinting, but others love their wacky leaves and pastel coloration. The lovers are clearly winning as this plant continues to trend upwards in popularity.
This is an excellent species to add variety to your collection, and it’s easy to find in most areas. Often it can be found under other common names, including the Jelly, Tricolor, and Ginny Peperomia.
10. Peperomia Caperata
This bold species has highly textured, deeply corrugated leaves and a full, overflowing growth habit. It is an old favorite that’s back in fashion with many stunning hybrids featuring red tones and other variations. Quirky, decorative rat-tail flowers are a highlight of some cultivars.
The Caperata is a sculptural plant with a detailed, high-end look. It stays compact and its care is uncomplicated: it thrives with regular semi-succulent Peperomia care. It appreciates higher humidity but adapts to less. They do well in low light and are excellent for desktop or bookshelf duty.
This handsome plant has become one of the most common Peperomia varieties and has a catalog of outstanding cultivars. The ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Emerald Ripple’ are former favorites. ‘Napoli Nights’ and ‘Moonlight’ are popular and the ‘Pink Lady’ cultivar is trending. Other in-demand varieties are the ‘Rosso,’ ‘Abricos,’ and ‘Luna Red.’
11. Peperomia Albovittata
The stunning ‘Piccolo Banda’ cultivar has helped this species skyrocket in demand. This particularly memorable variety is textured with reddish, longitudinally indented veins on a pointed oval leaf. Its long upright petioles are colored in shades of tan to rose.
The plant does well in a range of light and will usually cope with lower light, but it does appreciate brightness. It is the same with humidity – it likes higher levels but can make do with less. The leaves are semi-succulent; avoid using peat in the soil. Caution: The stems snap easily!
Another common name for Peperomia Albovittata is Peacock Peperomia; it’s sometimes sold as the Ivy Leaf, but so are several other species. The chart-topping ‘Piccolo Banda’ is easy to find in most areas; the ‘Rana Verde,’ ‘Rosso,’ and ‘Emerald’ cultivars are also popular.
12. Peperomia Rubella
This Jamaican desktop gem features petite foliage on sturdy, scarlet stems. Each fleshy leaf is green on top and red below. It grows to only four to six inches before falling over to become a trailing plant, but it’s easily kept upright with simple pruning.
The Rubella likes diffuse light and to dry a bit between waterings, but it is more tolerant of moist soil and humidity than most. Its small size, unobtrusive growth habit, and adaptability make this an excellent terrarium specimen.
Sometimes called the Itsy Bitsy Peperomia, the Rubella has been increasing in availability in recent months. It is also sold as Peperomia Cubensis.
13. Peperomia Axillaris
The bright green foliage of this species looks like a stack of bean pods. It resembles a fatter-leaved version of Ferreyrae or Dolabriformis, but the Axillaris can grow taller than those lookalikes, reaching about ten inches high.
If you let your Axillaris grow upward into a bean stalk, so to speak, it tends to lose its lower foliage and leave a tight cluster of foliage at the top of the stem. If you don’t favor this look, proper light and watering help slow the process.
Full stems arch and topple over once they get too tall to stand upright. Since an Axillaris can be gangly and awkward as a hanging plant, many growers trim the plant to keep it in a bushlike form.
This isn’t usually a hard Peperomia to find, but be sure to buy from a reputable vendor. It’s easy to confuse this species with similar-looking Peperomia varieties.
14. Peperomia Perciliata
This unusual Peperomia has small, heart-shaped, fuzzy leaves and reddish trailing stems. Its tight growth pattern of multiple stems with close-set, dark-green, oval leaves make this an excellent hanging specimen. The prolific stems tangle naturally, making it an excellent ground cover too.
The Perciliata is one of the minority of Peperomias with desirable blooms: its attractive, inch-long white flowers carry a pleasing fragrance. It is considered endemic to Panama and Columbia.
The species thrives with typical Peperomia care. It grows well in medium light and tends to yellow or bleach out under intense illumination. It can handle humidity and does well in terrariums.
This species has been popular with collectors for some time and has been gaining commercial attention … it is showing up in local garden shops and can usually be found online. It’s sometimes confused with the similar-looking Fagerlindii, an endangered species from Ecuador.
15. Peperomia Incana
If you’re a lover of velvety plants, take notice – the Incana is commonly known as the Felted Pepperface and it lives up to the name. The succulent, round leaves are covered with pelt-like fuzz that gives the plant a special white shine in certain angles of light. Even the extra-thick stems are fuzzy.
The plant grows best and stays compact in bright conditions. It burns in steady direct sun but can thrive in dappled shade if given time to acclimate.
The plant is prevalent online, though it’s not as common in local shops. It’s sometimes called a Peperomia Hovaria. This wonderful plant is great fun to “pet” … it’s a no-brainer for anyone who likes fuzzy plants.
16. Peperomia Quadrangularis
This is a favorite Peperomia for its easy good looks: it sports faint pinstripes on small oval leaves and features squared, semi-succulent stems. The foliage stripes are lighter green over a dusky green background and can darken with reddish hues in strong light.
Also known as Angulata or Beetle Peperomia, this semi-succulent species is a slow-growing epiphyte without extensive roots; it can thrive in an undersized pot. Its stems grow from eight inches to a foot. Keep the mix well-draining and water carefully.
This well-established, widely available species should be easy to find. There are flashy variegated cultivars, too. With multiple plants together in one pot, the Quadrangularis can grow into an extravagant show-stopper.
17. Peperomia Prostrata
The Prostata is a reddish-stemmed trailing plant with small, round, fat leaves covered with a shiny translucence. The springy, red-hued stems produce a hanging masterpiece over time.
Its original form is uniformly green across the leaf surface and is commonly sold as a Pepperspot – but a variegated form called the ‘String of Turtles’ is one of the trendiest Peperomias to emerge recently. Its round foliage has an exotic mottling that resembles a turtle’s back.
The Prostrata isn’t a fast grower but will thrive in bright indirect light and produce full vines. It appreciates some organic material in its mix, but it’s no less prone to overwatering than any Peperomia.
The String of Turtles was quite uncommon and pricey until recently, but they’ve become much more affordable and easy to find. The all-green Pepperspot is available but there is less frenzy in its demand.
18. Peperomia Serpens (syn: Scandens)
For the Philodendron lover who has everything, this perky vining variety is easily mistaken for a Heartleaf Philodendron (or Pothos!). The Serpens, or Cupid Peperomia, is a charming plant for many of the same reasons.
Just be sure not to mistake this variety for an actual Philodendron – it won’t tolerate the moist soil or dim corners that its famous lookalike will. Remember to treat the Serpens like the Peperomia it is.
In all fairness, growers insist this species looks different than a Philodendron in real life … and it’s a sure conversation starter that can open people’s eyes to the fabulous diversity of the Peperomia clan.
There is a lovely variegated variety, too, with white to cream or yellow splotchy margins on the leaves. Both versions are available, but you might have more of a search to find the original all-green species.
19. Peperomia Dolabriformis
This small, succulent variety is native to the Peruvian Andes, where it lives epiphytically in rocky fissures and trees. The plant has stubby, folded, canoe-like leaves that resemble those of the Ruby Glow, Happy Bean, and others of this type. It produces a semi-woody stem as it matures.
The Dolabriformis doesn’t like bright, intense illumination. In fact, to restrict sunlight, the leaves are formed with opaque lips and have only a narrow translucent gap to receive light. It’s well adapted to dry conditions, so treat it like a true succulent in matters of moisture.
This is a sturdy Peperomia that, while popular, is somewhat overlooked in favor of trendier varieties. It is still a distinctive species and offers subtle variety in a collection. The eye-catching Maxi cultivar has thinner and more closed lips.
20. Peperomia Rotundifolia
This adorable Peperomia produces vines carrying small, fuzzy, round leaves with subtle light veining. The stems grow upright when short and will create a full, bushy pot if planted with multiple specimens and kept trimmed. If allowed to grow long, the stems will trail from the pot and gradually intertwine to form a thick drape.
Peperomia Rotundifolia somewhat resembles the famous Jade Plant: its semi-succulent leaves, low water requirements, and easy care have prompted the common names Trailing Jade and Jade Necklace. It’s sometimes sold as a Pecunifolia.
The Rotundifolia is also often mistakenly labeled a ‘Hope’ Peperomia, the patented cultivar listed above. Though similar, the Rotundifolia species is fuller and has smaller leaves than the ‘Hope’ but is less common.
21. Peperomia Verschaffeltii
This little Brazilian gem is visually a dwarf Watermelon Peperomia. Also called the “Sweetheart Peperomia,” it has oval, fuzzy, bluish-green leaves with wide bands of silver on their surface. The red-tinted stems remain compact with overlapping leaves that grow in a rosette pattern.
The Verschaffeltii seldom grows taller than six inches. It blooms in thick spikes that resemble a Peace Lily’s spathe (but green instead of white). The plant’s care is similar to the larger Watermelon species and rots just as easily. Porous soil is a must.
A lovely desktop Peperomia in its own right, collectors who find the mass-market Watermelon a bit too common may appreciate this diminutive variation. It’s a specialty plant but is widely available online.
22. Peperomia Kimnachii
This unusual Bolivian variety has elongated, semi-succulent leaves that form upright clusters around the leaf nodes. The otherwise sparse, dramatic stems have a reddish tint concentrated around each node.
As unlike the rest of its family as the Kimnachii may appear, it’s a classic Peperomia in terms of care. The amount of light affects the distance between leaf clusters … it will stretch in low light to the point that not many gardeners could guess it was a Peperomia. It grows more compactly in stronger light but will bleach if it’s too bright.
This strikingly decorative plant is becoming ever more sought-after as it gains exposure. Its availability depends upon your area.
23. Peperomia Verticillata
This outstanding variety is also called the Red Log or Belly Button Peperomia. The plant produces four fuzzy, small, oval leaves per cluster on a stem that grows upright until drooping under its own weight. Each leaf is plain green on top and glowing red below. It’s a bit larger than many Peperomias.
Peperomia verticillata can look very different depending upon how it’s grown. If you give it strong light and keep it trimmed, it will gradually form a full, two-toned bush. It will stretch in low light to produce longer, sparse, trailing stems … in this form, you can let the plant ramble or support it with a stake or trellis.
The semi-succulent Verticillata isn’t a fan of high humidity. It is touchy about overwatering but otherwise uncomplicated.
The two-toned color contrast of the leaves can make this plant startlingly beautiful. It’s become quite trendy in some areas as word is getting out. Its availability varies.
24. Peperomia Polybotrya
This cute oddity features shiny, teardrop-shaped, green leaves arrayed on short and sturdy stems. It’s large for a Peperomia, growing to a foot tall, and has a naturally open bush structure. Mature leaves can grow to almost six inches wide!
The Polybotrya is commonly called the Raindrop or Coin-leaf Peperomia. It has an interesting floral style, too, with a single fat, floppy spike emerging from the center of its leaves. The smooth leaf cupping the spike looks like an attractive green bract.
Despite its tropical appearance, the semi-succulent Polybotrya shares the Peperomia aversion to moist soil. It’s an epiphyte that needs extremely loose, well-draining soil. Read my article about making and choosing houseplant soil to learn more.
This former specialty Peperomia has increased in availability in many markets, specifically in Europe. It is gradually becoming more common elsewhere.
25. Peperomia Elongata
This feature-rich, energetic variety is trying to please everyone. It has wavy, ribbon-like, succulent foliage and grows larger than a desktop Peperomia. Its foliage is shiny and smooth on top and furry below. Each leaf has a white center midrib and lesser side veins that fade as they reach the tip.
Wait, there’s more! The stems are fuzzy too, and have an intriguing red mottling similar to the Obtusifolia. Its spiky inflorescences are prominent and have a vivid maroon color.
The Elongata is a succulent-type Peperomia that doesn’t tolerate overwatering but appreciates bright indirect light; it can decline quickly in dimmer conditions. It adjusts well to different humidity levels.
This species can be hard to find, and it’s even harder to exactly identify it from similar cultivars or related Peperomia varieties. It is endemic to a huge range throughout South America and has subforms that await further clarification, so be sure your seller is knowledgeable.
26. Peperomia Griseo-Argentea
This attractive, wrinkled-leaf Peperomia recalls a colorful form of Caperata, but its semi-succulent leaves are more rippled and less deeply ridged. The leaves are heart-shaped and the coloration is silvery or gray as its name suggests. Pinkish tones are common on young leaves, which tend to become more flecked with gray as they mature.
The Griseo-Agentea is a sizeable plant that grows in a rosette pattern and can reach a foot high. It has rather ornamental flower spikes with tiny flowers. The plant does well in medium to fairly bright indirect light.
This is a likeable and highly individualistic variety with a lot of personality. It’s often sold under the common names Ivy, Platinum or Silver Leaf Peperomia. It has many attractive cultivars: the ‘Pink Lady’ and ‘Pink Marble’ are popular.
27. Peperomia Nivalis
This fine-leaved Peperomia has fat, folded leaves and a classic “window strip” on top. It only reaches six inches tall; if allowed to grow longer, it topples to become a spreading creeper. Its beautiful red stems make a decorative latticed background to the bright green foliage.
The sap of the Nivalis has the scent of anise, but the non-descript flowers are said to smell rather badly – happily, the blooms are small and the odor isn’t overpowering.
The Nivalis is a succulent type that likes drying out between waterings. It can adjust to a range of light but does best in brighter conditions.
This is a wonderful folded-leaf version that remains a compact desk plant with just a few occasional snips. You don’t see this species in supermarkets, but it’s usually available online.
28. Peperomia Maculosa
Here’s an entry for Peperomias that don’t look like one of the family … the Maculosa looks more like an aroid. Its large, almond-shaped leaves would ordinarily belong to a much bigger plant. The Peperomia magic comes through in the elegantly tapered foliage that features straight, delicate lines of white veining on its surface.
The Maculosa is also called the Cilantro Peperomia or Dwarf Pepper for the spicy fragrance of its blooms. It’s a low-growing, trailing epiphyte that happily accepts a supporting trellis. Its foliage is semi-succulent.
This plant has gotten attention in recent years and is becoming more available in some places, but it’s still a specialty plant. Its specific care is still being determined, so it’s not the ideal first Peperomia in your collection.
29. Peperomia Columella
This is an exceptionally exciting semi-succulent that grows in a unique columnar form. The stems are hidden by the tiny, overlapping, triangular leaves; it resembles a miniature dragon scale plant. The spiky columns grow upward and gradually fall over to trail. The yellow flowers are shorter and fatter than a typical Peperomia.
The Columella is a slow-growing succulent type that originates from stony landscapes in Peru, so it needs to be kept dry to prevent rot. It can handle strong indirect light but doesn’t require it.
This wonderful variety is becoming rare in nature, so make sure you select a sustainable garden source not harvested from the wild. This is, of course, assuming you can find it!
30. Peperomia Trinervis
The thick, almond-shaped leaves of this striking species have clean, white, parallel venation over a green surface and features maroon-hued undersides. The eye-catching foliage droops attractively and glints in the light. Its trailing green stems have bands of burgundy at the nodes.
The Trinervis needs a bit more moisture than most Peperomias … the “Taco Test” is especially helpful to know when this variety needs water. It’s a great variety for terrariums, but it needs bright indirect light to avoid sluggish growth and thinning out.
Though the Trinervis has a unique look among Peperomias, it does bear a family resemblance. It is sometimes sold as its synonym, Leuconeura, but locating one by any name is a lucky find.
31. Peperomia Pereskiifolia
This lush little epiphyte is a creeping Peperomia with a lot of pizzazz. Its lovely pointed, oval leaves are lightly ridged and arrayed on thick, semi-succulent, springy stems. The leaf nodes are widely spaced and its growth pattern is open and outward in all directions, giving the plant a cheery, kinetic energy.
The Pereskiifolia’s red stems start to trail as it grows heavy with leaves. New foliage has an attractive red border that fades with maturity. It’s an easy keeper as long as you match its watering to the light conditions.
This plant is more available in some areas than others, but it’s worthwhile to hunt down. It makes a great beginner Peperomia and can grow into a spectacular hanging centerpiece.
32. Peperomia Dahlstedtii
This long-stemmed beauty is reminiscent of the Tetragona for its longitudinal striping on the leaf surface. The Dahlstedtii is more succulent than its doppelganger, however, and has a springier growth pattern and greater color variation. The sturdy stems trail as they lengthen but remain stiff enough to splay outward from the plant.
Make doubly certain this variety’s substrate is light and well-draining. The Dahlstedtii is an epiphyte with an especially small root system that is easily drowned in heavy, holding soil.
This is definitely a collector’s Peperomia, but it can be found in many specialty shops and online sources.
33. Peperomia Glabella
Otherwise known as the Cypress or Privet Peperomia, this rugged beauty features waxy leaves on sturdy, trailing reddish stems. It grows to a sizeable 10 inches tall and wide. Each tapered oval leaf is individually colored from light to gray-green; some forms include cream or yellow variegation.
The Glabella is versatile and can grow either as an epiphyte or terrestrial plant. Watering can be a little inconsistent as long as you don’t overwater and give it a light, loamy soil that doesn’t hold much moisture. It can adapt to a variety of lighting.
Perhaps because it is larger than many popular Peperomia varieties, the Glabella is a bit overlooked, especially considering its wide distribution throughout Central America. It isn’t rare, even if it isn’t in high demand; it makes a wonderful beginner’s variety.
34. Peperomia Metallica
There are many natural variations of this spectacular Peperomia, but they all have leaves with a striking sheen. The most well-known form has deep-dark green leaves with burgundy-colored undersides. It grows in a bushier form than many Peperomias.
This is good plant for a spot with medium light. It’s generally tolerant of average humidity, but its smaller, less succulent forms prefer higher levels.
Many highly sought-after Metallica varieties haven’t been formally described and aren’t consistently available. The dark green form is often sold as a Metallica SP; the Colombiana with tri-colored foliage is quite trendy.
35. Peperomia La Laja Trace
This dainty Peperomia is an adorable desktop plant. Their long stems have petite leaves with subtle black variegation that shimmers in the right angle of light. It produces short, green inflorescences that stay tidy even in full bloom.
This is a market newcomer native to the maritime climate of the islands of Tobago and Trinidad, where there are two seasons: wet and dry. While the exact care of this plant is still being determined, it isn’t finicky and seems happy with typical Peperomia care. It is excellent for terrariums.
Peperomia La Laja Trace is showing up in specialty shops but is still becoming established. It’s already popular with collectors.
36. Peperomia Japonica
This cheerful emerald-green epiphyte makes a wonderfully bushy hanging plant. It has a myriad of tiny, oval, succulent leaves on cascading stems. It originated in South Asia, hence the name.
Peperomia Japonica thrives with typical semi-succulent Peperomia care in regards to watering and humidity, but it can also adapt to higher humidity: it does well in a terrarium. It needs bright indirect light that may include some morning or late afternoon sun … it lets you know if the light is too low by growing leggy.
This variety isn’t in the spotlight and can be hard to locate in some areas, but it’s a friendly Peperomia that can grow into a memorable fountain of leaves.
37. Peperomia Rugosa ‘Aussie Gold’
This sensational cultivar has gold-colored foliage and red venation. Yes, gold. Its broad, heart-shaped leaves are arrayed around a reddish thick central stem.
The term rugosa indicates a wrinkled variety, so this Peperomia is a potential favorite of those who love textured plants. There is a lovely, if less striking, all-green rugosa, too.
This variety has a huge range of availability. Though common in Australia, the ‘Aussie Gold’ is much more scarce in the northern hemisphere. If you love this plant’s look and your local market is bare, consider searching for a similar variety with an orange cast called ‘Harmony’s Great Pumpkin.’
38. Peperomia Antoniana
Here’s a special little oddity: it has spots! The round leaves grow to just one inch wide and are covered with a light speckling of silver dots. The foliage is generally dark and fuzzy, but there are variations. Overall, it’s reminiscent of a tiny, exotic Begonia.
The Antoniana is a desktop gem that only grows about six inches tall. It can handle a range of humidity and is a great terrarium candidate. It doesn’t like water on its leaves, so go easy on misting.
This spotted variety will certainly diversify any Peperomia collection. It has been bobbing around the margins of availability and seems to be gaining exposure, but it’s likely to require a search.
39. Peperomia Fraseri
If you are daunted by the Peperomia family’s overall lack of beautiful flowers, Peperomia Fraseri is coming to your rescue. It has attractive stiff, heart-shaped green leaves with a rippling texture and bold, red-hued stems – but it also blooms freely with attractive white “bottle-brush” flower spikes. The flowers even have a light, pleasant fragrance.
The Frasieri requires the care of a typical semi-succulent Peperomia. It’s a large upright variety that can reach a foot and a half tall … it’s sure to grab attention in your collection.
Also called the Ivy-Leaf Pepper or Flowering Peperomia, this species is wonderful as a standalone plant, too. The Fraseri receives less press than it should, but it’s been trending in collector circles and demand is perking up. Its availability varies.
40. Peperomia Ecuador SP
This species hasn’t yet been officially described, but collectors are quite excited about it. It’s a compact variety with dark green-maroon foliage. The heart-shaped leaves have deeply incised venation that makes the surface appear rippled.
It’s easy to grow, too, but it likes more moisture than most desktop Peperomias – it’s an excellent terrarium variety. Don’t let this one dry out!
The most difficult part of owning this Ecuadorian gem is tracking it down. Also sold as a Banos, it may be a form or cousin of Prostrata or Trinervis … without formal identification, it isn’t yet known. It’s one of many new Peperomia varieties from this area that are waiting for exact nomenclature.
41. Peperomia Hoffmannii
This very attractive trailing Peperomia has small, rounded, bright green leaves that drape gracefully from its container. The growth pattern is the main attraction: the cascades of leaves are so full that the pot will eventually disappear beneath a curtain of green. Its tiny flower spikes are a cute accent.
Peperomia Hoffmannii is a bit of a diva, though. The delicate foliage can dry and turn yellow if the light is intense, but it appreciates bright conditions just the same. An eastern or western exposure works if the direct sunlight it receives is sufficiently mild. The plant also does well under artificial illumination.
Things can get more complicated with watering: it’s not quite a succulent, but it won’t appreciate much moisture in the soil. Of course, it will self-destruct if there’s too little.
In the trade, this is often sold as the Peperomia sp. ‘Isabelle’ … and it’s becoming a darling on the market. This would seem difficult to pull off, since the plant is practically unobtainable; but, it will almost certainly start appearing in more specialty shops.
42. Peperomia Hutchisonii
One common response to being told this variety is a Peperomia is alarm. Others love it, though. The plant looks like verdant living coral or, less charitably, a pile of botanical clams. It’s of the folded-leaf variety with a grey-green, highly textured surface that looks like the skin of a toad.
Even if it doesn’t look like a Peperomia, its care is quite standard for the higher-altitude varieties. The Hutchisonii’s strange makeup means it can handle higher light … but it won’t hesitate to rot in moist conditions.
If you’re really looking to diversify your collection, this oddity will do it. This distinctive Peperomia is getting a surge of attention, but you’ll probably have to search for it.
43. Peperomia Asperula
This cute, slow-growing, folded-leaf variety stands taller than its visual cousin, Dolabriformis. The semi-succulent, taco-shaped foliage has a slender brown margin and is lighter green along the interior of each leaf.
The Asperula can adjust to brighter light than many Peperomia varieties; however, they are happier if the source is diffuse. Otherwise, treat it like any succulent type of Peperomia.
This is a collector’s species that will appeal especially to lovers of folded leaves. It’s not easy to find or quite trendy yet, but it has been getting more attention.
44. Peperomia ‘Bamboo Stalks’
This remarkable Peperomia produces groups of upright stems that develop into what looks like a miniature stand of bamboo. As the plant matures, older leaves fall from the raised leaf nodes to leave the stem’s knotty segments visible.
The plant isn’t difficult to keep, but it does best in bright light. It reaches only about eight inches high before refocusing its energy on growing new offsets.
Apparently, the Bamboo Stalks Peperomia was sold directly to market upon discovery in the wild, for it hasn’t been officially classified yet. It’s a mass-market contender that’s getting a lot of attention – which is why retailers are leapfrogging the botanists.
45. Peperomia Fagerlindii
This delicate Peperomia has teeny-tiny, rounded leaves and purplish stems. It can make a lovely carpeting groundcover in a terrarium or a curtain of hanging green. Each semi-succulent leaf is barely a half-inch long and a quarter-inch wide.
Peperomia Fagerlindii can tolerate humidity but does fine in average conditions. Growers report success when keeping the soil moister than a typical Peperomia prefers, but this could be due to the plant simply adjusting to its care. Overall, this is not considered a demanding houseplant.
Word is slowly getting around about this sweet, miniature trailing Peperomia, but it’s still definitely a specialty item.
46. Peperomia Eburnea
This handsome trailing Peperomia features heart-shaped leaves that taper to an elegant, tulip-like tip. Each small leaf features a prominent white mid-vein which makes the foliage stand out among rambling, red-hued stems.
Peperomia Eburnea is apparently from Guatemala, but its exact requirements are still being explored. They do well in terrariums, but it’s unclear whether they enjoy humidity or simply can tolerate it.
This rare species is a sleeper on the market but its beauty has growers seeking more information. Because of the lack of care specifics, this is a plant best kept by experienced Peperomia collectors … especially those with a talent for hunting down rare Peperomia varieties.
47. Peperomia Bangroana
This tiny-stemmed trailing variety has delicate, petite leaves that form a mass of intricate green foliage. It looks very similar to a small Rotundifolia: the only sure way to definitively tell them apart is to measure their flower spikes and peduncles.
It’s important to correctly identify the species, however: Peperomia Bangroana is native to Africa, while the Rotundifolia is originally from Central and South America. Their cultivation is different. The Bangroana needs high humidity, unlike most other Peperomia varieties, but it can be successfully kept as a terrarium plant.
This plant evokes a primordial atmosphere in the steamy conditions it needs to thrive. Though it is a specialty variety that’s difficult to find, if you offer the right conditions it can be quite rewarding.
48. Peperomia Caespitosa
This charming species has tiny leaves that start out round and elongate as they mature, forming a unique and energetic mini-showpiece. The leaves are less than a half-inch wide even when fully mature. It has colorful red stems and mottled maroon venation.
Comparatively little is known about Peperomia Caespitosa’s specific cultivation, but indications are that it’s not difficult. It is successfully grown as a terrarium plant, so it has a need or tolerance for humidity. Take normal precautions with watering.
Peperomia Caespitosa is generally considered a slow-grower, but the real downside to this plant is that it’s so hard to find as it’s one of the more rare Peperomia varieties.
49. Peperomia Vestida var. Liadensis
No experienced grower will be surprised at the diversity of Peperomia, but this one tries to impress anyway: it looks like a tree! A rather short, potted one, yes – but a thick-trunked, tropical tree nevertheless.
The rounded, oval leaves are a little over three inches long and grow directly from the central stem. As the plant ages, it tends to lose its lower leaves and assume a classic tree form. You can, of course, help speed the process via pruning.
There aren’t many care tips to offer on this elusive species, but it’s sure not to like being overwatered and to appreciate bright, indirect light.
This special Peperomia is theoretically available, more so in Europe than North America, but be prepared for a search.
50. Peperomia Monticola
Our wrap-up entry is from a lesser-known group: the tuberous Peperomia. This adorable dwarf plant has smooth, round leaves that crowd like tiny lily pads atop thin, upright stems.
The pale flower spikes are also interesting and attractive, especially for a Peperomia. They are thick and flecked with tiny green flowers, clustering together as miniature columns that rise above the foliage. The entire look of the plant is transformed when it blooms.
The plant’s exact care isn’t well documented (or known), but it’s described as an African native that lives in elevated mist forests and the lava fields of Upper Guinea – it’s basically from another world than our homes provide. It survives epiphytically on rocky terrain.
Peperomia Monticola is a synonym for the Peperomia Vulcanica, and it’s scarce even in dedicated collectors’ circles. This is one for experienced Peperomia growers looking to take their collection beyond the outer limits.
Peperomia History And Care Tips
Having highlighted all that the Peperomia genus has to offer, I’ll finish with some general comments about Peperomias, and a few care tips to keep your plants thriving.
There are over 1500 known species of Peperomias, originating largely throughout Central and South America, with a scattered few from Africa, South Asia, and the West Indies. Peperomias are an older, primitive genus, which accounts for their dispersal and diversity.
There are some generalities to be made, however. Most Peperomias are perennials prized for their fleshy foliage. Their flowers tend to be plain “rat-tail” spikes – many species bloom unnoticed by their keepers. Peperomias tend to be semi-succulent and compact with relatively thick stems and are generally intolerant of cold temperatures.
Dubbed the Radiator Plant by the American horticulturist Liberty Bailey (1858-1954), Peperomias have never seized center stage the way other desirable houseplants have. This may be due to their usual lack of attractive flowers or because they perish in the moist conditions other tropicals demand. Or perhaps many people don’t realize that an eye-catching plant is a Peperomia!
Peperomias aren’t easy plants to intuit because their needs are a bit different than most tropical houseplants. They are usually low-maintenance and hardy once you understand their specific needs.
Most Peperomia varieties should be kept in bright, indirect sunlight and given consistently warm temperatures. The vast majority need well-draining potting soil that never stays soggy. Most are tolerant of average humidity, though this varies. They thrive on light fertilization when actively growing.
Common Care Tips
- Watering – Overly moist soil is the number one Peperomia killer. A general rule is to let the top inch or two dry before rewatering, though some like to dry out even more.
Pro Tip: One technique for successfully watering your Peperomia is the Taco Test – squeezing a leaf lightly to see if it can fold into a taco shape. Plump, rigid leaves indicate a well-hydrated plant; only if the leaf is soft enough to bend without breaking is the plant ready for more water. (Nick Pileggi)
- Soil – Well-draining soil is a general requirement for Peperomias. Peat is usually a poor ingredient as it holds too much water. A good mix would be two parts quality potting soil to one part each of perlite and orchid bark.
- Light – Some Peperomias do well in medium light, but most need a bright, indirect source. A few will enjoy some mild direct sun. Observe the leaves: the plant will become leggy in insufficient light and scorch if the illumination is too intense. Remember that the sun moves over the year which can change light conditions.
- Humidity – The need for humidity is another difference between Peperomias and most tropical plants. Most do just fine in the average humidity of a typical residence. Those most tolerant to arid conditions tend to have thick, semi-succulent leaves.
- Temperature – Not only are Peperomias frost tender, but the majority also show signs of damage if temperatures fall below 50ºF (10ºC) even briefly. Cool temperatures also slow evaporation from the soil and can contribute to overwatering if the routine isn’t adjusted. Their ideal range is usually 65-80°F (18º-27ºC).
- Fertilization – Peperomias are light feeders, so be careful not to overfertilize. A well-diluted, balanced blend applied every four to six weeks during the growing season is normally sufficient.
- Pruning – Feel free to trim the plant; it won’t hurt them. Most will branch from the cutting point. The trimmed portions can easily be propagated.
- Flowering – Beautiful flowers are simply not a feature of most Peperomia. It’s common to snip off the spent spikes to conserve the plant’s energy.
- Propagation – One of the highlights of Peperomias is how easy they are to propagate:
- Stem cuttings are the easiest: just stick the stem in soil. No humidity tents or rooting hormone; no daily airing out or heated root mats. Just keep the soil very slightly moist and wait.
- Leaf cuttings are fun: clip a leaf and trim the petiole to a bare 1/8th inch long, then plant it with the tip up. The majority should root.
- Repotting – Peperomia usually have limited root systems and like snug containers. They don’t need frequent repotting.
Pro Tip: Filling up a pot with beautiful Peperomia is just this simple … it’s the secret to making a desktop gem into a spectacular, mid-sized houseplant.
- Pests & Disease – Peperomia aren’t overly susceptible to pests, but mealybugs and spider mites can hide in the folds of textured leaves and become established. Treatments with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, including neem, are safe and effective.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this beautiful selection of Peperomia varieties. They are wonderful houseplants, and thankfully most are easily obtainable and not too expensive. If you’d like to read more about growing houseplants, I’ve listed some other articles that you might be interested in below.
- How To Care For Peperomia Houseplants
- 42 Beautiful Types Of Anthurium
- 19 Wonderful Flowering Houseplants
- Understanding Light Requirements For Indoor Plants
- 8 Simple Tips For Watering Houseplants
- 10 Tips For Increasing Humidity For Your Houseplants
- 50 Stunning Philodendron Varieties
- Check Out My Book “Houseplants Made Easy”