Peperomia Ruby Cascade, also known as the Radiator Plant, is native to the tropics of Central and Southern America. Its small size and striking dark green and ruby-colored leaves make it the perfect plant to add to your indoor plant collection.
An added allure is the plant’s elusive pink flowers, which blossom in the spring season. These plants send out a long trailing vine that protrudes from hanging baskets and creeps along structures – adding to its uniqueness and helping it stand out in a crowd.
While most Peperomia plants are coveted fixtures in our collections, the Ruby Cascade will send you into a propagation frenzy to fill out your open spaces.
This guide will give you an in-depth overview of how to propagate Peperomia Ruby Cascade like a pro and how to take care of this trailing plant with a steady and confident hand.
Peperomia Ruby Cascade Overview
|Scientific Name||Peperomia spp.|
|Common Names||Radiator Plants, Ruby Cascade|
|Genus||From the Genus Peperomia|
|Family||Piperaceae (Pepper Family)|
|Origin||Subtropical regions of Central and South America|
|Size and Dimensions (Mature)||3 to 5 feet tall with long vines that grow to several feet in length|
|Distinguishing Features||Semi-succulent plant; round, dark green leaves with a fleshy texture and deep pink underside|
|In-Home Placement||Indirect Sunlight|
About Peperomia Ruby Cascade
Peperomia Ruby Cascade, like other peperomia plants, are tropical natives that love to be grown in controlled indoor environments.
When cared for correctly, they thrive indoors and make the perfect pairing for those with an itchy green thumb looking to get some experience with propagation.
Peperomia Cascade can be propagated in water or soil and will serve as the perfect practice species to get you comfortable chopping up your leafy companions with confidence.
How Fast Does Ruby Cascade Grow?
Peperomia Ruby Cascades are considered to be slow-growing vining plants. The plants only grow 3 – 5 feet tall, with their cascading vines extending over several feet.
Although they are initially a slow-growing plant, a small Peperomia will begin to grow rapidly once its vines have developed.
Ruby Cascade Plant Care and Conditions
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Although these tropical species have fairly fragile leaves and delicate roots, they are still considered relatively easy, low-maintenance indoor plants to care for.
However, specific care requirements must not be overlooked to keep your Ruby Cascade Peperomia in great condition.
Peperomia Ruby Cascades are epiphytic plants in their natural habitat, meaning they absorb all their nutrients and moisture from the bark of trees, debris, and the air.
Epiphytic plants have aerial roots that secure the plant to another, so they don’t naturally grow in soil. Therefore, the Ruby Cascade plant requires well-aerated soil with good drainage that is high in organic matter.
Alternatively, you can use a special potting mixture (like orchid soils) with exceptional drainage and high nutrient content.
The fleshy leaves of the Ruby Peperomia Cascade bear a resemblance to true succulents, which allows them to effectively store and retain moisture.
During their growing season (from early spring to the end of the fall season), these plants will require watering once every 7 – 10 days.
However, a Peperomia ‘Ruby Cascade will consume less water as they become dormant during the cooler fall / late winter season.
The subtropical Peperomia Ruby Cascade thrives in a warm to moderate climate, with optimal growing temperatures between 65°F – 80℉.
Extreme temperatures (low and high temperatures) are detrimental to the plant’s leaves. It’s best to grow these plants at standard room temperature, where temperatures remain above 50℉ in the cold winter months.
For best results, pick an area with plenty of bright light for this succulent-like plant to thrive.
It’s a good idea to place these plants near a window or shelf ledge that faces a southern direction. However, the sensitive fleshy leaves of a Peperomia plant should be kept out of direct sunlight as they will begin to wilt in the heat.
Originally found in the tropics of Central and South America, Ruby Cascades are accustomed to growing in humid conditions.
Tropical plants will take a longer time to grow in low humidity levels (below 40 percent), as they rely on the extra moisture in the air to keep their succulent leaves from drying out.
For a healthy plant, keep the humidity levels between 50 – 60 percent, although these plants have been known to tolerate high humidity levels of up to 90 percent.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Peperomia Ruby Cascade’s USDA hardiness zone falls between 9b – 11b.
Rich organic matter is a must for these plants as they require a balanced liquid fertilizer to supplement their growth.
An all-purpose liquid fertilizer (10-10-10) diluted to half its strength works best for these plants, as too much fertilizer will cause their roots to burn.
Fertilizer mustn’t be given to Peperomia Ruby Cascade during their dormant season; only during their peak growing period, which is from spring season to fall.
Can You Propagate Peperomia in Water?
Yes. Several techniques have successfully been used to propagate Ruby Cascades, including water propagation. Propagating these plants will speed up their growing time as they aren’t a fast-growing plant species.
The propagation process will require some tools and must be followed step-by-step.
How to Propagate Peperomia Ruby Cascade
What You Need:
- Sharp, Clean Garden Scissors / Sharp Knife
- Potting Mix
- Rooting Hormone (Optional)
- 3.5-inch Growing Jar / Pot
- Light Soil / Cactus Mix
Stem Cuttings In Water
Water propagation is an easy and clean method of propagating Peperomia Ruby Cascades.
Propagating stem cuttings in water is achieved by doing the following:
- Select a healthy growing stem with more than 3 leaves from a Peperomia Ruby Cascade.
- Cut a stem from the plant, making sure to cut the stem below the bottom of the leaf node.
- Remove the bottom two leaves from the stem of the plant.
- Place the stem cutting in an empty growing jar.
- Fill the growing jar with water to cover the first and second leaf nodes. Don’t cover the entire stem, as it still needs oxygen.
- Place the growing jar in bright indirect light.
- Replace the water in the growing jar regularly and top it up to prevent bacteria from forming.
- In 3 – 5 weeks, roots will begin to grow from the bottom of the cutting.
- Once the cutting has developed roots, it will need to be transplanted into soil.
Potted Exotics Pro Tip: We don’t typically recommend using rooting hormone for water propagation. If you do, don’t mix the rooting hormone directly into the water. Doing so will cause the water to gel, which will coat the exposed part of the stem with slime and potentially prevent the plant’s stomata from “breathing”
Stem Cuttings In Soil
Soil propagation with stem cuttings, as seen in the steps below, is a common method of propagating Peperomia Ruby Cascade:
- Fill a growing pot with moist soil and prepare it for stem cuttings.
- Select a healthy stem from a Peperomia Ruby Cascade plant with three or more leaves.
- Cut the stem below the bottom of the leaf node using a sharp, clean pair of gardening scissors or a sharp knife.
- Remove the lower leaves from the stem cutting.
- Dip the stem cutting in a rooting hormone and place it in the soil.
- Place the stem cutting in bright indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist.
Leaf Cuttings In Soil
You can propagate Peperomia Ruby Cascade leaf cuttings with the following process:
- Fill a growing pot with moist, well-draining soil and prepare it for leaf cuttings.
- Cut off a leaf from your Peperomia Ruby Cascade, where the leaf joint joins the stem.
- Dip the ends of the newly cut leaf in a rooting hormone to promote new growth.
- Place the leaf upright in the soil and carefully pat down the surrounding soil.
- If the leaf keeps falling over, cut off the top half of the leaf.
- Place the leaf cuttings in bright indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist.
Division in Soil
Peperomia Ruby Cascades can be propagated using division with the following steps:
- Carefully remove the Peperomia mother plant from its nursery pot.
- Once the plant has been removed, its roots need to be gently divided into multiple sections.
- Replant each rooting section in its new pot and give them a thorough watering.
- Keep the soil moist and place the new plant in bright, indirect sunlight.
Potting and Repotting Peperomia Ruby Cascade
Peperomia Ruby Cascade plants have thin, fragile roots that make repotting a nightmare. Repotting a plant may induce stress and must only be done when the plant is root bound or after every 2 – 3 years, which is the best time to do so.
When Peperomia plant roots begin to protrude from their drainage holes, or the roots appear tightly packed together and are curling at the bottom of the pot, these should be taken as clear signs that the plant needs to be repotted.
Several steps need to be followed when repotting Peperomia Ruby Cascades:
- Remove the plant from its existing pot by gently loosening the roots from the soil.
- Choose the correct pot size for repotting the plant. Use a pot that is 2 – 3 inches bigger in diameter than the previous pot to avoid frequent repotting. For example, Peperomia plants that were previously potted in a 4-inch pot must be repotted in a 6-inch pot or bigger.
- Fill the new nursery pot with a suitable potting mixture of 2 parts succulent mix and 1 part pumice. Regular potting soil is too heavy for the delicate roots of a Peperomia Ruby Cascade. Alternatively, perlite or peat moss can be added to replace pumice in the potting mixture.
- Make a small hole in the potting mixture, gently place the roots in the hole and softly pat down the displaced top surface soil.
- Rehydrate the newly repotted Peperomia Ruby Cascade with enough water and place it in an area with bright, indirect sunlight.
Common Problems with Ruby Peperomia Cascades
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The most common disease that affects Peperomia Ruby Cascade plants is root rot. This disease is caused by poor drainage, excess water in the soil, and overwatering. When the roots of the plant are submerged in a lot of water for extended periods, or they remain constantly wet, the micro-organisms in the soil die, and the plant’s roots begin to rot.
The best way of dealing with root rot is to use as little water as possible in order to maintain relatively dry soil. Consistently soggy soil is enemy number one!
Spider mites are a common pest amongst houseplants; these tiny insects will inhabit the undersides of Peperomia Ruby Cascade leaves and feed on the sap.
Spray the tops and the undersides of the leaves with insecticidal soap or neem oil to remove spider mites.
Other Unique Peperomia Varieties
Peperomia is one of the genera that form part of the Piperaceae family. There are over 1000 different species that occur in the subtropics and tropics of the Americas.
Below are some unique features of a few Peperomia plant varieties.
Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)
Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) is native to the tropics of South America and got its name from the stunning watermelon patterns on its foliage.
The colorful, shimmery appearance of its leaves when rays of sunlight catch its foliage makes it one of the most sought-after houseplants. Its ability to quickly adapt as an indoor plant is another reason for its popularity.
String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata)
The String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is a small, succulent variant of the Peperomia genus. This plant is native to the Brazilian rainforests and thrives in warmer climates.
The plant’s name is derived from the shape of its leaves, which look like the shells of baby turtles strung together.
However, don’t expect them to take over your windowsill in a hurry, as they are a slow grower.
Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
The Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) can be identified by its large, marbled, dark leaf and is native to South American rainforests.
This plant is a popular addition amongst houseplant collectors as it adapts well to indoor climates and requires little to no maintenance, although it does not do well in dark places.
Raindrop Peperomia is a creeping tropical plant that retains water like a succulent, so it’s a perfect pairing for plant owners who don’t always keep a close eye on their watering schedules.
It is a unique plant with leaves that resemble raindrops, and with dark, glossy green leaves, it’s sure to give off a jungle vibe in any indoor space.
Peperomia Pepperspots grow a red stem with glossy green leaves that intertangle with each other.
Pepperspot plants are one of the smaller Peperomia variants that only reach around 12 inches tall. Due to the size of this small plant, it is well-suited as a hanging indoor houseplant.
Emerald Ripple (Peperomia caperata)
The Emerald Ripple Peperomia (Peperomia caperata) has heart-shaped leaves with distinguishable dark green veins.
Like most of the Peperomia genus, these plants have odorless, greenish-white flowers that bloom in abundance.
Other Useful Information About Peperomia Ruby Cascade plants
Let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions and the responses regarding Peperomia Ruby Cascades.
Is Peperomia Ruby Cascade Toxic to Cats?
No. Peperomia Ruby Cascade is non-toxic to cats and can be safely ingested by them.
Is Peperomia Ruby Cascade Toxic to Dogs?
No. Peperomia Ruby Cascade is pet friendly and non-toxic for dogs.
Do I Need to Prune My Ruby Peperomia?
Yes. These plants don’t need to be pruned regularly, as they grow very slowly, but over time, they will need to be trimmed.
This is due to the trailing Peperomia vines that the Ruby Cascade produces and dead leaves that need to be removed.
Does Peperomia Ruby Cascade Grow Best Indoors or Outdoors?
They grow best indoors as their environment can be controlled by adjusting the ambient temperature, controlling how much light they receive, spraying them with water to increase the humidity levels, and watering them regularly with as much water as needed.
Mimicking the natural environment in which these plants occur is the best way to take care of your Peperomia Ruby Cascade plant.
Growing these plants outdoors is possible in the warmer months (from spring to fall) or year-round in tropical regions. The leaves of a Peperomia Ruby Cascade are sensitive to direct sunlight and require the plant to be placed in partial shade.
Root rot and the cold weather are the biggest challenges associated with growing Peperomia Ruby Cascades outdoors, as it is impossible to control the weather.
Do I Need a Grow Light for My Indoor Ruby Cascade?
No. Peperomia Ruby Cascade plants are tolerant of low lighting conditions. However, these plants require bright indirect sunlight to sustain their stunning ruby glow.
A windowsill that faces southward will provide sufficient light for these plants.
Where Can I Find a Peperomia Ruby Cascade for Sale?
Thousands of online nurseries will deliver or ship these plants to your doorstep. However, your local nursery is the best place to inquire about purchasing Peperomia Ruby Cascades.
These plants are native to South and Central America and are relatively uncommon throughout the U.S.
Check out your local Home Depot and ask whether they stock Peperomia Ruby Cascades; you may just be lucky and find a Peperomia Ruby Cascade potted in a hanging basket.
If you do find one, it might not be a bad idea to grow your peperomia army. Follow our guide on how to propagate Peperomia Ruby Cascade, and become the neighborhood Peperomia King or Queen!