Often confused with the Chinese Money Plant, the Raindrop Peperomia won’t bring you extra coin for your back pocket – but this charming houseplant is easy to care for and makes a fine addition to indoor spaces!
The Raindrop Peperomia belongs to the Piperaceae family. Native to South America, Peperomia is a creeping, tropical plant that grows on the jungle floor in its natural habitat. Its fleshy leaves store a lot of water.
They require only bright, indirect sunlight making Raindrop Peperomia a low maintenance plant for those who lack a green thumb or don’t have much time to look after house plants.
So, if you are looking for advice on how to propagate Raindrop Peperomia or just need some general care advice, this guide has you covered.
Table of Contents
Raindrop Peperomia Overview
|Scientific Name||Peperomia Polybotrya|
|Common Name||Coin Leaf Peperomia, Coin Plant, Radiator Plant|
|Genus||From the Genus Peperomia|
|Origin||Tropical Regions of South America (Native to Colombia and Peru)|
|Size and Dimensions (Mature)||With proper care, it may grow to about 30-40 cm in overall length.|
|Distinguishing Features||Raindrop-shaped leaves, which may look like glossy, dark green hearts from above.|
|In-Home Placement||Prefers bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. Guard from cold drafts.|
About Raindrop Peperomia
Peperomia, also known as radiator plants, love warm weather and pretty much despise the cold. They hail from tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world but are considered to be native to Colombia and Peru.
While the glossy, raindrop-shaped leaves of Peperomia look like something straight out of the Jungle Book, these tropical plants are quite easy to grow at home.
Also, since they are relatively compact and small plants, you can place them in the empty, sad-looking nooks and crannies in your indoor space.
Read on to find out more.
How to Care for Raindrop Peperomia
While Raindrop Peperomia is a low-maintenance houseplant, there are certain care basics to be aware of.
You will want well-draining soil for Peperomia. Standard chunky indoor potting mixtures are sufficient for Peperomia, as almost all of these soils’ formulas comprise part perlite and peat moss.
If you intend to make your own soil mix, aim for a 50% perlite and 50% peat moss mixture, both of which can be sourced from gardening stores. For an added boost of nutrients, you can also mix one part perlite, one part meat moss, and one part compost.
A well-drained soil will keep your Raindrop Peperomia happy as a clam.
Raindrop Peperomia is true to its name, and just like cacti, its succulent leaves are masters of water storage!
Over-watering is a common mistake when caring for Peperomia since their leaves store water so efficiently. Check if your soil is dry before watering by sticking your finger into the ground. It should be somewhere between 80-100% dry.
As a general rule of thumb, water your Peperomia once a week, from early spring to summer, during the warmer months. During the cooler months, it won’t need as much water.
Anywhere from a week to 10 days should be sufficient between waterings. Be sure to water your Peperomia thoroughly until it’s running out the bottom of the pot (not just the first few inches of the soil), and be sure to empty the saucer once it’s finished draining.
Being a creeping forest floor plant, Peperomia’s ideal temperature range between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is relatively easy to maintain if your Peperomia is an indoor plant!
Peperomia may come with its challenges when growing during the cooler months. Cold drafts may cause Peperomia’s leaves to be brittle, and its small roots are also susceptible to freezing when the potting soil gets too cold.
Bright, Indirect Light
Raindrop Peperomia only needs a limited amount of sunlight as a small plant. Place the Peperomia somewhere that receives bright, indirect sunlight – where the morning light shines, for example.
Avoid placing Peperomia in direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves. This is critical whether Peperomia is planted indoors or outside.
On the flip side, you will know if your Raindrop Peperomia hasn’t received enough light, as it will stretch out for a light source.
Known as becoming ‘leggy,’ while this isn’t a major issue, it can cause the Peperomia to limp and may put it in danger of snapping. If you notice your Peperomia getting leggy, shift the Peperomia to a place where it receives enough bright indirect light and gently prune the top of the legs.
If you experience cold, dark winters, invest in grow lights. Grow lights act as supplements to sunrays and require little maintenance or repair. Having grow lights switched on for 2-6 hours will provide enough bright light for Peperomia.
Unless you live in a desert with limited humid conditions, there is no need to use a humidifier for Raindrop Peperomia. While they can stand high humidity, it is not essential.
A humidity range between 40%-70% (typical for most homes) is enough for Peperomia to thrive.
Additionally, while it’s not essential (or particularly helpful for ambient humidity) to mist or spray Raindrop Peperomia, they will appreciate this as it will help clean its leaves.
USDA Hardiness Zones
For outdoor growth, Peperomia grows best in zone 10. However, it will grow between USDA hardiness zones 10-12.
A balanced, liquid fertilizer should be added monthly to Peperomia during the growing season. To avoid overfertilizing, mix the liquid fertilizer to half strength during feeding. Avoid fertilizing during the winter months in most cases.
How to Propagate Raindrop Peperomia in Water
Water propagation is more than possible for Rain Drop Peperomia. If you want to know how to propagate Raindrop Peperomia in water, read on.
What You Need:
- A clean jar of water
- Optional – Root growth powder
- Not optional – Patience!
Step-by-Step Propagation (Stem Cuttings)
The basic steps for propagating a Coin-Leaf Peperomia in water is to start with a stem.
- Cut off a stem of the Peperomia. You will want to pick one with a few leaves attached, ideally 2 or 3.
- Place the stem cutting into a jar of water. Be sure to have 1 or 2 of the nodes under the water.
- Store your Peperomia away from direct light. Change the water every few days – this helps keep it from rotting.
- It may take 1-3 weeks, but you will soon see new roots growing. Congratulations! You can now move the cutting into a small pot with fresh soil.
Potted Exotics Pro Tip: If you propagate your Peperomia with water, do so during the warmer months. Your Peperomia won’t grow very well if the water freezes!
How to Propagate Raindrop Peperomia in Soil
The following walks you through exactly how to propagate Raindrop Peperomia in soil.
What You Need:
- Scissors (Preferably Sterilized)
- Potting Mix – the best way is with a combination of perlite and peat moss. However, any indoor potted plant mix will also be suitable.
- Pots or propagation trays.
- Optional – root growth powder
Step-by-Step Propagation (Stem Cuttings)
- Cut a healthy stem from your Raindrop Peperomia. Aim for a stem that has between 2 to 3 healthy leaves.
- Gently dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone powder. (Note: While this step is not necessary, it is helpful. Root hormone powder contains cells that are indistinguishable from stem cells and quickly help a cut stem produce new roots.)
- Place the stem into a small hole and pour/firm the soil around the stem cutting.
- Water the soil thoroughly and place the cutting where it will receive partial lighting.
- Keep your soil moist by watering it regularly. Small leaflets and stems may take 2-3 weeks to rise from the soil.
Step-by-Step Propagation (Leaf Cuttings)
While it’s easier and faster to learn how to propagate Raindrop Peperomia using stem cuttings, new plants will grow from leaf cuttings, too!
- Select a healthy leaf from the parent plant and cut it from its stem.
- Cut the leaf in half.
- As an optional step, you may wish to place the cut edges of the leaf into growth powder to encourage healthy new growth.
- Dig a small hole in your soil. Place the cut edge of the leaf into the soil by about 1cm. Water the soil thoroughly and then firm the moist soil around the leaf.
- Cover the leaf cuttings with either a tray or a clear plastic bag. Place the leaf cuttings in a partially lit area.
- Be sure to remove the cover every few days to relieve any highly humid environment of any build-up. After a few days, you may notice some new roots developing from the cut edges of the leaf.
- You may be tempted to move your new plants into pots of their own – be patient! Peperomias have shallow roots which are susceptible to breakage. Don’t put your hard work to waste. Wait until multiple shiny leaves have developed, then move the compact plants with new leaves to their own small pots.
Potting and Repotting Raindrop Peperomia
When potting Peperomia for the first time, use a potting mix or soil with good drainage holes. While most indoor plant mixtures are suitable for Peperomia, aim for a mix of 50% perlite and 50% peat moss.
Peperomia have small, fragile roots, so be extra careful when removing the plant from its original pot. If it is plastic, use shears to cut the pot’s side before transferring it to a new one. Take care not to be too firm on the soil when compacting it down once it has been potted for the first time. Water it well, and be sure that the soil is draining through the bottom of the pot.
Raindrop Peperomia is not a plant that requires repotting. If repotting, be mindful of the shallow roots, and refrain from repotting more than once every 2 years. You can use a combination of soil from the original pot and fresh soil to ensure the potting mix doesn’t compact too much. You can also consider bulking it up with a bit more perlite to make it more chunky for optimal drainage.
Common Problems with Raindrop Peperomia
Raindrop Peperomia plants are typically easy to care for, but things can still go wrong.
Peperomia Root Rot
Root rot is a disease that affects, unsurprisingly, the roots of plants. The ailment is brought on by wet soil that hasn’t been given sufficient time to dry, thus preventing plants from getting the oxygen they need.
Treat root rot by either cutting the rotted roots, repotting the Peperomia, or treating it with a fungicide. Be sure not to overwater your Peperomia and allow time for it to drain.
Peperomia Leaf Spots
Have you noticed yellow spots on your leaves? If so, it’s probably from mites and mealy bugs drawing away the sap and moisture from your plant!
Be sure to wipe your leaves with a damp cloth or mist before treating your plant with a dab of neem oil.
If your Peperomia is attracting bugs, it’s not because of its beautiful leaves – it’s an indication something is wrong with its living conditions.
Mealy bugs, red spider mites, and aphids are common little suckers – literally, they will suck the sap and moisture from your Peperomia, leaving behind yellow spots!
Prevent pests by cleaning your leaves with regular misting and properly watering your plants.
How to Treat Raindrop Peperomia for Pests and Diseases
You could use various methods to control pests, including physical removal, neem oil, and insecticidal soap.
- Physical removal of pests is the best treatment option for very light or brand-new infestations. If you can remove the problem without applying topicals like neem oil or insecticidal soap, that is your best bet.
- Neem oil is a natural pesticide that has been used for hundreds of years to control pests. When applied directly to Peperomia, either via spraying or dabbing it onto the leaves where the pests are present, neem oil works by suffocating them. If applying neem oil, spray/wipe the underside of the leaves where eggs or nests may form.
- Insecticidal soaps are effective on soft-bodied insects, including mealybugs and aphids. They are often sold as sprays, so be sure to spray your plants’ undersides and tops. Like neem oil, insecticidal soap will not harm your Peperomia.
How to Display Raindrop Peperomia
Raindrop Peperomia plants are far too beautiful to stay in a plain pot! Here are some good ideas you can try to show off your Raindrop Peperomia the way it deserves.
Hang your Peperomia plants in baskets to create a stunning display that rivals the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Be sure to purchase a basket with good drainage holes and hang it away from any electrical appliances.
An oldie but a goldie, and always a good idea. Group your Peperomia plants in various sizes for a great visual effect to décor your wall. Just be sure your shelves are placed away from direct sunlight and heating/air-conditioning vents.
Propagating new Peperomia plants doesn’t have to be boring – use a niche hydroponic stand for your cuttings and display them in your kitchen for a green, coven effect.
Other Useful Information About Raindrop Peperomia
So long as you care for your Peperomia, it will reward you with its beauty. If you’re lucky, it may reward you with some fragrant flowers! There is still so much to learn about this delightful plant, however. Here are some common questions about Raindrop Peperomia.
Why Does My Raindrop Peperomia Have Yellow Leaves?
Sometimes, leaves stay lush and green – other times, they turn sour and yellow. Your leaves may be yellow for several reasons.
Over-Watering: In the case of Peperomia, there is such a thing as over-watering. The number one cause of yellowing leaves among Peperomias is excess watering and inadequate water drainage. Before watering, check the soil to ensure it’s mostly dried out before watering your Peperomia. While watering, do so until the water flows from the drainage holes in your pot or basket. Discard any excess water from the saucer.
Under-Watering: On the other hand, your yellowing leaves may be a sign your plant is not getting enough water! Again, it comes down to checking your soil. If the soil is 75-100% dried out, it’s time to water your Peperomia. You may want to consider adopting a watering schedule for this purpose.
Lighting Issues: Getting the right amount of sunlight can be tricky for Peperomia. To keep your Peperomia green and healthy, find a bright spot within your home or garden where it can get indirect sunlight. Windowsills are a great option, particularly when receiving either morning sun or the setting sunlight. An east-facing window will provide morning sun, while a west-facing window will provide sun on the latter half of the day.
Pests: Humans love Peperomias – so do pests. Another cause of yellowing leaves can be sap-sucking pests. If you find pests on your Peperomia, take measures first to isolate the plant from others (So as not to spread the infestation). Trim your affected leaves and stems before treating them with neem oil (See above). When treated properly, your Peperomia raindrop plant will return to full health – minus the pests.
Is Raindrop Peperomia Toxic?
Some good news for cat and dog owners – Raindrop Peperomia is a non-toxic, pet-friendly plant!
However, if your pooch or puss gets the munchies and ingests too much, they may vomit or develop diarrhea. Keep your Peperomia out of their reach in a hanging basket or on a high shelf.
Do I Need Grow Lights for My Raindrop Peperomia?
If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters or without adequate, natural sunlight, there’s nothing to worry about. You can easily grow Peperomia’s under grow lights! Many grow lights have adjustable brightness settings and timers. Even the laziest indoor gardener can keep Peperomia happy with minimal effort.