Peperomia obtusifolia, or Baby Rubber Plant, is native to Tropical America and Southern Florida. They have thick, dark green glossy leaves that are lighter underneath and will reach 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in height. They tolerate low light levels well and are easy plants to grow, which makes them excellent houseplants.
Blooming Time: In late summer to early fall, the plants small flowers are in spikes that reach 6 inches (30 cm) tall.
Culture: Peperomia obtusifolia need bright indirect light to full shade with a rich organic soil mix. We grow ours under 60% shade with a soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat moss to 1 part sand with small bark added to increase drainage. The plants are kept moist, but not overly wet. Plants that stay too wet will rot the roots. Fertilize the plants every other week during the growing season with a diluted fertilizer. During the winter months, water should be restricted, but the plants should never be allowed to dry out completely. Repotting should be done in the spring before new growth begins. They are not poisonous to humans or animals and can be grown outside in USDA zones 9-12.
Propagation: Peperomia obtusifolia are propagated by division or from stem cutting in spring.
Peperomia obtusifolia was featured as Plant of the Week October 25-31, 2002.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.