Captivating house plant that will add positivity and life to the environment with its heart-shaped leaves that are clothed in small, hair-like white strands of fur; that prevent the plant from sunburn when temperatures are excessively high giving it the name ‘felted pepper’ scientifically known as peperomia incana.
This slow-growing adorable and captivating houseplant will add life to a boring and idle corner with its rich green heart-shaped leaves.
Peperomias seem to be well-known for their natural endurance to difficult living circumstances, and this is an unusual attraction that you might not see in other plants. Felted Peperomia can withstand a long period of drought because it has a thick, spongy that stores adequate water just in case things become harsh.
This plant is originated from Brazil’s tropical areas and requires less care than other houseplants you could consider planting. This plant may also be found in various parts of Mexico and the West Indies.
Since it is a slow-growing plant so a specific growth cannot be promised, however under the right conditions peperomia incana can grow up to 6-12 inches in height and 12-15 inches in width.
Peperomia Incana Care
Speaking of the lighting environments, peperomias are surviving plants that can endure harsh weather conditions. Peperomia incana can manage to thrive in both high and low light conditions however it can bloom perfectly and beautifully with adequate lighting.
If you want your felted peperomia to live up to its title and develop a velvety textured surface, make sure your plant has access to direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day. Set in near a window to provide a balanced light without burning the leaves or growing the stem excessively long.
Temperatures typically range between 7 to 32°C for the Peperomia incana plant. The warmer the temperature, the healthier the plant will be. Make sure you don’t allow the temperature to drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, never allow frost to build on the leaves.
As it is known, all the peperomia species are vulnerable to excess watering due to which the plant may die. Peperomia incana requires a fair balance of moisture for which a well-draining soil is required that drains the excess water preventing the plant from overwatering that leads to root rot and provides a gap between watering rounds.
For this matter, sandy loam soil is the best suitable well-draining soil that contains equal portions of sand, silt, and clay each serving its purpose. The sand in the sandy loam soil mix soaks up all the excess water that prevents the plant from dying because of overwatering.
On the other hand, clay preserves the moisture in the soil that felted peperomia needs to thrive along with other nutrients. Another factor that must be considered is the pH level of the soil. The soil shouldn’t be too acidic either too alkaline, it should be neutral ranging from 5pH to 7pH.
Peperomia incana requires moist soil to grow, not soaked. There is a thin line between moist soil and soaked soil. Make sure the soil is not soaked due to overwatering as it will result in root rot and eventually the death of your gorgeous peperomia plant.
This houseplant requires more watering during summer, however keeping the soil soaked with water for hours will damage the roots as the roots won’t be able to access oxygen. The roots must access oxygen as much as it requires moisture. A balance must be maintained between the two since the lack of oxygen will damage the plant, such as the leaves discoloring and even falling off.
The lack of oxygen and excess moisture is a perfectly ideal combination for fungi to grow on your plant. In case you have detected the root rot at an early stage before all the roots have completely rotten, there’s still hope that your plant might survive. To save your felted peperomia you need to trim off the roots that have gone bad and change the soil. If all the roots have caught fungi, the plant is dead.
To avoid overwatering your plant, you must check the soil before you water it. The soil must be dry before you water your Peperomia Incana. For this, you have to dig your finger deep into the soil and check whether it is dry. As an alternate, you can use a moisture probe to check how moist the soil is.
Another factor that makes peperomia incana easy to maintain is that it requires very moderate humidity. However, if the plant is exposed to direct sunlight, humidity should not be a concern.
Although it thrives well in naturally humid conditions, you can create humidity in its atmosphere if you live in a dry area. To provide the plant with the moderate amount of humidity that it requires, you can spray the leaves with water, place your plant on top of a tray with water and pebbles, or use a humidifier.
There are three sorts of fertilizers you can use to maintain those captivating heart-shaped leaves; quick-release fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers, and organic fertilizers. Quick-release fertilizers are water-soluble and are added to the soil once every two weeks. As they are known, they release nutrients into the soil quickly so that the plant gets the required nutrients immediately.
On the other hand, slow-release fertilizers are added once every growing season. Read the instructions on the fertilizer label to know better. Do not fertilize your plant during the winter season.
Peperomia incana does not require an intensive maintenance routine since it is generally tightly packed and barely attracts any weeds. The only thing you’ll have to do is snip off the ends of the branches to allow them to grow longer and remove any leaves that appear to have lost their strength due to constant overwatering.
Peperomia Incana Propagation
Leaf cuttings are by far the most common method of propagating a Peperomia incana plant. It is a simple technique of propagating the plant. It typically requires using a sharp pair of scissors to cut a stem with leaves on it. Before removing the cutting’s lowest leaves, a cut is performed right below the lowest node.
The stem cutting procedure can also be used, however instead of soil, water is used. Both strategies differ from conventional ways.
- A typical Peperomia incana leaf cutting is required for this method to operate. The leaf-cutting should be in good health. You must cut down to the point where the leaf stalk attaches to the stem. To plant it, the leaf stem must be of sufficient length. To achieve this, you’ll need disinfected trimming scissors. Isopropyl alcohol can be used to sanitize trimming scissors. Get a few stem cuttings to increase your chances of growing a new Peperomia plant.
- The leaf stalks must be dipped in rooting hormone. This increases your success rate of reproducing a new plant.
- Dig holes in the soil using a stick for your leaf cuttings. Neither of these holes should be at the soil’s center. This activity may also be completed using a pencil.
- Now set the leaf cuttings into the holes you have dug. Plant the leaf cuttings in a position that they are facing opposite to the center of the soil. Wrap the soil around the leaf cuttings tightly so they stay upright. If the leaf cuttings are too small to stay upright, tie an object to the leaf-cutting such as a stick or a pencil.
- Don’t place the leaf cuttings in direct sunlight at first since they are new. They require indirect sunlight, so set them near a window.f
- Start fertilizing as soon as new leaves have popped out. Maintain this new plant the same way you maintained the previous one.
- To get a precise stem cutting, you are supposed to cut it right below a leaf node. it should be approximately, four inches in length. if you get two leaves attached on the top of the stem cutting, it’s a bonus point. Disinfect your tool with alcohol, typically isopropyl before you cut.
- After obtaining a stem cutting, you are expected to heal it by setting it in a warm place roughly for a week. this will enable the ends to soften and encourage roots to grow.
- Once the week is over, insert the stem cutting into a bowl of water that has been set outside for at least a day for the chlorine to evaporate.
- Fill the container partially with stem cuttings and partially with water. Try not to get the entire stem cutting soaked. This prevents oxygen from passing through. The leaves must be kept above water to avoid water damage. You must immerse the leaf nodes in water.
- It is necessary to change the water after a couple of days since the bacteria can grow on the stem cutting making them unhealthy. Eventually, after three to four weeks root rot starts.
- Meanwhile, you can prepare the new pot for your new peperomia incana. Make holes beneath the pot to allow drainage when watering the plant. Use well-draining soil such as sandy loam.
- It’s appropriate to transplant your new Peperomia incana plant to a container after the roots are at least two or three inches long. Be extremely cautious throughout this step, as the roots are quite sensitive. Submerge all of the roots in the dirt to allow them to spread as they develop.
Common Problems of Peperomia Incana
Mealybugs are plant parasites with delicate skins. As a result, they’re swathed in a cotton-like texture. This material acts as a barrier against outside influences. They prefer to lurk behind leaves and sip the nectar from your plant. There are two types of cells in nectar. One cell transports hydration throughout the plant. The other cell transports all of the nutrients absorbed by the roots all across the plant. This can cause a variety of problems, such as leaf loss and sometimes even fatality.
Aphids are little plant pests. These can be difficult to detect with the naked eye. They multiply immediately. If you don’t capture an infection immediately, you’ll be fighting these pests for a long time. Aphids will also take fluids from your plant by entering it. They have tube lips that try to suck up the juice.
To get rid of plant pests on your Peperomia plant, use neem oil. It’s completely natural and has been proven to hurt only a few plants. You merely need to mix the neem oil with water in a spray container. Shake the mixture well before spraying it on your plant.
Because neem oil is thick, it closes the plant pest’s breathing pores. It suffocates when it can’t breathe. It simply takes a few minutes for the neem oil to destroy the plant bugs with which it crossed paths. All you have to do now is clean your plant with mild detergent. It’ll get rid of all the dead bugs.
It is a pleasure to feel peperomia incana especially when one is stressed or feeling blue. This easy-to-maintain houseplant will make you fall in love with it and will never stress you out with a load of requirements.