With over a thousand varieties of Peperomia to choose from, the Peperomia Cubensis are a fun, vining and sprawling variety. Their plump leaves and bouncy vines make them delightful plants, but it leads many to wonder if they will be easy to care for, along with how to ensure that they will grow and thrive.
The key to making Peperomia Cubensis care easy is to replicate the conditions it grows in naturally. Peperomia Cubensis are vining plants with succulent-like leaves and they do best in warm conditions with chunky, well-draining soil and indirect sunlight with thorough watering only when the soil is dry.
Are Peperomias Easy to Care for?
Peperomia is often labeled as easy or even beginner houseplants. While this can be true, many beginners often kill their Peperomias simply because they haven’t learned about their particular care needs. Learning to care for Peperomia based on how they grow in the wild will make the entire process much more manageable.
How Do You Care for Peperomia Cubensis?
Understanding how to care for your Peperomia Cubensis means understanding how they are structured and how they grow naturally in the wild. Peperomia Cubensis has its name because it is native to Cuba and the surrounding areas. They are vining, sprawling, epiphytic plants, which means in the wild, they grow on trees or other plant life as opposed to directly in the soil on the ground.
Peperomia Cubensis, like most Peperomia, are very tolerant of medium to lower light levels (approximately 100 Foot Candles). However, they can also do well in bright, indirect light when introduced gradually. Peperomia Cubensis are used to receiving filtered light from tree canopies above, so they do very well in an Eastern facing window with a few hours of direct gentle morning sunlight.
If you notice your Peperomia Cubensis becoming excessively leggy with large spaces between the leaves, it will benefit from receiving a little more light. With that said, they are naturally very sprawling plants, so if that growth pattern is unappealing, many other Peperomia varieties would be a better fit.
Peperomia Cubensis are native to tropical forests, so if you want your Peperomia to grow and thrive in your space, you will want to replicate those tropical temperatures. Peperomia Cubensis does best in temperatures between 60-80°F (15-26°C).
In general, Peperomias tend to be hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to 55°F (13°C), but they will not thrive in those conditions. Keep your Peperomia Cubensis away from cold vents and air conditioners, and if the temperatures plummet, move them away from cold windows.
Fortunately, Peperomia Cubensis are not incredibly picky about humidity levels and can survive just fine with humidity levels around 40%.
Pot and Soil
Since the Peperomia Cubensis is an epiphytic plant, you must pot it in well-draining soil with plenty of perlite or orchid bark. They have very delicate roots, almost hair-like thin in some cases, so they are highly susceptible to root and stem rot.
A terracotta pot would be a great choice for your Peperomia Cubensis because terracotta will absorb any additional moisture from the soil. Regardless of the type of pot you choose, ensure it has drainage holes at the bottom to avoid rotting. Fortunately, they don’t need to be repotted often because they do not mind being root bound within the pot.
How Often Should I Water My Indoor Peperomia?
Peperomia Cubensis are semi-succulent plants with incredibly delicate root systems. They can be overwatered very easily and are susceptible to root rot along with stem and leaf rot. When watering your Peperomia Cubensis, it’s best to wait until the soil has completely dried out before giving it a very thorough drink.
A great way to tell if your Peperomia Cubensis needs water is to pinch its leaves. When Peperomia is thirsty, their leaves become softer and more pliable. Once they receive water, those leaves will become plump once again as they store water in those succulent leaves.
Does Peperomia Like Lots of Water?
While allowing the soil to dry out between watering is essential, giving them a good soaking when it is time to water is also important. This will help encourage stronger root growth which will also prevent root rot.
It is a common misconception for many beginners that overwatering means giving too much water in one sitting. So they frequently give their Peperomias small amounts of water. But unfortunately, this keeps the soil constantly wet, which will cause their thin and delicate roots to become mushy and rotted.
Another common mistake is to only give your Peperomia Cubensis a small sip of water very rarely. This can often lead to underwatering, where the leaves will dry out, become crispy and die off. It will also cause the roots to dry out and weaken, making them much more likely to rot. As long as your Peperomia lives in a pot and soil along with plenty of drainage, you can give your plant a thorough watering when it is time.
Do You Water Peperomia From the Top or the Bottom?
Bottom watering is a great way to help prevent overwatering your Peperomia Cubensis. Bottom watering consists of placing your Peperomia pot directly in a container of water. The soil and roots will then absorb the water from the drainage holes until the soil is thoroughly moist.
As a result, your Peperomia Cubensis will absorb exactly as much water as it needs and encourage evenly distributed root growth. While watering from the bottom is a beneficial method for Peperomias, every once and a while, it is good to water them from the top to flush out any toxins, fungi or bacteria from the soil.
How Do You Encourage Peperomia Growth?
Peperomia are quite prolific growers when given the right conditions. However, if your Peperomia Cubensis has stalled out its growth, there could be a few reasons.
Insufficient Light Levels
If you keep your Peperomia Cubensis in a particularly dark location, you may notice that it is not growing very quickly or that the growth is leggy or underdeveloped. Try gradually giving your Peperomia Cubensis a bit more light and monitoring it for signs of new growth.
If your Peperomia hasn’t been repotted for some time and isn’t growing particularly well, it may be nutrient deficient. Plants thrive on many micronutrients but three main macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
These nutrients contribute to healthy foliage growth along with root growth and bloom production. You can enhance your Peperomia’s soil with a balanced ratio of 10-10-10 fertilizer once every couple of weeks during the growing season.
Pests and Disease
Occasionally, pests and diseases can stunt your Peperomia’s growth. Peperomia Cubensis is not especially attractive to pests, but they can occasionally get mealybugs, scale, mites (broad mites and cyclamen mites) or thrips. Pests love to feast on new growth since it is the most tender. This will ultimately slow down your Peperomia’s ability to produce new leaves.
You can treat your Peperomia Cubensis for pests with an insecticidal soap or neem oil. Make sure to inspect your Peperomia Cubensis leaves, stems, and soil for pests regularly to prevent a couple of pests from turning into an infestation.
Fungal diseases such as various forms of leaf spot will also hinder your Peperomia Cubensis’ growth by sending it into survival mode. You can also use neem oil to treat fungal diseases on your Peperomia Cubensis or a fungicidal soap. Once your Peperomia has recovered from its injuries, it will produce new, healthy growth again.
It can be difficult for new plant parents to pick up a Peperomia Cubensis and instantly have success caring for the plant. However, once you understand the conditions where it naturally will thrive, you can replicate those conditions in your home.
Peperomia Cubensis requires indirect sunlight, temperatures between 60-80°F (15-26°C), loose, well-draining soil, a terracotta pot with drainage holes, and a thorough watering once the soil is completely dry.
Peperomia Cubensis’ care is pretty straightforward, as they aren’t highly demanding plants that will be a joy to care for in your home.