24 Delightful Peperomia Varieties Anyone Can Grow

The humble Peperomia may not yet be the most widely-grown or popular houseplant, but it’s certainly starting to trend.

These beautifully architectural plants will add colour and personality to any indoor space, combining the resilience of a succulent with the mystery and adventure of a rare find.

Out of the 1500+ species in this genus, only a few made the illustrious transition to houseplants, due to their ease of care and tolerance for indoor environments. 

This article will introduce you to 24 Peperomia varieties that made the cut, their standout features and what they need to thrive in your home.

Peperomia Varieties

Originating in tropical regions south of the equator, Peperomia has been organized into three categories, each indicating individual features and the ability to conserve water. These are:

  • Epiphytes – These prefer to grow in tandem with other plants in the same space.
  • Lithophytes – These have aroid roots that thrive in rock garden environments or “mounted” indoors
  • Xerophytes – Exceptionally drought tolerant with succulent-like leaves and underground tuber roots.

Peperomia plants possess a vast array of growth behaviours. With distinct leaf shapes and colours, each one has something unique to offer. You may end up wanting to collect them all!

Peperomia Albovittata

Peperomia Albovittata

(Piccolo Banda Peperomia)

Dark green veins run through plump, viridian leaves on the epiphytic Albovittata. Stems change from pale pink to deep red with thin, floral spikes emerging, in spring. 

Reaching 8-12” tall and wide, at maturity, slow, consistent, bushy growth is supported by bright, indirect light and indoor temperatures between 68°F – 86°F (20°C – 30°C).

Water only when the top 3” of soil is dry, to avoid root rot and potential fungal infections. An aerated potting mix will support healthy drainage and ward against pest infestations.

This cultivar, as with all peperomia varieties, is considered non-toxic and safe around children and pets.

Peperomia Angulata (Beetle Peperomia)

Peperomia Angulata

(Beetle Peperomia)

This epiphyte is named for the clear, lime-green veining that runs from stem to tip. Giving each small leaf the appearance of a beetle.

These lovely leaves develop in pairs along short stems that form a bushy crown and vines that stretch 12” in length.

While tolerant of partial shade, white floral spikes will bud, in spring and summer, when placed in rooms with bright, diffused light and an average temp of 60°F (16°C).

Delicate leaves on this cultivar hold less water, so this will need watering when the soil is dry down 1-2” and an airy soil structure that supports sufficient drainage.

Peperomia Antoniana

Peperomia Antoniana

This rare lithophyte presents small, downy leaves that are born a peach colour. Maturing to gold, orange and finally, a bright green. All dusted with tiny white dots.

Fuzzy-leafed plants typically don’t like to be misted. Instead, water at the soil line when the soil is dry down to ½”.

Maturing to just 6” tall and wide, the Antoniana has small, aerial roots that will thrive in soil-less environments that offer bright, filtered light and ambient temperatures around 64°F (18°C).

Since this can be grown as an air plant, dense potting soil should be avoided. Gritty, succulent or cacti soil would be best, to provide adequate drainage.

Peperomia Argyreia

Peperomia Argyreia

(Watermelon Peperomia)

The Argyreia presents sage-green leaves with wide, green veining, suggestive of a watermelon. These are supported by reddish-brown stems that form an epiphytic, clumping crown.

Creamy, efflorescent spikes bud in summer, when this is positioned in soft sunlight (1,000 to 2,000-floor candles) and temps between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C).

The Argyreia prefers well-draining soil and relatively low humidity. Water only when the top 1” of soil is dry.

Drooping leaves may be a sign of either too much or too little water. These conditions also invite pests and fungal diseases, so a consistent watering schedule is best.

Peperomia Axillaris

Peperomia Axillaris

(Taco Peperomia)

The xerophyte leaves of the Axillaris present elongated growth that folds down the centre. With both light and dark green colouration, these sprout in clusters along thick stems.

In spring, multi-stemmed, floral branchlets shine a bright yellow. All reaching a petite 10” tall, at maturity.

Diffused sunlight and gritty, well-draining soil will support healthy growth and flowering. The Axillaris also likes to be slightly root-bound, minimizing the need to report it even further.

Water when the top 2” of soil is dry and try to maintain a humidity range of 40%-70%. This will encourage adequate hydration and help prevent pest infestations.

Peperomia Caperata ‘Emerald’

Peperomia Caperata

(Emerald Ripple Peperomia)

With a maze of deep veining, Caperate “Emerald” leaves glisten in tones of deep green, dark red and silver. A mounding growth habit gives way to white, floral spikes, in summer. All these contribute to a mature size of 8” tall and wide.

Leaf ripples increase surface area for photosynthesizing and sparkle when positioned in bright, filtered light. “Leggy” stems will indicate a need for more light.

Temperatures above 50°F (10°C) will prevent leaf wilt, as will a chunky potting soil (similar to an African violet mix) that supports sufficient drainage. Water only when the top 2-3” of soil is dry.

Peperomia Caperata ‘Rosso’

Peperomia Caperata ‘Rosso’

(Peperomia Rosso)

In contrast, the “Rosso” Caperata has long, narrow leaves that shimmer a deep green with vibrant red undersides. Sprouting in a rosette formation, this glossy foliage delivers gold, floral spikes in early spring.

This thrives in low light conditions that maintain a 55°F-75°F (13°C-23°C) temperature range. However, unlike other succulents, this prefers a humid environment. Occasional misting may be necessary.

Water your Rosso when 50% of the soil is dry, to maintain sufficient hydration while discouraging root rot and the attraction of pests.

These conditions, along with loose, airy potting soil, will encourage a mature size of 8-10” tall and wide.

Peperomia Clusiifolia

Peperomia Clusiifolia

(Rainbow Peperomia)

This Peperomia cultivar presents a rainbow of colour when positioned in bright, indirect light. Soft green and cream leave washed in pink and red, sprout right from the soil to form a rounded crown that matures to 12” tall and wide.

Colouration remains surprisingly vibrant whether it’s placed in bright, diffused sunlight or fluorescent bulbs. Provided that ambient temps stay within 60°F to 80°F (16°C to 27°C).

To avoid root rot and mealy bug/spider mite infestations, water your Rainbow Peperomia every 7-10 days. Planting it in well-structured potting soil, like a succulent mix, will support proper drainage.

Peperomia Columella

Peperomia Columella

One of the more unusual Peperomias is this xerophytic Columella. Tiny, teardrop leaves spiral around tall, slender limbs. In spring, each limb will release a yellow floral spadix, or two, from the tip.

Each leaf is made of water-retaining “windows”. These effectively capture moisture while allowing light to penetrate through the photosynthetic stem. Highly ingenious! 

While the columella will tolerate low-light conditions, consistent growth and new limbs are triggered by bright, indirect sunlight and comfortably warm temperatures.

Water this cultivar well from spring through fall and sparingly in winter. Plant it in porous, well-draining soil, similar to a cactus mix.

Peperomia Ferreyrae ‘Happy Bean’

Peperomia Ferreyrae

(Happy Bean Peperomia)

Growing to a mature 12” tall and wide, the Happy Bean Peperomia presents long, tubular leaves, with a clear seam down the middle, that resemble string beans.

Like the Columella, these “beans” are made of light and moisture-absorbing tissue that fuels their growth. The brighter the indirect light, the lusher their growth.

In 50°F to 75°F conditions, tall shoots, with tiny yellow flowers, will jut out through the foliage in summer and fall.

Judicious watering (when the soil is dry to the touch) and soil with equal parts moss and perlite, will support healthy growth and flowering.

Peperomia Graveolens

Peperomia Graveolens

(Ruby Glow Peperomia)

The Ruby Glow looks like a smaller version of the Taco Peperomia, with the added bonus of shimmering pink undersides to its succulent leaves.

While tolerant of shade, this can get leggy as it searches for light. Bright, filtered light will encourage a mature size of 10” tall and wide.

Nutrient-rich, well-draining soil will aid in proper drainage with a regular watering schedule of “deep, yet infrequent”. Ideally, every 10 days, or so.

Shrivelling leaves will be a sign that it needs water. However, this could also be a sign that it’s cold. Indoor temps should remain above 60°F around this plant.

Peperomia Hoffmannii

Peperomia Hoffmannii

(Isabella Peperomia)

Maturing just 12” tall and wide, this small climber presents fleshy, green coins that cluster along pendulous stems.

If your Hoffmannii becomes sparse in the pot, you can prune the stems back, root them and return them to the pot for a bushier look.

In consistently warm environments, (75°F-95°F), the Hoffmannii releases small, floral spikes throughout the year. In colder areas, this typically occurs in summer.

Bright morning sun and well-draining soil create an environment that seldom sees symptoms of overwatering, pests or disease.

Water deeply when the soil is 50%-75% dry and ensure that the water is properly draining each time.

Peperomia Obtusifolia

Peperomia Obtusifolia

(Baby Rubber Plant or Golden Gate Peperomia)

The Obtusifolia is the most commonly-sold Peperomia variety. Its succulent leaves are thick and waxy, very similar to a large rubber tree. 

There are a few different cultivars in the Obtusifolia family, with some having more pronounced variegation. Bright filtered light is necessary to maintain such variegation. But otherwise, these tolerate low light quite well.

This epiphytic plant is highly efficient in its usage and retention of water. This necessitates an infrequent watering schedule to avoid root rot and leaf drop. Water only when the soil is dry down to 2” and use an airy, well-draining mix. 

Peperomia Polybotrya

Peperomia Polybotrya

(Raindrop Peperomia)

The semi-succulent leaves of this epiphytic cultivar have a clever, cupped design for capturing raindrops, as they fall. Water glides down each glossy, green leaf toward a yellow centre, where it’s absorbed into the stem.

The raindrop easily tolerates low-light conditions. However, bright, indirect light will encourage healthy growth and stimulate curly, white spadices to bud.

A mature size of 12-15” tall and wide is possible in 65°F – 80°F (18°C – 27°C) temperatures and loamy potting soil that allows for proper drainage.

Water Raindrop plants when the soil is dry to the touch and mist its leaves when necessary to maintain adequate humidity.

Peperomia Polybotrya

Peperomia Prostrata

(String Of Turtles)

One of the cutest Peperomia types is the String of Turtles. Small, curved leaves line delicate stems that hang down 12-24”. Each displays intricate variegation that resembles a turtle’s shell.

This dainty specimen is a slow and steady grower that, when happy, releases red and white, floral spikes that pop against its gradient leaves.

Bright, filtered light and nutrient-rich soil will support growth toward a mature size of 5” tall by 12” wide.

A temperature range of 65°F – 75°F will protect these tiny leaves from drying out. Waiting until the soil is 50% dry will ensure sufficient hydration without the risk of root rot.

Peperomia Rotundifolia

Peperomia Rotundifolia

(Trailing Jade Peperomia)

The lithophyte Rotundifolia is often seen winding its way across jagged rocks, in the wild. Teardrop-shaped leaves emerge a pastel green before ageing to a deeper shade.

In addition to stunning, colour dimensions, pink spikes rise through the vines to 1 ½” tall, when placed in moderately bright light.

This trailer will reach a mature size of 12” tall and wide, when planted in a gritty succulent mix and watered when the soil surface is completely dry.

Although Peperomias are often called “radiator plants”, it’s not recommended to place this variety near one. Extreme temperatures can sear leaves and dehydrate roots.

Peperomia Rugosa

Peperomia Rugosa

(Aussie Gold)

The Aussie Gold is an exceptional variety, with colour variegation like no other. While common in Australia, this is a rare find elsewhere. Glossy gold and green fans, laced with dark pink veining, wind around fleshy, pink stems.

This stunner can reach 17” in height, at maturity, provided it is placed in a sunny, yet protected, spot and planted in chunky, fertile soil.

Evident by its intricate veining patterns, the Aussie Gold is highly efficient at moisture retention and usage, making it sensitive to overwatering. Every 7-10 days is recommended, in winter and when the soil is dry down 2”, in summer.

Peperomia Rubella

Peperomia Rubella

(Peperomia Cubensis)

The Cubensis is a petite, yet sturdy and dependable plant. Rising to just 6” tall, this cultivar will send out runners, in search of somewhere to attach itself. When nothing is found, these runners will hang like elegant vines from a hanging basket.

Fleshy, rounded leaves will shine a vibrant green, in contrast to its pink stems, when placed in soft, bright light and average, indoor temperatures and humidity levels.  

While fairly easygoing, the Cubensis is still sensitive to overwatering. Allow ⅓ of its airy, well-draining soil to dry out in between waterings. This will prevent common root rot and pest infestations.

Peperomia Scandens

Peperomia Scandens

(Cupid Peperomia)

The Cupid Peperomia is easily recognized by its crown of arrow-shaped leaves with gilded edges. New leaves sprout from alternating sides of long, slender shoots, which eventually become top-heavy and hang down. 

Cupid’s pendulous limbs can potentially drape down 4ft, with 2” long leaves, from a 12” tall crown. This mature size may take 2-5 years to reach, but at least 5 hours of bright, diffused light, well-draining soil and temps between 60°F – 80°F (16°C – 27°C) will promote a faster growth rate.

This variety is designed for water rationing and is not terribly needy. Water your Cupid only when the soil is 50-75% dry.

Peperomia Tetraphylla ‘Hope’

Peperomia Tetraphylla ‘Hope’

(Peperomia Hope)

If you’re looking for an easy and interesting houseplant to add to your collection, look no further than this tropical xerophyte. Clusters of smooth, plump, elliptical leaves gather every 2-3” along trailing stems.

Leaves retain moisture and offer it to the stem when needed, making watering a snap. Replenishment every 7-10 days is all that’s needed to keep this cultivar thriving.

Reaching 12” tall and wide, at maturity, this hope-filled plant grows faster in morning sun/afternoon shade and gritty, well-draining soil.

Peperomia Tetragona

Peperomia Tetragona

(syn: P. Puteolata)

As we near the end of the list, we’ll circle back to a cultivar that’s similar in appearance to the Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia Argyreia).

This difference between the two lies in the tactile nature of the Tetragonal leaves. In contrast to the Watermelon, Tetragona leaves have deep, pale green reservoirs that direct water toward the stem. While the parallel, dark-green sections capture light for photosynthesis.

This lithophyte cultivar prefers indirectly sunny locations with humidity above 60% and an ambient temperature of 65°F and above. Well-draining soil and deep, yet infrequent watering will encourage a mature size of 12-18” tall and wide.

Peperomia Trinervis

Peperomia Trinervis

The Peperomia Trinervis may be a rare breed, but it is well-known in houseplant circles for its striking variegation.

Presenting possibly the darkest shade of green in this genus, fan-shaped leaves are a dusky sage, beautifully contrasted with creamy white. Bright red stems add brilliant pops of warm colour.

Despite its delicate appearance, the trinervis is a hardy plant, provided it is only watered every week or so. Moderate lighting will maintain a bushy growth habit. Yet, an abundance of light could see these becoming leggy and hanging like a climber. 

An airy, organic potting soil will provide enough drainage to fuel growth and fill in those legs.

Peperomia Verschaffeltii

Peperomia Verschaffeltii

(Sweetheart Peperomia)

Another watermelon cousin is the Sweetheart Peperomia, named so for its spear-shaped leaves that turn in where they meet dark, pink stems. With subtle peaks and valleys, these leaves are masterful at capturing moisture and sunlight.

With a mounded growing habit, this cultivar rarely exceeds 6” tall. But, grows lush and colourful when placed in bright, filtered light and nutrient-rich, sandy potting soil.

These have been known to tolerate low-light conditions. Although, temperatures below 50°F will result in stunted growth and wilting foliage.

Water your Sweetheart plants weekly in summer and bi-weekly in winter, allowing the water to fully drain each time.

Peperomia Verticillata

Peperomia Verticillata

(Red Log or Belly Button Peperomia)

Rosette clusters of succulent leaves on the Peperomia Verticillata sprout from the ends of each lithe stem. 

As stems become top-heavy, they lean to reveal the soft, pink underbellies of each leaf. 

Pink stems have a downy texture intended to prevent moisture evaporation in hot environments. A north or east-facing window with indirect sunlight will support this, as will replenish its water every 7-10 days.

Loamy, fertile soil will encourage a mature size of 20” tall by 18” wide. Rotate your Verticillata every few days to promote well-rounded growth, as the stems reach out toward the light.

FAQ Peperomia Varieties

Final Thoughts On Types of Peperomia

Any one of the Peperomia varieties we’ve seen (and some we have yet to explore) will make absolutely lovely and low-maintenance additions to your houseplant collection. The best part is they are extremely easy to propagate through a leaf or stem cutting.

What makes each of these wildly different specimens low maintenance? Once you find the right spot for them, the balance of their care is a piece of cake.

  • Water them every 7-10 days, more frequently in summer than in winter.
  • Allow water to completely drain.
  • Ensure that the room they’re in stays above 60°F (16°C) with at least 50% humidity.
  • Use a potting mix similar to succulent or African violet mixes.

If your Peperomia begins to flower, you’ll know you’ve got it right. Best of all, every Peperomia specimen is non-toxic and perfectly safe to grow around pets and small children. Enjoy!

Citation

Central Florida Research and Education Center – Peperomia Production Guide

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Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.