Peperomia obtusifolia
Common Name: baby rubber plant
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Piperaceae
Native Range: Mexico to northern South America and West Indies
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. In St. Louis, this plant is easily grown as an indoor plant in a peatty potting mix in bright indirect light. Avoid direct afternoon sun. Water moderately but consistently, allowing the soils to almost dry on top before rewatering. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Likes high humidity in summer, so consider setting plant in a humidified room or on wet pebbles. Propagate by stem or leaf cuttings. Cut back foliage as needed to maintain plant shape.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Peperomia obtusifolia is a bushy upright plant that is native to southern Florida and the Caribbean. As a houseplant, it typically grows on thick erect stems to 12” tall. Waxy, elliptic, thick dark green leaves (to 6” long). Small greenish-white flowers on spikes (to 5” long). Flowers are interesting but not particulary showy. Many variegated cultivars with foliage that is mottled with cream, gray or gold. Also commonly called blunt-leaved peperomia or baby rubber plant.

Genus name comes from the Greek words peperi meaning pepper and homoios meaning resembling. The plants resemble, and are closely related to, true black pepper (Piper nigrum).

Specific epithet means blunt-leaved.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs, spider mites and white fly. Leaf spots may occur. Susceptible to rot if soils are kept too moist. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Low-maintenance houseplant for bright indirect light locations.