If we had to describe peperomia in three words, we’d say peppy, plentiful, and… propagation! Whether you’re an experienced gardener or looking for a cool science project, learning how to propagate peperomia is a fun and easy activity.
If you already have a peperomia plant, you know that they’re sturdy, adaptable, and sometimes a little crazy. But, did you know that some types of peperomia are considered succulents? Most varieties have the infamous fleshy and succulent leaves that contribute to their excellent drought resistance.
Peperomia’s succulent leaves also help out with easy propagation. Water and nutrients are stored in the succulent parts of the plant, creating a food supply. When a cutting is taken from the plant, it can no longer receive nutrients from the roots, so it relies on its storage. This keeps the cutting alive until it grows roots of its own.
Because a succulent’s food storage is so important, you can’t propagate an unhealthy peperomia. For information on keeping your plant happy, check out our article on peperomia care.
And now, we’ll go into everything you need to know about propagating Peperomia.
Useful Products For Peperomia Propagation:
The easiest method of propagation for peperomia is stem and leaf cuttings. During this process, you’ll be removing part of the plant and putting it in its own container. Over time, with a little work and luck, the cutting grow into a full plant. Pretty cool, right?
There are a few things to consider before jumping in. First is the timing. Peperomia propagation is best done in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Like a hibernating bear, plants generally like to be left alone while dormant.
Second, you must decide whether you’re propagating by stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or both. If you’re propagating a variegated peperomia, go with stem cuttings. They’re more likely to carry over the variegated colors to the new plant.
Last, decide which stems or leaves to cut. They need to be fully mature and healthy in order to grow well. It’s tempting to propagate a lot of plants at once, but be careful with the number of cuttings you take. You should never remove more than ⅓ of the parent plant or it could cause damage.
Next up is gathering the essential equipment for propagation. It’s best to have everything beforehand so you’re not searching for a tool with one hand in the soil. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A healthy, mature peperomia plant
- A clean, sharp knife or shears
- Light and airy soil
- A small pot for the cuttings
- One clear plastic bag or empty soda bottle
- Rooting hormone powder (optional)
How to Propagate Peperomia
Fill the small pot with moist soil so it’s ready for the cuttings. Clean your knife/shears and take your cuttings:
Stem cuttings: Choose a stem with three or more leaves on it and clip it right below the bottom leaf. Remove the lower leaves so there are only two left at the top. The roots will grow from the joints where the removed leaves were.
Leaf cuttings: Cut off the leaf where the petiole (the leaf joint) intersects with the stem.
Once you’ve got fresh cuttings, get them potted up quickly. Don’t wait more than a couple hours!
Dip the end of the cutting in rooting powder to speed up the process (you’ll be glad you did).
Stick the cuttings upright in the soil and gently pat it down so they don’t fall over. If the cuttings won’t stay up because the leaves are too large, you can trim off half of each leaf.
This is the fun part. Create a mini greenhouse to keep things humid. Just punch a few holes in a large plastic bag and fit it over the pot, using chopsticks or stakes to help hold it up and off the plant. Alternatively, you can use an empty soda bottle by cutting off the spout and making small holes in the base. Place it over your cuttings like a dome.
Put your mini greenhouse in a location that’s room temperature and out of full sun. Be wary of direct sunlight since peperomia cuttings burn easily. Remove the dome every few days so the little greenhouse can air out and prevent rot. Keep the soil moist, but not drenched.
Once you spot new growth at the base of the cutting, you can remove the dome if desired. Wait until the cutting is well-rooted and has lots of new growth before repotting. Peperomia likes to be rootbound, so you don’t have to rush to repot.
An Alternative Method
Don’t want to get dirty? Water propagation is a simple and clean alternative to planting in soil. Peperomia stem cuttings usually do well in water until they’ve grown into full plants.
After you take your stem cuttings, place them in a glass, making sure the stems aren’t too crowded. Fill the glass with water so that 1-2 leaf nodes are submerged. Don’t soak the entire stem or the cutting won’t get enough oxygen.
In 2-6 weeks, you’ll see roots growing out of the leaf nodes. While waiting, keep the water level high enough and change it often to prevent bacteria growth.
Select varieties, such as Peperomia obtusifolia, can continue to grow in water. However, as the plant needs more nutrients, you’ll need to transfer your new plant from a glass to a hydroponics system.
Wasn’t that easy? Peperomia really is one of the simplest plants to propagate by cuttings. Now that you know how, there’s no limit to how many peperomias you can turn out. So give it a try, share it with your friends, and enjoy your plants!