Peperomia Frost or the Silver Peperomia is a fantastic houseplant that combines large, silvery leaves with a compact, bushy shape. It’s a cultivar of Peperomia Caperata, so if you have other radiator plants in your collection, you’re going to find caring for it pretty straightforward.
But if this is your first foray into Peperomia plants, there are a few growing requirements that you’ll need to be quite careful with.
- What Is a Peperomia Frost?
- Peperomia Frost Care
What Is a Peperomia Frost?
Peperomia Frost is a cultivar of Peperomia Caperata. It is also known under the common names of silver Peperomia or silver frost Peperomia. Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, it is a popular indoor plant grown for its showy foliage and compact, bushy shape.
Peperomia Frost Care
Growing Peperomia Frost requires balancing the amount of light it receives, how often you water it, and the type of soil mix you use. These plants can be very sensitive to overwatering and can easily rot if their stems and foliage get wet.
But once you get the hang of their growing requirements, They are very rewarding houseplants and can add a unique touch of color to any home.
Here is everything you need to know about how to care for your Peperomia Frost plant:
Try to keep the soil of your Peperomia Frost moist but not soaked. We recommend watering it once every seven to ten days when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
This plant is very sensitive to overwatering, so it’s better to underwater than to drench the soil when in doubt. Your Peperomia plant will let you know if it’s thirsty. If the leaves begin to droop or feel a bit soft to the touch, it’s time to give it a drink.
When watering Peperomia Frost, always be careful not to spill water on the leaves. The stems and leaves are very susceptible to rot, so use a watering can with a long, narrow neck and pour the water directly at the base of the plant.
You can also use bottom watering for your Peperomia by placing the pot in a shallow container filled with water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep your Peperomia Frost in a room that receives moderate, diffused light. Although its leaves have a fleshy, succulent feel, this plant is not a true succulent and won’t tolerate the same amount of sun as cacti, for example.
Avoid exposing it to full sun, as this can scorch the foliage. However, too little light will result in faded colors, leggy stems, and slow, stunted growth.
We recommend placing the Peperomia Frost in a room that’s facing east or north. In a room with northern exposure, you can safely keep the plant on the windowsill. A room that is facing west is also ideal, and your Peperomia will also tolerate a couple of hours of direct sun early in the morning.
Keeping the plant away from the window is best for rooms with southern and western exposure to avoid foliage damage due to intense sun.
Peperomia Frost needs a potting mix that is porous and very well-draining. It has a shallow root system, and its delicate roots are very susceptible to rot if they’re sitting in water.
The easiest soil mix you can make for your Peperomia is combining equal parts peat moss and perlite or pumice. This mix will ensure the excellent drainage that the plant needs and prevent the roots from drying out too fast.
To keep the roots of your Peperomia Frost healthy, we also recommend using ceramic or terracotta pots. They help wick out the excess moisture from the soil and also provide better air circulation to the roots. Remember that root rot issues can be prevented by the amount of water you give your plant and the soil mix and the type of container you use.
The ideal temperature range for growing Peperomia Frost indoors is between 64 to 75 F (18 to 24 C). This plant will struggle to grow if temperatures drop below 59 F (15 C) and can suffer permanent damage in freezing temperatures.
Try to protect your Peperomia Frost from sudden temperature fluctuations. This will cause the plant to droop, and it may shed all its leaves due to shock. Avoid keeping your Peperomia close to a heating or cooling vent, as well as drafty windows and doors.
Peperomia Frost can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12. In outdoor cultivation, it’s best if you pick a part of your garden where the plant will be sheltered from any direct sun by trees or larger shrubs.
If you live in an area with cold winters or where nighttime temperatures tend to drop below 59 F (15 C), we suggest keeping your Peperomia in a container so that you can easily bring it back inside when it gets too cool.
Peperomia Frost is a tropical plant that loves humidity but can also grow in the air moisture levels found in an average home. As long as the humidity in your home is around 40 to 50 percent, the plant should be happy.
If you notice that the leaves look a bit shriveled or are starting to dry at the tips, try placing the pot on top of a pebble tray half-filled with water. Alternatively, you can also grow Peperomia Frost in an open terrarium, which will help keep the air around the plant humid.
Avoid misting your Peperomia Frost unless you have very good air circulation in your home. The leaves and stems of this plant grow in a compact cluster, and in poorly ventilated rooms, water can be trapped on their surface for long periods.
If the stems and leaves stay wet all the time, they will soon begin to rot, which can be fatal for your plant. Remember that Peperomia likes to be moist without actually being wet.
Peperomia Frost benefits from a monthly fertilizer application throughout the growing season. You can use a liquid, balanced fertilizer with a 10-10-10 nutrient ratio, diluted to half the strength. Apply this solution from early spring until early autumn, then gradually cut back on giving your Peperomia any additional plant food during the colder months.
Organic fertilizers are the perfect choice for your Peperomia Frost. You can use a pre-mixed solution with a 1-1-1 nutrient ratio, also diluted to half strength. Or you can incorporate a bit of humus or compost in your potting mix when repotting the plant.
– Pruning and Maintenance
Peperomia Frost does not require pruning. The plant will occasionally shed some of its older leaves as it grows. Allow them to drop off naturally, without cutting or trimming them.
To keep the foliage healthy and dust-free, we also recommend wiping the leaves of your Peperomia Frost once every two weeks. This is also a great opportunity to inspect your plant for any signs of pests and take action if needed.
If you’re using unglazed clay or terracotta pots for your Peperomia Frost, you may notice that they will develop white stains. These stains are caused by salts and minerals such as calcium found in your tap water, as well as fertilizers.
To remove them, simply soak the pot in a mixture of one part white vinegar and 20 parts water, then give it a good scrub with a coarse brush. Remember to take the plant out of the pot before using this method to clean the stains.
Peperomia Frost has a slow growth rate and shallow roots, which means that it doesn’t need to be repotted too often. Once every two or three years, you may need to move the plant to a new pot, especially if you start seeing the roots come out through the drainage holes.
Upgrading the pot to one that’s one size bigger or two inches (five centimeters) wider should do the trick. The best time to repot your Peperomia is at the start of its growing season, preferably in spring.
Avoid using containers that are too large when repotting your Peperomia Frost. The bigger the container, the more water will be retained in the soil. Peperomia roots are very fine, and they don’t reach too deep in the soil, which means that when you water the plant, most of the water won’t be absorbed and will simply accumulate at the bottom.
In time, this very moist substrate will encourage pathogens and result in reduced oxygen levels, and before you know it, the roots will begin to rot.
Peperomia Frost can be propagated through stem cuttings and leaf cuttings. You can use these propagation techniques in spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Peperomia cuttings root very easily, and they don’t need a rooting hormone. However, they can be susceptible to rot, so avoid overwatering them or getting them wet.
Here are our step-by-step guides for propagating your Peperomia Frost.
– Leaf Cutting
- Start by sterilizing a sharp pair of scissors with rubbing alcohol.
- Pick a few healthy leaves from the bottom of the stem, and cut the petiole close to the stem. We recommend using at least three leaf cuttings per pot if you want to have a bushy Peperomia plant.
- Take a shallow plastic container and fill it with vermiculite. You can also use seed propagation trays for the job.
- Moisten the vermiculite with a spray pump, then stick the leaf petiole in the substrate.
- Cover the container with transparent plastic wrap to help preserve humidity and encourage the cuttings to root faster.
- Keep the container in a warm, bright room, but avoid direct sun exposure.
- Check the substrate regularly, and make sure that it stays moist but not soaked.
- The Peperomia Frost leaf cuttings will start to grow roots after about a week.
- After a month, the cuttings will grow into small plants, which can then be taken out of the propagation tray and potted in a well-draining soil mix.
– Stem Cutting
- This method works best if you have a mature Peperomia Frost plant with a bare stem.
- Use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut the stem an inch below the last leaves.
- Allow the stem to callus for a few days by keeping it in a dry, cool room, away from direct sun.
- Once the stem has developed a callus, fill a container with vermiculite, and moisten it with a spray pump. Place the stem in the substrate, but make sure that the bottom leaves are not touching it directly.
- Keep the pot in a bright, warm room, away from direct sun.
- Your stem cutting will develop roots after about two weeks. Keep it in the container and water it lightly for at least a month.
- After four to five weeks, the stem cutting should have a root system that’s large enough, and you can transplant your new Peperomia plant in a container with a well-draining soil mix.
Peperomia Frost can be susceptible to several problems caused by overwatering, as well as too much sunlight. It can also suffer from occasional pest attacks. Here are a few signs that your Peperomia plant is not growing in the best conditions:
– Drooping Stems and Leaves
If the leaves of your Peperomia Frost are drooping, this often indicates that the plant is overwatered. However, the leaves and stems will also begin to droop when the plant is thirsty.
Check the soil regularly and allow it to dry to a depth of one inch in between waterings. Also, make sure that the potting mix you’re using for this plant is very well-draining.
– Peperomia Is Shedding Lots of Leaves
Your Peperomia Frost will suddenly start to lose a lot of its leaves if it’s exposed to cold drafts or temperatures below 59 F (15 C). Sudden leaf loss could also indicate a more severe problem, such as root rot. If the soil feels very wet to the touch, take the plant out of the pot and remove as much soil as possible to expose the roots.
Healthy Peperomia roots should be white or very pale cream. If you notice brown, black, or mushy roots, trim them with a sterilized pair of scissors, and repot the plant in a fresh batch of well-draining soil mix.
– Stem and Leaf Rot
This is a very common problem if the leaves and stems of your Peperomia Frost get wet often or if your home is very humid and poorly ventilated. Use a sterilized blade to trim off the rotting sections. If most Peperomia is damaged by rot, we recommend cutting off any healthy leaves and stems and propagating them to create a new plant.
– Spider Mites and Mealybugs
If your Peperomia Frost grows in very dry conditions, it can suffer from mealybugs or spider mite infestations. To get rid of these pests, mix a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol and four parts water. Use a soft cloth and gently wipe the leaves with this solution, especially on the undersides. Repeat the treatment once a week for a month.
– Do Peperomia Plants Have Flowers?
Yes, they do. Peperomia Frost is also a flowering plant and will produce a light green spike-like inflorescence with a reddish stem.
– How Big Does a Peperomia Caperata Grow?
Peperomia Caperata grows up to eight inches tall and wide, especially in indoor cultivation. Unlike many Peperomia Caperata cultivars, its leaves are much larger and can easily grow up to three inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter.
Peperomia Frost leaves are rounded, almost heart-shaped, with a leathery texture and semi-succulent feel. The gorgeous silvery color makes a striking contrast with their dark green veins.
– Is Peperomia Frost Toxic?
No. Peperomia Frost is not toxic, which makes it a great choice if you have cats or dogs in your home.
Let’s do a recap of what you’ve learned in our guide to caring for Peperomia Frost:
- Peperomia Frost is a cultivar of Peperomia Caperata, with large, silvery leaves.
- It has a compact, bushy shape and can grow to a maximum height of eight inches (20 centimeters).
- The Silver Peperomia grows best in moderate light conditions, very well-draining soils, and needs to be watered enough to keep the soil moist but not soaked.
- It is very sensitive to overwatering and having its foliage wet, which can easily result in rot.
- This plant is not toxic, making it a great choice for a pet-friendly indoor garden.
This wraps up our care guide for Peperomia Frost. Although caring for this plant can seem a bit complex at first, you will enjoy having it in your home for many years once you get used to its growing requirements.
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