Peperomia tetragona has the cutest little leaves with such an eye-catching pattern. It is just the plant you need to add an element of fun to your plant collection.
It is also the most suitable plant for busy people. Please go through this article to find out what makes it such an easy-going plant.
- What Is Peperomia Tetragona?
- Peperomia Tetragona Care
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Peperomia Tetragona?
Peperomia tetragona is a perrenial plant that was previously sold under the name Peperomia puteolata. It is instantly recognizable for its almond-shaped oval leaves with alternating dark and light green stripes. It is also small in size with a rather slow growth pattern.
Peperomia Tetragona Care
The plant care for the parallel peperomia is quite straightforward. It needs only filtered or indirect light and moderate watering when the soil surface dries. We have details coming up ahead if you are curious to know more.
– Water Requirements
Peperomia tetragona watering needs are just like most common houseplants. When its topsoil feels dry, you should water it right away. There are many ways to check if the topsoil is dry. Some people use their fingers to gauge if the first two inches of soil feel dry.
Others prefer inserting a rod or pencil to see if it comes out dry or not. Most perfectionists if you use an instrument called a moisture meter. All of these methods work just fine so choose whatever you like best.
Tap water is a no go zone. It is filled with salts and minerals that build up in the soil and peperomia leaves over time. Sometimes these salts even precipitate over the leaves as crystals.
Instead, go for bottles of distilled water, however, if that sounds expensive, try collecting rainwater and using it every time. Filtered water works, too, especially reverse-osmosis filtered.
– Light Requirements
Peperomia tetragona light needs are simple. It needs bright light to survive and grow but cannot tolerate direct rays of light. Sunburn in yellow and brown crispy leaves is often seen when placed under direct light.
Choose the most shaded spot in your outdoor living space for the Peperomia plant. At no point during the day should direct light fall on the plant.
That one wall in your garden that faces the north? Yup! It’s best for shielding this plant from direct light. Have any bigger-sized plants or trees in the garden? Place your potted Peperomia under them to get filtered indirect light, how they like it.
Inside the house, you can keep your tetragonas safe from direct sunlight. Do try to place this plant in a room with windows, though. If the window in question faces the south, better keep the pot far away from it. During the hours from noon to afternoon, pull the curtains over to stop direct harsh sunlight.
The eastern and the western side windows are so much safer in comparison. You will have to pull the curtains over for a few hours in the morning and the evening, respectively. You can even put peperomia pot on their windowsills if you like.
A northern-facing window, unfortunately, is often not enough. You will see your leaves turning lighter in color with thin, spindly stems. Don’t worry; putting up additional plant grow lights will solve this problem immediately.
– Soil Requirements
Tetragona Peperomia loves moisture to grow properly. That is why it is important that its soil drains quickly and retains adequate moisture elements. The soil’s pH should not exceed slightly acidic to neutral ranges.
Go for a peat-based potting mix as the starting material. Peat is a boggy organic material that is quite rich in nutrients. It also serves to soak water like a sponge and then give it back to the soil little by little. This way, it acts to retain moisture in the soil without causing overwatering.
Next, add some perlite to the peat mix to loosen it up. A ratio of 1:2 perlite to peat works the best. Perlite comes in the form of balls that create many spaces and channels within the soil for air and water flow.
– Temperature Requirements
The temperature for this plant should be 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit no matter the season. The temperature shouldn’t be allowed to drop below 50 degrees. Otherwise, Tetragonia starts shedding its leaves and undergoes dormancy.
Here are some tricks to help you maintain warm temperatures all year round.
- Outside in the garden, it’s easy to maintain the temperature this high.
- Inside the house, too, you can maintain high temperatures in winter by using a thermostat.
- Indoors during summer, the house may be chilled by air conditioners. That is why it’s best to place it near a bright window or in a kitchen.
- Direct cold drafts of air are unhealthy for Peperomia. Never place this plant under a vent or near an open window at night.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant needs as much as 90 percent humidity to flourish properly. The minimum you can let the humidity drop to is about 60 percent. A hygrometer will help you check how moist or dry the air in your house is.
In order to keep up with this plant’s high humidity needs, keep in mind that you must move the plant to rooms that are more inclined towards moist air. These are the kitchen, the washroom, and the laundry room.
In addition you may also move your potted Peperomia closer to other humidity-loving plants. This will create a mini greenhouse environment around the whole assembly. You need to ensure that the air circulation among plants is not compromised.
By using a humidifier when it comes to Peperomia can be useful. Keep one in the same room as your pot and have it run automatically. It will maintain the same humidity levels that this plant needs.
Nonetheless, a cheaper alternative to a humidifier is to make a DIY pebble tray and put it under the pot. Just be careful that the pot isn’t resting on the water. Remember to mist the leaves twice or thrice weekly using a mild spray.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Taking time out of your schedule to fertilize this plant regularly would be best. Feed every two weeks in the summer and then every month in the winter. Go for a well-balanced liquid type of feed for this plant. You need a fertilizer with an NPK value of 20:20:20 written on the label.
Make a habit of always diluting the fertilizer first before applying it to the soil. This will save your plant from both chemical burns and over-fertilizing. Water the soil beforehand and avoid pouring fertilizer over the plant parts. Leaves and stems can get burned pretty quickly.
With regular fertilizing, salts and toxins begin to accumulate within the soil. These are the breakdown products of chemicals. Deep water the soil every month to get rid of these by-products. This means using a large volume of water to wash the soil literally.
Keep pruning and cutting the newly growing branches on this plant. This way, you can maintain the shape that you want. Another important aspect is to keep the plant clean and well kept.
Don’t let dust accumulate on the leaves. Especially clean under the leaves because most of the pests and bugs accumulate.
Keep removing the leaves that drop and accumulate on the soil surface. Some of them can be used for mulch or add them to your compost pile.
Peperomia tetragona propagation is not only easy but also super fun. We suggest you involve the whole family and make this a learning experience for the kids. We offer a simple step-by-step approach to the two most common methods.
– Air Layering
Air layering allows you to grow a new plant that is still attached to the parent plant. If this fascinates you, read how to carry out air layering at home.
- Take the longest branch of your plant and bend it, so it comes all the way down to the pot.
- Bury the nearest leaf node within the soil. A leaf node is a slightly thickened spot from which leaves arise.
- Remove the respective leaf before you put its node in the ground. You will have to pin the node to the soil, so the branch doesn’t spring back up.
- New roots will grow from this node in four to six weeks.
- Cut three to four inches of the stem above the node after about a month. Give the plantlet two more weeks, then take it out and replant it in a new pot.
– Stem Cuttings
This method tops the list of oldest methods of house plant propagation– also a time-tested one.
Make sure to choose a 100 percent disease- and pest-free stem.
- Take your sharpest gardening shears and rub alcohol on their blades. Then wash it off with water.
- Cut off three to five inches of a stem or branch. This cutting should have a few leaf nodes from which new growth will occur.
- Pick the leaves off the cutting and rub some rooting hormone at the cut end.
- You should have your soil and pot prepared at this point. Dig a shallow hole and insert your cutting inside. The end on which the rooting hormone was applied should go into the soil.
- The pot must be placed in a warm, humid, and well-lit space. For the first couple of weeks, keep the soil moist throughout without letting it go runny.
- It will take a month and a half before the plant will show signs of growth.
– Propagate In Water
You can also propagate stem cuttings in the water and see the new roots growing with your own two eyes. Find out how by carrying on reading below.
- Place your cutting in a transparent plastic container that is filled with water.
- Cover the container with its lid and keep it where peperomia’s light, humidity, and temperature requirements are ideal.
- Every day or every other day, uncover the lid for a few hours. This allows some much-needed air exchange to occur.
- New roots will emerge and begin to grow in the container from the cut end.
- Take some spoonfuls of peat-based potting mix and add them to the container every other day. This practice acclimatizes your plantlet to the dark, oxygen-deprived environment of the soil.
- When your cutting disappears from view within the container, take it out and transplant it within a pot.
Luckily, peperomia is not a problematic plant, to begin with. You might have to deal with occasional spider mites, slugs, or fungus gnats infestations. Be very careful about overwatering your plant. We bring you the three most common tetragona problems and their instant solutions.
– Slugs In The Soil
A potted peperomia plant being kept outdoors often gets attacked by slugs. These pests like hiding under humid and shaded conditions like mulch. Because they are larger than pests, you will be able to spot them.
You can also spot them by a silvery trail of slime that they leave behind. Your poor leaves will have multiple chewed-up holes in them. In the long term, the growth of the plant ultimately suffers.
Getting help from natural predators like toads and frogs brings instant relief. Move the pot near a pond or a muddy patch in the garden to be near these amphibians. They will eat up these slugs for you.
Secondly, get help from ordinary household kitchen scraps. Collect a couple of eggshells, wash them and let them dry. Then crush them all up to scatter over the surface of the soil. Crushed eggshells abrade and desiccate the surface of the slugs, making them go away.
Crushed ground coffee works similarly by abrading the protective coating off the slugs. Caffeine is also mildly toxic to these pests. Sprinkling some copper over the soil will have the slugs running because it reacts poorly with their bodies.
– Fungus Gnats
Have you noticed many knack floes buzzing around your potted Tetragona plants? These flies have probably laid hundreds of eggs and larvae in the soil, which can be a huge problem. Their black-colored tiny larvae are 1/8th of an inch approximately.
They feed off the stem and leaves of plants. Some larvae within the soil also attack the roots. The plant becomes disfigured due to malnutrition. Its growth will be seriously retarded too.
Fungus gnats grow best in moist and runny soil. So start treating them by allowing the soil to start drying first before watering. You can apply insecticides to the soil to kill Gnats.
You can leverage yellow-colored materials as Fungus gnats are attracted to the color yellow. Place bright yellow colored sticky cards over the soil. These will become stuck to the notes you can then throw again.
Another method that works rapidly enough is hydrogen peroxide and water. Mix these two to make a sort of spray. Use it every three to four days to kill all gnats off.
– Overwatering and Root Rot
If you keep watering a soil without letting it dry first, it will produce overwatered conditions. Similarly, if the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot is blocked or not large enough, water extra water will accumulate within the soil instead of flowing off.
Fungi and bacteria will multiply within such soil very rapidly. Initially, overwatering causes swelling and yellowing of leaves. They will droop down from the extra weight of accumulated water.
Within a month or two, sometimes even sooner than this, your plant will succumb to bacterial or fungal rot. Yellow and brown spots will appear all over the plant that will necrose and turn black. Rot can be deadly if not treated with prompt action.
It is very difficult to save a Tetragona plant once it is under attack by rot. Follow our step-by-step treatment plant to increase your chances of success.
- Start with taking the plant out of its pot and wrapping it in water-soaking paper.
- Once all the water from it has been soaked, cut off all the plant parts that are completely blackened.
- The next logical step is to apply an anti-fungal spray or powder over the whole plant. Apply especially over the roots of the plant as this is the most severely affected part.
- Lastly, proceed with repotting the plant in a new pot with new soil. Make sure that this time the drainage is foolproof. Filling the bottom layer of the pot with gravel also helps prevent the blockage of drainage holes.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Do You Revive Dying Peperomia?
In order to revive a dying peperomia:
- Use the reverse watering technique.
- Put your parched peperomia in a water bucket.
- Fill this bucket with water so that half of the pot becomes submerged.
The soil will slowly begin to absorb this water through the drainage hole at the bottom. Keep a constant eye on the soil until you observe the soil’s surface has become moist. Depending on the moisture levels in the soil, this might take around 15 to 30 minutes.
When the soil begins to feel moist on the touch, immediately take the pot out of the bucket. Trust us; this method works like magic on a peperomia that seems to be dying of being neglected.
– Should I Mist My Peperomias?
You can mist your peperomia if it seems to be suffering due to dryness. However, better options are available, like using a humidifier, pebble tray, or simply moving the pot to the washroom.
When misting the plant, only use a very small amount of water. Your spray bottle should have a small and narrow nozzle. You want to sprinkle the leaves with water, not bathe them lightly.
Another piece of advice regarding misting is to do it in the morning. Many of you mist the plant in the evening or at night. The water doesn’t evaporate in time, leading to mold growth on the leaves.
Just a tiny recapitulation coming up ahead before we wrap up this comprehensive guide.
- Tetragona peperomia cannot tolerate direct light so avoid that.
- The topsoil must always be dry before the potted plant is watered again.
- The soil should be peat-perlite based on a ratio of 2:1
- This plant needs very high humidity. You can try a humidifier, a pebble tray, or even misting to improve humidity levels in the house.
We think that this peperomia type has the best-looking foliage. The next time you pay a visit to the nursery, make sure you return home with your very own tetragona plant.
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