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|TROPICAL PLANT CATALOG||Printer friendly page|
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About a thousand species of Peperomias have been described, mainly from South America although a few (17) are found in Africa. Many of these plants are perennial epiphytes growing on rotten logs and they have thick stems and fleshy leaves, some with leaf windows. Most Peperomias have tiny flowers which are packed into a characteristic greenish or brown conical spike like an inverted catkin. A few species have more attractive flowers such as the white scented clusters of spikes produced by P. fraseri.
Peperomias are best cultivated in a light, well drained compost containing plenty of humus and do well in shallow containers. Coming from tropical rain-forest habitats, they love warm humid conditions and most need a minimum temperature of 50 - 55°F. However, the stems and foliage can be prone to rotting and Peperomias should be watered sparingly from below (especially in winter) using soft water, avoiding wetting the crown of the plant.
Species and varieties:
Peperomia ferreyrae Happy Bean
|There are almost infinite varieties of peperomias that can be grown indoors, making it a good subject for collectors. It is a highly varied family, with many of its members bearing strikingly patterned or deeply veined and crinkled foliage. More are unique for the way the leaf seems to emerge around the stem, and yet others for their glossy, waxy leaves. Although these plants like to be moist, they do not like water standing on their thick, porous leaves, and so should be watered from below. Overwatering should be avoided too, and can be even worse than underwatering. The plant will immediately show its discontent when underwatered by wilting and losing the plumpness of its leaves, somewhat like a succulent. Other than that, they are relatively easy to keep. It is, however, a difficult plant to propagate by cuttings, as the tender stems are prone to rot.|
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