Peperomia ferreyrae is one of the more unique varieties in the Piperaceae family. Unlike most types of Peperomia which display roundish leaves, it has thick, tapered leaves that resemble narrow peapods.
Also called the happy bean, green bean, or pincushion Peperomia, the ferreyrae has a small profile like other plants in its semi-succulent family. Even following the care tips below, it will only grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and around 8 inches (20-25 cm) wide.
Peperomia ferreyrae has a translucent leaf window on each bright green leaf that helps it absorb adequate sunlight. Therefore, it doesn’t need direct sun like actual succulent plants require. Rotate your Peperomia ferreyrae every week or two so that each side receives balanced light.
It’s best to place your Peperomia ferreyrae where it will receive partial or filtered sunlight. Peperomia ferreyrae black leaves happen when the plant hasn’t gotten adequate light but is suddenly exposed to bright light.
If you live in a climate with low winter light levels, place it under a grow light for the winter months. Unlike many succulent-type plants, Peperomia ferreyrae never goes dormant and needs attention year-round.
Even though Peperomia ferreyrae is native to rain forests in Peru, it’s a semi-succulent with low water requirements. Only water when the top two inches of soil feels dry, usually every 7 to 10 days. Overwatering is a much bigger concern than underwatering.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Peperomia ferreyrae needs well-draining soil with a high level of mineral grit. Plant it in a succulent or cactus soil that includes 50 to 70 percent perlite, pumice, or sand.
Feed your Peperomia ferreyrae with a diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the spring months. During the summer months, only fertilize once a month. Avoid feeding entirely during fall and winter.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Peperomia ferreyrae cannot tolerate a hard frost, so bring it inside if it’s in an unheated room that falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius).
Normal room humidity is fine for Peperomia ferreyrae. If the air is exceptionally dry in the summer months, place a water and pebble filled tray under the pot. Peperomia ferreyrae also enjoys being misted with water, which is another good way to raise humidity levels.
Potting, Repotting, and Pruning
Most Peperomia plants—including succulent Peperomia ferreyrae—grow best when they’re a little root bound. So don’t be in a hurry to move it to a larger pot.
Spring is the ideal season for repotting a Peperomia ferreyrae and it should be done annually to refresh the soil. You’ll know it’s time for repotting when roots are growing out of the pot’s drainage holes. Lightly trim the root tips when you transplant into a bigger pot.
Peperomia ferreyrae care doesn’t require much pruning, if any. Prune lightly if it seems leggy, to encourage new leaf growth. Otherwise, let it grow freely. This type of Peperomia rarely overgrows its space.
Propagating Peperomia Ferreyrae
Stem cuttings are the proper method for Peperomia ferreyrae propagation. Cut off a stem that is around 3 inches long and has several leaves. Allow the cutting to dry for 24 hours, to form a callus over the cut.
Leave at least two or three leaves on the stem, but remove the lower leaves. Dip the cut end in root hormone and insert it into an airy rooting soil. Water the soil and press it gently around the stem, making sure that the nodes are well covered.
Create a small greenhouse effect by poking a few holes in a clear plastic bag. Place the bag over the pot, but don’t seal it. Too much humidity will harm the new plant.
Remove the bag for a couple of hours each day to encourage air circulation. Allow several weeks for new root and leaf growth to appear, then transfer it to its own pot.
Peperomia Ferreyrae Pests and Problems
Peperomia ferreyrae plant care includes learning its common pests and problems. If you see cottony white masses under its leaves, it probably has mealybugs. Kill them and their eggs by dabbing the white areas with rubbing alcohol.
Spider mites are another pest that commonly invades a Peperomia ferreyrae habitat. They thrive in dry and warm winter conditions, but can easily be killed with neem oil.
If you see Peperomia ferreyrae dropping leaves, it is usually from sudden exposure to cold temperatures. Leaf scabs can be the result of overwatering.
Peperomia ferreyrae FAQs
Pruning is the best way to shape a Peperomia ferreyrae into your desired form. Trim some of the tallest stems if your happy bean plant starts looking too sparse.
When a Peperomia ferreyrae looks droopy, underwatering is usually to blame. Saturate the soil well and allow it to drain through the pot before placing it back on its shelf or table. But don’t let the roots sit in a puddle of water, as that will cause root rot.
Yes, but like other Peperomia varieties, the foliage is prettier than the flowers. A Peperomia ferreyrae bloom looks like conical, yellow spikes at the end of its branches. You can pinch the flowers off to reserve the plant’s energy for growing more leaves.