Peperomia orba is a small semi-succulent plant in the Piperaceae family. It has bright green, teardrop-shaped leaves and may also be called teardrop peperomia orba or peperomia orba pixie lime.
Peperomia orba flower structure is not impressive, so fans of this houseplant choose it for the beauty of its variegated lime green leaves. Keep reading for our best peperomia orba care tips.
Like other plants in its family, peperomia orba prefers indirect sunlight. It can tolerate low light, but cannot withstand intense sunlight, so it’s best to not place it in front of a window.
If you must place your peperomia orba beside a window, choose an east-facing window because of its gentle morning light. If the room is bright during the day, you can place your peperomia orba just about anywhere and it will receive enough light.
Overwatering is the easiest way to kill an orba peperomia. It has thick, succulent-like leaves that store water to help it survive drought conditions. Its roots are delicate and rot easily when they’re too wet.
Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If you stick your finger into the soil, it should feel dry at least halfway down.
In the summertime, your peperomia orba might need watering once a week. In colder weather, the soil doesn’t dry out as quickly and peperomia orba doesn’t grow as much. You should only water once every two to three weeks when it’s cold out.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Well-drained soil is vital for growing a healthy peperomia orba. Make sure the soil is light and chunky so that plenty of air can circulate around the roots. Peat moss or potting soil should be mixed with coarse sand or perlite for best results.
Peperomia orba needs fertilizer in moderation because excess causes root damage. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half-strength or use an organic fertilizer such as compost, worm castings, or fish emulsion. Apply it once a month in the spring and summer and avoid fertilizing in the winter.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
The ideal temperature for a peperomia orba plant is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius). This is comparable to the common indoor temperature in most households. However, since they’re native to hot and humid climates, they can tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Although peperomia orba is a semi-succulent, it likes moderate to high humidity levels ranging between 50 and 80 percent. This can be hard to achieve if you don’t live in a tropical environment. Additionally, peperomia orba shouldn’t be misted with water unless you live in an exceptionally arid climate.
Potting, Repotting, and Pruning
Peperomia orba enjoys being slightly root bound, so choose a pot that’s just a little bigger than the root ball. You’ll only need to repot it every three to five years because of its naturally slow growth. When you see fine roots peeking out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot, it’s time to repot.
Peperomia orba is smaller than many houseplants, so pruning is rarely required. Heavy pruning can damage the plant, so only trim straggling leaves when they take away from the overall shape of the plant.
Cut peperomia orba flowers off when they appear in the summertime. They don’t add anything to the plant’s appearance and the energy the plant uses growing them is better funneled into making larger, more colorful foliage.
Propagating Peperomia orba
Spring is the best time to repot or propagate peperomia orba. Stem cutting is an easy way to make more peperomia orba plants. Simply use any leggy stems removed while pruning.
Peperomia orba propagation requires a leaf with at least one inch of stem attached. Insert stems into a small container filled with potting soil. Place your peperomia orba cuttings in indirect light and keep the soil from drying out. Within a few weeks, roots should form.
Types of Peperomia orba
All peperomia varieties, including peperomia orba, are native to South and Central America.
Often called radiator plants, they are a relative of black pepper plants as their name indicates. The Greek word “orba” means “orphan.”
- Peperomia orba pixie: This select cultivar is a petite version of peperomia orba. It only grows 4 to 6 inches high and about 6 inches wide. This variety has a faint white stripe down the center of each leaf.
- Peperomia orba variegata: This mounding variety can spread as wide as 12 inches. It has glossy green leaves with pale yellow edges.
- Peperomia orba Astrid: Similar to peperomia orba pixie, peperomia orba Astrid has a silvery white stripe down the middle of each leaf. It’s somewhat bigger than the pixie variety.
Peperomia Ruby Cascade
Peperomia orba FAQs
Yes. Peperomia orba can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and its compact size makes it an excellent choice for shelves and desktops. The peperomia family has plants with leaves in different colors and textures, so they’re ideal for collecting and displaying in groups.
Most people find peperomia orba an easy plant to care for. They grow well in pots, dish gardens, and terrariums and don’t have the fussy light and watering requirements that many houseplants have.
Peperomia orba is often described as a semi-succulent. It has thick, waxy leaves that are similar to succulent leaves in appearance. It likes to dry out between waterings, but unlike succulents, cannot handle direct sunlight.