Peperomia puteolata is a beautiful, multi-colored member of the Piperaceae plant family. It’s a perennial forest-dwelling plant native to Columbia and South America.
Peperomia puteolata has semi-succulent, oval leaves with pointed tips and alternating green and white stripes. Its stems are a reddish-purple color and can either trail over the sides of its pot or be trained to grow up a pole into a bushy shape. Peperomia puteolata care is generally uncomplicated.
Peperomia puteolata needs bright but indirect light. An east or west facing window is best because it will provide a good dose of morning or afternoon sunlight. If you choose a south facing window, make sure the parallel plant is set a few feet back from the glass and/or is protected by a sheer curtain or screen.
Parallel plant will grow in lower light conditions, but it will be slow. In addition, low light levels will result in a plant with long, scraggly stems and small leaves. If your home or apartment is on the dark side, an inexpensive plant light will help keep its growth on track.
Peperomia puteolata plants require more water than a true succulent, but not as much as most other houseplants. How can you tell that your peperomia puteolata parallel is ready for more water? Look at its lower leaves. Because they store water, they should look plump. If they’re wrinkled or wilting, it’s time to water.
Overwatering is the most common cause of problems with a peperomia puteolata. Resist the temptation to water more than once every seven to ten days. Let the top one or two inches of soil dry completely before watering.
Peperomia puteolata requires a loose soil mix that drains well. The best soil blend combines one-third of each of these:
- Cactus/succulent mix
- Peat/sphagnum moss
- Perlite or pumice
Peperomia Puteolata Fertilizer Tips
Feed your peperomia puteolata every other week during the spring and summer months and not at all during the dormant stage of fall and winter. Much like its water requirements, peperomia puteolata does better with too little fertilizer than too much.
Choose a mild, balanced fertilizer that’s labeled 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. Dilute it to half-strength so you don’t burn the plant’s delicate roots. Alternately, you can apply a slow release fertilizer in early spring and forget about fertilizing the rest of the year.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Because peperomia puteolata is a pan-tropical plant—meaning that it grows naturally above and below the equator in the tropic zones—it thrives in an environment with similar temperature and humidity levels.
You must protect it from temperatures below 55 F. It will do fine in normal indoor temperatures that range between 60 and 85 F, and can even withstand higher temps for a short time.
Unless your climate is very dry, normal home humidity levels will suffice for peperomia puteolata. If you think your plant needs more moisture, mist it with water once a week or add a humidifier to the room.
Potting and Repotting Instructions
The slow-growing, petite parallel plant rarely needs repotting. Unlike many houseplants, you can go two years or more without needing to repot a peperomia puteolata. If it looks like your plant is outgrowing the container it came in, move it to a slightly bigger container.
Be sure to use the soil mix described above and handle the delicate roots carefully. Because peperomia puteolata’s natural habitat has shallow soil, it will grow well in a shallow dish.
When to Prune Peperomia Puteolata
You never have to prune a peperomia puteolata if you don’t want to. However, some minor pruning may be necessary to keep it growing in the shape you desire.
Snip off straggly stems that take away from its appearance. Always prune yellow, brown, or severely wilted leaves before they have a chance to cause rot or fungal issues.
Propagating Peperomia Puteolata
If you’re wondering how to propagate peperomia puteolata, the best method is stem tip cuttings. Simply cut a healthy stem just below a leaf node, and remove the lower half of leaves from the stem.
Dip the cut stem into rooting hormone, then place it in a glass of filtered or distilled water. Change the water once a week and keep the glass in a warm, dark place until sufficient roots have grown. Pot your new peperomia puteolata plants in their own little container of suitable soil.
Types of Peperomia puteolata
Other common names for peperomia puteolata include parallel plant, parallel peperomia puteolata, puteolata stilt, and peperomia puteolata tetragona. Peperomia puteolata diamond is a variety of puteolata that has lighter, yellow-green leaves.
Peperomia puteolata looks similar to watermelon peperomia but its leaves are smaller and more delicate. Parallel plant’s slender, arrow-shaped leaves grow in a whorl around the stem.
Peperomia Puteolata FAQs
Yes. Along with Chinese money plants and trailing jade, peperomia puteolata plants are thought to bring wealth and prosperity into the room in which they are housed. Just keep in mind that dying plants give off bad energy, so keep your peperomia puteolata healthy for good feng shui vibes.
No. According to the ASPCA, peperomia puteolata is non-toxic to dogs, cats, and children.
According to NASA research, all plants in the peperomia family have foliage that cleans the air. In fact, a healthy peperomia puteolata can reduce the level of formaldehyde indoors by nearly 50 percent.
Newer peperomia puteolata leaves have a bronze or reddish hue that vanishes as they mature into full-sized, ridged striped leaves. Peperomia puteolata flowers aren’t particularly colorful, so enjoy how the new leaves add some color to your plant.