All About Peperomia Verticillata

Peperomia verticillata is one of the most vibrant colored plants in the Piperaceae plant family. It has brilliant two-shaded foliage that’s bright red on one side and deep green on the other. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and slightly cup shaped.

Peperomia Verticillata
Wikimedia

Peperomia verticillata is a semi-succulent plant native to Bolivia. Other names for it include Red Log, Belly Button, Double Duty, and a subspecies called Peperomia verticillata Rubella. Suitable for new or expert plant parents, peperomia verticillata is easy to grow when you follow these care recommendations.

Light Levels

Peperomia verticillata loves a well-lit room. Place it in an area that receives steady sunlight throughout the day. Belly button peperomia verticillata leans strongly toward its light source, so be sure to rotate the pot every few days to achieve even growth. 

West and south facing windows are great spots for a peperomia verticillata red log, and it can even tolerate a small amount of direct sunlight. This is unusual because most peperomia plants need indirect light instead.

Even though peperomia verticillata loves bright sunlight, scorch marks on the leaves are a sign that the rays are too strong. Move the plant away from the window, or choose an entirely different location.

Water Requirements

A red log plant needs for its soil to dry out between waterings. If you water a peperomia verticillata too often, its roots will quickly rot in the standing water and ultimately kill the plant.

How long it takes the soil to dry sufficiently depends at least partly on whether you live in an arid or humid climate. Check the soil’s dampness once a week or every 10 days by sticking your finger in two inches. If it feels dry that far down, it’s time to water. During the winter, water less frequently.

Soil and Fertilizer Guide

Soil and Fertilizer Guide
Succulence Life and Garden

Red log peperomia verticillata needs a well-draining soil mix. Ordinary potting soil holds too much water for peperomia verticillata to thrive. If you purchase a succulent soil mix, even it will need an additional handful of perlite or sand.

Only fertilize during the growing season (spring and summer months). Apply a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer once every two weeks. Look for a brand that has nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a 1:1:1 ratio.

Temperature and Humidity Levels

Peperomia verticillata red log enjoys normal room temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26 degrees Celsius). It can handle brief exposure to lower or higher temperatures, however.

Peperomia verticillata thrives in just about any level of humidity. Unless the air in your home is extremely dry, you don’t need to do anything special to increase humidity.

How to Pot and Repot Peperomia Verticillata

There are two things to remember when choosing a pot for your peperomia verticillata: size and drainage. Like other varieties of peperomia, red log likes being a little root-bound. Therefore, choose a container that’s only one to two inches bigger than the root ball. 

A well-draining pot is essential, and terra cotta is preferred because it wicks and evaporates excess water out of the soil. 

Slow-growing peperomia verticillata may only need repotting once every two to three years. If you feel the soil needs refreshing annually, just remove the first inch or two of topsoil and replace that. 

How to Prune Peperomia Verticillata

Scheduled pruning is an essential part of keeping your peperomia verticillata in shape. Pruning encourages new growth, especially the sideways growth that makes the plant look full and bushy. 

The best time to prune a red log plant is in the late fall. Always use sterilized shears or scissors for pruning and never remove more than 20 to 30 percent of the existing foliage.

Peperomia Verticillata Red Log Propagation

Peperomia verticillata propagation can be accomplished through offset division and stem cuttings. Of the two methods, offset division is the quickest way to end up with two or more separate plants. However, stem cuttings are a great way to utilize healthy pruned stems. 

Peperomia Verticillata Red Log Propagation
Reddit

Offset Division

Step 1: Water your plant thoroughly the day before you plan to separate it. This loosens the soil and strengthens the root system.

Step 2: Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove as much soil as possible.

Step 3: Break the root ball into two or more separate plants, depending on how many strong stems there are. You can cut the roots apart with a sterilized knife if necessary.

Step 4: Transfer each separate plant to its own pot, remembering that peperomia prefers containers close to the root ball size. 

Step 5: Water each plant and place them in a sunny location.

Stem Cuttings

Step 1: Use sterilized scissors to cut a healthy stem or two off an established peperomia verticillata, making sure that each stem has three or four leaves.

Step 2: Remove the bottom pair of leaves and dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder.

Step 3: Fill a pot with an arid soil mix and put the cutting into a ½ to 1 inch deep hole. Firm the soil around each cutting.

Step 4: Water thoroughly and place the cuttings in an area with filtered sunlight. 

Step 5: After a couple of weeks, check for new root and leaf growth. 

Peperomia Verticillata FAQs

Is peperomia verticillata rare?

Yes, this variety of peperomia is one of the harder ones to find. Your best bet is to search for peperomia verticillata red log for sale on Etsy and specialty plant retailers.

Is peperomia verticillata a trailing plant?

Yes, although it may not initially appear to be. Most new peperomia verticillata plants have upright stems, but they will eventually spill over the sides due to their weight.

What are the long things growing out of my peperomia?

The thin, leggy spikes you see are actually tiny peperomia verticillata flower clusters. They’re a sign that your red log plant is doing very well, even if they aren’t particularly pretty. 

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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