Skip to main content

Plant of the week: Peperomia caparata, AKA the emerald ripple peperomia

Bringing a new plant home is so exciting! As plant lovers, we often want a plant for weeks or months before we’re able to get our hands on it, and when we finally do, there’s a little celebration at home when we introduce it to our collection. However, this can also be when the anxiety kicks in, and you start to worry about how to care for this new plant baby properly.

Today, we’ll be reducing this new plant anxiety by going over everything you need to know about caring for a peperomia caparata. Although these plants are hardy and beginner-friendly, it’s still good to know exactly what a plant wants to ensure you can provide it with what it needs to live a long and happy life.

Peperomia caparata

What is the peperomia caparata?

The peperomia caparata, also known as an emerald ripple peperomia, is native to Brazil. It’s a compact plant with short stems and eye-catching leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped with prominent ridges that catch the light. The leaves are typically green with deep green veins, but they sometimes have a hint of red in them as well. Fully grown, they can reach up to eight inches tall. If you’re able to give this plant precisely what it needs, you might be lucky enough to experience it blooming. The blooms on this plant are unique. They grow like stems that reach high over the compact plant, and they are usually red or purple. These flowers usually appear in early fall.

Peperomia caparata

Care tips for a peperomia caparata

We don’t want you to stress too much about the care of this plant; as long as you don’t let the soil stay wet for too long, this plant will be happy. It’s the perfect beginner plant and is an excellent gift for those just getting into plants.

Water

The emerald ripple peperomia doesn’t like to have soggy soil, but they don’t want to completely dry out either. It’s best to invest in a moisture meter to read the soil’s moisture level accurately so you can keep this plant’s soil damp but not wet. However, you can use your finger to feel the top inch of the soil; if it’s dry, you’ll want to give the plant a bit of water.

Light

This plant can handle anything from low to bright indirect light. Remember, these are native to the rainforests of Brazil, and the larger plants there shade the peperomia from harsh light. So wherever you put it, be sure you’ve protected it from direct sunlight. These plants also thrive with grow lights, so they would make an exceptional office plant.

Food

This plant won’t need to be fed during the winter months, but they will benefit from monthly feedings during spring, summer, and fall. You can use almost any indoor houseplant fertilizer, including water-soluble or liquid. You could also use a slow-release fertilizer instead of feeding it every month. It’s really up to you and your plant care preferences.

Temperature

The average temperature of our homes is 65 to 75 degrees, and this is perfect for the peperomia caparata — no need for heating mats or worrying about warming a special room for this plant.

Humidity

Luckily the peperomia caparata does well in the humidity levels of the average home. They can thrive under higher levels around 60 percent, but they’ll do just fine in 40 or 50 percent.

Toxicity

The last thing you want to worry about is your pets or children being harmed by interacting with your new plant, so understanding if a plant is toxic or not is just being a good pet, human, and plant mom. The emerald ripple peperomia is non-toxic and safe for cats, dogs, and humans.

Additional care

These plants are straightforward to propagate by cutting a leaf with a bit of stem and placing it in a small water vessel for water propagation. Change out the water once a week, and soon you’ll start seeing tiny white roots appear around the stem of the cutting. Once those baby roots are about one to two inches long, you can transfer the plant into a small pot. These baby plants are perfect for growing your collection or sharing with friends and family. It could also be a fun science project for the kids!

The peperomia caparata is a popular plant among the community, and it’s super easy to care for! Just remember to keep it moist but not wet, and avoid direct sunlight.

Editors' Recommendations