How To Care For Peperomia Orba

Peperomia orba is a relatively undemanding plant that makes a big statement in any room. 

It also helps that it stays fairly compact, making it perfect for smaller rooms, or, if you have a big plant collection, just one more won’t make that much difference, especially if it’s Peperomia orba.

This plant features cheery green teardrop-shaped foliage and will branch readily when given the right conditions.

While Peperomia orba is easy to care for, it’s worth knowing exactly what this plant needs to get the best out of it and avoid any problems. Here’s everything you need to know.

Where To Grow Peperomia Orba

Peperomia orba enjoys bright and indirect sunlight. Always keep your plants within a few feet of a window, as light intensity drops dramatically the further away from the window, meaning your plants will struggle for light. 

There is always a thing as too much sunlight with Peperomia plants (see also 25 Amazing Peperomia Varieties), however, so try to keep this plant out of a Southern-facing window if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.

A better option would be to either put a sheer curtain in front of the window to diffuse the light or place your Peperomia orba in an Eastern-facing window where it can soak up some gentle morning sunshine, preventing any sun scorch from damaging the leaves.

Aim for a spot that doesn’t fluctuate when it comes to temperatures, keeping them between 65°F and 75°F.

Ideal Compost For Peperomia Orba

Getting the compost right for any radiator plant is important, particularly because these plants are prone to root rot.

Use light, well-draining compost. You can amend a generic houseplant compost by adding some perlite and orchid bark to the mix, which will rapidly improve the drainage as well as the airflow to the roots.

This will also help prevent overwatering, as a sharp mixture like this diverts water away from the roots, but you will still need to be careful when it comes to watering this plant.

When To Water And Feed Peperomia Orba

Don’t be tempted to water on a schedule for any plant, but particularly avoid it for Peperomias (see also How To Care For Parallel Peperomia), as other elements of the growing conditions may change, and if the watering schedule doesn’t change with it, this technique will drown your plant.

Check the soil every week or so. When half of the compost has dried out, your Peperomia orba is ready for more water.

As for feeding this plant, use a balanced houseplant feed, every fourth watering during the growing season.

Should You Grow Peperomia Orba In A Humid Room?

Peperomia orba does appreciate higher humidity, so to get the best out of it, put it near other plants, or in a humid kitchen or bathroom to see better growth.

Do not mist this plant, as this can cause it to rot.

General Maintenance: When To Repot, And How To Prune Peperomia Orba

Peperomia orba is fairly slow-growing, so it won’t need a new pot for several years, depending on how long it has been growing in its current pot.

It tends to grow better when it is slightly pot-bound, but if the plant is struggling to stay hydrated when you water it, it’s time to move it to a pot that’s one size larger.

Only repot during spring or summer.

As for pruning, this isn’t really necessary. The only reason you might need to prune your Peperomia orba is when there are diseased or damaged leaves, or when you want to propagate it.

How To Propagate Peperomia Orba

Propagating Peperomia orba couldn’t be simpler. Take stem cuttings or leaf cuttings from healthy growth during the growing season.

If you take leaf cuttings, cut them in half and place the cut end into damp soil with a little perlite mixed in. 

Keep the compost damp and not wet, and lock in humidity by putting a clear cover over the pot or tray.

If you prefer stem cuttings, put them straight into water or compost, somewhere bright, warm, and indirect.

Always take more than a couple of cuttings, as not all of them will root.

Peperomia Orba Cultivars To Grow

Peperomia orba ‘Princess Astrid’

Featuring deep green leaves, this cultivar is quite robust as long as you keep it in bright light, and you can also put it outside during spring and summer in a sheltered area. 

Peperomia orba ‘Pixie’

A smaller cultivar of Peperomia orba, this is an aptly-named variety, with pale green leaves with a slightly fuzzy texture and a delicate look.

Peperomia orba variegata ‘Variegated Peperomia Orba’

For creamy white variegation, Peperomia orba variegata is the one to go for. It will need slightly brighter but indirect light, as the variegation is prone to scorching, but it will wash out in dimly lit areas, so this is something to keep in mind.

Other Things To Consider When Growing Peperomia Orba

Should You Cut The Flowers Off?

Plants from the Pepper plant family produce odd-looking flowers, which look more like stems than inflorescence. 

Besides the novelty factor, they don’t really have a function for Peperomia orba plants grown as houseplants, and the flowers take up a lot of energy to produce and maintain.

Most people tend to cut the flowers off to redirect this energy into growing the foliage, which is the main attraction of this plant.

Consider Repotting The Plant A Few Weeks After Buying

Depending on where you get this plant from, the soil might not be quite right for it. After letting your plant acclimatize to its new home for a few weeks, take a look at the soil.

If it doesn’t have any added grit, perlite, bark, or pumice, it may be an idea to repot it into compost that has sharper drainage, so there is less risk of overwatering.

Final Thoughts

Peperomia orba is a striking plant that’s easy to care for, as long as you pay attention to watering and light levels, keeping all elements of care in balance.

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