Peperomia scandens, sometimes known as False Philodendron, Peperomia nitida, or Cupid Peperomia, is perfect for hanging pots, as it grows quickly and produces long vines that can reach 5 feet!
It features beautiful lime green leaves on pinkish stems, and it’s also available in a variegated form that has cream, gold, and green hues.
Interested in growing your own Peperomia scandens? Here’s what you need to know to make this plant thrive.
Ideal Light Levels For Peperomia Scandens
Most houseplants love bright and indirect light, and Peperomia scandens is no exception (see also 25 Different Peperomias To Try In Your Home). Put this gorgeous trailer within a few feet of a bright window that gets plenty of light, but with little direct sunlight.
Some direct sunshine won’t hurt the plant, as long as it is morning or late afternoon sunlight, which tends to be weaker.
Try an Eastern-facing or Western-facing window, and even a Northern-facing windowsill will do if the plant is close enough, and the window is large enough.
If you don’t have a suitable window, or you want to grow a Peperomia scandens in a room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you could use a grow light so the plant can still get the energy it needs.
Humidity And Temperature Needs
For the most part, Peperomia scandens does fine in average household temperatures, provided that you feel comfortable, your plant will be, too.
Aim for temperatures between 68°F and 72°F, keeping this plant out of drafts and away from sources of heat.
Put this plant in a room that doesn’t fluctuate wildly in temperature during the day or night, and this will help keep the growth stable.
As for humidity, average household humidity levels are not a problem for this plant, provided that your home is not overly dry.
It will benefit from higher humidity, especially if you get cold winters and put the heating on, so it is worth putting this plant in a more humid room such as a kitchen or bathroom.
You could also run a humidifier, or create a group of hanging planters where the more plants you have the higher the humidity will be.
Peperomia Scandens Compost
Dense compost mixes are not a good idea for Peperomia scandens, as this species is an epiphyte, which means that it’s not used to growing in soil in its natural habitat.
A standard houseplant compost mix will be too heavy on its own, so mix it with some perlite, pumice, or orchid bark to help create good air circulation and drainage.
You could also use a cactus and succulent compost mix as a base, adding some perlite and orchid bark to help keep the roots healthy.
It’s worth knowing that perlite will float to the surface when you water as it is a very light, porous material, so you may be better off using pumice, which doesn’t do this.
Watering And Feeding Peperomia Scandens
There is a delicate balance between keeping Peperomia scandens hydrated and drowning it.
Ideally, you’ll want to leave the plant without water until the first 2 inches of compost have dried out, and then give it a good watering.
Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the roots, and water all the soil you can reach, being careful not to splash the stems or leaves.
Let the water pull through the soil, and then tip out anything that’s left in the bottom of the pot or saucer.
The last thing you need is to have this plant sitting in water for any length of time, as this will cause root rot.
It’s worth feeding this plant occasionally using a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended strength.
Feed every fourth watering or so during the growing season, reducing this in fall, and stopping completely in winter until you see new growth in spring.
Repotting Peperomia Scandens
This plant has a shallow and delicate root system, so don’t disturb the roots until necessary: when the plant is struggling to keep hydrated as the roots start coming out of the drainage holes.
Only repot Peperomia scandens during spring or summer when it is actively growing, and this will help prevent shock.
Use a fresh compost mix, and repot the plant into a bigger container, one size upward from the original.
Before putting your plant into its new home, run your fingers down the edges of the root system to help loosen them.
It doesn’t matter if you tear a few of them – the plant will cope – but you do need to do this so that the plant starts growing into the new compost.
Should You Cut Back Peperomia Scandens?
As this plant grows quite vigorously, you may want to trim it back occasionally to stop it from touching the floor if it’s in a hanging basket.
It’s also a good idea to get rid of any damaged plant material to prevent any diseases. Only prune your plant during the growing season using sharp and clean tools, and don’t cut the plant back by more than a third of its total size.
How To Propagate Peperomia Scandens
There are two ways to propagate this plant, and both are easy. You can either take some stem cuttings and put them into water or soil or, you can cut a whole stem and lay it on top of moist soil to root.
Always choose healthy plant material, and propagate during spring and summer.
Problems To Watch Out For
One of the biggest causes of problems with this plant is watering it too often. You may see pests such as fungus gnats, root rot, and edema, so always check the soil before watering.
If you see signs of pests, treat the plant as soon as possible with a horticultural soap, and rinse off the leaves between applications with room temperature water.
Peperomia scandens is a striking plant that will soon fill any space with long, lush vines, but make sure you pay attention to watering practices and keep the plant in bright and indirect light to avoid damage.