Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia var ‘Green’)
Sing it with us: "When the moon hits your eye, like a big peperomia pizza pie ..."
Okay, so we're not likely to crack the Top 40 anytime soon with that one. But that doesn't mean that Peperomia Obtusifolia var ‘Green’, also known as the Baby Rubber Plant, isn't a chart-topper in its own right.
After all, what's not to love? With glossy, rounded-oval leaves that shine like jade-green jewels, Peperomia Obtusifolia var 'Green' looks fantastic most anywhere in your home or office—and when we say anywhere, we mean it. This easygoing little plant is comfortable in bright light, medium light, low light—even fluorescent light. Just limit its exposure to direct sun to 2-3 hours a day (to avoid sun-bleaching) and give it a little water now and then and it'll happily make whatever room it lives in just a little brighter.
Characteristics and traits of a Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia var ‘Jade’)
- Scientific Name: Peperomia Obtusifolia var ‘Green’
- Genus: Peperomia
- Family: Piperaceae
- Common Name: Baby Rubber Plant, Green Peperomia, Radiator Plant, Pepper Face, American Rubber Tree, Blunt-Leaved Peperomia
- Indoor: Year round at temperatures above 60F.
- Outdoor Zones: 10 through 11
- Type: Perennial. Easily propagated via cuttings
- Mature Height: 10-12”
- Mature Width: 12-24”
- Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX
- Growth Rate: Average to Fast
- Flower: Yes, but not frequent - small, creamy white petals clustered on a 1” flower spike
- Foliage: Thick, shiny leaves with chunky oval shape and deep green color
Plant Care and Advice for Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia Obtusifolia var ‘Jade’)
- Grown In: Inside: all zones year round, Outside: zones 10-11
- Light Requirements: Bright indirect to medium (but can handle low light for a season), 2-3 hours direct sunlight per day maximum. Actually thrives in fluorescent light.
- Water Requirements: Moderate. Keep soil lightly moist in warm months, reduce water in fall/winter. Intolerant of soil that is either soggy or very dry, but does appreciate high humidity.
- Drought Tolerance: Average
- Temperature: Comfortable indoor temperatures 60-85F. Leaves may drop at temps below 55F
- Air Purification: Good
- Toxicity: Little to none. Mild alkaloids in leaves pose no threat to humans or (according to the ASPCA) dogs or cats.https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/blunt-leaf-peperomia
- Fertilizer: Minimal. Liquid at ½ strength every 2-8 weeks spring through fall
- Container Friendly: Yes - Be sure it drains well
- Planting: Peperomias do best in soils high in organic material such as peat moss. African Violet potting mix, for example, is a good choice. Drainage is important, so plan to use either a pot with drainage holes and an overflow tray or a thick layer of pebbles at the bottom of a closed-base pot. Peperomia rarely needs repotting thanks to its smallish root system.
- Plant Care: Peperomias are tolerant of a wide range of living conditions. As long as they don’t sit in the blazing direct sunlight (which will cause their leaves to lose color) more than a couple hours a day, they’re happy in light ranging from high to low. They even thrive in fluorescent light. Similarly, while they are prone to root rot if left sitting in waterlogged soil, they tolerate infrequent watering quite well, thanks to their leaves’ almost succulent-like ability to store water. Overwatering will cause wilted leaves and possibly dry, cork-like growths on leaf undersides. Pinch back to make bushier.
- Expert Advice: Like many subtropicals (such as ferns), rubber plants love humidity. While most homes are adequately humid, if the plant’s leaf tips turn brown, it’s asking for more humidity. A bit of misting or a drainage tray filled with water and pebbles should help the rubber plant [ahem] bounce back. Rubber plants rarely attract pests. That said, if the leaves begin to yellow or dry out, it won’t hurt to check for mealybugs or red spider mites. Green peperomia can be propagated from cuttings relatively simply. To begin, cut a section of stem with at least two pairs of leaves on it, dip the cut end in rooting powder, and insert it in soil that’s one half sand or perlite and one half peat moss. Moisten the soil, cover with plastic (or take other steps to preserve humidity, such as missing or a water-filled pebble tray), and keep above 65F until the cuttings root. If that all sounds like a bit much, you can often also succeed by just sticking the cutting in a glass of water.