Happy Bean Plant (Nevada Peperomia - Peperomia Ferreyrae)
Nevada Peperomia (Peperomia Ferreyrae) clearly loves disguises. How can we tell? Because this adorable little plant comes wearing its own costume. Just look at those leaves: Bright green, up to 3” long, and curled longways. They look nothing like the leaves of other peperomias ... but they’re dead ringers for bean pods. How fun is that?
Despite having a U.S. state right there in its name, Nevada Peperomia—also called the Happy Bean Plant, for obvious reasons—is native to South America. At 12”-24” high and wide, this compact semi-succulent is sized to fit most anywhere. Plus, it’s so easy going that tropical plant lovers of all ages and skill levels can keep it happy and healthy.
How easy going is it? Nevada Peperomia dislikes full sun, but adores bright indirect light and can tolerate medium or even medium-low light (or fluorescents). It likes to dry out between waterings, enjoys being pot-bound, loves normal room temperatures, and isn’t fussy about humidity. Finally, should your pets or children decide to see if Happy Bean Plant’s leaves actually taste like beans (they don’t, BTW—don’t ask how we know), they’re non-toxic.
Ultimately, if you like plants, or beans, or plants that look like beans, there’s a strong chance you’ll love Nevada Peperomia.
Characteristics and traits of a Nevada Peperomia (Happy Bean Plant, Peperomia Ferreyrae)
Scientific Name: Peperomia Ferreyrae 'Happy Bean'
Common Name: Nevada Peperomia, Peperomia Happy Beans, Happy Bean Plant, Pincushion Peperomia, Green Bean Peperomia
Indoor: All year in temperatures above 65°F
Outdoor Zones: 9b-11
Type: Perennial, epiphytic semi-succulent. Propagated via stem cuttings
Mature Height: 12”-24”
Mature Width: 12”-24”
Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX
Growth Rate: Slow
Flower: Rare - clusters of tiny yellow flowers with minimal visual appeal
Foliage: Narrow bright green leaves up to 3” long, which curl lengthwise so they look like bean pods.
Plant Care and Advice for Nevada Peperomia (Happy Bean Plant, Peperomia Ferreyrae)
Grown In: Inside: all zones year round, Outside: zones 9b-11
Light Requirements: Bright indirect to medium light / partial shade. Direct sun can burn leaves.
Water Requirements: Water thoroughly when the top 50% of soil is dry, then let drain completely.
Drought Tolerance: Good
Temperature: Prefers room temp. 65°F-75°F. Bring inside when temps fall below 45°F.
Air Purification: Good
Fertilizer: Half-strength general fertilizer 2x/month in spring and 1x/month in summer. None in fall or winter.
Container Friendly: Yes, but requires good drainage.
The best time to repot Nevada Peperomia is late winter/early spring. The best pot to use will be an inch or two larger in diameter than the plant’s existing pot and will have at least one hole for drainage.
Speaking of drainage, you’ll want a soil mix that retains a bit of water, but remains loose and aerated and drains very well. The most commonly recommended mix is 2 parts peat and 1 part sand or perlite.
When you repot, be extra careful with Nevada Peperomia’s roots, which can be smallish and fragile (like most succulents or semi-succulents) compared to those of other, non-succulent tropicals.
Happy Bean Plant loves bright indirect light best, but it’s also happy in medium light, partial shade, low light (though it’ll grow more slowly), and even artificial lights such as fluorescents or grow lights. However, it can’t take much direct sunlight at all. Keep it away from bright afternoon sun, and if the plant is outside, be sure to give it some shelter during the hottest, sunniest times of day.
Watering the Happy Bean Plant couldn’t be much easier. In spring and summer, when the top 50% or 3” of soil (whichever is smaller) feels dry, water the plant thoroughly, then let it drain completely. In fall and winter, measure to the same depth but give smaller amounts of water.
Fertilizer will follow a similar pattern. In spring, when the plant is growing quickly, offer balanced fertilizer at half strength every two weeks. In summer, decrease the frequency to once per month, and stop completely in fall and winter.
Happy Beans are slightly sensitive to temperature, preferring rooms around 65°F-75°F. Colder than that, especially at 50°F or lower, they’ll begin to drop leaves and suffer significant damage. Keep them away from drafty doors and windows, not to mention A/C vents.
Normal room humidity is fine for Happy Bean Plant, but it won’t complain about a quick misting now and then (or a pebble tray partly filled with water).
Like actual bean plants, Happy Bean Plant can get a bit leggy and vine-like as it matures. If you like the erratic, twisted-branches look, keep your pruning shears in your pocket and let the plant go. But if you do want to keep things tidier, feel free to prune lightly—and possibly use the cuttings to propagate more plants.
As with most tropical plants, the biggest danger facing your Nevada Peperomia (Peperomia Ferreyrae) is overwatering. Soggy, waterlogged soil is a perfect environment for the fungus that causes root rot.
Unfortunately, both overwatering and underwatering can cause Peperomia Ferreyrae to look wilted. Fortunately, a quick check of the soil should be enough to decide which of the two conditions you’re facing. On that note, overwatering can also cause scabby growths on the leaves. Underwatering will not.
The cures for both conditions are simple: For underwatering, give water. For overwatering, cut back on the water and (if the condition is severe) consider repotting the plant into drier soil.
If your Peperomia Ferreyrae suddenly drops a large number of leaves, there’s a strong chance it’s been exposed to a sudden temperature drop. Check for drafts and A/C vents. If none are located, it’s possible the plant is suffering from low humidity instead. Mist more often and consider placing its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and enough water to fill the bottom of the tray, but not enough to reach the underside of the pot.
Peperomia Ferreyrae has few pest problems, but can on rare occasion contract mealybugs or spider mites (especially if humidity is low). Repel them with frequent by-hand cleaning of the leaves, neem oil, Mite-X, or by dabbing them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol (mealybugs hate this).
It’s easy to propagate Peperomia Ferreyrae using stem cuttings. Trim off a 2”-3” section with a few leaves on one end and some exposed leaf nodes on the other (you may have to trim off a few leaves). Place the cutting leaf-end up in lightly moistened soil and put it in a warm spot with plenty of bright indirect light. Keep the soil moist and you should have a rooted mini-plant within a few weeks.