Houseplant of the Week: Peperomia ‘Owl Eyes’

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Peperomias are tropical plants from the pepper family that are popular as indoor plants because they are easy to take care of and come in an almost endless array of colors and varieties.

There are well over a thousand subspecies, which most commonly come with green, purple, red, silver and variegated leaves. The most popular include the Peperomia Scandens ‘Variegata’ also known as the “cupid peperomia” with its heart-shaped leaves; the P. argyreia, whose silver stripes against dark green leaves make it look like a watermelon skin; and the Peperomia obtusifolia, also known as the “baby rubber plant.”

Then there’s Peperomia polybotry, the ‘Owl Eyes’ Peperomia, which features large, tear-shaped leaves marked by a white or yellowish center (the owl eye of the name), which we have this week at Warner’s Nursery.

Regardless of the look of your Peperomia, they tend to have the same needs.

Peperomia generally prefer medium to bright, indirect light, but they can tolerate low light relatively well. They can even flourish under florescent lights, which makes them popular office plants. Keep in mind, however, that if you have your Peperomia in a low-light situation, it will grow more slowly and will require less water.

Speaking of water, you’ll want to let your Peperomia dry out between waterings, and you’ll want to err on the side of underwatering your plant. It’s a succulent and those beautiful leaves retain water, so it will survive a missed watering or two. But Peperomias are quite susceptible to root rot, so overwatering can be a problem.

Because of this tendency towards root rot, you’ll want to plant your Peperomia in a pot with good drainage and use a light, well-draining soil for your plant.