Peperomia Polybotrya – Detailed Peperomia Raindrop Care Guide

Those who already know and love the Peperomia plant family will agree that they are a beautiful houseplant species, especially well-suited to beginners. There are multiple varieties to choose from. Peperomia Polybotrya, also known as the raindrop Peperomia, can be grown indoors in a pot or outdoors in the shade of a tree.

The Peperomia Polybotrya is a compact, leafy plant with succulent heart-shaped leaves and is easy to maintain. It belongs to the pepper family, and the foliage is dark green on top with a glossy sheen and paler green underneath. Its white, finger-like flowers are sweetly fragranced but short-lived.

Peperomia Polybotrya hails from the tropical regions of South America, notably Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and its average height at maturity is twelve inches. While it resembles the popular houseplant, Pilea Peperomioides, or the Chinese money plant, they are not the same species.

Distinguishing Features of Peperomia Polybotrya

Peperomia raindrop in pot with black background

The leaves of raindrop Peperomia are dark-green, broad and flat, and lack variegation. Although the leaves can get fairly thick because they store water, it is not a succulent. The Polybotrya is distinguishable from Pilea Peperomioides, the Chinese money plant, by its slightly thicker and more pointed leaves.

The light sometimes catches the leaves in such a way that they look like they are moving. There are no hairs present on the short stems and smooth, glossy leaves. The center of the leaf has a dimple where the petiole, the leaf stem, attaches to it underneath.

The flowers are slender, spiky, and greenish-white and have been compared to a mouse tail. They grow from the tops of the stems in clusters. Although it belongs to the Piperaceae family, which includes pepper plants, it does not smell peppery.

The leaves alternate along the stem, and the plant is an evergreen perennial. The raindropPeperomia is slow-growing and usually kept for the beauty of its leaves as the flowers are relatively insignificant.

Natural Habitat of Peperomia Polybotrya

Although the Peperomia Polybotrya is a low-maintenance plant, it helps to understand its natural habitat so that you can meet its light and water requirements. The plant doesn’t grow very tall, so it can be placed on a shelf, desk, or windowsill. It occurs in tropical rainforests in the understory, where it doesn’t get much light due to the shade cast by the trees.

It does, however, get indirect sunlight from the beams filtering through the taller plants in its natural habitat. Water tends to drip down onto the plant from the canopy, and the rainforest conditions in which it occurs are cool and humid. Humidity can go as high as ninety percent in its natural environment, but it can survive at much lower levels.

Related: Rainbow Peperomia – Special Plant Guide

How To Care For The Peperomia Polybotrya

One of the reasons why the raindrop Peperomia is so popular as a houseplant is because it doesn’t require much care. As long as it is in the right spot in your home with enough indirect sunlight and humidity, it will thrive.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

The plant should not be overwatered because if it sits for long periods in wet soil, the stems and roots will rot. It prefers temperatures in the range of sixty-five – and eighty degrees Fahrenheit but will tolerate slightly cooler or warmer. The leaves will wilt and dry out if the temperature is too hot.

If you plant it outdoors in the garden or on a patio, make sure it can’t be struck by direct sunlight or harsh winds. The leaves will scorch if the plant is in direct sun because this is not its natural habitat.

If you think conditions are too dry, you can mist the leaves to increase the humidity. Air conditioners and radiators tend to dry out the air, so be aware of this when looking for the ideal location for your raindrop Peperomia. You do not need to run a humidifier for the plant to survive, but if you live in an arid climate, you could consider placing it in a well-lit bathroom.

The raindrop Peperomia is unlikely to do well in cold climates where the weather is freezing for extended periods because it is a tropical rainforest plant. It grows best indoors where temperature and humidity can be controlled.

Peperomia Polybotrya

Watering Guide

Water sparingly in winter and moderately in summer with soft, tepid water. Your raindrop Peperomia should only be watered when the top inch of the surrounding soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to yellowed or blackened mushy leaves.

It is better to underwater rather than overwater as the plant is quite hardy and has a small water store in its leaves.

If you are not watering enough, the leaves will wilt, wrinkle, and turn brown and crispy on the tips. Usually, watering once a week or every ten days is enough, but you should always do the finger test to see how quickly the soil is drying out. The leaves may also wilt if you are overwatering.

Overwatering can also cause your Peperomia’s roots to rot, and there is no recovery from this. If you establish a regular watering routine when you first bring your plant home, it is straightforward to care for and maintain.

Light Guide

The plant likes medium to bright light so putting it in a dark corner is not conducive to survival. In its forest habitat, it gets dappled sunlight filtering through the tree canopy. The pot can be located on a southwest or east-facing windowsill where the morning and afternoon light is more gentle. Direct sunlight is a no-no.

It has a bushy habit when healthy, so if your raindrop Peperomia is getting leggy, this could be a sign of insufficient light. If your home tends to be dark, you can buy some LED lights to install in the area where you keep the plant.

Soil and Potting Requirements

If conditions are particularly dry, you can mist every other day, but the plant is hardy and will survive if you forget for a week. It should only be watered when the surface of the soil is completely dry. The soil should drain easily and not become waterlogged so when you pot it, include some peat moss or perlite in the potting soil.

You can buy a potting soil mix for African Violets that is also suitable for your raindrop Peperomia.

Don’t be tempted to put it in a large pot because the raindrop Peperomia does not grow very tall and doesn’t have spreading roots. Its root system is relatively sparse and delicate, and it prefers to be packed snugly within the pot. It needs pH-neutral soil and a sheltered environment.

Feeding Guide

Feeding should only be done during summer and then only once or twice a month. An all-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer is best. It is unnecessary to fertilize your raindrop Peperomia because the soil on a rainforest floor is notoriously poor in nutrients. However, if you want to encourage growth, you can feed it every second week.

Follow the instructions on diluting the fertilizer with water as you cannot usually apply the fertilizer directly in undiluted form. Overfeeding is a common mistake when keeping houseplants. If you overfeed your Peperomia, you are likely to kill it.

Liquid fertilizer is better than granules because you have more control over how much nutrition the plant is getting. If you use fertilizer granules, make sure they are slow-release but bear in mind that they are designed for outdoor use and may not distribute the nutrients very well through the soil in a pot.

Peperomia Polybotrya

Pruning Potting and Propagation

It is unnecessary to prune raindrop Peperomias. They do drop their lower leaves now and then, and these should be removed from the pot when you see them. You should also cut off any dead flowers, or they could start to rot.

Use a clean scissors and don’t cut off healthy leaves, or you could kill the plant. Only remove dead or damaged leaves.

When repotting or potting for the first time, remember that the plant prefers to be a bit potbound, i.e., the root ball fits tightly inside the pot. To refresh the soil, you should repot the plant every two or three years either in the same pot if it has reached its mature size or in a slightly bigger pot if it is still growing bigger. The roots are the most delicate part, so be careful not to damage them when repotting and never prune them or break any off.

You can easily propagate raindrop Peperomias from cuttings. Just remove a large leaf with its stalk intact and bury one end of the stalk in some seedling mix. You can also place it in a jar of water until you see around two inches of root growth and then transfer it to a pot.

Also Check: Peperomia Varieties: Over 1500 And Counting

Pests and Diseases

Raindrop Peperomias are not vulnerable to many diseases or plant pests. You could find an infestation of red spider mites or mealybugs, but this is not common. These bugs are sapsuckers that leave little yellow spots on the leaves and eventually cause them to fall off from lack of moisture.

Neem oil

Neem oil spray is a safe and non-toxic way to get rid of them, but you could also just wipe down the plant’s leaves with a soft wet cloth now and then. These pants are not toxic to pets or humans, but the leaves taste bad, so they are unlikely to be tempted by them beyond the first bite.

Conclusions

The Peperomia Polybotrya is a small, compact, low-maintenance plant that can add a welcome touch of green to any living space. They thrive in medium to bright light out of the direct sun in cool and humid conditions that resemble their rainforest home. This plant is suitable for beginners and is safe and non-poisonous.

References:

https://plantcaretoday.com/peperomia-raindrop.html

https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/368057/peperomia-polybotrya-raindrop/details

https://www.thespruce.com/grow-peperomia-species-indoors-1902491#pruning