Peperomia Scandens – Detailed Growing Guide

This member of the Pepper family goes by the botanic name Peperomia nitida. Its common names are the Cupid Peperomia or False Philodendron due to its heart-shaped leaves. There are green and variegated varieties that can grow as a houseplant or outdoors in the garden.

Peperomia Scandens is a gorgeous tropical vining plant that looks fantastic in a hanging basket. Its thick, glossy leaves and fleshy stems store water, making it resilient and drought hardy. They need very little upkeep and are easy to care for – ideal for busy people who love houseplants.

Because of its low light requirements and epiphytic nature, Peperomia Scandens is well suited to living in our homes. However, they also make a beautiful groundcover in shadier areas of the garden. This rather rare Peperomias is surprisingly simple to grow and propagate.

How To Identify Peperomia Scandens?

Peperomia Scandens goes by a few different names and closely resembles other plant species, so identifying it at a nursery or garden centre can be tricky.

Other Names For Peperomia Scandens

You may see this plant labelled as:

  • Cupid Peperomia
  • False Philodendron
  • Piper Peperomia

Defining Features

Houseplant peperomia scandens in glass flowerpot

The following traits can be used to identify a Peperomia Scandens:

  • The foliage is completely green or variegated with cream, light green, and deeper green patterns.
  • The leaves are glossy and almost succulent.
  • Heart-shaped leaves are 2 to 3 inches long.
  • Stems are relatively thick and rigid.
  • Stems are green in color, with a touch of pink near the leaf nodes.
  • The plant has a shallow root system.

Size

This plant has a climbing growth habit. It can trail for 12 to 24 inches in a pot and much longer when grown in the ground. It only reaches 4 to 6 inches in height

Origin Of Peperomia Scandens

Peperomia nitida is native to Mexico and South America. It naturally grows in tropical rainforests, climbing and hanging from huge trees. It enjoys warm, humid conditions but is adapted to surviving without water for some time.

Its thick roots help it cling onto other plants and absorb moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere. The fleshy, semi-succulent leaves and stems store water.

Because it is a forest plant that naturally grows below the canopy, it is adapted to growing in semi-shade or dappled shade. They are sensitive to bright, direct sunlight.

Read more: Peperomia Red Edge – Detailed Care Guide

Guide To Caring For Peperomia Scandens

Thanks to this plant’s water-saving adaptations, it is quite easy to care for. Even first-time plant parents will have no problems keeping this Peperomia alive.

Follow these simple guidelines for growing Peperomia Scandens in your home or garden:

Soil Requirements

The soil is possibly the most crucial element to get right when it comes to growing Peperomia Scandens.

It needs to be loose, well-aerated, and free draining to provide the roots with good air circulation. It should also contain some organic matter to retain some moisture in the root zone.

The best potting mixture to use for Peperomia Scandens is a 50/50 combination of perlite and coco peat.

In USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, it can be grown outdoors in the ground. Ensure the soil pH is between 5.0 and 7.5 and that there is adequate drainage.

Potting Requirements

Peperomia Scandens looks great, grown in a pot or in a hanging basket. The container should have drainage holes so that excess water can escape.

Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the plant’s root mass. They like to have relatively snug roots.

Transplanting Plant into New Pot at Home

Ideal Temperature

As a tropical species, Peperomia Scandens needs warmth to thrive. They suffer in temperatures below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) and frost is very damaging.

Keep this plant in a room that stays between 68- and 72-degrees F (20 to 22 degrees C) on average during summer. The room should stay between 55- and 60-degrees F (13 to 15 degrees C) during winter.

Humidity  

Because Peperomia Scandens is so well adapted to dry conditions, it does not need particularly humid conditions to thrive. Regular household humidity is perfect for this robust plant.

Lighting Needs

Peperomia Scandens is happy growing in bright, indirect sunlight. Very harsh, direct sun can burn the foliage, so protect the plant from excessive light.

It can survive in deep shade, but insufficient light can cause the plant to look stretched out and thin. This is because the plant is literally stretching to find the light.

Place a Peperomia Scandens a couple of feet from a window or grow them under artificial lights in dark apartments or office spaces. They need 12 to 16 hours under fluorescent light to stay healthy.

Water Requirements

Peperomia Scandens requires more water during the growing season than in winter. During the winter months, the plant’s growth slows, and it uses less water.

Generally, you should water an indoor Peperomia Scandens every 7 to 10 days, but the exact time between watering depends on the climate in your area. Grown outdoors, it will need less frequent watering.

It is important for the soil to dry in between watering so that the roots are sufficiently aerated. These plants hate boggy, waterlogged soil.

Beware of overwatering a Peperomia Scandens as it is very sensitive to root rot.

Water it with room temperature water, not cold water, as the temperature will shock the plant.

The best method is bottom watering. Let the whole pot soak in a shallow tub of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Take it out and allow the excess water to drain before placing it back in its spot on a saucer.

Always empty the saucer under the pot to prevent the plant from sitting in saturated soil.

Also Check: Peperomia Polybotrya – Detailed Peperomia Raindrop Care Guide

Tips For Maintaining Peperomia Scandens

Peperomia Scandens is not a particularly fast-growing plant, so it does not need much maintenance. Use the following simple tips to keep it looking its best:

Fertilizing

It is not strictly necessary to fertilize a Peperomia Scandens, but if you want to give it a boost during the growing season, feed it some slow-release organic fertilizer in the spring.

Do not feed it during fall or winter. Overfertilizing can damage the plant, so err on the conservative side when it comes to feeding Peperomia Scandens.

Pruning

Sharp pruning shears

You should prune off dead or damaged leaves and stems to keep the plant in good shape. If the plant grows too long or the growth looks too leggy, prune off the unwanted growth.

Pruning in spring will reinvigorate the plant’s growth and cause it to grow bushier and more compact.

Always use a sharp, sterile pair of scissors or secateurs to prevent injuring the plant and causing infection.

Repotting

You only need to repot a Peperomia Scandens every 3 to 4 years. It takes a long time for these plants to become badly root-bound.

When the roots strangle themselves in the pot the plant’s leaves start to yellow and wilt. When you notice roots poking out of the pot’s drainage holes, you should repot a Peperomia Scandens.

Gently invert the plant to remove it from the pot and carefully remove old soil. Use a clean pair of scissors to trim away dead or damaged roots.

When the root system is looking healthy, repot it into a new pot into fresh, well-draining potting soil. Water the plant once a week and keep it in a warm, bright spot until it recovers from repotting.

Proper care after repotting will prevent transplant shock.

Propagating

Female hands with rooted houseplant sprout

Peperomia Scandens is very simple to propagate, and one can do this by different methods:

  • Root stem cuttings in soil.
  • Propagate stem cuttings in water.

Common Problems, Pests & Diseases

Most of the issues that are common in Peperomia Scandens are due to problems with care, usually under- or overwatering.

Below are a few of the symptoms you may notice and what they indicate:

Wilted Leaves

This issue is caused by too much or too little water. If the leaves are wrinkled, crispy and dry, the plant has been underwatered. If the soil is boggy and the leaves are soft and wilted, overwatering is more likely the culprit.

Leaves Falling

If a Peperomia Scandens leaves drop off, it could be a sign of transplant stress. But if you have not recently repotted it, it could be due to overwatering or cold.

They do not enjoy draughts. Move it to a warmer spot, and make sure to let the soil dry in between watering sessions.

Yellow Leaves

A number of things can cause Peperomia Scandens leaves to turn yellow – if they get too much sunlight, are watered too much or too little, get too cold, too hot, or are shocked by transplant.

To narrow down the reason for yellowing leaves, consider the plants growing conditions. If the soil is boggy, overwatering may be the reason. If the growth is stretched out, inadequate light may be the cause.

If the leaves are also curled, and the soil is dry all the way to the bottom of the pot, the issue may be underwatering.

Common Insect Pests

Sap sucking pests such as these can be a problem on Peperomia Scandens:

  • Fungus gnats
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites

Conclusion

Cupid’s Peperomia is sure to steal your heart! This beautiful plant is gorgeous and versatile enough to grow in any room in your home.

If you get lucky and see this rare Peperomia for sale, do not hesitate to claim it! It is super easy to grow and look after.

References:

https://soilseedandgarden.com/cupid-peperomia-peperomia-scandens-variegata/

https://garden.org/plants/view/494094/Cupid-Peperomia-Peperomia-nitida/