Peperomia ID? Gritty mix?

ozarkia(6b-ish)April 4, 2013

Hi y'all,

So I tentatively think this is P. aurocarpa. I got it from Hirt's as Peperomia 'Hope.' I think, especially if I grew it better, it would closely resemble the P. aurocarpa on this page, specifically . Thoughts? Experience?

So its leaves and stems are quite succulent and I've never been able to water it properly in the compacted old block of peat it came in. The best thing I've found is to let it dry out into a block, wait until its leaves are very slightly shriveled, and then soak to re-wet. I would guess the roots don't love that, but otherwise it turns leaves to a sickly wet-looking brown and throws them. Never had any other Peperomias, but from what little I've read that's pretty typical behavior.

I love the plant and think it could be happy! If only the soil didn't suck!

So far, removing old soil, root-pruning, and re-potting in Turface/Gran-i-Grit/pine bark has gone beautifully. I've done Crassula ovata, spiderplants, pothos, Maranta leuconeura . . .

But this old soil will be tricky to remove, and I don't know if this Peperomia is particularly sensitive. I'd like to give it a gritty mix makeover and cut it back. (I did manage to root some leaves, but it took 11 months to see new growth, and I gave those away.) As June approaches, I'd love some advice . . .

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

A pretty plant! It should react very favorably to any soil that remains well-aerated from top to bottom after watering and supports no, or very little, perched water, Unfortunately, there aren't many soils like that around.

I'd bare root it and put it in the gritty mix - even if you have to remove so many roots you're forced to cut the top back. Every time I've done that, I've been glad for it soon after. I'd also get some cuttings started, but I think I'd wait until the weather turns warm so I could have the plant outdoors when I do the work - like around Father's Day.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Thanks, Al! You've definitely got my gratitude -- I've been perusing your old threads for a year now, but only very recently procured the Turface. Before a friend came to visit from out of state, I said, "Hey, you know, since you're headed this way, I noticed there's a John Deere Landscape store down the street from you, so, um, well . . ."

So the hard part now is just waiting for Father's-Day-ish! It's going to be quite the bare-root marathon. I've already done a few plants experimentally so I'll have a feel for the watering come summer.

Anyway, thanks for approving my plan. I'm definitely not opposed to cutting the top way back, and have been itching to do so anyway. I guess since Peperomia is unfamiliar to me otherwise I was worried that it was some strange mystical creature with roots made of rarest platinum. I'm sure it will adore gritty mix, as long as I get it in there successfully.

A quick question? Which I'm sure has been addressed elsewhere and repeatedly, sorry, but . . . I have some Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro 9-3-6. When using this, I needn't worry about calcium or magnesium in the mix, right? I'm pretty well versed on water chemistry as it relates to freshwater aquariums, but plant/soil chemistry is pretty much *whoosh*.

Oh, two questions actually. I was using the 1/4 tsp. at every watering, as directed on the bottle for maintenance. That's a 1/4 strength dose from the "production" concentration, but I was in doubt, so over the winter switched to about 1/8 tsp at every watering. It's easier for me to just squeeze my little glass dropper-full into a gallon can at each watering than figure out a weekly schedule or anything, so . . . is this about right? Should I up the ante to 1/4 tsp for the summer season? Tone it down for some species and not others? I kind of suspect I'm overdoing it.

Thanks again! And sorry to be so verbose.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:40PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes - Ca/Mg are taken care of when using FP 9-3-6.

Actually, more info is better. Too many growers provide too little info when looking for resolution to issues. I think a lot of that comes from not understanding enough about plants and the whole growing thing to be able to put questions together in a way that will produce the feedback they actually need. It's better to provide extra information than to have a half dozen good samaratins trying to read between the lines and all going off in different directions.

When you are using a fast soil and flushing it each time you fertigate, it's difficult to over-fertilize. During the winter, I use .25 tsp/gal with each watering, which is adequate. I doubt though that I'd see any issues developing even if I doubled that dose. Where the issues mainly arise is in heavy soils that aren't being flushed, so salts accumulate and nutrient ratios in the soil quickly become very badly skewed. Antagonistic deficiencies can easily develop, even if the o/a salt level isn't too high, just because of the fact that one nutrient (very often it's P) is present in significant excess.

In the summer, when I have everything outdoors & am using the hose to water, I use about 2 tsp/gallon each week, and it has been working very well across the board. Fast soils are much more forgiving of less than ideal watering or fertilizing habits, so you can't go too far wrong, as long as you're supplying enough.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Glad I saw this thread! I have one and was wondering what it was. Mine has yellowish leaves, and it looks like I haven't been fertilizing enough.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:29AM
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Thanks, Al! That was exactly what I needed to know.

eahamel, glad you benefited from the thread! I know what you mean about the yellowish leaves. What kind of light do you give yours? For some reason I've been terrified of burning it, so it got really etiolated. Now it's beside a west window, catches a bit of morning sun ~5' from a south window, and hangs under a compact fluorescent grow bulb. New growth is much better now, but if others have given it a bit of direct sun without consequence, then that would open up some options. I might be the fussy one, not the plant.

Cool plant though, eh? Mine had blooms when I got it, which made it look way more Peperomia-esque.

Wish I knew more about its habit, etc. I did a Google search for the species again, and got my own photo and post here. Haha.

Then I image searched for 'epiphytic peperomia' and found this photo. *strokes imaginary goatee*

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Hi, I know this is an old thread, but I stumbled across this while finding out the name of the same plant. These are from a grower in Holland which assign the name P. tetraphylla 'Hope' which is incorrect.

The closest plant I have found is Peperomia pecuniifolia. The leaf shape and size are accurate as is the flower spike.

Hope this helps. J

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 6:16AM
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