Peperomia Belly Button

scsva(7/VA)September 24, 2011

What is the proper care of peperomia belly button? I bought a large one back in the Spring and it has gone into demise. It has been on my front porch all of summer. I'm thinking it may have been overpotted at the nursery where I bought it because it was in a 10 inch pot so it possibly could have been overwatered even at once a week watering outside.


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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The oft parroted advice against 'over-potting' is usually issued by those who take for granted that you're using an excessively water-retentive soil and/or don't understand soil/water relationships. If they DO understand that relationship and DON'T take anything for granted, the advice will be qualified with the recognition that as your soil's drainage characteristics and aeration increase, the spectre of 'over-potting disappears.

Over-potting needs to be guarded against only when using water retentive soils that support significant amounts of perched water (the water that stays in the pot AFTER it stops draining and causes that soggy layer of soil at the pot's bottom). When using soils that support little or no perched water, it becomes virtually impossible to over-pot. Using these types of soils allows you to achieve superlative growth and vitality, even if you pot very small plants in large soil volumes.

This is a pivotal issue when it comes to consistently maintaining plants that grow well & in good vitality, so please ask if you want more information.

Your plant would appreciate the free-draining and well aerated soil I described, that allows you to flush the soil with copious volumes of water at every watering w/o accompanying concern for root (rot) issues or impaired root function due to a saturated soil. It wants VERY bright but indirect light. Let the soil become quite, but not completely dry between waterings. Fertilize frequently but weakly with a fertilizer in a 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 (more commonly found) RATIO. Ratios are different than NPK %s. 24-8-16, 12-4-8, and 9-3-6 are all commonly used 3:1:2 RATIO fertilizers. Keep the plant warm. It will grow best at somewhere near 70*. Below 60 is too cool and above 80 is too warm for best growth. R-humidity higher than 40-45% would be helpful, but misting does nothing to improve humidity beyond the 5 minutes it takes the mist to dry.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Hi Susan. I have a question about your Peperomia 'verticillata', Belly Button, if you don't mind. :)

Are the leaves long, mottled/fuzzy or round/heart-shaped and smooth?

Peps, prefer cooler, not cold temps during winter months, humidity, and most importantly, soil needs to dry between waterings.

Keep away from heaters.

10" pot!!! If anything, Peps rather be rootbound than over-potted. The largest pot I've ever seen, and bought a Pep potted in was 8", and that was too big.

If it was my plant, I'd unpot, 'yes, even this time of year,' to check roots. Unless roots fill the pot, it'd go in a smaller container.

Some nursery-people are notorious over-potting so they can charge more money. You know, the larger the pot.....
A few Ebay/online sellers do this, too.

Are you planning on repotting now or wait till spring? Toni

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Thanks all.

Hi Toni,
I exaggerated about the pot. It is 8 inches. When first bought, the plant was over 2 feet tall but the branches are drooping down now so I trimmed them off to about 6 inches yesterday.

It's leaves are not so long but are mottled/fuzzy.

I didn't have a saucer under the pot so it never stood in water.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:25AM
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