Peperomia Damage

sarahrgDecember 13, 2013


I have a Peperomia Golden. I've had it for two years. For the first year, I just watered it, and no new leaves grew. In February, when I started fertilizing my African violets with Dya-Gro, I did the same with my Peperomia and new leaves started growing and it even made this kind of pollen stalk thing (I have no idea what it really was) in the early summer. However, recently (as in, since late August), the new leaves it grew have been small, thin, and twisted rather than large and round.

I attend a university and I didn't want to take all my plants home over Thanksgiving break, so I watered them all relatively heavily, figuring that it would tide them over until I got back from Thanksgiving. The violets survived with no problems, but the small, twisted leaves on the Peperomia had shriveled and I pulled them off. My first year at university the plant belonged to my roommate, and she forgot to bring it home over Christmas break (a 5-week break). It was drooping badly when we came back, but it came right back to life with some water and has obviously continued growing since then.

My question is, since new leaves grow off the old ones, and the little twisted ones were eventually going to become "old ones," have I ruined any chance for the plant to continue growing? Or will it just make new leaves off the normal leaves that were underneath the twisted ones?

I have attached a picture of one of the small leaves. It is brown now, but it was literally that size and shape while it was still alive as well. I have also attached a picture of one of the spaces where the twisted leaf came off.

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Hello Sarah,

Your plant is Peperomia Obtusifolia variegata.
The spike you saw was a flower.

Sarah, not sure what you mean, 'new leaves grow off older leaves.' Also, don't know what twisted leaves happen to be.
Please explain..

Don't take this wrong, but when I copied and pasted your first link, I thought it was an old shoe. lol.

Are you asking whether or not new leaves will grow on bare areas, where old leaves once were????

Hopefully someone will chime in. I know if the stems are trimmed new leaves form. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:23AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

On your plant, you should expect new leaves to form only at new nodes, which are the point where the leaf is attached to the stem. If a leaf dies or is mechanically removed, a branch will normally appear from just above the leaf bundle scar (where the leaf was attached to the stem). This new branch will continue to grow new leaves until it is terminated (growing tip removed), or until the plant receives a chemical message that growing leaves in a particular special position is no longer in the best interest of the plant. One example of 'no longer in the best interest' would be if the branch has become shaded by growth originating higher on the plant.

In short: leaves will grow off the stem. If you remove a leaf, it sets the stage for a branch to grow just above (distal to) where the leaf occurred. If you terminate the branch by removing the growing tip (apical meristem), a change in hormonal balance occurs and branching will be stimulated behind the pruning cut. How far back along the stem the influence takes effect depends on a number of factors - where the plant is in its growth cycle, light conditions, how much reserve energy the plant has, how robustly it is/isn't growing at the time of pruning, others ....

So, as long as your plant remains viable, it can be rescued from its plight & made into something appealing to the eye.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:07PM
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