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Dwarf pepper is a fascinating and species-rich houseplant from South America. Striking are the low growth and the large, leathery leaves. The tropical plant is considered easy to maintain, but especially the variety "Peperomia Maculosa" is still relatively unknown to us. In order to cultivate the perennial exotics in the tub in the long term, you should know its special needs. For as different as the individual species of Peperomia present, their demands in the points "location" and "care" are also different.
Location and substrate
The low-growing plant from Puerto Rico prefers a warm and humid climate. At temperatures below 15° C dwarf pepper reacts with growth stop, also a leaf loss of the fleshy leaves can be the result. The location itself should be bright to full sun, depending on the species. Peperomia Maculosa itself, with its green foliage, is content with a bright spot on the windowsill, while other brightly colored representatives of the exotic need a sunny spot. Lack of light leads to a discoloration of the leaves. Only the subsequent foliage revives the original pattern, if a change of location has been made.
Dwarf pepper is used to a tropical environment. To strengthen the resilience of the plant, you should live up to this claim. In our latitudes Peperomia is cultivated almost exclusively in the bucket. Access peaty and humus rich potting soil. The substrate should be permeable so as not to damage the sensitive roots and to prevent standing wetness. Permanently, the soil can be loosened up with styrofoam chips or a handful of fine gravel.
Pouring and fertilizing
A constantly damp root ball may be, so that the exotic plant suffers no damage. Normally, the "finger test" quickly determines whether the substrate needs to be rehydrated: If the uppermost substrate layer - which corresponds roughly to the upper 2 cm - feels crumbly dry, it must be topped up again. Like many tropical plants, dwarf pepper does not tolerate lime. Use stale mineral water or rainwater for water supply. Even in winter, it must be watered, but much less than in the main growing season. If you forget the plant, it will not bother you immediately. For a short time, Peperomia maculosa can withstand drought unscathed. In contrast to standing wetness: If the roots are permanently exposed to water, this can lead to root rot. This disease can not only be prevented by the correct casting behavior. In addition, a drainage of porous material on the bucket bottom can dissipate excess moisture from the plant. Tip: Increase the humidity by occasionally spraying the leaves with a water sprayer. But even a permanently placed water tank in the vicinity has proven itself.
In the nutrient supply, the plant is very frugal with the edible leaves. Fertilization is from March to the end of August optionally with liquid or slow-release fertilizer. Liquid minerals are administered directly via the irrigation water at a distance of about 6 to 8 weeks. This ensures an even distribution in the substrate. Fertilizer sticks are inserted directly into the ground in spring and mid-summer. Incidentally, leaves stained yellow may indicate a problem with nutrients. In the event of a deficiency, fertilize immediately or, in the event of an oversupply, transplant the plant into a lean substrate.
Planting and repotting
Peperomia maculosa is available in pots in well-stocked garden centers or directly over the internet. Even at high summer temperatures, it is advisable to leave the plant in the bucket and not cultivate directly in the field. Because a constant change of the substrate causes stress, which can have a negative effect on the development of the flowers and the resilience. Every 2 to 3 years a change of the flower box is necessary. The best time to repot is the spring, even before the dwarf pepper has begun with the increased training of shoots and leaves. Use a planter that is 3 cm more circumference than the previous one.
- Free the minced pepper as much as possible from the old substrate.
- Apply drainage to the bottom of the new vessel.
- Directly above it will deploy a 2 cm thick layer of earth.
- Plant and fill cavities with fresh substrate.
- Carefully press the earth.
- Cast on hard.
The successful propagation of the tropical plant takes place exclusively via cuttings. You can use single leaves as well as whole shoots. You need:
- flat cultivation vessel
- lean substrate
- Transparent film
- water mister
A classic form or pruning is not necessary in the low-growing plant. Remove only wilted and dead plant parts with sharp scissors. This may be necessary especially in spring, when the plant awakens from hibernation. Because lack of light and a dry indoor air often lead to an increased death of the fleshy leaves.
In the hot summer months you can treat Peperomia Maculosa to a sheltered spot on the balcony or the terrace. However, at the latest from the time when the temperatures fall below 15° C, is the end of the open-air cultivation. The cold months survive dwarf pepper in a bright location with a room temperature between 15° to 20° C. Casting is reduced, but the plant should not be exposed to prolonged periods of drought. Now and then, spray the leaves with a water sprayer. Fertilization does not take place between September and February, in order to avoid burns at the roots.
Diseases and pests
Spider mites are often found on the exotic plant. Especially when the dwarf pepper is exposed to dryness and heat in winter quarters. However, you can use simple methods to combat the pests:
- Keep the plant away from active radiators.
- Increase the humidity with the help of an indoor fountain.
- In an infestation the shoots cumshot.
- Wrap the vessel and plant with transparent foil for 2 to 3 days.
Conclusion of the editorship
In South America, dwarf pepper is widespread, but with us the exotic plant as a houseplant is still largely unknown. Peperomia maculosa is an interesting plant, which is easy to cultivate even without daily attention and care. If the plant feels well at the selected location, it shows this through a rich flowering of flowers.
Worth knowing about the dwarf pepper soon
Peperomia Maculosa is a low maintenance houseplant native to Central and South America. Striking are their dark green, shiny leathery leaves. Although Peperomia maculosa produces panicle-like flowers, the plant is mainly cultivated for its pretty leaves. The flowers are dark purple.
- Peperomia Maculosa prefers a light to half shady site.
- The plant does not tolerate direct midday sun. Morning and evening sun do not mind her.
- She also gets along with indirect light.
- Peperomia maculosa likes to keep it warm all year round.
- Hibernation is also warm, never below 15° C.
- As a plant substrate is commercially available potting soil.
- Important is a drainage on the bottom of the pot so that excess water can drain well.
- Waterlogging is usually deadly to the plants.
- The pot should not be too big. The plant does not form excessively large roots.
- The smaller the pot, the better the hold the peperomia has.
- Pouring is only moderate. The plant substrate should only be slightly damp.
- The soil may dry well on the surface, but the root ball should never completely dry out.
- Check some time after casting that there is no excess irrigation water in the saucer or planter.
- In winter, a little less is poured. If you keep the plant cooler, watering will be even more limited.
- Peperomia maculosa likes a high humidity and should therefore be sprayed regularly.
- For watering and spraying it is best to use lime-free water.
- For fertilization use normal liquid fertilizer or long-term fertilizer in rod form.
- One takes only half the concentration each time from April to September.
- Fertilization takes place every 4 weeks.
- Peperomia maculosa can be wintered at normal room temperature, but also a little cooler.
- However, temperatures should not drop below 15° C.
- It is sparsely populated in winter. The plant bale should not completely dry out, but in no case be too moist.
- The cooler the temperatures, the less water is poured. The fertilizer inputs are completely stopped.
- On the humidity is to be respected. Too dry air can set pests. Prefer to spray the plant over and over again.
Peperomia Maculosa can be easily propagated by cuttings. Also, the propagation of leaf cuttings works quite well. However, the rooting takes longer:
- It uses young, well-developed leaves with a 2 cm long stem.
- The stem is inserted up to the leaf width in the slightly moistened plant substrate, which should consist of sand and peat in equal parts.
- The soil is moistened again only when it has dried well on the surface.
- It is important that you cut off the leaf cuttings below the leaf node.
- Then the bottom leaves are removed.
- You always put the cuttings in groups, so 7 to 10 of them, in a pot.
- As a plant substrate is a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts.
- It is beneficial to put a plastic bag over the vessel, so that the humidity is nice and high.
- The planter with the cuttings is placed in a bright place, but not in the sun.
- Temperatures around 20° C are ideal for rooting.
- The soil should always be slightly damp.
- The bag must be removed daily to ventilate, so that no mold forms.
- The rooting takes about 6 weeks.