The Roundup -

Pet-Friendly Houseplants: Peperomia

 

September 28, 2022 | View PDF

Peperomia Ferryrae (Photos submitted)

With the houseplant craze in full swing, many people are jumping on the bandwagon of introducing plants into their homes. One of the many questions we get, in addition to those questions on how to care for these plants, is; will these plants be toxic to my pet(s)?

While plant toxicity is not something that we worry too much about here, many wish to err on the side of caution. Since that is the case, we present to you a series of blog articles filled with foliage plants that are totally safe for your furry friend.

On the list of pet-friendly plants that are "lower light" is this diverse group of plants known as Peperomia. Not to be confused with "Pepperoni" as they sometimes get referred to ;). Peperomia are New World Natives. They have their home in parts of Florida, the Caribbean, and the Northern countries of South America. Growing in the understory and forested areas, Peps make great candidates for lower light environments. Coupled with the fact that there are many different species and forms it's easy to see why this Genus has risen in popularity.

In addition to being "pet friendly," these plants are also not large items. Rarely to never needing to be pruned to maintain a size, many peperomia are great candidates for indoor terrariums and other miniature gardening possibilities.

Among the most familiar varieties are the Rippled Pep. or Peperomia caperata. The unique crinkled leaves give this plant dramatic interest. Often available in red, silver, and green these are perhaps the most common varieties of Pep.

The Tricolor Pep is also a unique foliage choice. Also known sometimes as 'Ginny' Pep. The tricolor Pep has much larger leaves than other Pep varieties. Even though the leaves are much larger, the overall size of this Pep is surprisingly short.

Tricolor Peperomia

The Pincushion Pep is another favorite of ours. The "Happy Bean" Pep, or Peperomia ferryrae have extremely unique strap-like, three-inch or longer, leaves. Bright green to chartreuse, these Peps can often resemble miniature trees.

The best care for Peperomia is to keep them away from direct light exposure and to water when the soil has been allowed to dry out sufficiently. Treating these plants a little bit like succulents will mean that you will be met with success growing them. Some of the most common trouble growing peps results from overwatering. Black or brown lesions can begin to appear on the stems and on the foliage when they remain too wet.

While grown almost exclusively for their foliage as their flowers are not particularly showy, Peperomias are fantastic additions to your indoor space!

 

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