Are you trying to grow your indoor plant collection and worried that it’s going to take a toll on your budget? Or do you simply want to learn how to propagate the plants you have grown to love? Regardless, we can probably all agree that there are a lot of benefits to having a lot of plants inside your home.
Peperomia obtusifolia is one of the most popular indoor plants today given its leaves’ unique shine and rich green color. Peperomia Obtusifolia propagation can be done in different ways; such as using stem cuttings, using leaf cuttings, and performing mother plant division.
In this article, we are going to walk you through each method as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers. Excited? Then let’s get started!
Also known as Baby Rubber Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia is a bushy, flowering perennial plant native to the Caribbean and Southern Florida. It usually grows up to a foot tall, with leaves that can reach up to six inches long.
Its flowers have a very iconic, elegant look. They look like slender, greenish-white spikes. Most plant lovers get the Baby Rubber Plant for its leaves, though. As the name suggests, they look thick, glossy, and almost rubbery. In fact, to the untrained eye, they almost look artificial. Don’t be fooled. This is the plant’s completely natural beauty.
Peperomia is a genus of the Piperaceae family. There are over a thousand species of them and even more varieties. You’ve probably seen other Peperomias in your local nursery, including argyreia (or watermelon peperomia) and caperata (or ripple peperomia). Peperomia obtusifolia remains to be one of the most popular varieties, though.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Propagation Methods
As we have mentioned, there are three main methods to propagate the Baby Rubber Plant. Here they are:
Propagating Baby Rubber Plant Through Stem Cuttings
The best thing we love about this propagation method is it takes all the guilt out of pruning. Let’s be honest, we all love it when our plants grow, but they do reach a point when they look like a tangled mess already.
Aside from keeping your plants Instagrammable, pruning can help manage the growth of your Peperomia according to the size of its pot, especially if you have no intention of repotting it to a bigger container anytime soon.
Even better, you’ll be able to put those cuttings to good use with this propagation method. Here are the steps:
- Choose the right stems for the task. It will still boil down to one’s preferences, of course, but we like our Baby Rubber Plant appearing full and upright.
We also like our new plants the same way. Hence, we choose stems that start upright at first before curving towards a certain direction.
- Choose your cutting tool. We use a pair of pruning shears that’s clean and sharp. You can use a knife or a pair of scissors as well. It will depend on the width of your stem and how mature your plant is.
Keeping your cutting tool clean will prevent cross-contamination of disease. Meanwhile, using a sharp one will minimize unnecessary bruising.
- Make the cut. There’s one particular part of your plant that you need to be familiar with before snipping away: nodes. Nodes are the part of the stem where the leaves sprout out, and where roots are more likely to grow when pruned.
The opinions vary whether on where to make the cut. We have plant friends who cut above the node, while others cut just a couple of centimeters below them. We personally cut above since we notice that our plant heals faster that way. Feel free to make your own experiments. Just don’t cut directly into a node and you’ll be fine.
The length (and number) of our cuts depends on our need, but we usually don’t cut shorter than three inches.
The benefit of making longer cuts is you can split them further into shorter stems for further propagation. We recommend reading the next step first before making the shorter cut, though.
- Remove the bottom leaves. Do this carefully, as healthy leaves will surely come in handy for the next propagation method. We do this to make sure that the bottom leaves won’t directly touch our chosen rooting medium.
We also make sure to leave at least three leaves on each stem cutting. This will help your cuttings get the nutrients they require to sprout new growth. You definitely need more than three for longer cuttings. For instance, we’ve found that leaving seven healthy leaves was optimal for our eight-inch stem cutting.
- Let your stem cuttings dry for a couple of hours. This will let your cut ends heal which can prevent rotting and disease.
- Choose the rooting medium. Once dry, your cuttings are now ready for rooting. You can use either water or soil to root your stem cutting. You can use clean water if you’re going to choose this medium. Meanwhile, you can also use a potting mix that’s specifically formulated for rooting if you choose to use soil.
Just keep the soil moist. Other plant enthusiasts cover their pot with a clear plastic bag. This will keep humidity in一something that your new plantlets will sorely need. Should you choose to do so, just remember to remove the plastic bag for at least an hour each day to let your plant breathe and discourage fungal growth.
- Wait for the magic to happen. Finally, the only thing that’s left to do now is wait. Propagating a Baby Rubber Plant can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
It will also help to change the water at least once a week to prevent disease. Place your cuttings in a place that gets a lot of indirect, yet bright sunlight as well.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Propagation Using Leaf Cuttings:
Now, the question is, what are we going to do with all those leaves? Don’t worry, your healthy leaves won’t go to waste. We can propagate them as well with this next method.
Just like your stem cuttings, it will also help to let your leaves dry a bit before placing them into your chosen medium. You can root them either in water or in soil. Since they are just single-leaf cuttings, there’s no way to prevent your leaf from dipping into the water. Hence, just monitor the state of your water to ensure that it always looks clean and clear to prevent disease.
It will take longer for leaf cuttings to root. You’ll know that your leaf cuttings have already taken root when you start to feel a little bit of resistance when you (really) gently tug them if you’ve chosen to plant them directly into the soil. We don’t recommend testing them out every day. Give them some time to grow before doing so as you don’t want to damage the newly established baby roots.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Propagation Through Division
We only recommend this step for experienced growers since it requires more skill and “plant intuition”. Otherwise, you’ll be risking ruining a perfectly fine mother plant. This method will also require a pruning saw or a bigger cutting tool.
First, gently loosen the root ball from the pot. You can use your cutting tool to do this. Here’s an added tip: you can tip the pot sideways to further loosen the soil.
With enough coaxing, we have no doubt that you’ll be able to free your plant from the pot. Shake away any excess soil. Again, we cannot reiterate how gentle you should be in performing each step to minimize plant stress.
Once you have a clear view of the root system, you can now start dividing the root system into two to three separate parts. Use the mature stems of your plant as a guide. Once you’ve made your clean cuts, you can then repot your newly divided plants as you would any plant.
Using well-draining soil will help to prevent root rot. We also recommend using vermicast (or worm castings) to supply them with the added nutrients they need to grow.
Peperomia Obtusifolia Propagation FAQs
Now that we have discussed the main methods of Baby Rubber Plant propagation, allow us to answer the most frequently asked questions by our readers for even more information;
Can you propagate Peperomia obtusifolia in water?
Yes, you certainly can. It will help to add rooting hormone into it to further hasten the rooting process. Just remember to follow the instructions to the letter if you have chosen a non-ready-to-use form.
Can peperomia grow in water only?
No, you can also grow them in the soil as well. You can read the instructions we’ve provided above.
How do you propagate Peperomia obtusifolia?
There are three main methods to propagate your Peperomia obtusifolia. You can propagate them through stem cuttings, single-leaf cuttings, and by dividing the mother plant into smaller plants. Those grown in ideal environments can get their plant to flower. You can then harvest its seeds. We don’t recommend this step, though, as it takes longer to grow new plants with this technique.
How long does it take peperomia to propagate?
It depends on your chosen method and performed steps. In our experience, it can take between two weeks to two months to grow an established root system.
Can I grow peperomia from a leaf?
Yes, you certainly can. We have shared the steps on how to do so in our guide above.
How do you propagate peperomia from cuttings?
You can let your cuttings take root in water or in the soil to root and propagate them. Again, we’ve shared the detailed steps on how to do this above.
Propagating Baby Rubber Plants
The Baby Rubber Plant has got to be one of our most favorite plants to grow indoors. They are easy to care for, and more importantly, they’re safe for our pets.
The good news is, you don’t even have to spend any money to grow your Peperomia collection. All you need is patience and care, and you will soon have an army of plants to keep or give away to friends.
We hope that you have found our Peperomia obtusifolia propagation guide helpful in this undertaking. Happy gardening!