Learn how to care for the striking little peperomia albovittata, aka the piccolo banda peperomia. Its small size makes it the perfect little desktop plant, and it’s easy to care for, too.
Peperomia albovittata care & propagation guide
If you like houseplants that are both eye-catching and low-maintenance, then the peperomia albovittata is right for you! Its striped leaves are gorgeous and loved for their unique pattern of light green and silver striations with deep purple-brown veins.
Albovittata actually means “with white stripes.” Its stems are pink-red, and the plant does not grow to be more than a foot in height. This makes it the perfect indoor plant for your office or living room.
Is peperomia albovittata rare?
The peperomia albovittata is a new, rare cultivar that comes from the Netherlands—though it is certainly increasing in both popularity and production! Since this plant is a hybrid, it goes by many names including Piccolo Banda, Piccolo Peperomia, and Radiator Plant (a common name for Peperomia species).
They are classified as semi-succulent because they store moisture in their leaves and are very drought tolerant. Peperomia species are members of the Piperaceae family, a large family of around 3,600 species, most of which come from the rainforests of South America.
They grow epiphytically (on top of other plants) in indirect sunlight, and with lots of organic matter. So now that we have an idea of where they came from to frame the discussion, let’s jump into peperomia albovittata plant care!
What kind of light is best for a peperomia albovittata?
Peperomia albovittata grows well in bright, indirect sunlight. East-facing windows get the right amount of light, especially in the morning. Morning sunlight is better for its growth if you can help it, since it’s not as intense as mid-afternoon sunlight.
The more intricate a plant’s leaves are, the more delicate they are in the sun. This plant has intricate leaves that are prone to burning under harsh rays. If you find that your leaves are being damaged by the sun, try filtering the light with a curtain or moving it away entirely from windows.
If you take the plant outdoors for the spring and summer, remember to shield the plant under deck, a pergola, a shade cloth, or a large tree. It will do well in bright shade and maybe a bit of direct morning sun—but nothing else!
Believe it or not, this house plant is semi-succulent, meaning it is very resistant to drought. That’s one thing that makes this plant perfect for beginners since you do not have to worry about watering it often.
During the growing season (spring and summer), expect to water deeply once every 7-10 days, or when the top few inches of soil has completely dried out. This watering can be cut down drastically in the winter, only once to twice a month.
When you water the plant, do so thoroughly, letting all of the water flow freely through the drainage holes. You want to soak the soil when you do water it…that isn’t overwatering. The frequency of watering is what counts as overwatering.
Make sure the pot has proper drainage holes so water doesn’t sit in the bottom of your pot. I cannot stress this enough, do not overwater this guy! It’s always better to err on the side of underwatering.
The peperomia albovittata is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on top of other plants and uses their nutrients. What does that mean for soil requirements? Lots of organic matter and low density.
If you plan on using a pre-mixed soil from the store, use only half soil and the other half orchid bark, compost, and perlite to improve drainage and aeration. The last thing you want to do is choke your peperomia!
Pro Tip: Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes at the bottom so water does not stay trapped at the bottom. You can even drill holes on the sides of the pot for better aeration.
Temperature & humidity
Peperomias prefer warmer temperatures, somewhere in the range of 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you choose to grow it indoors, you won’t have to worry about the temperature at all. Outdoors, it is definitely not cold or frost hardy.
Keep in mind that it has little tolerance outside that range of temperatures. Any drastic changes in temperature can shock the plant and harm its growth, so keep it away from drafty windows, AC vents, and heater vents.
Unlike other peperomias, humidity is not a huge factor in growing a peperomia albovittata. Actually, very high humidity levels can promote fungus growth on the leaves. Average household humidity levels will work just fine, and there is no need to mist this plant.
Can you propagate peperomia albovittata?
Propagating a peperomia albovittata can be done using a leaf-cutting method, but it can get a little tricky. Use very sharp shears to cut a healthy leaf from the stem, then cut the leaf in half horizontally.
Dip the cut-side in a rooting hormone if you have it. Set up a pot with fresh, damp soil and plant the cut leaf about an inch deep. Keep the pot in a warm place with indirect sunlight.
You can promote growth and increase the warmth by covering it with a plastic bag, but only every few hours as this might make it too humid. (Remember, these plants don’t do well with humidity.)
In only a few weeks you’ll notice rooting taking place. Eventually, a new plant will sprout at the soil line. This is a very similar process to propagating most other peperomoa plants.
If you aren’t familiar with leaf-cutting propagation, you can use stem-cuttings as well! The process is largely the same. Simply take a stem cutting and put it in water.
Refresh the water every few weeks. Eventually, small white roots will sprout in the water—and eventually, leaves will, too! Plant that in soil and keep it moist until the leaves breach the soil line.
You can cut off the original leaf cutting at this point and begin treating the plant as you would any other peperomia albovittata. For more on peperomia propagation including tons of pics, check out this post: How to Propagate Peperomia: 3 Proven Methods.
Is peperomia a non-toxic plant?
Yes, peperomia, including peperomia albovittata, is a non-toxic plant. It does not contain any known toxins that will harm humans or animals if they ingest the plant.
However, the plant is grown mostly for ornamental uses. It is not meant to be consumed. So I always recommend keeping plants away from nibbling children and pets.