Looking for peperomia hope care tips? My care guide will tell you everything you need to know to help this trailing cutie stay happy and healthy. Plus I discuss peperomia hope propagation and common issues with the plant. Enjoy!
Peperomia hope care & propagation
Today I am piggybacking off of my larger peperomia care guide post to share a care guide about peperomia hope, aka peperomia tetraphylla. I now own my second peperomia hope—I had another one a few years ago that I passed along to someone else.
It’s one of those plants that is hard to turn down when you see it at a nursery, though. So when I visited a local nursery for their 50% off ALL houseplants blowout sale and saw a gorgeous trailing peperomia hope for like $8, I had to buy it! My mom got one too 🙂
What is a peperomia hope?
I have talked about peperomia plants on the blog before (see my general care guide linked above). There are about a zillion different types of peperomia plants, and they generally stay pretty small and compact.
This makes them perfect plants for desktops or shelving where space is a concern. They also have the coolest little tendril-y flowers that I love (and many people also hate!). And hope is a tropical plant that is sought after for it’s trailing stems.
Its leaves are medium to dark green, thick, and round. They grow in clusters down along a stem to create that lovely trailing habit. These vines can grow up to several feet long, and the leaves are typically around 1 or 2 inches wide. (Its leaves look a lot like Xerosicyos Danguyi leaves to me!)
Is peperomia hope toxic?
Native to Central and South America, peperomia plants in general are not toxic to pets—and that includes hope. However, they aren’t meant to be ingested, so I’d recommend keeping them away from pets and kids who can’t be trusted!
How much light does pep hope need?
The short of it is that peperomia hope is happiest in bright, indirect light. This means that there are a variety of locations it will thrive in your home—it can be as simple as a window that gets morning sun.
The ideal location is an east- or west-facing window (morning sun vs. evening sun). A south-facing window is also fine, but keep in mind that too much direct sun with burn the leaves. If you live in an area with lots of bright sun and super long days, you might want to avoid a south-facing window.
If you live somewhere that has much shorter days in the fall and winter, you may want to add a grow light. I have a big four-headed grow light that helps supplement light for a lot of my plants in the winter. (Read my post about how to use grow lights with houseplants for more!)
Why is my peperomia hope leggy?
“Leggy” is a word people use to refer to a plant that starts growing in a way that stretches the space out between the leaves. It prevents the plant from looking nice and full and generally contributes to an unhealthy look.
Plants get leggy when they don’t have enough light. This is a common issue with succulents; see my post on succulent stretching and how to fix it. If your peperomia hope is getting leggy, move it to an area with more light.
You can also try rotating your pep every week or so to ensure it grows evenly. This is often a good idea if the plant is getting light on only one side—like from a window.
Once your plant gets leggy, you can’t make is un-leggy. I like to prune the leggy areas off of my plants and propagate them, and that’s a good solution for this pep, too. (See my section below on how to propagate peperomia hope for more!)
How often should you water peperomia hope?
The watering needs for great peperomia hope care in three words: Less is more! I let the top few inches of soil in my peperomia hope’s pot dry out between watering sessions. That generally means I water it weekly-ish in the spring and summer, every 2 weeks-ish in the fall and winter.
Keep in mind that your lighting conditions and the soil you have your plant in will also influence how often you water your plant. The main thing to remember is not to overwater this plant.
Peperomia plants have shallow root systems, making them great for smaller planters or dish gardens. However, that also means that if you have the plant in too much soil and water it too often, it will retain that water.
When I water plants with thick leaves like these, I also try to water them in the sink or shower. That way I can rinse off the foliage. Thick leaves are collect unsightly dust—and keeping foliage clean is also a good way to help prevent pests!
If you overwater your plant, it will lead to root rot. That happens when the roots are kept too moist for too long. Signs of root rot on a peperomia are dull, wilting, or mushy foliage.
Why are my peperomia hope leaves curling?
Your plant’s leafs are probably curling because it is thirsty. Less is more when watering this plant, but it isn’t a cactus! If you deprive it of water for too long, it will start to show you it is unhappy.
If the soil is really old and cakey, that could be problematic, too. It could be that the caked soil is having trouble taking in enough moisture from watering to get to the roots. Or that the soil’s nutrients are completely depleted. You may need to repot if that’s the case.
Peperomia hope care & soil needs
I mentioned that soil is an important part of your watering routine—and that is definitely true with peperomia hope! I try to be even more sensitive to soil and pot size with plants that have a shallow root system (like the hope).
Use a good well-draining soil designed for houseplants. Look for something that says “well-draining” and “houseplants” or “indoor plants” at your local nursery. These soils come pre-mixed with things to help facilitate drainage and aeration.
I use a mix like this and then generally add in another handful of coco coir to help boost aeration a bit. (Coco coir is a great alternative to peat moss; read more about houseplant soil additives in my houseplant soil 101 post.)
If your soil is too dense and doesn’t have things like coco coir, perlite, or bark added in, it will not encourage healthy root development. That’s because the roots will literally suffocate and rot.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the plant’s roots need access to air as well as water. A dense soil does not provide good aeration.
Potting & repotting
Speaking of the root system, I’ve mentioned it’s a shallow one on this plant. That means you don’t want to choose a planter that is too much bigger than the plant’s existing root system.
Once it’s time to repot your hope, choose a planter that is only about an inch wider and deeper than your plant’s current root ball. These are relatively slow growers, and they don’t get too large. So repotting often is not required.
I generally repot peperomias and plants like them when the roots start to peek out of the drainage holes—or when the roots are growing so densely that they start circling the bottom of the pot’s border.
Speaking of, choose a planter with a drainage hole (or more than one) for this plant. And shoot to repot it in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing and is more resilient to the shock of messing with its root system.
Peperomia hope care & fertilizer needs
For plants that don’t need to be repotted every year, you want to be mindful that you’re replenishing lost nutrients from older soil. I like to use a fork to work in organic worm castings to the top layer of my plant’s soil in the spring.
I don’t typically fertilize my plants with houseplant fertilizer; instead, I att organic worm castings in the spring. Or I repot them with fresh soil in the spring—soil that comes packed with slow-release nutrients!
If you want to fertilize your peperomia hope, though—that’s perfectly fine! Use a diluted houseplant fertilizer roughly every month in the spring and summer. Monitor to see how the plant responds.
Temperature & humidity needs
Peperomia hope loves warmer temperatures and is not cold tolerant. It tolerates a variety of normal household temperatures well, though! That generally means between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once temperatures drop consistently down into the 50s or below, the plant will begin to show signs of stress. Be mindful of any drafty doors or windows during the winter, too.
While peperomia hope also tolerates normal household humidity levels just fine, it will thrive in higher humidity. Remember, it’s a tropical plant! I’ll have mine outside on my covered patio for the spring and summer to soak up nature’s humidity.
But indoors it can be a bit trickier. Especially during the fall and winter when you might have central heating, which can really dry out the air.
Should I mist my peperomia hope?
You can, but misting the plant only temporarily increases the moisture in the air around it. If you do mist, I recommend a continuous mister like this one (affiliate link) instead of a normal spray bottle.
However, the best way to boost humidity levels around your plant is to use a room humidifier. I hate cleaning humidifiers, but I did add one downstairs around my bar cart plants because I’m trying to be a better plant mom 🙂
You can also boost humidity by putting the plant in a bathroom—but again, you’ll need a window or other artificial light source so it doesn’t get leggy. So that can be tricky. You can also add a pebble try and set the plant on top of that.
My favorite way to add humidity is by putting my humidity loving smaller plants in my Ikea greenhouse cabinet I set up. This has grow lights in it, and I rely on the ambient moisture from the soil and from LECA propagations to keep the levels a bit higher than room humidity!
Peperomia hope propagation
Now to my favorite section of my plant care posts—propagation! Because who doesn’t like making new plants from plants they already have? I mentioned that you can propagate leggy growth earlier in the post.
Leggy or non-leggy, the process for propagation is the same. And it starts with knowing what type of propagation you’d like to do: a stem cutting or a leaf cutting.
How to propagate a pep hope with a stem cutting
Propagating a peperomia hope with a stem cutting is the fastest way to get a new plant. You can do it in any medium, really—soil, water, LECA, moss. But I like using good ol’ fashioned water for peperomia propagations.
To get started, take a cutting that’s a few inches long. Make sure you have a few sets of leaves on the cutting. Remove the bottom-most set of leaves if necessary. You want to keep the leaves out of the water.
Refresh the water every few weeks and monitor for growth. You’ll notice roots begin to develop, and you also might even notice a new plant begin to sprout under water! You can transfer this to soil, keeping it moist for a few weeks to avoid shock.
You can also propagate the stem cutting directly in soil or in moss and perlite. In this case, I would recommend dipping the cutting in rooting hormone first. Keep the soil moist and humidity high until you notice resistance when you gently tug the cutting.
How to propagate a pep hope from a leaf cutting
One really cool thing about peperomia plants is that you can actually propagate them from single leaf cuttings. You just have to make sure the area where the stem meets the leaf (the petiole) is intact.
With a leaf cutting, I’d propagate directly in soil. And I have done this successfully, too! It takes a while, but it is really rewarding. Dip in rooting hormone, plant in shallow soil, keep the soil moist and the environment humid, and wait.
Here is a picture of a ripple peperomia I propagate using a single leaf. So cool. For a more in-depth guide on propagating peps, see my post on how to propagate peperomia plants!