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Peperomia Rosso Care Guide

Peperomia rosso is a lovely variety of the compact peperomia genus that has deep green leaves with a silver sheen. Learn how to care for the rosso, including how much light it needs, how big it gets, if it’s a succulent, and more!

How do you care for a peperomia rosso?

Today I’m writing about one of my favorite varieties of peperomia: peperomia rosso. Peperomia rosso is the result of a mutation in a type of peperomia caperata—aka a ripple peperomia, of which there are also many different types.

I have written about many peperomia plants before—including my care guides on peperomia polypotrya care, watermelon peperomia care, peperomia hope care, and peperomia beetle care.

Peperomia is a huge genus, though, so I also have a general peperomia plant guide that covers the general care tips you need to care for these cute compact plants. Because there are over 1,000 species of peperomia.

They grow in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, but they are concentrated in Central and South America. Peperomia plants can also be found in Africa, southern Asia, and Oceania. While some are epiphytes (growing up other plants), others grow in rock crevices.

Most varieties are xerophytes, which are drought-tolerant plants, with succulent-like leaves. And nearly all of the identified and named varieties remain relatively small. Making them perfect for shelves and desktops.

peperomia rosso plant

How big does a peperomia rosso get?

Peperomia rosso plants stay relatively small. Even in ideal care conditions, rosso grows to be only about 8 inches wide and 8 inches tall. The foliage grows in a pretty dense pattern, too, creating a shimmery, bushy little mound.

Stems grow up and out, sprouting a leaf at each end. Each leaf is only about an inch or so long. They are deep green with almost a turquoise tinge and a silvery sheen. The undersides are a reddish purple. 

These are fast-growing plants, too. And sometimes you might notices that the stems are growing a little wonky. It’s totally fine to give your rosso a little haircut to control its shape as it grows (and these cuttings are perfect for propagating—more on that at the end of this post).

peperomia rosso plant

Is peperomia rosso a succulent?

No, peperomia rosso is not technically a succulent. It belongs to the peperomia genus, which is in the piperaceae family. This is also the family that contains peppers—the kind you eat!

The leaves on many peperomia plants, however, are pretty thick and succulent-like. And that includes the peperomia rosso. They aren’t the thickest of the peperomia plants out there, but they are thicker than, say, a pothos leaf.

peperomia rosso plant

How much light does a peperomia rosso need?

Like many tropical plants, peperomia rosso enjoys bright indirect light. It can also do fine with medium light levels—that is, a little farther away from a bright window or in a window that doesn’t get the best light.

Unless your plant is getting even light on all sides, make sure to rotate it every month or so. If you don’t, peperomias have a tendency to grow very unevenly, leaning toward one side.

Peperomia plants are also good candidates for offices because they don’t mind a little of that artificial lighting. In fact, it can help supplement an otherwise dim space.

Too much light will burn the leaves, while too little light will lead to generally sad-looking, scraggly, and leggy growth. If you notice that the stems start getting long and a bit flopping and the leaves are smaller, it could be a lack of light.

peperomia rosso plant

Soil & potting needs

Plant your peperomia rosso in a well-draining soil mix designed for indoor plants or houseplants. These mixtures come premixed with things like perlite, coco coir (a great peat alternative), and more.

And they help to ensure that the soil does not retain too much water. The roots are prone to rot, so  well-draining soil is a must. Not only does it facilitate drainage, but it helps to encourage oxygen flow to the plant’s roots.

And speaking of the plant’s roots, they are very delicate and shallow. So you’ll need to make sure that you don’t plant peperomia rosso in too large of a pot. Or too deep of a pot.

Don’t repot this plant until the roots begin growing out of the pot’s drainage holes. When you do repot the plant, you can lightly loosen the root ball if you need to. But remember that the roots are fragile.

Size the pot up only slightly, and make sure you use some fresh well-draining soil when transplanting it to its new home.

repotting a peperomia rosso plant
peperomia rosso plant

Do you water peperomia from the top or bottom?

The rosso’s roots like to stay evenly moist. That means that it isn’t like a fern—you don’t need to keep it heavily watered. But it also isn’t like a succulent in that you can let it go for extended periods of time before watering it again.

I would recommend waiting until roughly the top half of the plant’s soil dries out before watering it again. This will help to ensure you don’t damage the roots by drying them out or drowning them by keeping them too wet.

I have seen loads of people recommend watering peperomia plants using the bottom-watering method, too. I wrote about how to bottom-water your plants in another post.

This is because it’s best to avoid letting the crown of the plant get wet. However, I am really hit or miss with bottom-watering. Sometimes I just don’t feel like it, and it’s much easier for me to water plants in bulk in the sink.

If you do choose to water the plants in the sink from the top, make sure it isn’t too cold or dark. Higher temperatures and light will help the crown of the plant dry out before the water can do any damage.

watering a peperomia rosso plant

Temperature needs

Average household temperatures are fine. Anything in the 60s, 70s, or 80s Fahrenheit will make your peperomia rosso happy! This is not a cold- or frost-hardy plant, though.

In fact, one of the reasons why peperomia plants are nicknamed “radiator plants” is thought to be because many enjoy bright, dry environments. Just like they’d experience if they were sitting on a radiator in front of a window.

Do peperomia like being misted?

Peperomia rosso does just fine in normal household humidity levels. Misting the plant is generally not necessary and can actually lead to problems if the leaves, crown, or stems stay too wet.

flowering peperomia rosso

Issues you might encounter

Peperomia plants are generally pretty resistant to pests. Because this plant likes to stay generally moist, you might encounter fungus gnats. That’s because they lay their eggs in the top few inches of soil, and they like moist conditions. 

Excessive moisture in the air or humidity, as well as watering the plant from above, can lead to spots or rot issues on the leaves or crown of the plant.

little peperomia rosso plant
peperomia rosso plant

Are peperomia plants toxic?

Peperomia plants, including the peperomia rosso, are not know to be toxic when ingested by pets or humans. However, the plants are meant to be consumed. So it’s best to keep them away from nosy nibblers.

What are the spiky thinking growing from my peperomia?

One of the coolest things about peperomia rosso plants is their flowers. All peperomia plants, actually. They grow the craziest flowers that don’t really look like the flowers you might be used to.

They are long, tendril-like stems that pop out and have spiky-looking ends in different colors. They don’t smell like anything, but I think they look pretty cool. You can snip them off if you don’t care for them—or when they die off.

flowering peperomia rosso
flowering peperomia rosso

How to propagate a peperomia rosso stem cutting

One of the coolest things about peperomia plants is that they can be propagated from a single stem cutting! I mentioned earlier in the post that, if you prune your plant, you should save the stems to propagate them.

I have a whole post on three different ways to propagate peperomia plants. But here’s an overview—first, take a stem cutting with a healthy leaf. Then pop it in water. Refresh the water roughly weekly or so, ensuring the end always remains submerged.

Roots will eventually begin to sprout…and then tiny leaves! A new plant is growing, as you can see below. (This isn’t a peperomia rosso, but it’s a closely related type of peperomia, and the process is the same.)

At about this point I would plant it in well-draining soil. I’d then keep the soil moist and let the plant do its thing. Yes—I’d bury the whole thing, roots, new leaves, and all! The second photo below is what will eventually happen. This makes peperomia plants extra special, in my opinion 🙂

propagating a peperomia cutting in water
peperomia propagation

Peperomia rosso care summary

And here’s a quick summary of everything I blabbered on about in this post. Save it for quick reference when caring for this plant!

  • Light: Bright, indirect light; will tolerate medium light, but monitor for legginess
  • Soil: Well-draining soil for indoor plants
  • Water: Water when the top half of the soil dries out; enjoys being bottom-watered, but it isn’t a deal breaker
  • Temperature: 60s, 70s, and 80s Fahrenheit are best; not cold hardy
  • Humidity: Does fine in normal household humidity
  • Toxicity: Not known to be toxic, but not meant to be ingested
  • Propagation: Super easy using stem cuttings

Pin my peperomia rosso care guide!

collage that says peperomia rosso care including images of the plant

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