The Peperomia Napoli Nights is a popular hybrid thanks to its stunning leaves. It was bred from a Peperomia peruviana cultivar and the pollen from a Peperomia marmorata. As such, you’ll see some resemblance from each plant.
That said, the plant is often mixed up or confused with similar looking peperomia species. These include:
- Peperomia Frost
- Peperomia Moonlight
- Peperomia Santorini
- Watermelon Peperomia
The reason is that they feature similar heart-shaped looking leaves with deep colored curving veins.
However, if you look closely at each of them (against the Peperomia Napoli Nights) you’ll notice some kind of difference.
The things to focus on are:
- Shape of the leaves – while generally heart-shaped, the leaves of the Napoli Nights Peperomia are sharper and narrower. So, they’re not as round as a heart and they have a tip at the end.
- The two colors of the leaves – the Peperomia Napoli Nights features silver-green leaves with very dark green (almost black-looking) veins.
- The undersides of the leaves – the Peperomia Napoli Nights has red undersides.
Additionally, its leaves are thick and have a glossy texture. The former allows it to tolerate drought and low humidity which are some reasons why it is an easy houseplant to care for.
Peperomia Napoli Nights Plant Care
The Peperomia Napoli Nights grows best in medium to bright, indirect light. It also does well in low light provided that it is not too dim or gets very dark at different times of the day.
With the latter, an easy test to know if there’s sufficient light in that spot is to sit down at the level where the plant will be displayed and open a magazine or book.
If you can read the main text without using a lamp or turning on the lights, then there’s enough illumination to keep the plant healthy and looking good.
In case you notice the plant get leggy or the leaves reverting back to more green with less silver, it also means it is struggling to get enough light. Therefore, move it somewhere brighter.
That said, for the fastest growth, most leaves and prettiest colors medium to bright, indirect or filtered light is best.
However, be careful with too much light as well.
Overly intense light, very long exposure to strong sun or direct sunlight will damage its leaves. Here, you’ll likewise lose the lovely silver patterns. But in a different way. They’ll turn dull. In some cases, the leaves will become yellow as well.
With very harsh light, you may see sunburn marks on the edges of its foliage.
These are all signs that it needs more protection from too much light.
For this reason, an east or west facing window is the ideal spot for the plant. In an eastern exposure you can place it near the window since morning sun is very gentle. But in the west, try to keep it away from the sun between 12:00 noon to 3:30 p.m.
If you don’t get a lot of natural lighting (the plant needs at least 4 to 6 hours of good light daily) indoors, don’t worry. You can go with fluorescent lighting. Similarly, artificial grow lights work just as well.
Being a native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, the Peperomia Napoli Nights is used to warm climates without a lot of extended cold periods.
But while weather in this region can get real hot most of the year, it benefits form the overhead shade provided by larger trees in the forest (since it lives in the floor as a shorter plant).
Therefore, the Peperomia Napoli Nights ideal temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, it has no issues with heat and will easily tolerate high 90 degree climates without sustaining any harm.
On the other hand, it cannot withstand cold weather as well. Thus, try to avoid temperatures below 50 degrees as it will begin to struggle below that point.
For this reason, you’ll usually find the plant outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12. In colder parts of the country, it usually lives as a houseplant with some vacation time outdoors during the summer.
The other aspect of the native tropical rainforest environment the Peperomia Napoli Nights is used to is high humidity. Therefore, it appreciates it when you keep humidity over 60%.
However, because it has thick, succulent-like leaves which it uses to store moisture (in order to get through dry periods), humidity is less of an issue.
This allows the plant to live in average room humidity without fussing or getting harmed.
I’ve seen the plant happily living in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona (which rank among the lowest humidity states). And except for the latter where humidity can average in the high 20s, the plant has no issue whatsoever.
Under 30% humidity, I’m not so sure because my friend will mist her Peperomia Napoli Nights when humidity is in the low 30s. Thus, I don’t know what the low threshold actually is before the plant will start having issues.
That said, take your cue for its leaves and how the plant is behaving.
How Often to Water Peperomia Napoli Nights
The Peperomia Napoli Nights enjoys water (moist soil) especially during summer. Unfortunately, like other peperomia, it is prone to overwatering (and therefore root rot).
Thus, this is the one aspect of caring for the plant where you want to keep an eye on.
In general, the plant enjoys being watered once a week (during summer) and once every 2 weeks in the winter. However, because everyone’s home has different conditions, I don’t recommend following these guidelines strictly.
Instead, I recommend listening to what the plant is telling you.
Because of the plant’s propensity for overwatering and its succulent-like leaves, being conservative with watering is the best way to water it.
Here, you have a couple of options.
- If you’re an overwaterer (like to water a lot) like some of my friends are, try to hold off until the top 2 inches of soil is dry before watering. This will let enough of the soil dry before you add more. In doing so, you prevent overwatering.
- If you’re busy or are often late in watering (like I am because I forget or life gets in the way), you don’t have to worry since you can water any time when the soil dries up to between 50% and 75% of the way down.
Therefore, the target is somewhere between the top 2 inches going dry until 75% of the soil is dry.
In this range, you avoid watering when the soil is still a bit too moist (risking root rot). And before it completely dries out (risking dehydration).
How can you tell?
Again there are a few ways.
- Use your finger – stick your finger into the soil until the 2nd This is about 2 inches. If the soil at this level (or below) is dry, then water. But not before then.
- Use a moisture meter – this is simpler. Just insert the probe and watch the reading. If it shows RED or something like “Dry”, then it is time to water.
- Wooden stick – if you have a problem using your finger to feel how wet the soil is and don’t want to spend on a moisture meter, get a piece of wood. Wooden chopsticks, long skewer, an old drumstick, or anything similar will work. Insert the wooden stick all the way down the soil until it hits the bottom of the pot. Then take the stick out. The wet portion is where the water level is. If it is between the ideal watering range (lower than 2 inches), you can water.
Peperomia Napoli Nights Potting Soil
Well-drained, light and air potting soil is best for the Peperomia Napoli Nights. It also appreciates rich soil (which allows you to reduce the amount fertilizer you need to use).
This will let excess moisture drain quickly while retaining enough water to keep the plant hydrated.
This way, your Peperomia Napoli Nights stays healthy. And its roots don’t end up standing in water (which causes root rot).
Luckily, there are a few ways you can achieve this. Here are the simplest ones that work really well.
- 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite
- 1 part potting soil to 1 part orchid bark
- 1 part succulent mix to 1 part coco coir
- 1 part potting soil to 1 part coco coir
The key is to add something that will improve drainage because the plant is sensitive to too much moisture.
Thus, avoid using regular potting mix on its own since most products tend to hold on to too much water. Similarly, stay away from soils that retain lots of moisture since those are designed for other kinds of plants.
Fertilize your Peperomia Napoli Nights with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during its growing season (which is spring and summer). You can go all the way early, mid or late fall as well depending on whether the plant is still growing.
Typically, you don’t want to feed it during winter as it takes a rest to get ready to grow again in spring.
However, like always, listen to the plant.
If you live in a tropical climate, the plant may want to continue to grow. This is why growers in Southeast Asia will feed their houseplants (and plants in general) all year long.
The sunny weather (and no winter) extends the growing season. This allows the plants to keep growing no matter what month it is. And as long as it is growing, you can feed it.
That said, the most important thing about using chemical fertilizer products is to avoid overfeeding. Therefore, avoid the temptation to use more than what the instructions state or applying more frequently than needed.
Also, dilute the application by 50% when you do. You can go down to 25% if you add worm compost or other nutrient amendments to the potting mix.
Finally, never add fertilizer when the soil is dry. Water it first or only do so when soil is mosit.
The Peperomia Napoli Nights will usually grow to 12 inches maximum. In some cases, it can exceed that. But I’m always cautious when this happens because the stems (and leaves) that do are often leggy or are “outliers”. Thus, they make the plant look less bushy.
This affects its visual appeal since the Peperomia Napoli Nights looks its best when full and compact.
Other than shaping, the only things you need to trim are yellow or damaged leaves.
How to Propagate Peperomia Napoli Nights
The two most common ways to propagate Peperomia Napoli Nights are through leaf and stem cuttings. Although, you can always divide the plant as well or start from seed.
However, the latter two have somewhat limited uses for different reasons.
This is why stem and leaf cuttings are what most home growers use.
Propagating Peperomia Napoli Nights from Stem Cuttings
- Make a stem cutting using a sterile pair of scissors. Try to get a healthy stem with at least a few leaves. Ideally you want at least 2 to 4 inches of stem if you can get it. This makes it easier to plant the stem in soil or submerge it in water.
- Once you have the cutting, you can propagate it in water or in soil.
- I like to propagate in soil because it is faster (for me) and sometimes I’m lazy. Here, let the cutting dry a bit then dip the cut end into rooting hormone. Then plant the stem into well-draining potting mix (see the recipes above). You want a good section of the stem buried and remove any leaves that end up in the soil. Also, keep the soil moist.
- Most people prefer water propagation because you can watch to see the roots grow. Here, place the cuttings in water so the stem is submerged. Remove any leaves that touch the water. Also, make sure to change the water every week.
- After you have them set up, place the cuttings in a spot that’s warm with bright, indirect light.
- It will take about a month or so for the roots to grow. Although with water propagation, you should see some roots as early as 10 days.
- However, wait until the roots get longer than 2 inches before you pot it up. This is the extra step you’ll need to do when propagating in water.
Propagating Peperomia Napoli Nights from Leaf Cuttings
Leaf cuttings work the same way with stem cuttings. But this time you’re going to use leaves instead of stems.
- Take a leaf cutting. Avoid very small leaves. Ideally you want at least a 2 inch leaf so you have something to work on.
- Dip the leaf cutting in rooting hormone.
- Then plant it in well-draining soil.
- Follow the same steps above with soil propagation. You can likewise cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse-like effect. This will increase humidity which helps the plant grow faster (and boost success rates).
- But if you do use a plastic bag, don’t forget to remove the bag every few days to prevent too much trapped moisture. This can cause rotting.
How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Napoli Nights
The Peperomia Napoli Nights has a small root system which is what makes it susceptible to overwatering. This also means that you want to be careful with repotting since there aren’t a whole lot of roots there.
Additionally, the roots that are there are fragile and can easily get damaged if you’re aggressive or rough when handling the plant, taking it in or out of the pot.
Its non-extensive root system also means it does not need frequent pruning. They are not fast growers and will take a while before they need more space.
This means you’ll likely only need to repot anywhere between every 2 to 4 years. Exactly how long will depend on your plant’s living conditions (which ultimately affects how fast it grows).
However, because of the long interval in between, it is a good idea to replace the soil annually. If you don’t want to unpot the plant, you can just change the topsoil with fresh potting mix.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Peperomia Napoli Nights is not toxic to people or animals even when ingested. Therefore, you can keep it anywhere in your home with peace of mind that it does not pose any danger to young kids or your beloved pets.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Drooping & Wilting
Wilting leaves is often caused by overwatering. Although, lack of water can also do this.
Therefore, check the soil to confirm which one it is.
Use the method above in the Soil Section to test to see if the soil is dry or not. Then adjust your watering schedule to prevent this from happening again.
Leaf shedding is often caused by climate factors. Thus, check temperature and humidity.
The Peperomia Napoli Nights does not like sudden temperature fluctuations. Therefore, keep it away from heaters, fireplaces, vents, drafts and air conditioners. Anything that can cause temperature or humidity to change drastically.
Besides these, too much fertilizer can also cause this. This is why diluting the application and staying away from overfeeding are important.
Loss of Bottom Leaves
If you notice that only the leaves at the bast of the plant are dropping, this could mean overwatering, the temperature is too cold or you’re using too much fertilizer.
Because there are a few causes, you’ll need to eliminate one at a time to figure out the cause.
Start with temperature since that is the easiest. Then check whether the soil is wet.
The Peperomia Napoli Nights is not prone to pests. However, you may still encounter some sap suckers at some point. The most common are mealybugs although mites, scale and fungus gnats can come around as well.
Fortunately, it is easy to get rid of them as long as you spot them early.
It is likewise important to understand that there are many forms of these bugs. Often, the appear either as adults, larvae or eggs. You want to get rid of all of them.
That’s because it is easier to get the adults but if you leave the eggs, a few days later, you’ll have new adults who are laying new eggs again.
Therefore, you’re back to the beginning.
I like to use water to spray them all away since it is easy to so with a small plant like the Peperomia Napoli Nights. But you can use neem oil or insecticidal soap as well.
With diseases, you want to curb overwatering. This is the root cause for most pathogens and infections. And it affects both foliage and roots.
Therefore keep leaves dry as much as possible. If you give the plant a shower or get the leaves wet, make sure they dry soon enough. You can help this along by keeping the plant somewhere with good air circulation and sufficient light.
On the other hand, wet soil will eventually lead to root rot.
So, avoid overwatering or using soil that retains too much water.