How to Care for Peperomia Orba Pixie Lime (The Teardrop Peperomia)

The Peperomia Pixie Lime goes by many names including:

  • Peperomia Pixie
  • Pixie Peperomia
  • Pixie Lime Peperomia
  • Peperomia orba Pixie Lime
  • Teardrop Peperomia

So, if you see any of these names, they all refer to the same plant.

That said, the Peperomia Pixie Lime sport of the very popular Peperomia orba plant. This is why some people opt to refer to it by its full name Peperomia orba Pixie Lime.

In any case, it is a member of the Peperomia genus which has over 1,600 different species. But unlike many of them, it is smaller and is a relative fast grower.

In contrast, the average peperomia is slightly bigger and often known as a slow grower.

Of course, once you see the Peperomia Pixie Lime you know why it is popular.

This is thanks to its small, slightly fuzzy, bright green colored leaves. if you’re more specific with colors, you may say they are lime green or yellow green.

In any case, this is a good plant to have if you want something small, very beautiful, easy to care for that will produce leaves quite quickly.

In fact, you can let it grow longer and allow the stems to trail a bit. Some growers will do this and keep it in a hanging basket because it looks so lovely that way.

Peperomia Pixie Lime Plant Care

Peperomia Orba Pixie Lime Light Requirements

The Peperomia Pixie Lime thrives in moderate to bright, indirect light. This allows it to grow its fastest and produce the most leaves as well.

But, avoid placing it where it receives direct sunlight. Long or regular exposure to this will cause its leaves to get discolored or scorched.

Before going any further, I’d also like to clarify a few things about the different kinds of light because I get a lot of questions about them.

  • Direct sun – this is when the sun’s rays hit the plant. The easiest ways to tell are when the plant is under the yellow rays. Or, if you see the plant produce any shadow. Both are signs it is getting direct sun. With the Peperomia Pixie Lime, you want to keep it away from both of these.
  • Bright room – on the other hand, the Peperomia orba Pixie Lime thrives in bright rooms. The goal is to keep it in a well lit room. And the easiest way to tell if the spot you’ve chosen is bright enough is to take a newspaper or magazine and read it (at different times of the day there). If you can read the text in the publication (without turning on a lamp or lighting), there will be enough light for the plant to be happy. Otherwise, light is not sufficient.
  • Cloudy/overcast days – in the fall and other times of the year, light from the outside may be bright but no sun. This happens when the clouds cover the sun. Here, the Peperomia Pixie Lime will still be happy. This is bright enough and you don’t necessary need sun. The key is the plant should be able to have a “line of sight” so to speak to the sky.

Hopefully, that clears up some things.

On the other hand, be careful with low light. While the plant can tolerate some of it, it’s light colored leaves are not well-equipped to handle lack of light.

This can cause wilting and yellow leaves. You’ll also see it get leggy and/or slow down in growth.

Therefore, if any of these symptoms come up, move the plant to a brighter location.

 

Temperature

The Peperomia orba Pixie Lime enjoys warm, tropical weather. This makes it easy to care for as a houseplant because tropical plants are used to similar climate conditions we humans enjoy.

This is why most indoor plants come from tropical locations and countries near the equator.

As such, it is best to keep temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit at home.

However, don’t stress out if your home is warmer or a little colder since the plant has some tolerance outside this range.

The most important thing to remember is that it does better in warm than cold.

By that I mean it does not mind temperature in the high 90s. But will have problems below 50 degrees. Thus, try to keep it away from spots where the temperature can drop  that low.

This also means that the Peperomia Pixie Lime prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12 if you want to grow it outdoors. There, you can keep the plant in pots or in the ground all year round.

That’s not true if you live in colder regions where the plant is better off indoors as a houseplant except during summertime.

 

Humidity

The Peperomia orba Pixie Lime prefers moderate to high humidity ranging from 50% to 80%. This is where it feels most comfortable because it is similar to its native habitat.

The good news is, while most homes have lower humidity than that, it generally is not a problem unless you live in a very dry location like the desert.

Why?

Because the plant has succulent-like leaves.

If you look at its foliage, you’ll notice they are thick and fleshy. The Peperomia Pixie uses these to store water to help it get through dry periods.

Therefore, these help it tolerate lower humidity.

That said, if your home’s humidity tends to hover around 30% or less, you do need to help the plant out a bit.

Misting is the simplest way. Although, you want to be careful with over spraying it because excess moisture can lead to fungus gnats, bacterial and fungal infections.

Another option is to get a humidifier. Or, you can place the plant on a pebble tray.

 

How Often to Water Peperomia Pixie Lime

The most important thing when caring for the Peperomia Pixie Lime is watering. Here, you only want to water when a good portion of the soil has dried.

That because of a few things:

  • The plant is very susceptible to overwatering – this is true for most peperomia. I’ve lost a few peperomia early on just by watering them like my other houseplants. Don’t be like me.
  • It is drought tolerant – This is thanks to its fleshy leaves that store moisture.
  • The Peperomia Pixie has a small root system – therefore, it can easily be overwhelmed or drown when left to stand in water.

So what should you do?

Wait until the top 2 inches of soil is dry before you add more water. I like to wait until 50% of the soil dries out before doing so since I play it safer with my peperomias (due to past experience).

That said, there are many ways you can gauge this. Here are a few that have worked for me. Just choose which one you can consistently do and stick with that.

  • Lift the pot – if the pot feels light, it needs water. If it feels heavy, you can wait. Of course, this requires some experience and it will become second nature over time if you keep doing it.
  • Squeeze the leaves – if the leaves feel firm, they’re still holding enough water. if they feel soft or flatter, they’re running out of water. This is similar to lifting the pot in that it takes some experience and practice. But over time, you can get the hang of it.
  • Stick your finger in the soil – stick your index finger down to the 2nd Then take it out. Feel your fingertip with your thumb. If there’s any moisture or even slightly moist, wait. Only add water if it feels completely dry at that level.
  • Wooden stick – insert a wooden stick (a skewer, wooden chopstick or something similar works) into the soil all the way till you hit the bottom of the pot. Then take the wood out. You’ll see a water/wet line which will tell you where the moist part of the soil is. If it is at least 2 inches from the top or lower, you can add water.
  • Moisture meter – you can pick one up for a few bucks. Then just stick the probe into the soil and look at the reading. It will tell you if the soil is dry, moist or wet.

 

Peperomia Pixie Lime Potting Soil

To help prevent waterlogging and overwatering, soil plays a very important role for the Peperomia orba Pixie Lime.

The best soil for this plant is light, rich and well-draining. This will allow it to remove excess moisture so the roots don’t stand in water. The Peperomia Pixie also enjoys soil with pH between 5.0 to 7.5.

A simple way to achieve this kind of potting mix is to use 2 parts peat with 1 part perlite. This will hold enough moisture to keep the plant happy while draining excess liquid so the roots are able to breathe.

You can also replace the perlite with pumice, coarse sand or orchid bark as well.

 

Fertilizer

Feed the Peperomia Pixie Lime using a balanced water soluble fertilizer once a month during its growing season (spring and summer). Make sure to dilute the dose to half strength to prevent overconcentration.

Once fall comes around, you can stop feeding by around early or mid-fall. Don’t fertilize the plant in winter.

If you’re not a fan of using commercial fertilizer, you can use something organic instead.

The simplest option would be fish emulsion since you can just follow the instructions on the container. Alternatively, you can also use soil amendments instead. Compost, worm castings and manure all work but you do need to figure out how to use them to adding too much or too little.

 

Pruning

The Peperomia Pixie Lime is one of the fastest growing peperomia around. Therefore, if you’re not the patient type or you enjoy quick gratification, this is the way to go.

This feature will also allow you to divide the plant later on to have more of them around.

That said, it is a small plant so don’t expect it to get as big as some other peperomias.

On average, you can expect it to grow to about 6 inches high. But it can get bushy and overflow towards the sits of the pot or basket if you don’t prune it. This way, it can reach a width of up to 12 inches.

The latter is also why you’ll see the plant displayed in many different ways including in pots, tabletops, hanging baskets and other methods.

The good news is, the Peperomia Pixie is a long lasting plant. So, you can expect to have it around for many years to come. In fact, it take 7 to 10 years for it to reach maturity.

All this means that you may or may not need to prune the plant.

In general, it maintains a nice compact shape. But it will grow towards the sides as it gets thicker and bushier.

Some people will trim the sides to keep it circular. Others will let the stems get longer so they look great in baskets. Although here, you will want to remove excess growth.

 

How to Propagate Peperomia Pixie Lime

You can easily create clones of your Peperomia Pixie Lime through:

  • Leaf propagation
  • Stem propagation

These are the most common methods for home propagation since they’re fast and have high success rates. Of course, you can likewise divide the plant if you want.

Because the plant has a lot of stems and leaves, you’ll be able to choose which method you want to use.

It propagates quite well in water as well as soil. So, again, you can go with your preference.

Peperomia Pixie Lime Leaf Propagation

  • Leaf propagation or propagating from leaf cuttings is probably the more popular method because it is easier to do. But it does take longer for the leaf to root and also produces shoots and more foliage later on.
  • Start by taking a leaf cutting. You can take one or more depending on how many new plants you want to grow. Cut the leaf at the point where the end of the petiole meets the stem. This will make it easier to root and bury the cutting.
  • Apply rooting hormone to the leaf cutting to speed up the rooting process.
  • Plant the leaf into well-draining potting mix by burying the petiole in the soil and keep the leaf on the soil.
  • Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering it.
  • Use a plastic bag to cover the pot to increase humidity. Make sure to remove the bag every so often for a few minutes to get rid of excess moisture.
  • Place the cutting in a bright spot with no direct sun.
  • In about 4 to 8 weeks, you should have roots.

Peperomia Pixie Lime Stem Propagation

  • Stem propagation or propagating through stem cuttings works the same way with leaf cuttings. But this time, you’ll take a healthy stem with at least 2 or more leaves on it.
  • Apply rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem.
  • Remove the lower leaves of the stem so they don’t end up in water or buried in the soil.
  • If you want to propagate in water, place the cutting in glass container so the stem is mostly submerged in the liquid. Replace the water to keep it clear.
  • If you want to propagate in soil, prepare a pot with well-draining soil. Then plant the cutting into the soil so most of the stem is buried under. Water to keep the soil moist.
  • It will take between 2 to 4 weeks for roots to grow.
  • With the water propagation, once the roots grow to 2 or more inches you can move them to potting soil. You don’t have to do that with the soil propagation because it is already there.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Pixie Lime

The Peperomia Pixie Lime looks most beautiful when it is full. Thanks to its quick growth you do have the option to divide it or repot it.

That said, you’ll still end up with very small pots as the plant won’t get big. And it also has a small root system.

So, you’ll only need a pot that is one size larger than the current one. Also make sure that the container has drainage holes.

The best time to repot is during spring, although you can technically repot any time as long as it is not too cold or too hot.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

No. The Peperomia orba Pixie Lime is not toxic to cats, dogs or humans. This makes it safe to keep indoors as a houseplant without the fear of any toxic substance that the kids or pets may accidentally ingest.

 

Peperomia Orba Pixie Lime Problems & Troubleshooting

Black Leaves

You don’t see black leaves often. But they are an ominous sign for your Peperomia Pixie Lime because it means the plant is being overwatered and it is having a problem with this situation.

To verify, check the soil to see how it feels.

Odds are it is wet and soggy. If this is the case, cut back on watering. You can also repot the plant in dry soil and check the roots for rotting.

 

Yellow Leaves

If your Peperomia Pixie Lime has yellow leaves, it is time to investigate the problem. Common causes include:

Too much direct sun or harsh light, overwatering and temperature fluctuations (usually colder). Therefore, you need to eliminate each potential cause.

 

Drooping & Wilting

Wilting can happen because of a few things. These include lack of water, too much water or insufficient fertilizer.

With the first two, check the soil.

Wet soil means overwatering. Very dry soil means dehydration.

If it is not a water problem check your feeding schedule.

 

Dropping Leaves

If the plant is dropping leaves, this is usually a sign that it is getting overwatered. Too much water not only harms its roots but also affects the color of its leaves, makes the plant wilt and later drop leaves.

Therefore, adjust your watering schedule and let the soil dry out a bit more before you add water.

 

Soft Leaves

Soft leaves on your Peperomia Pixie Lime means it needs water. Its leaves are succulent-like in that they store moisture so the plant can tolerate dry spells.

Thus, when it is getting enough water, its leaves will feel firm when you squeeze them. But, when you’re underwatering the plant, the leaves will get soft.

 

Pests

The Peperomia Pixie Lime is quite resistant to pests. If you look closely at its leaves, you’ll notice they have a slightly fuzzy texture. This actually protects them from pests.

However, with houseplants, there’s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure pests never come around.

And the most common ones that bother the Peperomia orba Pixie Lime are mealybugs, thrips, scale, mites and fungus gnats.

 

Diseases

Root rot is the most serious issue you want to watch out for especially since the plant is prone to it. Overwatering is the main cause followed by using the wrong soil.

Therefore, always makes sure to let part of the soil dry out before you water. And use well-draining potting soil so the medium does not retain excess moisture.

 

Brown Spots

Black or brown spots on the leaves are a sign of infection. There are many different leaf spot infections so you’ll see variations of colors, patterns and sizes of the spots.

But they all mean the same thing, the plant needs immediate attention and you need to help it because it has an infection.

The cause if often too much moisture where the leaves are wet and don’t dry.

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