The Peperomia puteolata is also known as the Parallel Peperomia. And just so you know, some stores will label it as the Peperomia Tetragona or Peperomia Tetragona.
When you see any of these names, they’re all referring to the same plant. That way, you don’t have to worry about uncertainty or getting confused.
The Peperomia puteolata is a very beautiful plant with an upright growth habit but with stems that are long enough to trail. This makes it very versatile in that you can display it in many ways.
Of course, the plant is best known for oval-shaped, pointed leaves which have a leathery texture. Its most striking feature are its dark green color and the parallel yellow veins that go across them. This makes its leaves look like they have stripes. You also get the lovely red colored stems to complement the green and yellow striped foliage.
While still a short plant growing up to 18 inches tall, it is longer than most peperomia species.
Because of its unique looks, I’ve had quite a few readers ask about other peperomia varieties with striped leaves. So, here’s a list of striped leaved peperomia plants you can check out.
Each of them have different colors and patterns making it very interesting.
- Watermelon peperomia
- Peperomia fosteri
- Peperomia quadrangularis
- Peperomia dahlstedtii
Finally, the Peperomia puteolata is native to South America so it used to tropical climate conditions.
Peperomia Puteolata Plant Care
Parallel Peperomia Light Requirements
The Peperomia Puteolata is commonly found in the forest grounds of South America. This means that it is used to getting sunshine all year round. But because it is short in stature, it is shaded by the larger trees and plants.
Therefore, in its natural habitat the Parallel Peperomia receives a good amount of light that’s filtered by the leaves and branches.
So, to get the best growth out of the plant, it is a good ideal to mimic this environment.
This means it enjoys bright, indirect, filtered or dappled light. It will likewise be happy with moderate light.
However, you do want to be careful with direct sun or very harsh light, which can scorch its leaves.
On the other hand, low light is likewise not a good idea. Although the Peperomia Puteolata can tolerate low light, past a certain point, you’ll notice its growth slow down or even stunt.
When this happens, it means there’s insufficient light to fuel its growth.
As a final note on light, since the plant has an upright growth habit with a bit of a trailing nature, many growers keep it in hanging baskets. If you decide to do this, make sure there’s enough clearance above such the light does get to the top leaves.
Often when you hang things close to the ceiling or beams there’s very little space above that the top part of the plant does not get much light.
Parallel Peperomia Temperature
When it comes to temperature, the Peperomia Tetragona Puteolata prefers 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is its sweet spot given that it is used to living in warm environments but has the benefit of being shaded from direct sunlight.
This makes it easy to grow and care for the Parallel Peperomia at home since average household conditions usually stay in this range as well.
Meanwhile, the plant also can tolerate temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees without harm. Although, you do want to make sure that the soil does not dry out due to the hot weather.
But you do want to watch out for cold weather as well as any sudden drops in temperature. That’s because the plant is ill-suited for these conditions.
It does not experience cold, frost or freezing temperatures where it is from. Thus you want to keep it away from anywhere temperature is below 50 degrees.
The Peperomia Tetragona Puteolata does well in regular room humidity.
That said, the plant does appreciate humid conditions if you can give it that (50% to 80%). Otherwise, it has no problem with moderate humidity (30% to 50%).
It is able to tolerate this thanks to its succulent-like foliage, which store water to help it get through dry periods as well as dry air.
As such, the two things you want to watch out for are:
- Very low humidity (30% and less) – this can happen if you live in desert environments or experience very hot, dry summers. In some locations, winters can get really dry as well. But, because there is more moisture and the soil takes longer to dry, it usually does not pose as much of an issue as hot summers do.
- Sudden or dramatic fluctuations – this can be natural or man-made. The latter is usually what you want to watch out for indoors. Things like air conditioners, vents, radiators, heaters and other equipment that affect air moisture.
How Often to Water Peperomia Puteolata
Allow the soil to dry a bit before watering. Depending on how often you like to water, you can adjust your routine to accommodate the plant.
- If you’re an “over-waterer” – I have a few gardener friends who like to water their plants more often than not. If you like doing this, try to wait until the top 2 inches of soil dry out before adding more.
- If you’re busy, tend to be late or forget quite a bit – the Parallel Peperomia is perfect for you. You can wait until the soil is between 50% and 75% dry before watering.
In general, anywhere after the top 2 inches of soil going dry until the soil is about 75% dry will work.
The two things you want to avoid is to water too early (or too often) or allow the plant to completely dry out for extended periods.
Of the two, the latter is actually safer since the plant’s succulent-like leaves helps it get through short periods of drought. And it is able to quickly recovery from dryness.
However, overwatering is the bigger issue, which is why you want to wait until part of the soil dries first.
Finally, because the plant likes moisture (but cannot tolerate too much of it), the best way to water is to “soak and drain”.
This means giving the plant a deep watering that will soak the entire root ball. To do this, keep adding water until the liquid drips from under the container.
This will ensure the entire root ball is wet and the roots get the moisture they desire.
But once liquid starts dripping, stop and the let the excess moisture drain completely. This way, you end up with moist soil and not wet or soggy potting mix.
Peperomia Puteolata Potting Soil
The other part of preventing overwatering is to choose the right kind of soil.
Here, the best soil for Peperomia Tetragona is a light, airy and well-draining mix that is rich in organic matter. This gets rid of excess moisture so the plant does not end up standing in water.
On the other hand, you want to avoid heavy soils or anything that will retain too much moisture. Most commercial potting mixes work well for regular houseplants. But they hold on to a bit too much water for peperomia. Therefore, it is not a good idea to use it on its own.
Instead, you want to add a component that will help with drainage.
You can use perlite, pumice, coarse sand or even orchid bark to do this.
Depending on whether you already potting soil or peat moss at home, you can easily make the perfect potting soil for your Parallel Peperomia. Either of these combinations work:
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part perlite or pumice
- 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite or coarse sand
Feeding your Peperomia Puteolata is essential if you want it to grow optimally. This will also help it produce more leaves with beautiful stripes.
The plant enjoys a bi-weekly feeding schedule during the spring and summer. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer at half strength. Then take a break in the fall and winter before staring again next spring.
You can likewise use a slow release fertilizer if you prefer to feed the plant less often.
Parallel Peperomia Pruning
The Peperomia Puteolata grows upright but will develop long trailing stems. In its natural habitat, the plant lives in the forest ground and can spread fairly quickly.
As such, this gives you a few options when it comes to displaying.
You can leave it in a pot and let it grow upright. You can also place it in a hanging basket and allow the stems to trail downwards. Or you can keep it in a container and let the stems sprawl on the tabletop.
In general, the plant will grow to between 12 and 18 inches long. It is not a huge plant as its stems will make up most the length (provided you don’t prune them).
I particular like it when it gets full and bushy. Therefore, you can pinch it back whenever some stems get exceedingly long.
However, you can shape the plant any way you want depending on the look you’re going for.
How to Propagate Peperomia Puteolata
The best way to propagate the Peperomia Puteolata is by using stem cuttings. Although you can do leaf propagation, it is a bit harder because of the small size of the Parallel Peperomia’s foliage.
As such, I prefer going with stem or stem tip propagation. This way, you have a bit more to work with.
And given the that plant has lots of long stems, this is not problem.
Peperomia Puteolata Stem Propagation
- Take a stem tip cutting. Try to get at least a couple inches of stem, although I’ve been able to propagate stem cuttings that were an inch long.
- You also want to get at least a node in there along with 2 or more leaves.
- Let the cutting dry for a few hours then dip it in rooting hormone. The rooting hormone is optional. But I’ve observed that it increases propagation success rates and speeds up the time to root.
- While you’re waiting prepare a container and fill it with well-draining potting mix. You can use a 50% peat and 50% perlite mix.
- Plant the cutting in the soil.
- Then leave the cutting in a bright spot with no direct sun.
- It will take 3 to 4 weeks for the plant to root. Then, you’ll start seeing some new growth as well.
How to Repot or Transplant Peperomia Puteolata
Repotting is another low maintenance task with the Peperomia Puteolata.
It has a small root system and the plant’s maximum size is limited. This means that you’ll never need to use a large pot for the plant.
On average, it will take about 2 or more years to repot. Although how quickly the plant grows will really depend on its living conditions.
Thus, the best way to know when to repot is to check the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
Once you see roots coming out from there, it means you can start repotting. Although, you don’t need to rush since the plant enjoys being slightly root bound.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Peperomia Puteolata is not toxic to people, cats, or dogs even when ingested. Although, you still want to avoid any accidental consumption because the plant is not meant to be edible.
Parallel Peperomia Problems & Troubleshooting
If your Peperomia Tetragona is not growing fast enough, has small or few leaves, check lighting. The amount of light not only influences the color of the leaves but also plays a huge role in how quickly (and how big) the plant grows.
Pests will always be an issue for any houseplant. Thankfully, the Peperomia Puteolata is fairly resilient to them. But, it is not immune.
Therefore, you need to watch out for bugs and insects that come around since they grow in population quite quickly.
Also, since the Parallel Peperomia is a small plant, it can easily get overwhelmed by an infestation.
Use neem oil and insecticidal soap to treat these insects if they come around.
Disease is likewise not something the Peperomia Tetragona experiences a lot of. However, too much moisture does put it at risk of both root rot and infections (bacterial and fungal).
Therefore, you want to avoid watering too often or wetting the leaves too much.