Peperomia Caperata (Emerald Ripple Peperomia): Ultimate Care Guide

Peperomia is a genus with over a thousand species, the majority of which are found in tropical or subtropical climates around the world. They can grow on trees (epiphytic), rocks (lithophytic), or the ground (rarely) (terrestrial). Hipólito Ruiz Lopez first properly defined the genus during a visit to Peru in the 1770s. Peperomia is derived from the Greek terms peperi, which means “pepper,” and homoios, which means “resemblance,” and suggests the pepper-like seeds. It belongs to the Piperaceae family and it is an evergreen perennial. It is native to Brazil and may be produced in areas where the temperature does not fall below 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Peperomia Caperata is a semi-succulent species that may be cultivated indoors in most temperate climates.

Common Name(s)Emerald Ripple Pepper, Radiator plant
Scientific NamePeperomia caperata
Sun ExposureIndirect sunlight
Soil pHRich aerated, loose potting soil
Watering RequirementLess frequent (when the top layer is dry)
Hardiness ZoneHardiness Zone 12
Plant Height8-10 inches tall
Plant Width7-8 inches wide
Peperomia Caperata
Peperomia Caperata

Types of Peperomia Caperata

This popular plant has spawned hundreds of new varieties, including “Luna Red,” which won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. The reddish-green ‘Burgundy’ and the smooth and lustrous ‘Rosso’ are also popular.

  • Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’: The Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’ has an exceptionally lovely set of rippled green leaves with a frost-like texture. It grows only 6 to 12 inches tall and has dark green veins.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Quito’: Peperomia caperata ‘Quito’ is a bright Peperomia with deeply ridged, heart-shaped leaves in shades of orange, pink, and bronze.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Rosso’: The Peperomia caperata ‘Rosso’ is a lavish-looking and compact Peperomia caperata variety that adds a relaxing touch to any location it lands. The plant eventually grows dark-green heart-shaped leaves that form a rosette pattern.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Pink Lady’: The Peperomia caperata ‘Pink Lady’ has heart-shaped pink leaves with irregular green patches that make it stand out. The plant needs to be watered regularly to survive, and it thrives in bright sunlight.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Schumi Red’: Peperomia caperata ‘Schumi Red’ has rippled and corrugated textures with a reddish-purple color, and it’s also one of that peperomia with red undersides that have a sparkly appearance.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Ruby’: Peperomia caperata Ruby has burgundy-colored foliage and puckered leaves.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Silver’: It has leaves that are wrinkled and heart-shaped, with silvery accents and medium green color.
  • Peperomia caperata ‘Lilian’: It has rounded, textured dark green leaves on pink stems. Its little white-green flowers are positioned above the foliage on long stems.

Peperomia Caperata Care

Peperomia emerald ripple is a simple plant to care for at home. Peperomia Caperata is easy to grow because it isn’t very demanding. Peperomia caperata is a small houseplant with little bushing. It is an excellent terrarium species because of its modest size and preference for humidity. All you have to do is pick the plant with the leaf colors you like best and follow the basic care instructions listed below:

Light Requirements

Peperomia thrives in a bright, indirect light environment with enough moisture in the air. Although the summer sun should be avoided at all costs, getting an hour or two of off-peak sunlight during the fall, winter, and spring months will reap enormous health advantages. If you can’t offer this, don’t worry; they will still thrive in darker areas if the soil is maintained dry.

Peperomia Caperata Plant
Peperomia Caperata Plant

Soil Type and pH

The ripple peperomia thrives in aerated, loose potting soil with good drainage. Two parts peat moss, one part horticultural sand, and one part perlite make up an appropriate peperomia soil combination. The finest growth medium retains moisture while allowing water to drain freely.

Peperomia caperata is an epiphytic plant that requires both air and water to thrive. Peperomias can also be grown in commercial potting soil that has been amended with gravel, perlite, or orchid bark to increase drainage. The peperomia soil should, in theory, dry up quickly between waterings. It’s important to know that emerald ripple peperomia plants dislike wet, squishy soil. As a result, make sure the potting mix is never wet. However, dry soil will stifle peperomia’s growth.

Water & Humidity

The ripple peperomia thrives in medium to high humidity. Even though this tropical rainforest plant thrives in humid environments, potted houseplants adapt well to indoor humidity levels. To keep Peperomia caperata leaves moist, spray them. Make sure you wipe them down with a damp cloth to moisten them and remove dust from the leaves once every week. If your home has a lot of dry air, you can put the ripple peperomia in a water-filled pebble tray.

When the top 2 to 3 inches (5–7.5 cm) of the potted peperomia is dry, make sure you water it. Then soak the soil in room-temperature water that has been filtered till it drains through the holes in the pot. In the spring and summer, you may need to water an emerald ripple peperomia as much as once a week. You may only need to water the bushy houseplant every two or three weeks during the winter. Make sure the top layer of soil is dry before watering a peperomia.

Because Peperomia caperata is a semi-succulent plant, irrigation should be done less frequently (but with more per water per application). When the top third of the soil has dried out, rehydrate the plant thoroughly while keeping the foliage dry. Excess moisture in the cubbyholes of the stem will induce anaerobic respiration, which will eventually lead to botrytis and other illnesses. Allow roughly half of the compost to dry out if your specimens are in a shadier position to reduce the chance of root rot. Overwatering can also cause yellowed lower leaves, mold formation in the soil, stem collapse, and leaf loss. Signs of under-watering include wilting, little to no new growth, and a washed-out appearance.


The ripple peperomia thrives in moderately warm environments. It prefers a temperature range of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 26°C). Because peperomias are tropical plants, the temperature should never drop below 59°F (15°C). Although normal house temperatures are good for the growth of robust ripple peperomia caperata, there are a few things to keep in mind. An example is drafted from open windows or air conditioning units which, can cause the plant to wilt. Even though the ripple peperomia is a radiator plant, placing it near a hot air vent or furnace can cause it to become stressed and wilt.

Hardiness Zone

H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) – can be grown outdoors in a sheltered location with temperatures above 12°C (54°F) during the summer, but can also be grown indoors. If you opt to move this plant outside, don’t expose it to more than an hour of direct sunshine every day, as sun-scorch can occur. Keep a watch out for pests on regularly, especially while bringing them back indoors.


Peperomia caperata is not a heavy feeder by any means, and you should avoid overfeeding it. Feed only when the foliage is actively growing throughout the busy growing months. During the winter months, use a diluted liquid fertilizer and leave the plant alone completely. It will not be actively growing during this time and will not require the additional nutrients.


Peperomia caperata can be propagated in a variety of ways:

  • Leaf cuttings: Yes, a single leaf can be used to propagate Peperomia caperata. Simply cut a couple of leaves with your clean scissors. Fill a pot halfway with earth and gently press down the leaves without burying them. It’s possible to accomplish this in water as well, but it’s much easier in soil. Keep the soil mildly damp, ideally by enclosing the entire container in a clear plastic bag. From the petiole, a completely new little Peperomia will emerge.
  • Stem Cuttings: Remove the top three inches of the leading growths with a clean pair of scissors, pruning just below a node. Choose juvenile growth that is devoid of scrapes and bruises, as any cuts or bruises might lead to failure. Remove the bottom half of the leaves and soak the lower half in water until three inches of new growth develops. Replace the water every week, and prevent allowing the soil to enter the water, since this could serve as a pathogen breeding ground. To avoid over-watering and blackleg, use a 5cm pot and a well-draining potting mix, preferably ‘Houseplant’ compost. Provide a light environment with temperatures of about 18°C (64°F) and let the top fifth of the soil dry out between irrigations. Within six weeks, new leaves should appear.
  • Division: This is less popular than leaf cuttings, but it produces a larger result, which means you won’t have to wait as long for a suitable plant. When you remove your plant from the dirt, you’ll notice that it’s made up of clumps of stems. With some clean scissors, you can easily separate these and pot them up separately. Keep lightly moistened and you’re done! Each new plant should have its root system, allowing it to continue to grow normally.

Peperomia Caperata Flower

The Peperomia Caperata plant produces a lovely set of small flowers during the blooming season. Early spring and summer are the flowering seasons for Peperomia caperata. While the blossoms aren’t particularly spectacular, they are nonetheless intriguing to see after they have taken shape. The production of Peperomia Caperata blooms is aided by at least 12 hours of direct sunlight per day. It has both male and female blooms, which are frequently seen together on the same plant. Thin elongated spikes that rise tall between leaves hold the scentless greenish-white flowers together. These spikes are on averagely 2-3 inches long.

Size and growth rate

Peperomia Caperata is a small plant with a slow growth rate. The plant can only reach a height of 8-10 inches and a width of 7-8 inches, which contributes to the plant’s compact growth pattern. The leaves are 1 to 1 and a half inches long and strongly corrugated. However, the size of the fruit may vary depending on the variety. The plant’s dense structure is aided by the foliage’s rosette configuration, which makes it ideal for hanging baskets, small pots, and as a ground specimen for home gardens and other landscape projects. Peperomia Caperata has a slow growth rate, hence, pruning is usually done every eight to twelve months.

Common Problems Growing Peperomia Caperata

  • Dropping leaves: Dropping Peperomia Caperata leaves indicate that the soil is excessively dry. Ripple peperomia plants thrive when the growing media around their roots is kept moist at all times. The best approach to take care of the peperomia is to wet the soil every time you water it.
  • Curled leaves: Underwatering is the most common cause of leaf curling in Peperomia Caperata. They are good at keeping water in their leaves and, as a result, do not require as much watering as many other plants. However, allowing the soil to dry out too much can cause peperomia leaves to curl. The plant’s water reserves will be emptied and the leaves will be distorted since they can’t access water from the roots.
  • Brown spots: If the plant is exposed to a cold draft, the tips of ripple peperomia leaves will turn brown. Brown tips, on the other hand, may indicate that the plant has been submerged or that it has developed sun scorch as a result of standing in direct sunlight. So, look around the plant to see what’s causing the browning of the peperomia leaves.
  • Root rot: Root rot is caused by soggy, excessively wet soil, and it deprives the plant of essential nutrients. Fungal infections can also have an impact on plant growth. Pruning the dead or decaying stems is one remedy to this problem. Then wait until the top layer of soil is dry before watering. Remember to water the peperomia just when the soil begins to dry out.

Where To Find Peperomia Caperata For Sale

Peperomia caperata is available at most regular gardens and plant stores. It’s also available for purchase online, with prices ranging from $7 to $30. When purchasing this plant, put in mind that not all types of this plant have the same appearance. The leaves range in color from brilliant green to dark purple.

Are Peperomia Caperata Toxic to Pets?

The emerald ripple peperomia plant is not harmful to cats or dogs and poses no risk if they come into contact with it or eat it. Because their flavor isn’t particularly appealing, you don’t have to be concerned about your dogs developing a taste for it. Emerald Ripple Peperomia can be safely planted in your home or garden.

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