Peperomia Frost (Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’): Ultimate Care Guide

Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’ is a cultivar of emerald ripple peperomia. Peperomia Frost is distinguishable by its heart-shaped leaves, whose silver tinge lends the cultivar the name “frost.”

Peperomia caperata, like most other members of its genus, is native to the jungles of Central and South America. P. caperata is an epiphyte, which means it naturally roots on other plants and obtains nutrients from rain, air, and debris such as decomposing plant material.

Although hailing from the Brazilian rainforests, Peperomia Frost makes for an excellent houseplant, requiring fairly little maintenance. Moreover, the plant is compact and suitable for most residences.

Whether you’re a seasoned botanist or just dipping your toes into the gardening world, a Peperomia Frost would make a wonderful edition to your home or garden. Let’s go over how to care for your Peperomia Frost.

Peperomia Frost Care

Peperomia Frost plants are very easy to care for. If you have little experience gardening, caring for a Peperomia Frost would be an excellent place to start. Although not many regions in the United States offer the type of weather for Peperomia Frost to survive outdoors year-round, the plant is hardy enough to survive inside most houses and places of residence, presuming it meets the conditions we’ll outline below.

Light Requirement

Peperomia Frost does well in medium to bright indirect sunlight. The plant can still survive in low lighting conditions, but its growth will be much slower.

Of high importance is keeping your Peperomia Frost out of direct sunlight, which will quickly dehydrate your plant, causing leaves to shrivel or fall off. If you plan to keep your Peperomia Frost outside for any part of the year, it will grow best in the shadow of larger plants or beneath a 40% shade cloth.

If your Peperomia Frost is an indoor plant, it would appreciate east or west-facing windows where it can receive a maximum amount of indirect light. South-facing windows suffice as long as the plant isn’t exposed to the afternoon sun for too long.

Peperomia Frost also does well under bright, artificial lights, provided it receives at least 12 hours of lighting.

Peperomia Frost
Peperomia Frost

Soil Type & pH Requirement

Being an epiphyte, Peperomia Frost does not require nutrient-rich soil. Rather, Peperomia Frost prefer a soilless, aerated potting mix that is well-draining while still holding onto some moisture.

One popular mixture is two parts peat, one part perlite or sand. This allows excess water to drain through with ease. Another recommended mixture is half peat and half perlite. Consider adding fine gravel to aerate the soil, as this lets your Peperomia Frost more readily absorb oxygen.

As far as the pH of your potting mixture, letting it fall between a slightly acidic 6.0 and 6.6 is ideal. Peperomia Frost, however, is hardy enough to survive slightly alkaline or more acidic soils.

Watering & Humidity

Being a succulent plant, a Peperomia Frost requires low to moderate amounts of water. Peperomias prefer moderate amounts of moisture in the spring and summer and lower amounts during winter.

Overwatering Peperomias is much of a problem than underwatering them, so if you’re not sure if your plant is receiving enough water, it’s better to be more conservative.

One recommended way of checking if your Peperomia Frost requires more water is by dipping your finger into its soil. Don’t water the plant until the top two inches of soil are dry.

Coming from the tropics and sub-tropics, Peperomia Frost prefer high humidity. However, they will still do well in a humidity of 40-50%, the typical relative humidity of a house. A Peperomia Frost would definitely appreciate the additional moisture a humidifier or plant terrarium would bring.

Temperature & Hardiness Zone

Peperomia Frost grows best in temperatures between 65 to 75°F, but this plant is tolerant of temperatures between 60 and 80°F. As with other Peperomias, P. caperata ‘Frost’ will not survive in a climate of 50°F or lower. Likewise, excessive heat will dries a Peperomia Frost’s leaves.

Although plants of the Peperomia genus are nicknamed “radiator plants,” placing your Peperomia Frost above a radiator may not be the right decision. Peperomia Frost do not do well near vents or places where they might feel a draft. Furthermore, the plant does not enjoy fluctuating temperatures, preferring a constant source of heat.

According to the USDA, Peperomia is hardy in zones 10 through 12. So unless you live in the southernmost parts of Florida, Texas, or California, your Peperomia Frost won’t fare well outdoors year-round (And if you do live in one of these regions, be sure to still follow our guidelines on sunlight, watering, etc.).

Fertilization Requirement

As mentioned before, being epiphytic, Peperomia Frost do not require nutrient-rich soil to survive. Similarly, Peperomia Frost do not need to be fertilized very often, and as with water, applying too much is a greater problem than applying too little.

Some argue that the Peperomia Frost do not require fertilizer at all, for they can obtain all of their necessary nutrition through a combination of water, sunlight, and its potting mixture. On the other hand, even if its not a necessity, fertilizer can increase Peperomia Frost’s growth.

During the growing season, spring and summer, give your Peperomia Frost a water-soluble, balanced succulent fertilizer once a month. Alternatively, you could use a traditional fertilizer at half or third strength. The rest of the year, Peperomia Frost does not need any fertilizer.

Peperomia Frost Propagation

Peperomia Frost propagate easily. There are a few different techniques you can choose from, but the most popular are leaf cutting and stem cutting.

Propagation is primarily done through leaf cuttings. Cut the leaf above the node so it retains its petiole. You can perform this cut with a sterilized knife or sterilized shears or scissors.

Set the leaf aside for a day so the petiole can form a healing callus. Place the stalk in a pot or germination tray with perlite and peat mixture. This will probably require submering the leaf slightly below the soil.

Keep the leaf under indirect sunlight or a growing light, and be sure it is in temperatures between 70 and 75°F. The soil should be kept moist but not excessively wet that your leaf rots. Hydrate your leaf with a mist a few times each week. After four to eight weeks, new stems will sprout from the base of your leaf.

An alternative approach is stem cutting. Look for a mature, healthy stem and cut three to four inches below the last leaf. As with the leaf cutting method, allow the branch to form a callus over a day. With a branch, you can either place it a perlite and peat mixture or directly into a cup of water.

Keep the branch under indirect sunlight or a growing light. Also, make sure the branch is kept at room temperature at all times. If you choose to use soil, keep the soil moist but not excessively wet that it rots. If you choose to use a cup of water, make sure the water level does not get too low.

Your branch should propagate in three to six weeks, slightly faster than leaf propagation.

To expedite propagation, consider applying a rooting powder to the cut end of your leaf or branch. You also might place a transparent plastic bag over your pot to keep humidity levels high.

Once your leaf or branch has started growing/forming roots, you’ll want to transplant it to a pot with drainage holes, maybe even its final pot if you don’t plan on transplanting your new Peperomia Frost anymore.

Remember that propagation comes down to luck. If you can, you might consider doing a few more cuttings than you need in case a leaf or branch does not propagate.

Peperomia Frost Flower

During summer and autumn, you might notice white chutes emerging from your Peperomia Frost’s foliage. These are its flower spikes. These creme-colored flower spikes grow around two to three inches long and vaguely resemble a rat’s tail. That being said, most people keep Peperomia Frost for their leaves, not their flowers.

Peperomia Frost’s flower spikes are odorless. They’re also not big or potent enough to attract bees or insects. They do not cause any harm other than being unsightly to some.

While you don’t have to remove your Peperomia Frost’s flowers while they are blooming, you might want to after its flowers start to wither. Remember that it takes energy for your plant to support its flowers. To do this, simply take a sterilized knife or sterilized scissors or shears and snip the flower spike at its base.

Size & Growth Rate

The typical Peperomia Frost will grow between six and twelve inches high, with an average height of eight inches. Your Peperomia Frost will likewise grow between six to twelve inches wide, with an average width of eight inches. Peperomia Frost’s comparatively small size is part of why it is such a popular indoor plant.

Peperomia Frost grows at a slow but steady pace. Peperomia Frost does not grow much outwardly, and its pot may quickly get overcrowded with branches and leaves. Trim your Peperomia Frost when necessary to avoid branches becoming tangled together, but remember not to cut too much.

Problems Growing Peperomia Frost

Even if your Peperomia Frost is an indoor plant, you may still have to deal with pests such as aphids or mealybugs. You will want to check the undersides of leaves for pests. If you see any, remove the affected leaves. You also might want to apply an organic insecticide such as neem oil to your Peperomia Frost.

If you notice leaves falling off your Peperomia Frost, this could be a sign of root rot, which commonly occurs when a plant is overwatered. You will want to take your plant out of the soil and inspect its roots. If any appear brown and soggy as opposed to white and firm, you will want to cut these off with a sterilized knife or sterilized scissors or shears.

You will want to resantize your equipment each time you make a new cut so you do not accidentally spread root rot to healthy roots. Make sure all of the affected roots are removed. Then, place your Peperomia Frost in fresh, not excessively moist soil.

Falling leaves might also mean your plant is too cold and/or not receiving enough sunlight. In this case, reposition your plant where it can be warmer and receive adequate light.

You might notice drooping leaves on your Peperomia Frost. This might be a sign of your plant being too cold or early stage root rot. You will want to move your plant to a position where it can receive more light and warmth.

Yellowing leaves or leaves with brown spots may be a sign of root rot or overwatering. Check your Peperomia Frost for root rot using the protocol stated above. If you suspect overwatering is the culprit, water your Peperomia Frost more infrequently.

If you notice the pot is retaining too much moisture, you might want to transfer your plant to a pot with better drainage. Consider also adding rocks or pebbles to your soil

If you notice your Peperomia Frost is growing long stems with long gaps with no leaves, this is likely a sign that your Peperomia is reaching out for better light. You will want to move your plant to a spot where it can receive more light. When your plant appears to be growing healthily again, you can trim the elongated stems with sterilized tools.

Where Can I Find Peperomia Frost for Sale?

As Peperomia Frost is a popular plant for gardeners, many garden shops, nurseries, and bigger stores with garden departments will carry it.

You might also order Peperomia Frost online through stores on Etsy or stores such as Walmart. However, there is a chance your plant will receive bruises in transit.

Peperomia Frost is very affordable plant. Prices depend in part on the size of the pot they are shipped in and the size of plant. Four inch pots range from $10 to $25, and two inch pots range from $5 to $15.

Is Peperomia Frost Toxic to Pets?

According to the ASPCA, the entire Peperomia genus is non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. However, it is possible for your cat or dog to overindulge in eating Peperomia Frost. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and irritability. This is because their digestive systems are much more accustomed to a meat-based diet than a plant-based one.

Herbivorous horses, on the other hand, can freely graze on Peperomia Frost without feeling any ill effects.

Peperomia Frost vs Watermelon Peperomia

Peperomia Frost is often confused with a similar plant, Peperomia argyreia, also known as Watermelon Peperomia. There are, however, several differences between the two.

While the leaves of Peperomia Frost have a trademark silvery-tinge, Watermelon Peperomia’s leaves have thick, dark green veins while the rest of the leaf is a yellowish-green color. This pattern is reminiscent of watermelon skin, hence the name.

Secondly, the leaves of Peperomia Frost are slightly larger, thicker, more upright, and come to a less sharp end than the leaves of Watermelon Peperomia.

There are also differences between the stems of the two plants. The stems of Watermelon Peperomia are a maroon red, while the stems of Peperomia Frost are closer to orange.

Otherwise, both plants grow to around the same size—12 inches tall max, but typically closer to 8 inches.

Both plants also prefer the same types of slightly acidic soil, the same amounts of water, and the same level of sunlight.

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