Peperomia Maculosa: Ultimate Care Guide

Common Name(s)Radiator Plant, Dwarf Pepper, Cilantro Peperomia
Scientific NamePeperomia Maculosa
Sun ExposureMedium-bright indirect sunlight
Soil pH5.5-6.5
Watering RequirementMinimal (average once per week)
Hardiness ZoneUSDA 10-12
Plant HeightMax 12 inches
Plant WidthMax 6 inches

Peperomia Maculosa is an evergreen succulent-like Peperomia known for its beautiful dark green leaves and prominent white veins. Native to tropical regions of North America, South America, and the Caribbean, Peperomia Maculosa thrives in the shade of the tropical forest canopy. 

One of the less common and exotic Peperomias, Peperomia Maculosa have succulent-like characteristics, yet they are taxonomically accepted to be epiphytes in their native environment. Peperomia Maculosa store water in their thick leaves and stems like other Peperomias and succulent plants. When caring for your Peperomia Maculosa, it’s best to treat it like a succulent for best results. Overwatering is much more of an issue than underwatering in most cases, which is true for most succulent and succulent-like plants.

Peperomia Maculosa is known by a few other names such as Radiator Plant because they prefer warm temperatures, Dwarf Pepper because of their small size, and Cilantro Peperomia because of their coriander-like aroma and flavor.

Peperomia Maculosa
Peperomia Maculosa

Peperomia Maculosa Care

Peperomia Maculosa is a great plant for both indoor and outdoors, as well as a great plant for gardeners of all skill levels. They’re easy to care for because of their minimal light, water, and fertilization needs. Watering once per week and placing it near a bright window away from direct sunlight is perfect for this Peperomia variety.

Light Requirement 

In Peperomia Maculosa’s native habitat, they’re found in the shade of larger plants and trees, so too much direct sunlight is not needed or recommended. Place your Peperomia Maculosa near an east-facing window for occasional direct sunlight in the morning hours.

Sunlight is required for Peperomia Maculosa but be wary of direct sunlight. More than two hours per day of direct sunlight will have a negative effect. You’ll want to find a good balance of light for your Peperomia Maculosa.

If you plan to grow Peperomia Maculosa outdoors, plant in the shade of larger plants or trees, as this will protect them from direct sunlight and mimic their native habitat.

Soil Type & pH

Peperomia Maculosa thrives in loose, slightly moist, and well-drained soil. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. A combination of peat, mulch, bark, and compost is a great potting mix for Peperomia Maculosa and will achieve the desired draining and pH needs for your plant.

Watering & Humidity Requirement

Like most succulent-like plants, Peperomia Maculosa only requires occasional watering. Once per week for mature plants is a sufficient schedule, but make sure to keep an eye on the soil and only water after the top few inches have completely dried. Overwatering your Peperomia Maculosa is more difficult to remedy than underwatering. 

Watering frequency may fluctuate throughout the year depending on the season. Typically, you’ll water your Peperomia Maculosa more frequently in the warm summer months, and less in the cold winter months. Inspecting the moisture of the soil is the best way to determine your plant’s changing watering needs.

Peperomia Maculosa loves humidity, but a humidity of 50% is perfect for a healthy plant. It’s best to have a hygrometer to check and adjust humidity if you live in a dry region or experience dry seasons throughout the year. 

Peperomia Maculosa
Peperomia Maculosa

Temperature Requirement 

Peperomia Maculosa prefers the same temperatures humans do, which is another aspect that makes them great houseplants. Temperatures between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal, which is common in most homes. Make sure to keep your home warm enough in the winter months, as Peperomia Maculosa cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

Hardiness Zone 

The hardiness zones for Peperomia Maculosa are USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12. These zones are subtropical and tropical zones relative to their native range. 

If you live in hardiness zones 10 through 12, you’ll have success growing Peperomia Maculosa outdoors. If there is any risk of frost, make sure to bring your Peperomia Maculosa inside, as they cannot tolerate any frost and will perish.

If you don’t live in hardiness zones 10 through 12 and you wish to grow your Peperomia Maculosa outdoors, you must do so during the warmest months of the year. Bring your Peperomia Maculosa indoors during winter, or as soon as the weather starts to cool down.

Fertilization Requirement 

Peperomia Maculosa will require some fertilization, but as with other aspects of this Peperomia, it’s fairly low maintenance. Feed your Peperomia Maculosa with an organic succulent fertilizer once per month during the growing months of spring and summer. Stop fertilization during the winter months.

Peperomia Maculosa Propagation 

Peperomia Maculosa can propagate from every part of the plant. If you want to propagate a Peperomia Maculosa, cut healthy stems or leaves and transfer them to some water. Once the roots have appeared, move the propagated stems or leaves into a well-draining and slightly acidic soil. Water as necessary, which will be more frequent than a mature Peperomia Maculosa.

It’s possible to propagate Peperomia Maculosa from seeds, but this is the slowest and most difficult method to propagate. The best way to propagate Peperomia Maculosa is through healthy stems, and the next best way is with healthy cut leaves.

Peperomia Maculosa Flower

Peperomia Maculosa may produce towering panicle-like flowers that have a purplish color. However, it’s uncommon for Peperomia Maculosa to flower indoors. Outdoor Peperomia Maculosa plants are more likely to flower.

If your Peperomia Maculosa produces flowers, you may prune them by cutting them after they’re fully developed. Leaving the flowers for too long may take nutrients away from the rest of the plant.

Size & Growth Rate 

Peperomia Maculosa is a low and slow growing Peperomia. Mature Peperomia Maculosa will grow outwards to an extent but will not grow very tall. Mature Peperomia Maculosa is not known to grow taller than 12 inches.

Once your Peperomia Maculosa has grown to maturity, you won’t notice much growth throughout its years. Repotting is seldom necessary as they prefer a small space and repotting may damage their shallow roots. If you want to re-pot your Peperomia Maculosa, only do so every 2-3 years.

Common Problems Growing Peperomia Maculosa

Peperomia Maculosa may experience some common problems similar to other Peperomias. Luckily, these problems can usually be avoided and fixed if proper care is taken. Make sure to inspect your peperomia Maculosa often for these common problems.

If you notice your Peperomia Maculosa’s leaves drooping, it could be a result of cold temperatures, or not getting enough light. Move to a bright spot away from drafts, but not in prolonged direct sunlight.

Curled or scorched leaves on your Peperomia Maculosa indicate too much sunlight. Avoid constant exposure to direct sunlight. If you notice curled or scorched leaves, move your Peperomia Maculosa to an area with more shade.

Brown spots on the leaves of Peperomia Maculosa are typically a result of overwatering. Scale back your watering schedule if you begin to see brown spots and remember less is more when it comes to Peperomia Maculosa watering.

Root rot is a common problem with many Peperomia varieties and is also a direct result of overwatering. Make sure the top few inches of soil are dry before adding new water. As with most succulent-like plants, overwatering is more problematic than underwatering.

Where can I find Peperomia Maculosa for sale? 

Peperomia Maculosa is considered one of the rare and exotic Peperomias. Odds are you will have difficulty finding a Peperomia Maculosa for sale. As a result, Peperomia Maculosa often comes at a higher price tag compared to other Peperomias and houseplants in general. Prices for mature plants range from $65 to $80 and can be found through online retailers and though rarely, through local greenhouses and retailers depending on location.

Leaf and stem cuttings for propagation can be found for lower prices if you want to save some money and are willing to attempt propagation of a new plant.

Are Peperomia Maculosa Toxic to Pets? 

Peperomia Maculosa is not toxic to humans, dogs, or cats. This is yet another reason why Peperomia Maculosa is an excellent choice for a low-maintenance houseplant.

Peperomia Maculosa is edible and is known to have a spicy ginger or coriander-like flavor and aroma. Although not commonly used today, Peperomia Maculosa has been known for the uses of flavoring dishes and as a traditional medicine to treat ailments such as headaches.

Peperomia Maculosa vs Peperomia Elongata

While Peperomia Maculosa and Peperomia Elongota are very similar for several reasons, they are two distinct species. Although Peperomia Malculosa and Elongata have almost identical care needs, Peperomia Elogota requires slightly more light than its other Peperomia counterparts.

As far as appearance, Peperomia Elongota’s leaves are a longer spear shape compared to Peperomia Maculosa, hence the nomenclature Elongata. Peperomia Maculosa and Elongata are often confused with one another, but their most easily identifiable differences are in the leaf shapes and size. Peperomia Elongota is also known to grow larger than other Peperomias, while Peperomia Maculosa does not grow large and remains small in household conditions. 


Peperomia Maculosa is a unique, beautiful, and easy-to-care-for Peperomia. With a little bit of care and attention, Peperomia Maculosa can be one of your most cherished plants. With the right soil, watering schedule, fertilization, and keeping an eye out for common problems, you can own a Peperomia Maculosa for years to come. 

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