Peperomia polybotrya, also known as Raindrop Peperomia and Raindrop plant, is a tropical beauty that’s native to Columbia and Peru. Sporting dark green teardrop-shaped leaves, part of its appeal is the waxy shine that gives those leaves the appearance that they’ve been drenched in rain and that they’re moving.
If you’re wondering how to propagate Raindrop Peperomia, then today is your lucky day! In this article, we’re going to share 2 propagation methods with you and we’ll also cover ways to maximize the chances of your new Peperomias growing up healthy.
Finally, we’ll cover some common pitfalls and how to avoid them so that in the end you’ll have everything you need for the successful propagation of your Raindrop Peperomias.
If you want to have more Peperomias (and who doesn’t?!), then let’s get this show started and we’ll tell you how it’s done!
Table of Contents
Raindrop Peperomia may be propagated in two different ways. First off, you can propagate it with individual leaves. This is time consuming and not all of those leaves will become viable for transplant, but you can get the absolute most out of a single plant if you’ve got the patience.
The second method is to propagate your Peperomia through stem cuttings which you’ll grow in a shallow soil medium. It’s considerably faster and you have a much lower failure rate, although you won’t end up with as many peperomias as you would if you’d decided to propagate all those extra leaves.
We’ll describe in detail in the sections that follow exactly the materials and tools you’ll need, as well as the time and steps involved, and that way you can decide which approach you like the best.
Let’s take a look at how it’s done!
How to propagate Raindrop Peperomia
Understanding the best time for propagation is crucial. The early spring marks the beginning of the growing season, offering warmer temperatures and longer days that encourage new growth. This period provides the ideal conditions for new roots to develop, whether in a jar of water or peat moss-enriched soil propagation.
A. Propagating Raindrop Peperomia with leaf cuttings
If you want to get the most out of your Peperomia, you can try propagating the occasional green leaf or the ones that you trim from stems if you are also propagating with that method. We said ‘green’ for a reason – don’t try this with yellowing leaves.
Propagation with this method is time-consuming and doesn’t always work, but if you have the time and the inclination then you might just be rewarded with an extra, healthy Raindrop plant for your troubles.
• Small jars
• 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 fertilizer
• Plastic wrap (optional)
• Rubber bands (optional)
• Perlite (for later)
• Peat-free compost (for later)
• Orchid bark (for later)
• Small ‘beginner’ pot (for later)
- Sterilized scissors
1. Pick one or more leaves that you would like to propagate and snip them from your Peperomia plant, making sure that you have a little stem still attached to work with.
2. After making a clean cut at the cut end of the leaf with a sharp pair of scissors, allow the cut end to callous over to prevent fungal diseases, a common problem with new plants. 3-4 hours should be sufficient and this will help to prevent rot and increase our odds of successful propagation.
3. Fill as many small jars as you will need for your leaves with water. If they are small enough, then you should be able to simply immerse the ends of the leaves in water, leaving the actual leaf outside of it. If your jar is too big for that, you can put plastic wrap or a plastic bag over the top, rubber band it in place, and stick the end through the plastic so that it’s in the water while keeping the leaf dry. (It helps create a mini greenhouse around the small container)
4. Place your jarred leaf petiole somewhere that it will get bright, indirect sunlight. Change the water out every 3 to 5 days.
5. Within 4 weeks you should see a root system developing and over the next 3 months, you should get your first cluster of leaves. During this time, add diluted fertilizer once a month to help give your plant a boost.
6. Provided that your roots are at least 1 inch long or longer, your Peperomia is ready to transplant to soil. Mix a soil medium of perlite, peat-free compost, and orchid bark in a small pot, and go ahead and move your plant.
7. Water when the top 1/3 of the soil is dry and continue fertilizing once a month with diluted half-strength 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 fertilizer. Once your plant starts getting too big for the little pot, it should be healthy enough to transplant to a bigger one and you’re good to go!
B. Propagating Raindrop Peperomia with stem cuttings
This method is especially effective during the winter months, when grow lights can supplement the lack of much light, ensuring new growth even when outdoor conditions are not ideal.
Propagating Raindrop Peperomia from stem cuttings is the easiest and most effective way to get more Peperomia plants.
It takes a lot less time than using the leaves and your success rate will be much, much higher, plus you’ll end up with a bunch of cuttings anyway when you’re trimming your adult Peperomia – might as well put them to good use! Let’s take a peek at how it is done.
- Small jars
- 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 fertilizer
- Plastic wrap (optional)
- Rubber bands (optional)
- Perlite (for later)
- Peat-free compost (for later)
- Orchid bark (for later)
- Small ‘beginner’ pot (for later)
- Sterilized scissors
1. When you are trimming your Raindrop Peperomia, ensure that at least a few of the stems that you cut have 2 – 3 nodes on them. These will be little bumpy areas on the stem that would normally sprout leaves. Put these cuttings to the side and you can discard the ones that don’t have at least 2 nodes.
2. Fill your jars with water and submerge the stems you’ve put aside in the water, leaving the leaf exposed and dry. If your jars are too big, you can put plastic wrap on top and rubber band it in place, so that you can poke the stem through the plastic to submerge it while still protecting the leaf. Pull off leaves from the bottom of the stem if you need to in order to make the cuttings fit.
3. Place your cutting jars somewhere they will get bright, indirect sunlight, and be sure to change the water out every 3 to 5 days to avoid bacteria buildup. Within the first 4 to 7 days, you should start seeing the development of roots. If any of your cuttings appear to be rotting, discard those immediately.
4. When the roots are at least 1 inch long, your stem cuttings are ready to pot. Mix a soil medium of perlite, peat-free compost, and orchid bark and gently plant your cutting into the beginner pot now filled with your soil.
5. Fertilize with a half-strength diluted 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 fertilizer until your plant has developed a big enough root system to transplant to its new home. Congratulations – You’ve just propagated your Raindrop Peperomia from cuttings!
Encouraging your Raindrop Peperomia cuttings to grow
Now that you’ve demonstrated Zen-level patience, you’re going to need to ensure that your Raindrop Peperomia cuttings have the best chances of developing into strong, mature plants.
The good news is that it’s not all that difficult – these are hardy tropical plants that don’t need a lot – but you will need to ensure that they’re getting the basic building blocks they’ll need to grow into strong, healthy plants.
This will boil down to 3 things – Watering, fertilizing, and recreating environmental elements that the plant will thrive in. Below you’ll find everything you need to know!
Raindrop Peperomia Care
Watering your Raindrop Peperomia
Overwatering your new Raindrop Peperomia is the fastest way to kill them, so you’ll need to be very careful with this part. Let the soil dry out a little between waterings. Ideally, the top 3rd of the soil should be completely dry before you water your Peperomia again.
You can check by simply dipping your index finger into the soil and over time, you’ll get an idea of how many days in-between waterings is best. Just be sure to always check – it’s a good habit to get into and helps to ensure that you’re only watering your plant when it needs it.
Fertilizing your transplant
Raindrop Peperomia really doesn’t need a lot in the way of fertilizer. These tropical beauties tend to take what they need from the soil and they’re generally happy with it, but a little fertilizer can still go a long way towards ensuring that your new Peperomias will be the best they can be.
To this effect, a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer like this Schulz All Purpose Plant food diluted to half-strength and used once a month is the perfect fertilization plan.
Your Peperomia will get a little extra boost without overdoing it and this is important, as too much fertilizer can damage the roots and leaves of your plant. If the soil medium you are using is quite rich already, you can also go with a 10-10-10 diluted to half strength just to be on the safe side.
Consider its native environment and do your best to recreate it
Raindrop Peperomia should be kept out of direct sunlight. This plant prefers bright, indirect light, and direct sunlight can actually burn the leaves.
If your leaves start getting yellow, however, then that means it is not getting enough light and you’ll need to move it or if using artificial lighting, give it a little more time.
Peperomia also likes humidity, so you could either use a humidifier weekly with some warm water to achieve this or use a pebble tray or mister to give your plant a little humidity.
Finally, as it’s a tropical plant, Raindrop Peperomia does best in warm temperatures. Ensure that the plant is housed somewhere that falls between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ve got a recipe for a happy plant!
Common issues with newly propagated Raindrop Peperomia
While Raindrop Peperomia plants tend to be quite hardy and resistant to disease, they can have problems just like any other plant, so it’s important to know the signs of trouble that you should look for.
Here are a few common issues and what you can do if they pop up:
Soft, browning stems – When the stems of your plant are getting overly soft and especially if they are browning, then you are likely dealing with root rot. Transplant your Peperomia to a fresh pot, trim any blackened roots, and move it somewhere it will get a little more light. Water it sparingly at this time and with a little luck, it will recover.
Leaf tips darkening – When just the tips of the leaves are going brown or gray, this is usually a sign that you are either underwatering the plant or that it needs a little humidity. Try a pebble tray to make the air a little more humid for it and see if this helps
Curling or crisping leaves – Check the soil to see if it’s dry. Curling or crisping leaves are generally a sign of underwatering, but if the soil is still moist, then use a pebble tray to give your plant more humidity in its environs and this should help.
Droopy leaves – If you’ve just moved your plant to a new location, then it’s completely normal to get droopy leaves for a few days as the plant adjusts. If you haven’t recently moved it, then it likely needs more water than you are currently giving it.
Yellowing leaves – The location of the yellowing can tell you if you are overwatering or underwatering your Peperomia. If all of the leaves are yellowing, then you need to give your plant more water, but if the bottom and middle height leaves are yellowing then it’s getting too much.
Moldy soil – If you see the beginnings of mold on the plant’s soil, move it somewhere it will get a little more light and better ventilation and this should help.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s just about time for us to hang up our hats and call it a day, but before we go we wanted to address some frequently asked questions on Raindrop Peperomias that we thought you might find useful. Let’s take a look and then we’ll get to wrapping things up for the day!
How do you make Peperomia Raindrop bushy?
One of the nice things about Raindrop Peperomia is that you don’t usually need to do anything to get a bushy plant. If yours is looking a little skinny, however, then a little pruning should help it to mass-up and get properly bushy for presentation.
Try trimming just a little at first and see what happens. Generally, it won’t take much with these plants, as they tend to be bushy all on their own, but if not then some light pruning should do the trick nicely.
How often should I water my Raindrop Peperomia?
When the top 1/3 of the soil is dry, then you can go ahead and water your peperomia, or if you want to be extra careful you can just wait until the top half of the soil is dry. Raindrop Peperomia has fairly thick leaves, so it will be fairly hardy even when the soil is allowed to dry a little more than usual.
This makes it much easier to avoid overwatering, so if you are still learning the watering schedule and you aren’t sure if it needs to be watered yet, go ahead and wait a day or two – an established Peperomia can take it – and that will help keep you from accidentally overwatering your plant.
Where do you cut Raindrop Peperomia?
While you shouldn’t have to prune your Raindrop much (if at all), if you DO then the trick is to find the nodes on the stem and always cut above the top node. Those nodes are what produce the leaves, so you want to avoid cutting below them.
If you always cut right above the node, then you’ll slowly get a bushier, better-looking Raindrop plant for your troubles!
Given its status as a low-maintenance plant, Raindrop Peperomia, or the coin plant, is an easy plant that makes a great addition to any collection, especially when given proper care with the right light source and ideal temperature settings. It’s also a plant that is similar in appeal to the Chinese money plant.
Propagating your Raindrop Peperomia is a piece of cake, now that you know what you’re doing, and you’ve got 2 great options at your disposal to accomplish this. If you want to get the most out of your plant, you can propagate with any green leaves that have at least a little stem to work with.
Alternately, you can specifically cut stem with 2-33 viable nodes and this is a MUCH faster method.
Either way, once you’ve got a root system to work with, you can transplant them to a soil medium of perlite, peat-free compost, and orchid bark, and simply fertilize once a month with half-strength 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 fertilizer to grow a strong, healthy juvenile plant.
Once your plant is big enough, you can move it to a bigger pot and it’s just a matter of maintaining it after that. If you’ve carefully followed the steps, then you should have a happy, healthy Raindrop Peperomia that you can give to a friend or simply place in your home to enjoy at your leisure.
We’d like to thank you for reading and if you’d like to share some feedback or tips of your own, please do – We love to hear from you and so do other readers. Until next time, we wish you and your new Peperomia the very best!
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