The Perfect Office Plant -- Peperomia
Where to Grow
Ripple peperomia is a tropical plant that only grows outdoors in the frost-free areas of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b to 11a, where it prefers partial to full shade. Indoors, ripple peperomia requires bright, indirect light, such as sun filtered through a thin curtain. It does well under bright artificial lights, making it a good choice for an office. When growing it indoors, keep temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season. In the winter, don't allow the temperature to drop below 50 F.
Due to ripple peperomia's susceptibility to root rot, a well-draining, porous soil is crucial for both indoor and outdoor plants. University of Oklahoma Department of Botany & Microbiology recommends planting indoor peperomias in a potting mixture of 3 parts peat moss, 1 part loam and 1 part sharp sand. Outdoor plants are adaptable as long as the soil is drains well. Water sparingly, keeping the soil just barely moist, never waterlogged or soggy. Use room temperature water whenever possible. Avoid overhead watering for outdoor plants.
To keep the foliage looking its best, fertilize twice a month during the summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted with water to about half strength. Ripple peperomia does not need to be misted to increase humidity. If the plant has leaf spots, remove and destroy affected leaves and make sure you keep the foliage dry. Check the plant occasionally for mealybugs, cottony masses of insects that may be on the plant's leaves or stems. University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends using systemic insecticides to control mealybugs.