The Peperomia Polybotrya was my first ever Peperomia variety. At first we struggled a bit to get along, but after a period of trial and error, we finally became friends and she’s been thriving ever since. Here are some tips that can help you get along with yours, too!
Peperomia plants come in a wide variety of leaf shape and patterns. Some are more easy to care for than others, but they basically need the same care.
Peperomia is a succulent like plant because it retains water in its stems and leaves. If you touch Peperomia’s leaves you can feel how thick and meaty they are. The Peperomia Polybotrya has especially meaty leaves and thick stems.
when to water the Peperomia Polybotrya | raindrop Peperomia watering
Since it retains water in it’s stems and leaves, Peperomia is really sensitive to overwatering. And by sensitive I mean really sensitive. If it sits in a too much moist soil or water, it could and probably will die in a matter of a day or two.
You need to water your Peperomia when the soil has completely dried out.
The best and safest thing you can do here is to repot it in a terracotta pot that will help with the aeration and faster water evaporation.
Next to that, use a well draining potting mix. You could use a succulent mix or you can add additional pumice or perlite into your houseplant potting mix.
Peperomia will start dropping leaves if it’s overwatered.
The idea is to allow the water to flow through the pot and not remain absorbed into the soil for long periods of time.
This is why having a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot can also help. This way you know that all the excess water had drained out of the pot and that your Peperomia is not sitting in needless water.
Having drainage holes is also good because than you can bottom water your plant. I usually don’t practice the bottom watering technique (it’s more of a combo between top and bottom watering for me) but for Peperomias and similar plants it’s my go-to method.
I simply fill in the decorative pot (that has no holes, of course) with water or I fill in some bowl and place the plant inside for about 15 minutes. Depending on the size of the plant, I may leave it longer that 15 min, but no longer than half an hour.
how much light does Peperomia Polybotrya need | lighting
Peperomia needs a lot of bright indirect light to be happy and to thrive.
I found that the best place for my Peperomia is in front of a west or south facing window.
It likes the heat of the sun and many hours of sunlight. BUT you need to protect it from direct sunlight, especially during the summer months.
As much as it likes the sun, it won’t like direct sun rays. To transform direct sunlight into bright indirect light all you need are some sheer white curtains or something similar that will disperse the sun rays and protect your plants from that harsh summer sun.
If you don’t have a south or west facing window, an east facing window it’s the next best thing.
But if you have only north exposure and you really really want a Peperomia Polybotrya, place it as close to the window as you can. Next to that, water even less frequently. Be sure that the soil is bone dry before watering and that it’s potted in well draining soil that won’t retain much moisture for long.
Why is my Peperomia looking weird?
If you want an even looking plant, rotate it weekly. I practically never rotated mine, and now all leaves are facing only one side. My plant is 10″ (around 20cm) wide if you look at it from the front, and 4″ (around 10cm) wide looking from the side.
Honestly, I really like how it looks. Like a drape of beautiful round shiny leaves. But if you want an even looking plant, remember to rotate it.
Another thing you may encounter when your Peperomia is not receiving enough sunlight is that it will become leggy. That’s common and you don’t have to worry about it. All you need to do in this case is bring it closer to the light source and it will start to grow more dense.
When should you repot Peperomia Polybotrya?
You really don’t need to repot your Peperomia often. It likes to be pot bound.
This plant doesn’t develop a big root system to begin with. You’ll probably only need to repot it if you need to change or refresh the soil or to transfer it from a plastic pot to a terracotta pot. In case it’s not root bound, stay with the same pot size.
If you think it’s time to get a bigger pot, choose only one size bigger.
Any bigger than that could potentially harm the plant. Why? If there’s too much soil retaining moisture, the soil will take longer to dry out and in the meantime your plant could suffer from overwatering “symptoms” and consequences.
Do you need to fertilize Peperomia Polybotrya?
I fertilize my Peperomia once a month, together with the rest of my plants, using a complete liquid fertilizer diluted in water. I start fertilizing somewhere in March and I do it until October, November.
When you use liquid fertilizers, be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle to know how much fertilizer to dilute in a certain amount of water. You don’t want to over fertilize your plants, so it’s better to use less fertilizer if you are not sure.
If you see that your plant is struggling (it can be any reason, it doesn’t matter) fertilizing it won’t help. If anything, it could only harm it. Use fertilizer only when your plant is feeling good.
Is Peperomia Polybotrya Chinese Money plant?
The short answer – NO. Peperomia Polybotrya is not the Chinese Money plant.
Chinese Money tree is the common name for Pilea Peperomioides, while the Peperomia Polybotrya is commonly referred to as Raindrop Peperomia.
Peperomia Polybotrya can be mistaken for the Chinese Money tree because both of this plants have round leaves. But if you look closely they are completely different looking plants.
You can see how the Pilea has rounder leaves and a wooden stem, while the Peperomia has pointy leaves towards the end resembling raindrops and a more succulent looking stem. Leaves on the Peperomia are also thicker and deeper green, with thicker petioles too.
To read more about Pilea Peperomioides aka the Chinese money plant check out – Pilea Peperomioides | care tips.