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Silver Heart Peperomia caperata

Phonetic Spelling
pep-er-ROH-mee-uh kap-er-AY-tuh
Description

Ripple peperomia is a tropical plant in the Piperaceae (pepper) family that is commonly used as a houseplant in temperate climates. In the tropics, this plant is an evergreen herbaceous groundcover with an erect and bushy habit growing up to 8 inches tall. It can also be epiphytic in the jungles of South America where it is native. The genus name Peperomia is derived from two Greek words peperi meaning pepper and homoios which means resembles, referring to its resemblance to the true black pepper plant Piper nigrum.  The species name caperata is Latin for wrinkled, describing the wavy texture of the leaves.  

This plant has highly decorative heart-shaped leaves with a deeply furrowed nature and cream-colored, spiked inflorescence both adding interest to any interiorscape. The plant gets its common name from its wrinkled green leaves, which are so dark they almost appear purple.  Propagate this plant through leaf or stem tip cuttings in the spring.

An easy to grow houseplant tolerant of indoor conditions.  Medium light conditions such as sun filtered through a thin curtain is ideal, along with soil that dries between watering and medium to low relative humidity.  It is tolerant of low light for several months without stress but it will not tolerate wet soil, very dry soil, or very drafty sites.

This plant is commonly used as an interior specimen or a desktop plant. It performs well with bright, fluorescent lights so is ideal for offices. Plant it in a container or in a hanging basket to enjoy its attractive leaves.  In areas free of frost it can be grown as a groundcover in a border front or herbaceous perennial bed.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are heart-shaped and deeply furrowed
  • Inflorescence is cream-colored spike
  • Petioles are usually pinkish to reddish

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect pests include whiteflies, mealybugs, and spider mites.  Leaf spot occasionally occurs.  It is susceptible to root rot so use a porous well-draining potting soil.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy'
    Red-green leaves
  • 'Emerald Ripple
    Compact
  • 'Rosso'
    Smooth, shiny rippled leaves
  • 'Variegata'
    White and green leaves
'Burgundy', 'Emerald Ripple, 'Rosso', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#white flowers#purple leaves#showy leaves#epiphytic#interiorscape#low maintenance#interesting leaves#herbaceous#cream flowers#glossy leaves#fantz#border front#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#container plant#wet soils intolerant#easy to grow houseplant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy'
    Red-green leaves
  • 'Emerald Ripple
    Compact
  • 'Rosso'
    Smooth, shiny rippled leaves
  • 'Variegata'
    White and green leaves
'Burgundy', 'Emerald Ripple, 'Rosso', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#white flowers#purple leaves#showy leaves#epiphytic#interiorscape#low maintenance#interesting leaves#herbaceous#cream flowers#glossy leaves#fantz#border front#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel#container plant#wet soils intolerant#easy to grow houseplant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Peperomia
    Species:
    caperata
    Family:
    Piperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Brazil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    11b, 11a, 12a, 12b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    White flower spikes 2"-3" long in summer and autumn. The flowers are not very colorful and tend to be white to cream in color, they are similar to attenuated Anthuriums or Arum Lilies. They consist of a myriad of small flowers arranged on the stem. They have 2 stamens and no perianths. They are said to resemble mouse tails.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Obtuse
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are deep green 1 1/2" long with some red or purple cordate, broadly acute to obtuse, have a corrugated surface, cordate, have impressed veins, are in deep rippling folds, are dark glossy green in color, and are sub-peltate. Petioles are 3" in size and green to dull red in color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The leaf-stalk of this plant are red or pink. Stems are erect, unbranched, tough, and dark green or tinged purple.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade