How to Plant, Grow and Care For Peperomia Hope
Are you considering a Peperomia Hope as the next addition to your indoor garden? This Peperomia variety has become more popular in recent years, and with good reason! In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton walks through how to plant, grow and care for this popular houseplant!
For a virtually trouble-free cascading houseplant, try the little beauty – Peperomia ‘Hope’. It has the cutest succulent oval leaves on long stems that trail over the rim of a pot and is considered a tropical epiphyte.
This tropical houseplant may not be as sought after as the Peperomia Frost or other more rare cultivars, but it’s just as beautiful and can be more easily found at local garden centers or plant stores in most situations.
The Peperomia Home has the characteristics of other Peperomia varieties, with the benefit being slightly different in looks. With plenty of water and bright light, this is a rewarding plant for any houseplant collector. So, are you ready to learn more? Let’s dig in and look at everything you need to know about the Peperomia hope and it’s care!
Peperomia Hope Plant Overview
Plant Type Houseplant
Species Peperomia ‘Hope’
Native Area Central and South America
Exposure Bright indirect light
Height 6 inches
Watering Requirements Medium to high
Pests & Diseases Mealybugs, scale, aphids
Humidity Low to moderate
Soil Type Airy and well-draining
What Is It?
The hybridization of two peperomias, Peperomia deppeana and Peperomia quadrifolia resulted in Peperomia ‘Hope’, with its coin-shaped leaves and trailing nature a combination of traits from the two parents.
You may even see it described on a few plant sale websites as Peperomia deppeana X quadrifolia ‘Hope’ referencing its origins.
From their beginning in the tropical forests of the world, Peperomias today are huge in the houseplant industry. There are so many varieties commercially grown to provide a wide choice to plant lovers.
It was the Spanish botanists Hipólito Ruiz López and José Antonio Pavón Jiménez who were commissioned by Carlos III to study unique plants and illustrate their beauty and characteristics. Their exploration between 1779 and 1788 resulted in thousands of new plants being recorded – amongst them some Peperomia species.
Peperomia ‘Hope’ was developed in The Netherlands by Josephus van der Velden who bred this plant in 2007 for commercial purposes as part of a breeding program to develop new Peperomia varieties.
The seed parent is Peperomia deppeana, with the pollen coming from Peperomia quadrifolia. ‘Hope’ was grown commercially after it was determined that the hybrid was stable and unique in that the leaf shape was different from the parents, with thicker leaves and moderate growth.
The leaves are thicker than some of the other Peperomias and they are more resistant to stress with brighter green coloring.
While Peperomia ‘Hope’ was born in a lab, its parents come from the tropical regions of South America in the case of Peperomia deppeana and from Mexico to tropical America for Peperomia quadrifolia. Peperomias in general come from a wide range of tropical and subtropical regions in the world, but mainly from Central and South America.
They are commonly called radiator plants for their affinity for warm air and sunlight. They were named this by famous American horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey who co-founded the American Society for Horticultural Science in 1903, an organization that today is one of the largest organizations for advancing research into plants.
The characteristic of ‘Hope’ is similar to other Peperomias so it is often confused with different cultivars. Hope has light venation on the leaves which is more pronounced on other species such as Peperomia argyreia.
The leaves are thicker and slightly bigger than that of the parent Peperomia deppeana. The plant spreads to about 8 inches and the length of stems can reach 6 inches or longer. They are considered vining or trailing epiphytes with round green leaves on thin stems.
These plants can be grown outdoors if planted under trees with dappled light, but they are delicate and need to be sheltered from the wind and harsh sunlight.
They are mostly grown as indoor plants or for shady areas on balconies or patios. They need space to show off their cascading habit, ideally on a shelf or table or hanging from up high.
How to Grow
Peperomia ‘Hope’ is easy to care for with the right environment. Remember where they come from and adjust accordingly. In the tropics, they plenty of water, humidity and filtered light, plus well-draining soil and warm temperatures.
Peperomia ‘Hope’ will grow in a number of lighting conditions, but prefers bright indirect or filtered light to perform well. In darker areas of the home, the leaves may look a little lackluster and lose their shine.
They shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight, despite what the succulent-like appearance of the leaves may suggest. Direct sunlight will damage the leaves, leading to brown spots and wilting.
An east or south-facing window with constant light is perfect but it must be filtered. It likes a lot of light and in winter, position with a full day of light for the best growth.
This plant likes to be watered often – especially in warmer weather – but hates being waterlogged. In the spring and summer, water every couple of days, but test the soil to make sure it’s not too wet already.
The top inch of soil should be dry before watering again. This also depends on the type of soil you planted in and the position in the home (in a warmer area or a colder area).
In winter reduce watering to once every week or two, again depending on the conditions. Make sure the soil has plenty of drainages to allow the water to pass through quickly and never leave the pots to stand in water. Rather underwater as the succulent leaves can store a bit of moisture, than overwater which will quickly kill the plant off.
As with many houseplants, Peperomias need well-draining, airy soil so there is oxygen around the roots and to prevent waterlogging. Use a mix of two parts potting soil with one part perlite and one part coconut coir, a combination that also works well for a range of other houseplants.
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal temperature for ‘Hope’ is between 65F and 75F. It can survive lower temperatures but has zero tolerance for frost. Keep the temperatures warmer throughout the year and position the plant away from cold drafts or open doors.
It prefers temperatures that are constant – fluctuating temperatures can be fatal. Although commonly called radiator plants, it’s better to Peperomia ‘Hope’ away from the radiator.
Although they come from tropical regions where the humidity is high, Peperomia does well in moderate humidity (40-50%) and can survive in drier conditions. Misting the leaves and stems may damage the leaves and lead to rotting so if you do want to increase humidity, use a humidifier or pebble tray instead.
Around once a month when watering, add a balanced liquid fertilizer to the water to give this plant and any others a boost. A balanced NPK is ideal for this type of plant. Always follow the instructions to avoid damaging the roots and leaves of the plant. Feed only during the growing season and stop feeding in winter.
Make sure your plant has good air circulation to prevent the leaves and stems from rotting. Prune back any over-crowding stems if necessary. Also trim away any dead, brown or yellowing leaves or stems as soon as they appear.
Propagating Peperomia ‘Hope’ is as simple as rooting cuttings or leaves in water or soil. In fact, if your plant is looking a bit leggy and sparse, cut off the longer stems and plant in the same pot for a more compact fuller look.
The ideal propagating method is stem cuttings. Use a sharp pair of clean secateurs and cut off a stem at least 4 inches long just above a leaf node. Remove the lower leaves from the stem and set aside to callous on a sheet of newspaper for a day or two.
You can choose to propagate in water by popping cuttings in a glass with a little water in the bottom, making sure no leaves are underwater. You can also cover a glass filled with water with plastic cling film, poking a hole in the plastic and sticking your cuttings through the holes into the water. This keeps the cuttings upright and secure.
Top up the water as necessary and clean out and replace the water every week. This method allows you to see the roots developing and once there are plenty of roots, they can be planted in prepared pots.
The second method is to plant in soil. Prepare a pot or trays with propagating mix and moisten the mixture before filling the container. Plant each cutting into the soil, leaving enough space between the cuttings for air circulation. Make sure the node, from which the roots will grow, is under the soil. Cover the tray or pot with a plastic bag and secure with an elastic band.
Once a week, open the bag and check the moisture content. In about 25 days, the cuttings should have rooted and they can be moved to their own pots. A gentle tug and resistance will let you know that the roots have grown. If they are not resisting, leave them a bit longer.
You can also choose to plant cuttings into pots one at a time so that each plant develops in its own pot. There is then no need to replant the cuttings.
You can also propagate from leaf cuttings, but this process may take a bit longer than stem cuttings. Cut the leaves off a healthy plant as close to the stem as possible to include as much of the petiole as you can. Use a clean sharp pair of secateurs to cut the leaves off the stems. Place the leaves on a piece of newspaper and leave to callous on the cut end for a day or two.
Fill a tray with germinating mix or use a mix of equal parts perlite and coconut coir and moisten the growing medium. Place the leaves into the soil, making sure the leaf stem is buried in the soil.
You can stake them down with pins to make sure the leaves stay in place. Cover with a plastic bag secured with a plastic band to create mini greenhouse and to keep the moisture in the tray.
Check on the leaves often to make sure they have enough moisture or – even more important – that they do not have too much moisture which will cause the leaves to rot. Keep them in a warm place with bright indirect light.
After a few weeks, the leaves will have rooted and new growth should appear. Once they are big enough, they can be planted in their new pots that have been prepared with the soil mentioned above.
Like all Peperomias, ‘Hope’ likes to be a little pot bound and as they are fairly slow growing, they don’t require repotting often. Wait until you see signs of struggle, like roots growing through drainage holes or stunted growth to repot.
Only use a pot one size bigger and fill will the right soil mix. Try not to disturb the roots when removing from the original pot, but shake off some excess soil and check for any damaged, dying or discolored roots and remove these before placing it in the new pot. Fill in carefully around the roots and press in firmly.
Repotting these plants should be done carefully with plenty of time available so as to not break off any of the vining stems. Use another pot placed upside down to repot so there is plenty of space for the vines to fall and not become tangled. If some do break off, plant them in the pot with the plant. Top with a layer of mulch and water well.
Keep an eye on the plant for a few weeks to make sure it adjusts to its new environment.
Peperomia ‘Hope’ is not susceptible to many pests and diseases if all the right conditions are adhered to – enough light, moderate water, humidity, and monthly feeding. In some instances, they may be attacked by a pest or have some other common problems. Many of the most common problems are self inflicted by houseplant owners. Follow these steps to fix them and bring your plant back to good health.
Too Much Water
One of the easiest ways to kill this plant is to overwater. The leaves will start dropping off, the stems will get mushy and the roots will rot, causing the plant to die. It’s a simple fix – stop watering.
Allow the top inch or two of the soil to dry out before watering again and don’t water or mist the leaves, especially in colder weather. If the root rot problem is severe, repot into brand new soil and trim off any affected roots.
In drier conditions, you may have to look out for mealybugs under the leaves. They leave a white cotton-like substance on the leaves where they suck the sap from the plant. This can cause the plant to wilt and the leaves to yellow and die off.
Treat by rubbing the leaves and stems with rubbing alcohol or treat with insecticidal soap. Keep an eye on your plant for a few months as follow-up treatments may be required as new eggs hatch.
Another sucking insect is scale which forms brown spots on leaves, especially on the undersides. These spots are hard shells that are hard to remove with just water and may need to be scraped off and then followed up with a spray of insecticidal soap.
Heavy infestations require a stronger commercial product administered as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
These sap-suckers are abundant at any time of the year and usually attack new growth in large groups that cause damage and deformed leaves. Use a solution of soapy water or insecticidal soap to spray them away, or use an organic insect spray for the control of aphids.
A common houseplant ailment, root rot is caused by excess water in the soil and a lack of oxygen getting to the roots. The leaves will start to droop and may become discolored. It’s a difficult problem to treat once you have it as the micro-organisms of this fungus can move to other plants.
Isolate the plants and treat them with a suitable fungicide for the control of root rot. Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the problem persists, you may have to get rid of the plant and start again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my Peperomia ‘Hope’ leggy?
As with many other plants, if they become leggy, it’s because they are not receiving enough light. This plant likes plenty of light – as much as you can give it in a day without it being direct sunlight. A bright, indirect or filtered sunlight position will make it grow thicker and more compact. Cutting off the longer stems and planting them back into the same container will fix a leggy plant once the lighting situation has been resolved.
How much water does Peperomia ‘Hope’ need?
This will depend on the climate, the humidity, the temperature of the air indoors and the amount of filtered sunlight it gets. In the warmer months of spring and summer, this variety may need to be watered every few days. Check that the soil is dry at least an inch below soil level before watering again. In the cooler months, this plant may only require watering every two weeks or so.
Are Peperomia ‘Hope’ plants easy to care for?
For the most part, these plants are fuss-free as long as the right conditions are provided. Most importantly, ensure they have enough light and don’t get too much water. If that is adhered to, they are very easy to grow and require little attention.
This pretty little Peperomia is a great plant for beginners as it is easy to care for, much like other members of this genus. The trailing vines look good on shelves or in hanging baskets where their foliage can be admired. For Peperomia lovers, this is a must for the collection.