Peperomias are attractive, low-maintenance plants that tolerate various growing conditions and come in multiple colors and shapes. These plants are also known for purifying the air, making them ideal for the home or office.
Most people who grow peperomia look for the bushy look of this plant. However, getting a bushy peperomia can become challenging as this plant can quickly become leggy.
There are many advantages to having a bushy plant. They can provide privacy, act as a windbreak, and provide domestic pets food and shelter.
This article will show you how to make your peperomia bushie using a few simple steps.
How to Make Your Peperomia Bushy?
To make your peperomia bushy, you should avoid putting any light source above it as these plants tend to grow toward the direction of light. In fact, when you put the light source above the peperomia plant, it will grow leggy instead of bushy. Also, growing this plant in peaty soil, avoiding frequent watering, and reporting are other factors that will help you grow a bushy peperomia.
1. Plant Your Peperomia in a Peaty Soil
The soil conditions are the first to look for when you want to make your peperomia bushy. In this case, you can use peaty soil as it will help to retain moisture in the roots for a more extended period, which is very important to grow a healthy succulent like peperomia.
Peaty soil is also packed with nutrients because it’s composed of partially decomposed organic matter. This capacity to hold large amounts of nutrients makes peaty soil ideal for growing peperomias.
Peaty can also provide a high level of aeration, which allows roots to breathe and helps to prevent waterlogging.
Additionally, This type of soil is slow to erode, which helps to keep your peperomia’s roots secure. In fact, peaty soil is formed from decomposing organic matter, such as leaves and plant roots. Over time, this material breaks down and compresses, forming a thick, spongy layer. All this makes peat soil highly absorbent, so it can hold large amounts of water and prevent erosion.
You can also add perlite and compost to your peaty soil to increase drainage and aeration while providing nutrients for your peperomia.
Perlite is a lightweight, volcanic rock that helps improve drainage and aeration in the soil. On the other hand, compost is rich in organic matter and provides nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
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2. Avoid Frequent Repotting
The second thing I recommend for someone who wants to get a bushy peperomia is avoiding frequent re-potting. In fact, this plant has a fragile root system. As a result, if you re-pot such a plant very often, the roots will take a lot of time to adjust to the new soil conditions, which will affect the plant’s growth.
Another thing many people ignore about peperomia is that these plants like to be root bound. As a consequence, if you re-pot them again and again, the root system can get damaged. So, could you leave it in the same pot? If it looks healthy, only re-pot when you can see the roots coming out through the drainage holes.
In addition to preventing peperomia from growing bushy, re-potting this plant frequently can have several drawbacks:
- It can be disruptive to the plant’s root system, which can cause stress and even damage to the plant.
- It can be challenging to ensure that the new potting mix is the right type and has the correct nutrients for the plant, which can lead to problems.
- Re-potting can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you purchase new pots and soil each time.
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3. Fertilize Your Peperomia Less Frequently
Generally, fertilizing indoor plants is very important as it helps provide all the nutrients that the plant needs to grow healthy. However, pepperonis are succulents. As a result, they do not need a lot of feeding. They are not heavy feeders, and excessive fertilizers will make them grow leggy instead of bushy.
If you want to fertilize your peperomias, I advise you to use a weak, diluted fertilizer and apply it once a month only. You can only increase your fertilizing frequency during the spring and summer seasons. And even during the growing season, you can not fertilize this plant more than once a month.
Diluted fertilizers can help to reduce the risk of burning your peperomia, and they can also help to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed overall.
Additionally, diluted fertilizers can help promote consistent growth by providing a more consistent supply of nutrients to the plants. When plants are constantly supplied with nutrients, they can grow faster. Additionally, diluted fertilizers allow the plant to absorb nutrients more efficiently.
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4. Give Your Peperomia the Appropriate Lighting Conditions
To get a bushy peperomia, keep your plant in bright indirect light and avoid placing your plant below the light source. Also, if you provide too much bright light to your peperomia, the leaves will start to fade out, your plant will start looking very dull, and it will lose its shine.
So, it’s essential to maintain the light you provide to your peperomia throughout the day and avoid placing a light source above your plant, as this will make it leggy.
Also, peperomias can tolerate low light conditions, and they can even survive beautifully in fluorescent lighting as well.
But, be careful, as low light exposure for a very long time will affect the growth of some peperomia varieties. For example, suppose you have a variegated variety like peperomia oxifolia. Low light exposure for extended periods may cause the variegations to go away and the leaves to revert back to whole grains.
To grow a bushy peperomia indoors, I highly recommend that you put this plant near a south- or west-facing window, but make sure to protect your plant from direct sunlight because it can scorch the leaves.
If you can’t provide bright, indirect light, you can supplement it with artificial light. Choose a grow light that emits a full spectrum of light, and place it about 12 inches from your plant.
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5. Water Your Peperomia Only When Needed.
As we mentioned earlier, peperomias are succulents, so they don’t need a lot of water, especially variants like peperomia obtuse folia. And if you have a peperomia in your house, you can see that their leaves are pretty thick and can store a lot of water. So, watering this plant frequently will prevent it from becoming bushier and can lead to some adverse results, such as root rot and brown leaves.
To grow a bushy peperomia, usually check the soil before watering. You don’t need to water your plant if the soil is moist. If the soil’s top layer feels dry, go ahead and water your peperomia. Also, when watering this plant, try to do it from the bottom to avoid any leaf damage.
In addition to preventing peperomias from growing bushy, overwatering is one of the major enemies of this plant. In fact, giving this plant more water than its needs will lead to root rot and stem rot. These problems can make your peperomia go forever.
Misting can also prevent your peperomia from becoming bushy. As a result, you should mist this plant only during the growing season, once every two to three weeks. This will help to remove the dust accumulating on the broad leaves and allow the plant to photosynthesize easily.
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6. Prune Your Peperomia to Encourage Bushiness
Lastly, pruning can help tremendously in growing a bushy peperomia. In fact, when you don’t prune this plant, the leaves will grow bigger and become heavy. As a result, your peperomia will have a droopy look.
To maintain a bushy shape for your peperomia, you can prune it during the spring season. This will also initiate side growth which will make your plant look bushier. Not only this, but you can use those cuttings to propagate your new peperomias.
To prune the peperomia plant, trim any dead or dying leaves. Next, trim back any leggy stems that are not producing new growth. Finally, shape the plant by cutting back any stray branches.
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