Peperomia Party: A Guide to Peperomia

You are now officially invited to my peperomia party. What can be better than that? I know, add kitties and doggies into the mix too. Why? Because peperomias are one of the best non-toxic indoor plants.

Pet Safe Peperomia

Told you I could make it better.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, finding interesting pet safe plants can be tough. I personally like interesting leaves, and once I became more familiar with Peperomia, I realized I had been missing out on the plant world’s understated models.

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Completely non-toxic, the petite peperomia wins the prize for awesomest leaves. A bigger perk is their durability. It’s not a secret cats and dogs can act like a hot mess, so this is a quality pet-owners appreciate in plants.

Knocked over by cat? No problem.

Thrown to floor by dog? No biggie.

Elbowed accidently by human? These guys are troopers.

They don’t grow very big, so it’s easy to begin collecting a Peperomia Army (you know, for the apocalypse). Here are a few of the most common varieties that can be easily purchased in stores:

Variegated Peperomia (Peperomia obtusifolia)

Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)

Watermelon Peperomia
Buy me!

Red-edge Rainbow Peperomia (Peperomia clusiifolia)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Metallic Peperomia (Peperomia Rosso)

Peperomia Rosso

Pink Lady Peperomia (Peperomia griseoargentea)

Pink Variegated Peperomia

Silverleaf Peperomia (Peperomia griseoargentea)

Silverleaf Peperomia
Photo by The Fox Den

Jayde Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya)

Jayde Paperomia

Red Ripple Peperomia (Peperomia caperata)

Pet Safe Peperomia - Ripple Peperomia

Pixie Peperomia (Peperomia Orba)

Pixie Peperomia

Peperomia Hope (Peperomia rotundifolia)

Peperomia Hope
Photo by jaxjulee

Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)

Pet Safe Peperomia : Leaf&Paw

Felted Pepperface Peperomia (Peperomia incana)

Keeping Them Happy

I have all of my peps in simple ceramic white pots or small plastic pots. Begrudgingly, they will tolerate planters sans drainage holes but that’s not ideal. Really, peperomia prefer a medium amount of moisture; water sitting in the bottom of a planter leads to root rot and dropping leaves. And there goes that plant army…

Actually, Peperomias are not technically succulents, despite the chubby leaves. A native of Brazil, they belong to the Piperaceae family. Bright locations with non-direct sunlight is best, like behind a sheer curtain. They hate hot, direct sun – this scorches leaves, leading to sad blotches then partially dried bits that looks rather unsightly.

Watermelon Peperomias Are Safe for Cats!

A snazzy tip: rotate plants every week so they don’t end up lopsided. Like all indoor plants they grow towards the light, so keeping them rotated on a regular basis keeps everyone happy.

Baby Rubber Plants

Propagating Peperomia

Peperomia are very easy to propagate, too. I’ll be adding more posts on propagation for each variety soon (it’s not one-size-fits-all), but in the meantime you can go through my step-by-step guide for propagating Watermelon Peperomia, which is super easy. Basically you can either propagate all Peperomia by cuttings as seen in that post or cutting a Peperomia baby from the mother plant and letting it root in water (see below). Best of all? Free peppies either way!

How to Propagate peperomia

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  1. Thank you for the wonderful information! I bought a watermelon peperomia yesterday and one of my thoughtful kitties has munched through a bunch of leaves. Should I prune the chewed leaves or leave them alone? If I should remove the chewed leaves, where do I cut: the bottom of the stem or the top?

    1. Hi Kisha! I had the same issue but my plant had multiple healthy leaves left. If your plant has many other leaves I would trim the eaten ones off and you can use those to propagate. Cut as low as you can the stem and remove it, the you can propagate them following my instructions. Let me know if you need more help!

    1. Hi! Because I don’t have any Peperomia dolabriformis near me I can’t be 100% sure, but I would be safe to assume they are safe for cats. Like any peperomia or pet safe plant I would still monitor your cat and make sure it doesn’t eat it in its entirely.

  2. I have a plant I’ve been told may be a variation of peperomia. If you’re well versed I’d love some feedback if there’s a way to get a photo to you!

  3. I find the Watermelon Peperomia extremely visually appealing. I have researched quite a lot about it but, I do have some unanswered questions: How do I know if my Pep is being over/under watered? Lastly, do you have anymore tips to keep the plant healthy and happy?

    1. I love them! I’m actually planning on doing a whole post devoted to them, since they’ve gotten so popular – so keep an eye on the blog. 🙂 In the meantime, yes – you’ll want to plant it in a pot with good drainage, and water when the soil is dry at the top. Overwatering kills them. They also like bright (not direct) sun, hope that helps for now!

  4. Hello! I am specifically wondering about the “Peperomia glabella” or it also might be known as the “Cypress Peperomia.” Is this safe for cats?

    1. Hi Colleen, Peperomia glabella is still a part of the Pipericeae family and thus should be safe for cats. As with any plant, too many nibbles could result in stomach upset, so always watch if your cat is eating your plants. But this type of Peperomia is perfectly safe to have in your home.

    1. For the most part, yes, at least the peperomias most commonly seen in garden centers and greenhouses. The ones I talk about in this post I consider common, but if you find another you are unfamiliar with, I would be happy to help you identify toxicity. 🙂