Peperomia Graveolens ‘Ruby Glow’ is a gorgeous succulents plant with bright red outside leaves and stems and green top part of the leaf. This stunning colour mix makes it a very desirable plant. But can it be, like many other succulents, propagated from a single leaf?
Peperomia Graveolens, unfortunately, cannot be propagated from leaf as a section of a stem needs to be present for the plant to grow roots and new shoots. The good news is that this succulent propagates well from cuttings and in the growing season can root in 2-3 weeks.
We will describe the propagation method in detail below, but first let’s have a closer look at this lovely plant.
The thick ruby red stem and red & green chunky leaves of this succulent plant are waxy and bright. Peperomia Graveolens originates in Ecuador, but is well distributed all around the world. It is highly valued among succulent collectors and until very recently was very expensive and difficult to find. Thanks to the marvels of tissue culture, this plant is now mass produced and available throughout the world.
Peperomia Graveolens has a shrub-like growing habit with new branches shooting out of the main stem. The plant can grow to approximately 20cm height and 15 in width.
The flowers appear mainly in spring and are slightly strange. The thin flower spike does not look like a flower at all. It grows out of the centre of each branch and is composed of many tiny little flowers. It also has a very strange smell that many have compared to unpleasant things such as urine. Personally, I don’t think it’s too bad, but is certainly odd and very specific to Peperomias.
As we established above, Peperomia Graveolens is not suitable for leaf propagation and will need a part of the stem to be cut off with the leaf in order to successfully multiply. We also do not think that Peperomia Graveolnes can be propagated from seed. This plant does flower, but does not seem to produce seed pods. Furthermore, we could not find anyone selling seed.
In our opinion, the best and safest way to propagate Peperomia Graveolens is to cut off a branch with multiple leaves. Only propagate in spring/ summer as this is when the plant grows. In winter you will risk the cutting rotting before it has a chance to root.
To get your cutting, cut with clean scissors and leave to dry for a day so the wound does not get infected. Next, plant in seed raising or succulent potting mix. There is a bit of controversy about watering cuttings and you will find lots of conflicting advice. When we propagate our nursery plant we always water our cuttings, but leave to dry out between waterings. If you have a favourite method with succulent cuttings, by all means follow it with this plant as well.
In Spring/ Summer roots should start appearing in about 2-3 weeks. They will grow quite slow from then on but this is normal for this plant. Even quite established plants will not have a massive rootballs.
Peperomia Graveolens likes bright or filtered light and dislikes full sun, especially during warm months. In summer, this plant can burn if left in hot, full sun. At our nursery they grow best under 30% shade-cloth, but a bright veranda with a little sun, a sunny windowsill or a spot under a tree will be just as good.
It is suitable for both pots and garden. In pots succulent potting mix should be used. In the garden Peperomia Graveolens will hapilly grow in plain garden soil, but it must have shade from the sun and at the same time enough bright light.
As the plant grows taller, the leaves may get a bit heavy causing a lean. To avoid the whole top part falling to the ground, small stakes or skewers can be used to keep it in place.
Water when the potting mix dries up. In good quality potting mix Peperomia Graveolens should be ok even if exposed to heavy rain. The majority of plants we grow for sale are outdoors all year round and live happily through all the rainy spells.
Peperomia Graveolens is not frost hardy and will die if exposed to freezing temperatures.
The only pest we have experienced on this Peperomia are mealy bugs on roots. They rarely feed on the foliage (it is not unheard of though), but mostly love to hide out in the roots.
Re-pot your Graveolens every growing season to make sure there are no nasty mealies there.
The occasional slug/snail may take a small bite, but Peperomia Graveolens is not their favourite food source.
Although there is not any particular information available on the toxicity of Peperomia Graveolens, Peperomias are generally listed as non-toxic to pets and humans.
Having said that we do not recommend eating this plant.
If you’re in Australia a number of online nurseries, including ours sell Peperomia Graveolens for a fairly reasonable price. Around the world these plants are not yet readily available in garden centres and therefore shopping for one online is your best bet. If you can't find one at online nurseries try Amazon or eBay.