Peperomia prostrata is a tropical, trailing houseplant that belongs to the Piperaceae family. It has pendulous foliage bearing small, round leaves. Its fresh green leaves have small, dark-green markings on them, resembling the shells of turtles. Hence, this miniature plant is also known as String of Turtles. It is native to Brazil and is widely found in the tropical regions of South America. It can be grown in hanging baskets and hanging pots in home gardens or inside the houses. Here is the complete guide about Peperomia prostrata care and maintenance.
Peperomia prostrata Care
Peperomia prostrata care includes placing it in bright, indirect sunlight, acidic soil, and a humid environment. You should water it after every two to three weeks in summers and sparingly in winters. Fertilize it every two weeks in the growing seasons.
Well-drained and fertile soil is a must requirement for Peperomia prostrata plant care. Good drainage ensures proper aeration. The ideal soil type is acidic to neutral type. The pH of the soil must be kept between 5 and 7. You can maintain this much acidity of the soil by spritzing it with some diluted vinegar.
Good aeration lets the extra water to drain easily through the drainage holes. It also allows oxygen to pass through its air pouches. This lets the roots to breathe and grow healthily. You can add a little perlite or sand to its soil to increase its drainage. You can plant your Peperomia in peat-based soil for its lush growth.
It is a tropical plant that likes to be grown at average room temperature. It is better if you grow it indoors where the temperature fluctuates between 64°F to 75°F (18°C – 24°C), not any lower nor any higher than this.
Peperomia is not winter-hardy; it cannot survive frosts or chilly weather. It may tolerate a temperature a little lower than 18°C; however, it will never be able to survive through days with a temperature lower than 10°C. You can grow this plant outdoors during summers, but you should never forget to move it indoors during colder months.
Peperomia Prostrata Watering Requirements
This miniature plant is from the family of succulents, so it does not like to be soaked completely in water. You might not be able to kill it by under-watering, but you can surely kill it easily by watering it more than its needs.
When to Water String of Turtles
Use the thumb rule; always check the topsoil before watering the plant. Peperomia prostrata watering requirement includes watering it after every two to three weeks in the growing season or summers. Water this plant sparingly during the chilly months when this plant is going through its dormancy period. But do not let your Peperomia die of thirst as under-watering can lead to flat or deflated leaves. Wilting of leaves indicates overwatering. Excessive watering washes away the necessary nutrients out of the soil
This little planting loves warmer and well-lit spots. Bright, indirect light is the best for its optimum growth. Direct sunlight can scorch and burn its lovely foliage, so avoid placing it in a spot where the sun shines on it directly and fiercely. However, about 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight in the morning, when the light intensity and warmth are not at their peak, will be beneficial for its growth. Make sure that its topsoil is getting enough light exposure.
You can place this Peperomia prostrata in north or south-facing window. If you want to place it in a specific spot that receives direct sunlight, you should save this delicate beaut from the direct rays by placing it behind a curtain.
Normally, succulents do not ask much for air moisture. But this little beaut is fond of a humid atmosphere. Peperomia prostrata care includes keeping this plant moist and humid. You can increase the humidity levels inside your walls by installing a humidifier. Putting this Peperomia in a group with other plants will also increase the humidity around it. One major trick to regulate and maintain its moisture is by misting its foliage and soil often.
This practice will not only regulate the humidity levels around this plant but will also keep its soil moist. Moist soil is much favorable for its faster and lush growth.
This mini succulent is a foodie in growing seasons. It needs to be fed with the appropriate fertilizer every two weeks. However, you can cut down its feeding frequency in summers; feed it after a month or so. In autumn and winters, this feeding rate drops down even further. You need not feed it at all in these dormant periods.
Slow-release fertilizer is the best for its proper growth. It is available to the plant’s roots for an elongated time. Never forget to dilute the fertilizer before adding it to the soil, and always water the soil before applying fertilizer. By doing so, you will be protecting your plant from root-burning.
Grooming and Pruning
This magic marmer is a bushy plant. You might have to cut its extra leaves and stems for its grooming and for keeping it in proper shape. You should prune its foliage to keep its growth under control. Dead leaves, larger stems, or older foliage must be removed from this plant for healthy growth. But never forget to sterilize your scissors or bladed before pruning your Peperomia prostrata because unsterilized blades can cause infections and diseases.
This String of Turtles is a slow-growing plant. If you want these babies to grow speedily, provide them with all the necessary conditions. Also, do not trim its foliage; trimming and pruning will slow down its growth. If you prefer a larger Peperomia over a groomed and pruned one, you should not trim it.
The ideal USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this miniature plant are 11a to 11b.
Peperomia prostrata is a low-maintenance vine that is very easy-to-grow. But, you still have to care for its basic requirements for its proper growth. This lovely plant does not ask for much. All you have to do is to place it in a well-lit spot with the right level of humidity and moisture and water it after every two weeks; your plant will thrive and grow lush!