Among the vast array of houseplants, there’s one that truly stands out — the Raindrop Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya). With its adorable raindrop-shaped leaves and easygoing nature, it’s no wonder this little gem has captured the hearts of plant lovers everywhere.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the ins and outs of Raindrop Peperomia care. We’ll get into everything you need to know, from its history to its easygoing care requirements.
If you haven’t fallen for this houseplant yet . . . get ready.
Raindrop Peperomia Plant Care Guide
History, Habitat, and Characteristics
Raindrop Peperomia (Peperomia polybotrya) hails from the tropical regions of South America, specifically Peru and Colombia. It’s become increasingly popular thanks to its heart-shaped leaves, compact size, and easy care.
Growing up to 1 foot in height, Raindrop Peperomia can reach up to 2 feet if given the opportunity to truly flourish. Unlike some of its fuzzy Peperomia relatives, this species features thick, glossy, almost waxy leaves.
When grown outdoors, Raindrop Peperomia is known for its inflorescence. The plant’s flowers form slender, elongated stalks that rise above the foliage like an overseeing tail. Like most flowering plants, though, when grown indoors, it’s unlikely to flower. Still, peperomias in general are appreciated for their foliage, not their flowers.
Raindrop Peperomia is sometimes called coin-leaf peperomia or coin plant due to the round shape of its young leaves, said to resemble shiny coins. As the leaves age, the bottoms elongate, giving the plant the raindrop shape it’s known for.
Peperomia polybotrya ‘Raindrop’ thrives in bright, indirect light. Be careful not to expose it to too much direct sun. Otherwise, you might end up with some crispy leaves (and a very unhappy plant).
To create the perfect lighting conditions for your Raindrop Peperomia, position it in a south- or west-facing window with sheer curtains to soften and diffuse the bright light. If you don’t have a sheer curtain handy, set your peperomia off to the side or place it in an east- or north-facing window where it won’t get too much direct sunlight.
Harsh, direct sunlight will bleach the deep green color from the leaves and lead to crispy tips. With insufficient light, on the other hand, the plant may stretch out in search of more light. In such cases, your peperomia may become leggy, displaying mostly stems instead of the beautiful, waxy leaves you bought it for!
Our lighting tips:
- Give your peperomia plenty of bright, indirect light.
- Shield your raindrop plant from direct sunlight to avoid leaf burn and keep its vibrant foliage looking lush.
- Use sheer curtains or other light-diffusing techniques to protect your plant while letting in plenty of brightness.
Allow the soil to dry out before you water your Peperomia polybotrya, then give it a good soak, letting all the water drain out from the bottom of the pot. If you think you might be getting the watering wrong, your raindrop plant’s leaves will let you know what’s going on.
Not enough water: When your Peperomia polybotrya is feeling parched, the leaves may begin to droop, and the soil will feel dry to the touch. It’s essential to quench your plant’s thirst before it gets too dehydrated, but don’t go overboard with excess water.
Too much water: Overwatering can kill your peperomia. If you notice mushy stems, bumps on its leaves, or leaves that feel more firm than flexible, it’s a sign to scale back on the H2O. Drooping combined with wet soil also signals overwatering.
Our watering tips:
- Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, but don’t wait until it’s bone dry and compacted.
- Always use a pot with drainage holes.
- Use filtered tap water or distilled water for your Raindrop Peperomia — it’s less likely to cause unsightly bumps on those beautiful leaves.
Temperature and Humidity
Raindrop Peperomias share many characteristics with succulents, so some people might automatically think they’re drought-tolerant. However, your raindrop plant actually likes a humid, mild environment.
Peperomia polybotrya will thrive at a cozy room temperature of around 70°F. Though it has a preference for cooler conditions, it will tolerate some heat as long as its water needs are met. Just keep an eye out for any extreme temperature changes or drafts that could make your plant unhappy.
If you notice leaves curling or wilting, it might be a sign that the temperature is too high or too low. Warmer temperatures can also attract pests such as red spider mites and mealybugs.
This charming houseplant loves a bit of humidity, with ideal levels between 50% and 60%. Keep an eye out for dull, limp leaves or brown edges — these could be signs that your plant needs more humidity. Conversely, yellowing leaves or mold growth might indicate too much moisture in the air.
To raise humidity:
- Set up a pebble tray with water under your plant, which will evaporate and create a more humid environment around your Peperomia polybotrya.
- Group your raindrop plant with other plants — their combined transpiration will create a more humid microclimate.
- Choose a naturally humid room (like a bathroom with a window) for your plant. But remember, your Peperomia polybotrya isn’t a fan of frequent moves, so pick a spot and stick to it.
Soil and Planting
It’s best to keep a new Peperomia polybotrya ‘Raindrop’ plant in its original pot as long as possible. When a plant is moved to a new location and a new pot, it can get upset and drop leaves. Wait until your plant outgrows its nursery pot before repotting.
Start by mixing 50% soil and 50% perlite to create a moist potting mix that retains some soil moisture but drains well. This balance prevents rotting stalks from developing and helps ensure your Peperomia polybotrya stays healthy and happy.
Clay or terracotta pots are your best bet when planting Raindrop Peperomia. These pots provide excellent drainage, which is essential for preventing overwatering. Make sure the pot, only slightly bigger than the last one, has at least one drainage hole to keep your plant’s roots safe.
Feeding your Peperomia polybotrya a balanced houseplant fertilizer is necessary during its growing season in spring and summer. It’s best to avoid fertilizing in winter. Most plants go into some level of dormancy in winter, and slower growth means slower fertilizer uptake. This causes the plant tou uptake too much fertilizer, which can damage it.
Opt for worm castings, fish fertilizer, or slow-release fertilizers at a quarter strength to provide the right balance of nutrients. If you notice yellowing leaves or stunted growth, these may be signs of over-fertilization. In such cases, flush the plant’s soil with water to remove excess fertilizer and adjust the feeding frequency accordingly.
Propagating Peperomia polybotrya is a great way to expand your plant collection or share with friends. This indoor plant can be propagated using either leaf cuttings or full stem cuttings. You’ll get the best results propagating during the spring and summer months.
Propagating Peperomia polybotrya through stem cuttings:
- Choose a healthy stem. Inspect the mother plant for a stem with a few healthy leaves and, using sterilized shears, cut about 4-5 inches off the stem.
- Remove the lower leaves. Gently peel off any leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stem to prevent rotting in water.
- Root the stem in water. Fill a small container with water and place the stem cutting inside. Keep the container in a spot with bright, indirect light. Refresh the water every 2-3 days.
- Plant the rooted cutting. When the roots have grown to about 2 inches long, it’s time to transfer the cutting to a pot filled with fresh soil mix or a mix of potting soil and perlite. Keep the soil consistently moist for the next couple of weeks, but remember not to overwater.
Propagating Peperomia polybotrya through leaf cuttings:
- Select and cut a healthy leaf. Find a healthy, mature leaf on your Peperomia polybotrya and, using sterile pruning shears, carefully snip it off and then in half.
- Plant the leaf halves. Prepare two small pots with fresh soil mixed with perlite. Insert each half of the cut leaf into the soil, with the cut edge going in first.
- Maintain moisture and light. Gently water the leaf cuttings and keep the soil consistently moist. Keep the pots in a location with bright, indirect light.
- Watch for new growth. After a few weeks, you’ll spot baby plants emerging from the base of the leaf cuttings. Let them grow and mature before repotting them into individual containers.
Our Peperomia polybotrya propagation tips:
- Always use clean, sterilized tools to avoid spreading diseases and bacteria to the cuttings.
- Maintain good humidity levels around your cuttings to improve their chances of successful propagation. Placing a clear plastic bag over the cuttings can help maintain humidity.
- Patience is crucial! Give your cuttings time to develop roots and new growth, and avoid overwatering or exposing them to direct sun.
Raindrop Peperomia plants are generally easy to care for, but even these low-maintenance gems can face some common challenges.
Wilting Raindrop Peperomia leaves can indicate underwatering. Extreme cases may result in dry and wrinkled foliage. To determine if this is the issue, inspect the Raindrop Peperomia soil — if it’s parched, adjust your watering schedule to provide enough moisture.
Remember to water thoroughly when the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.
On the other hand, if the soil feels consistently moist and leaves are still wilting, it may be a sign of rot due to overwatering. In this situation, remove the affected leaves, allow the soil to dry out before the next watering session, and consider repotting your plant in fresh, well-draining soil to prevent further damage.
A common issue Raindrop Peperomia plants face is yellowing leaves, often caused by overwatering. To identify this problem, look for yellow leaves that are also soft or mushy. To resolve the issue, wait until the top two inches of soil are completely dry before watering again, and make sure the pot has proper drainage holes.
Another factor that might cause yellowing leaves is inadequate light. Raindrop plants need bright, indirect light to flourish. If your plant isn’t receiving enough light, relocate it to a brighter spot, and watch as the leaves regain their vibrant green hue.
Over- or underwatering is a common cause of leaf drop, so be sure to strike a delicate balance when hydrating your plant’s roots. Peperomias generally prefer slightly moist soil, so avoid letting the soil dry out completely while also taking care not to overwater.
Additionally, monitor your plant’s temperature and humidity conditions. Raindrop Peperomias can be sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations, drafts, or improper humidity levels.
Pests and Diseases
Peperomia polybotrya plants are generally easy to care for, but they might face a few challenges like pests and root rot.
Mealybugs and spider mites can sometimes bother Peperomia polybotrya. To prevent these tiny nuisances, clean your plant regularly and use neem oil as a protective measure. If you see small bugs or cotton-like substances on your plant’s leaves, take action quickly, before the infestation spreads.
Here’s a friendly fix: Mix some neem oil with water and a bit of dish liquid, then gently spray the solution on your plant’s leaves, front and back. Not only does this clean the foliage, it also helps to avert future pest problems.
And remember — while treating your peperomia, keep it away from other houseplants to prevent the pests from spreading. It’s also a good idea to reduce sun exposure while you’re treating plants with soaps. The combination of sun and chemicals can be tough on its delicate leaves.
This common problem affects many indoor plants, including Peperomia polybotrya. It happens when plants are overwatered or the soil has poor drainage, which causes roots to rot (hence the name!).
To spot root rot, look for wilting or yellowing leaves and a musty smell near the plant’s base. Here’s what to do:
- Carefully remove your plant from its pot and inspect the roots. Rotten roots will be mushy, slimy, and dark.
- Trim away affected roots using sterilized pruning shears (don’t forget to clean them before and after use, to avoid spreading disease!).
- Replace the soil with a fresh, well-draining mix. Consider adding perlite, pumice, or LECA to improve aeration and drainage. Repot your Peperomia polybotrya in the new soil, making sure the container has drainage holes.
- Water wisely. Let the top 2 inches of soil dry out before watering again — your Peperomia polybotrya will thrive with this care! If rot keeps recurring, let it dry out even more.
That’s a wrap on our Raindrop Peperomia care guide!
Peperomia polybotrya care summary:
- Bright, indirect light is the key to healthy growth.
- Don’t overwater! Make sure the top 2 inches of soil are dry before watering again.
- Always use well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes.
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature and 50%-60% humidity for optimal growth.
Congrats on your peperomia! They’re super cute, low-maintenance plants. If you found our guide helpful, share it with a friend, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Take care, and happy planting!
How big does Peperomia Raindrop get?
Raindrop Peperomia plants are pretty compact, typically growing to heights between 8 and 12 inches. Their leaves typically reach up to 4 inches in length.
Is Raindrop Peperomia the same as Chinese money plant?
No. Although the Raindrop Peperomia and Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides) may appear similar at first glance, they are, in fact, two distinct species. The Raindrop Peperomia is characterized by its heart-shaped, glossy leaves with a slight point at the tip, resembling delicate raindrops.
Chinese money plant, on the other hand, sports rounded, pancake-like leaves, earning it the nickname “UFO plant.” While both plants feature captivating foliage and make delightful houseplants, they belong to different genera within the larger plant family, Urticaceae.
Is Raindrop Peperomia a succulent?
The Raindrop Peperomia, while not a true succulent, does possess certain succulent-like qualities. For example, its plump, glossy leaves store water, allowing the plant to endure brief periods of drought. This characteristic makes it similar to some succulent species that are also renowned for their ability to store water within their leaves, stems, or roots.