Piccolo Banda, Peacock Peperomia
Peperomia albovittata ‘Piccolo Banda’ is a relatively new cultivar coming out of the Netherlands. Sometimes called the Peacock Peperomia, you can take one look at the gorgeous deep green or brownish-orange veins that streak through the light green leaves to see why this one of the more sought out species of Peperomia today.
The Peperomia albovittata is a plant that does not often grown much larger than a foot tall (30 cm), so it seems to fit an indoor setting naturally, especially in terrariums needing a fun pattern in the foreground. Petite, easy to care for, and pretty – what more could you want in a plant?
At a Glance
Where to Buy Peperomia albovittata 'Piccolo Banda'
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Terrarium Plant Guide
Peperomia albovittata Care & Growth
As with most Peperomia, the Piccolo Banda prefers bright indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can burn the delicate semi-succulent leaves. That being said, they seem to do just fine in lower light levels too, so you can expect this species to do well in most typical terrarium environments.
As an semi-succulent epiphytic plant, the Peperomia albovittata shares some qualities with typical succulents. Most notably, their ability to store moisture in their leaves. This means they’ll need a lot less moisture than you might expect, and should be paired with other drought tolerant species. Many Peperomia – including this one – can easily succumb to root rot, so make sure your plant is getting enough time to dry out in between cycles, or open your terrarium to air it out once in a while.
Being epiphytic in nature, the Piccolo Banda is a plant that likes a soil-less substrate, preferring something heavy in orchid bark, coco coir, or perlite, and an organic type of fertilizer upon initial planting into a terrarium (e.g. earthworm castings). The last thing you want to do is use a substrate that will compact and crush your Peperomia’s roots, so stick with something aerated and well-draining.
Temperature & Humidity
Although the Piperaceae family this plant belongs to can also be called “radiator plants,” it’s best to not put your plant on or near a radiator because suddenly unnatural shifts in temperature can shock a Peperomia if you’re not careful. Luckily, the Piccolo Banda is super low maintenance when it comes to humidity; keep the terrarium it is in at low to average levels and open it to dry it out once every other month.
This species of plant is a particularly slow grower and even when it does reach its maximum height, it doesn’t grow much more than 12 inches (30 cm) around – making it a great fit for terrariums of all sizes.
The Peperomia albovittata is an awesome example of the stem cutting method on a radiator plant because it can go straight into substrate rather than needing to adjust with water. As long as you have a stem with at least three leaves on it, you can take a cutting, remove the lower leaves, and dip your cutting into a rooting hormone (if you’d like) before sticking it into its new terrarium home.
Varieties & Similar Plants
The contrasting colors and veining on the leaves of the Piccolo Banda is remarkably similar in appearance to the Ivy Leaf Peperomia, also known as the Peperomia griseoargentea. The indented veins also recall a Peperomia caperata, but with a genus of over 1,500 species, it’s no wonders that a few share a few traits from time to time!
With this Peperomia being as new to the market as it is, there isn’t much data available to determine if it’s weak to any particular houseplant pest. So far, the Piccolo Banda appears to be resistant to many common bugs and issues, only succumbing to root rot or other disease stemming from being overwatered. If you’re worried about your plant not drying out enough, open its terrarium for a bit and let it dry out for a day.
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