Peperomia polybotrya (Raindrop Peperomia)

Raindrop Peperomia, Coin Leaf Peperomia

Peperomia polybotrya

There is something to be said for a plant that stays small and never grows too big; it’s like a dog that stays puppy-sized forever – how could you not love that? That is exactly what you’ll have in the Peperomia polybotrya, also known as the Raindrop Peperomia or Coin Leaf Peperomia. This compact plant’s thick, shiny leaves are a dark green shade on top while showing a paler hue underneath; they grow from hearty stems able to retain water during the dryer seasons they are accustomed to in the wild.

The Raindrop Peperomia earned its common name due to the tear drop shape of its leaves, a handy visual reminder of its preference for high humidity. When placed in the right conditions, this plant baby can produce white to light green flowers in a cylindrical, tail-like shape. Because of it’s love of humid environments, the Coin Leaf Peperomia is a fantastic centerpiece in a terrarium as long as some drainage is provided to keep the roots healthy.

At a Glance

Where to Buy Raindrop Peperomia

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Terrarium Plant Guide

Peperomia polybotrya Care & Growth

Lighting

The Coin Leaf Peperomia has a love of bright, indirect light; they thrive on windowsills or near windows with southern or eastern exposure. However, this peperomia variety is prone to the plant equivalent of a sun burn, so keep them away from more than a few minutes of direct light. Also, while the Peperomia polybotrya can live in more shady conditions because of their usual placement on the forest floor, they could get leggy quickly if not monitored.

Watering

As a native to Colombia and Peru, the Peperomia polybotrya has evolved to enjoy more damp, humid conditions. Overwatering, as with most plants, can kill the Raindrop’s root structure, so take care to balance your watering schedule through the different seasons. If in doubt, use your finger to test the top inch of the soil for moisture and water accordingly!

Substrate

The roots of the Raindrop Peperomia are more delicate than most, so they don’t dig themselves too deep when in a container, making them great for terrariums. When potting, you want to find a soil with good drainage, such as an African Violet soil mix, or a home mix of 50% perlite and 50% peat moss. If you are re-homing your plant, mix half new soil with half old soil to make the transition easier on the root structure.

Temperature & Humidity

Peperomia polybotryas are happiest in humid and somewhat cool environments, with their ideal temperatures being between 65 and 80° (or 18-26°C). A closed terrarium environment is ideal, though they’ll still grow happily in an open terrarium with regular mistings, or with the help of a humidifier in the area. Growing your Coin Leaf Peperomia in a terrarium is also a wonderful way to make sure it’s close to other plants, keeping the humidity of its area high enough to make everyone happy!

Growth

The Raindrop Peperomia is a slow grower, producing new leaves at a rate a patient and persistent plant parent will love. Under normal circumstances, this plant will only reach to a height of 12 inches, making it wonderful in most small and medium terrarium foregrounds. Since this Peperomia is on the shorter side, trellis-like supports aren’t necessary, but a bamboo skewer or two will only help it stand tall and proud in your new terrarium!

Propagation

Peperomia polybotrya is an easy plant to propagate when using either leaf or stem cuttings, though many experts have recommended using stems over leaves. When propagating, make sure you start in the Spring or Summer to make sure the cutting has plenty of warmth to grow new roots. You can also use a small amount of rooting powder to encourage good root health, if you’d like.

Varieties & Similar Plants

The Raindrop Peperomia is frequently mistaken for its ever-popular cousin, the Chinese Money Plant. While these two plants are similar in growth-style and appearance, the Raindrop’s leaves are more heart-shaped than simply round like the Chinese Money Plant. Besides these two, there are over 1500 other plants recorded in the Peperomia genus – what a big family!

Common Problems

If properly watered, the Raindrop Peperomia isn’t likely to experience many problems or attract many pests. It is especially important to keep the glossy leaves clean and dust-free to ward off red spider mites and their sap-sucking habits. When this plant flowers, the tail-like blooms should be removed once they begin to dry out; this discourages other critters like mealybugs from finding a home in your Peperomia.

Lastly, yellowing on the leaves and stem of this plant can be an indication of underwatering, though overwatering is the more likely cause. If you don’t have a regular watering schedule and aren’t sure if it’s time to water or not, err on the side of caution and give it another day.