Peperomia rotundifolia (Trailing Jade): The Complete Guide

Peperomia rotundifolia is a fabulous, dainty little vining species that’s perfect for terrariums.

The name rotundifolia loosely translates to “fat leaf,” presumably after its adorably plump, round leaves.

But, I find the common names “Trailing Jade” and “Creeping Buttons” to be much more appropriate, named after the way its bright green leaves crawl across the forest floor (and into our hearts).

Like all other Peperomia, it’s an easy-care species that’s a solid pick for terrariums and houseplants alike.

Read on to find out how to care for this jewel!

Where to Buy Peperomia rotundifolia (Trailing Jade)

See the links below to purchase from reputable terrarium plant shops and marketplaces (may include affiliate links). 

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Peperomia rotundifolia Care

Plant TypeVine, epiphyte
LightingBright, indirect light
Temperature60-80°F (16-26°C)
WateringModerate, even moisture
HumidityModerate to high (50-80%)
Growth8-12 inches

Lighting

The Trailing Jade Peperomia is a plant that loves bright, indirect light.

Any direct light, however, is likely to be too much of a good thing. After all, in its natural habitat, it grows along the forest floor, receiving only dappled light that gets filtered through the canopy.

Peperomia rotundifolia close up
Only the best lighting for this beauty.

For this reason, it’ll be happy kept on a North or East facing windowsill (if you’re in the Northern hemisphere) or a few feet away from a South or West facing windowsill.

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you can flip that advice.

Peperomia rotundifolia and lightmeter
200 footcandles of light is a good starting point, but it would appreciate a little more.

Watering Requirements

On the watering front, your Creeping Button Peperomia is wonderfully low-maintenance.

While firmly a tropical plant, it still retains some succulent-like qualities that other Peperomia species have.

So I’d not worry if it dries out a little between waterings.

In fact, because of its delicate root structure, the main issue you could run into here is overwatering.

That’s why, no matter where you keep your plant, the most important thing is to ensure you have adequate drainage to mitigate this. Be it via a drainage layer in a terrarium or a pot with holes.

Peperomia rotundifolia watering
I kept my baby plant in a plastic pot with holes inside a nicer ceramic pot. It’s my top aesthetic-functional hack!
  • In a pot, water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch and tip away any excess water.
  • In a terrarium, a few sprays will do. It’s best to err on the side of caution. Remember, it’s much easier to add water than remove.
terrarium drainage layer
I like to use a layer of leca as a drainage material in terrariums.

Best Substrate & Soil

To add to our previous point, a well-draining, aerated substrate is going to be perfect for the Trailing Jade.

Potting soil is too dense and would hold on to too much moisture, leading to root rot. Instead, a light and airy medium like coco coir will be a perfect fit for this plant.

I’d recommend adding lots of orchid bark, charcoal, and pumice to the mix to boost drainage.

Temperature & Humidity

Native to Central and South America, Peperomia rotundifolia has evolved to appreciate consistently high humidity and warm temperatures (something I can certainly relate to).

Peperomia rotundifolia in terrarium with other plants
This love of humidity makes it an ideal terrarium plant. 

It can tolerate lower temperatures and humidity levels too, but I’d be wary of any big shifts that could startle it.

So, in closed terrariums and open plant pots, it’s important to keep your Trailing Jade away from drafts and air vents.

Peperomia rotundifolia and temperature guage
When keeping a Peperomia rotundifolia in a pot, I try to keep things as stable as possible throughout the day.

Growth

Despite having a reputation for being a relatively slow grower, I’ve found that they grow thick and fast in terrariums. That extra humidity really goes a long way…

Initially, a young plant will grow vertically, with two or three new leaves developing at each node.

Then, once it has a bit of height, true to its name, this plant will start to trail horizontally. Easily filling out a pot or terrarium.

Peperomia rotundifolia creeping around terrarium
The Trailing Jade Peperomia really is a beauty.

Given enough time, it can also grow signature Peperomia flower spikes, though don’t get too excited – these flowers aren’t particularly decorative or fragrant.

Most people like to snip them off so the plant can put its energy into leaf growth instead.

peperomia rosso with green flower spike
Here are some flower spikes on my Peperomia caperata ‘Rosso’ – they’ll look very similar to this.

How to Propagate Peperomia rotundifolia

The Trailing Jade is a perfect candidate for stem-cutting propagation.

Simply snip a decently-sized stem beneath a node and remove a few of the lower leaves. Then pop in a glass of water and wait for it to root up before planting. Easy-peasy.

Equally, in an environment with high enough humidity (like a terrarium – duh), this plant can happily root up straight away.

Snip a cutting off and place it directly where you’d like it to establish in the container.

Peperomia rotundifolia rooting up in terrarium
There’s no stopping the Creeping Button Peperomia from rooting up in a high-humidity environment. 

Varieties & Similar Plants

This plant is a member of the Peperomia genus that can claim over 1,500 other species, so there are plenty of similar plants to explore.

In fact, it shares such a strong family resemblance with Peperomia ‘Hope’ that they regularly get mislabeled and mixed up.

While the Hope shares many of the same visual characteristics, when you get to know them, they’re nothing alike.

Peperomia rotundifolia and peperomia hope
The Hope has thick, succulent leaves and is possibly the slowest-growing plant I’ve ever owned, which is nothing like our Trailing Jade.

Another similar species is Peperomia ‘Pepperspot’, which has lovely pinkish stems and a serious vining pattern.

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