Peperomia varieties are old favorites that have gone in and out of style dozens of times over the years, and they’re currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. This smaller plant is great for modern living spaces, and they can do well on a shelf, desktop, or windowsill. It’s a diverse but beautiful family that is wonderful to collect, and there are many reasons why people choose to collect peperomia varieties, including:
- Many peperomia varieties like low humidity levels and indoor temperature ranges.
- Most are slow-growing cultivars, so they won’t need a lot of repotting or worry about them taking over the space.
- Peperomias are usually hardy and very low-maintenance as long as you mind how much you water them.
- Peperomias are usually very easy and quick to propagate.
- There is a huge range of stem patterns and leaf sizes, shapes, growth styles, colors, and textures to add visual interest.
- They can adapt to a large range of light conditions, including lower light. They also do well under artificial light.
- This plant has a more compact growth habit that rarely exceeds a foot high, so you can place many in a small area.
- This plant is non-toxic to pets and kids.
Peperomia rotundifolia by Rigel / CC BY 2.0
Four Main Peperomia Categories
Unlike the majority of plant families, not every peperomia variety shades the same requirements when it comes to plant care. There are groups inside of the genus that can overlap the others, including:
- Epiphytic Peperomia – This plant category comes with smaller root systems that easily get overwhelmed by too much water. It’s common to assume they need a lot of water since they’re tropical plants, but it’ll kill them. Rosette types fall into this category, and a lot of this group like more humidity, but they’ll adjust to living without it.
- Higher Elevation Peperomia – Any peperomia variety from a higher elevation needs more light than other types, and they also require well-draining soil and judicious watering. They have folded, fat leaves, and this group contains the highland oddballs that do well in sunny windows with later afternoon or mild morning direct sunlight.
- Humidity-Loving Peperomia – This is an uncommon peperomia variety, and any tuberous plant you get needs higher humidity levels and moist soil all of the time to do well.
- Two-Toned Leaf Peperomia – Any peperomia variety that has two-tones leaves come with darker coloring on the undersides to conserve light. They tolerate lower lighting conditions, and the color will fade if the light is too strong.
22 Peperomia Varieties
Although there are dozens and dozens of peperomia varieties available, we’re going to go over 22 popular and pretty varieties that you may want to consider adding to your home.
1. Peperomia Albovittata
This stunning peperomia variety has helped the species see a huge jump in demand. It’s a very memorable variety that offers longitudinally indented veins with a reddish coloring and texture. The leaves are pointed and oval, and it has longer upright petioles that feature rose and tan hues. This plant does very well in a range of light, and it can do decently in lower light conditions. It appreciates brightness and humidity, but it can survive on less.
The leaves on this plant are semi-succulent, and you should avoid putting peat in the soil. The stems can snap very easily too, so you have to handle it carefully. You may hear this peperomia variety referred to as Peacock Peperomia, and many vendors sell it as Ivy Leaf. This plant is relatively easy to find in most local nurseries, but you can find it online too.
starr-090227-4578-Peperomia_sp-leaves-Puu_Kukui-Maui by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
2. Peperomia Argyreia (syn: Sandersii)
This flashy peperomia variety offers instant appeal, and you’ll see very glossy green leaves that define this plant. There are beautiful silver veins that are off-center, and the red stems look like the inside of a watermelon. However, this isn’t the easiest species for any newcomers to this plant to keep healthy, but it’s not extremely difficult.
The leaves on this plant are succulent-like, and you should allow the top two inches of water to dry out before you water it again. It likes a bright environment and higher humidity, but it can survive without it. This is one of the most common peperomia varieties available, so you won’t have trouble finding it. It’s also available online, and there is a variegated variety that isn’t as common.
Peperomia Argyreia by Fay Celestial / CC BY-ND 2.0
3. Peperomia Axillaris
The bright green foliage you’ll see on this plant looks a lot like a stack of bean pods. It looks like a much fatter leafed version of the Dolabriformis or Ferreyrae, but it can grow taller than both cultivars to reach a mature height of 10 inches. If you let it keep the upward growth habit, it will lose the lower foliage to leave a tighter cluster of the bright green foliage on the top of the stem. If you don’t like this look, proper watering and light keep this peperomia variety growing slower.
Once they get too tall to stand upright, the full stems will arch and topple over. It can be awkward and gangly as a hanging plant, so many people trim this peperomia variety to keep it in a bush form. This isn’t a hard cultivar to find, but you want to buy from a reputable vendor. It’s easy to confuse it, so double-check before you buy.
starr-100302-3129-Peperomia by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
4. Peperomia Caperata
This bold peperomia variety has deeply corrugated, highly textured leaves with an overflowing, full growth habit. It’s an older variety that is seeing a surge of popularity, and there are several pretty hybrids with red tones and variations. Some cultivars even offer odd rat-tail flowers for visual interest. This is a sculptural plant with a high-end, detailed look. It stays very compact and the care isn’t complicated. It thrives with semi-succulent care, and it appreciates humidity but can adapt to lower levels.
This peperomia variety is nice for low light conditions, and it does very well on a bookshelf or desk. It’s one of the most common varieties with dozens of cultivars. The Emerald Rope and Suzanne are popular, as is Moonlight, Napoli Nights, and Pink Lady. Abricos, Rosso, and Luna Red are all in-demand too.
Peperomia Caperata ‘Red Russo’ by MantellaMan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
5. Peperomia Clusiifolia
This tri-color, compact peperomia variety shares the same form Obtusfolia has, but it comes with elongated and wavy leaves. You can choose from a few variegation patterns, and many plants come with a rosy blush and white leaf edging, and this is where the common name of the Red Edge Peperomia comes from. This is a very good plant for beginners and it does great with typical succulent care. The foliage will gain more color if you put it in bright but indirect lighting.
Some people dislike this peperomia variety’s messy growth habit and the muddy tinting, but others love the pastel colors and the odd leaves. This is a nice option to get to add variety to your houseplant collection, and it’s very easy to find in local nurseries. You can find it sold under Tricolor, Jelly, and Ginny Peperomia.
Peperomia Clusiifolia variegata by Leonora (Ellie) Enking / CC BY-SA 2.0
6. Peperomia Dolabriformis
This small peperomia variety is native to the Peruvian Andes, and it grows epiphytically in trees and rocky fissures. The plant offers folded, stubby, canoe-like leaves that look like the Happy Bean and Ruby Glow varieties. It produces a semi-woody stem as it ages, and it doesn’t like areas with intense, bright light. In order to restrict sunlight, the leaves form with opaque lips with a very narrow translucent gap to let light in. It adapts well to dry conditions, so treat it like a succulent in terms of moisture.
This is a very sturdy peperomia variety that many people can overlook in favor of the more in-demand cultivars. However, it’s still a distinctive species that has subtle variation, and the eye-catching Maxi cultivar has more closed and thinner lips.
Peperomia Dolabriformis by Scott Zona / CC BY-NC 2.0
7. Peperomia Elongata
This energetic, feature-rich peperomia variety offers ribbon-like, wavy foliage that will get larger than most desktop Peperomia varieties. The foliage is very smooth and shiny on top and slightly furry underneath. Each leaf will come with a center midrib that is white, and the lesser side veins add interest before they fade by the leaf tip. The stems on this plant are also fuzzy, and they have a pretty red mottling.
The spiky inflorescences have a bold maroon coloring and are very prominent. This succulent-like peperomia won’t be able to tolerate a lot of water well, and it likes indirect but bright light. In dimmer conditions, it can die quickly. It adjusts to different humidity levels well. This plant can be very difficult to find, and it’s even harder to identify correctly when you look at similar cultivars. Throughout South America, this is an endemic plant that has subforms that aren’t classified yet, so buy from a reputable vendor.
starr-100302-3130-Peperomia_te by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
8. Peperomia Ferreyrae
This unique and friendly ‘Happy Bean’ peperomia variety will give you fun clusters of bean-shaped, green foliage. It doesn’t require humidity and it stays compact, and this makes it great to sit on your table or desk. This plant is also on the succulent side of the peperomia family, so allow it to dry out between waterings and give it good lighting. It’s an average grower that won’t mind being in a smaller pot, but the soil should be very porous and never allowed to become soaked. This is a widely available cultivar, and it’s a nice way to introduce diversity into your collection.
190615 170 Corona del Mar, Sherman Gardens by Cultivar413 / CC BY 2.0
9. Peperomia Graveolens
Also known as Ruby Glow due to the red-hued, vibrant undersides of the foliage, this popular and distinct cultivar comes with canoe-shaped, fat leaves with an upright growth habit. It’s very easy to maintain, but it does like higher light than most other peperomia varieties on the list. Also, this cultivar has big issues with root rot. It’s usually mass-produced and comes in smaller pots, and it’s a fast grower. In the wild, this is a rarea peperomia variety, but using older cuttings to create new plants made it more easily available. The rat-tail flowers do give off a very earthy scent that some people don’t like in smaller rooms.
starr-120215-2328-Peperomia_leaves_with_red_undersides by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
10. Peperomia ‘Hope’
Even though this is a much more delicate-looking peperomia variety, it’s actually quite hardy. It trails with orange and pink-ued stems with semi-succulent, rounded leaves. It loves being in brighter spaces, but it’ll turn dull and start to fade quickly if you give it too much light. If you don’t want to kill it quickly, keep the soil on the drier side. It can survive benign neglect.
This is a patented cultivar that is widely available in most garden centers, and it’s a great example of a hybrid that is more popular than the original plant. You may find it confused with a more rare trailing species called Teraphylla, so shop carefully.
Peperomia ‘Hope’ Tropical Houseplant by Dan Jones / CC BY 2.0
11. Peperomia Incana
If you love velvety plants, this peperomia variety may be for you as it’s commonly called the Felter Pepperface. The rounded leaves on this plant are covered with a pelt-like fuzz that gives the plant a very special hite shine when you see it from different angles. The extra-thick stems are also covered in fuzz. This plant stays compact and grows best under bright conditions. However, it’ll burn in direct, steady sunlight but can do well in dappled shade if you let it acclimate.
This plant is very popular and available online, but it’s not as common at your local garden center. You may hear it referred to as the Peperomia Hovaria, and it’s great for adding texture to your plant collection. You can easily add it to a living wall for a pop of texture.
Zwergpfeffer (Peperomia incana) by Maja Dumat / CC BY 2.0
12. Peperomia Kimnachii
This Bolivian peperomia variety has semi-succulent, elongated leaves that will form upright clusters around the leaf nodes. The dramatic but sparse stems on this planet have a slightly reddish tint that is darker around the nodes. Unlike the rest of the plants in the Kimnachii family, this is a classic peperomia when it comes to the care requirements.
The amount of light it gets will directly impact the distance between the leaf clusters, and it’ll stretch in low light to the point that many people may not think that it’s a peperomia. It’ll grow in a more compact form in stronger light but it’ll fade if the light is too bright. This fun decorative plant is becoming very popular, and the availability will depend on your area.
Peperomia: Fresh Flower by Elaine / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
13. Peperomia Obtusifolia
This well-loved peperomia variety hsa rounded, attractive foliage that grows on thicker stems with a slight zigzag pattern. They can get up to a foot long, and the leaves are very smooth and shiny. This is a fantastic beginner’s plant as it loves indirect but bright light but can also tolerate shade. It will adapt to virtually any condition except watering it too much, and it likes to be repotted frequently.
You’ll get the best growth if you leave it in the pot you get from the nursery. It’s a common enough peperomia variety to find in your local garden center. You may find it under the Baby Rubber Plant name, depending on where you purchase it from.
Peperomia obtusifolia (baby rubber plant) 4 by James St. John / CC BY 2.0
14. Peperomia Orba
Commonly called the Teardrop Peperomia, this trailing plant will stay fresh and perky all year round. It is roughly six inches wide and tall at full maturity, so it won’t overgrow your space. The oval leaves are on the smaller side, and they have a slightly fuzzy feel with crisp indentation at the midrib. This is an easy-care plant that you don’t want to overwater. It likes to be in a space with bright but indirect light, but it’s a harder peperomia variety overall. It’s one of the least expensive and most common cultivars you can get, and a few popular hybrids include Variegata, Astrid, and Pixie Lime.
New Leaves by Maria Keays / CC BY 2.0
15. Peperomia Perciliata
This unusual plant has heart-shaped, small, and fuzzy leaves with red-hued stems that trail. The tighter growth pattern has several stems with dark-green, close-set, oval leaves that work well in a hanging basket. The stems will naturally tangle, and this makes it a very nice ground cover plant too. This is one of the minorities in this family that have pretty flowers. It’ll give you inch long white flowers with a pleasant scent, and it’s considered to be endemic to Colombia and Panama.
This species grows very well in medium light, and it tends to bleach out or turn yellow if the light is too bright. It can handle higher humidity levels, and it does very well in terrariums. It’s been popular with collectors for years, and it’s gaining commercial attention now. You can find it online or in local garden shops.
starr-120215-2211-Peperomia_blanda-fruiting_habit-Ulupalakua_Ranch-Maui by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
16. Peperomia Polybotrya
This odd but cute peperomia variety has teardrop-shaped, shiny leaves in a deeper green coloring, and they get arrayed on sturdy and short stems. It’s bigger for a typical peperomia as it comes in at a foot tall, and it has an open bush structure. Mature leaves on this plant will get up to six inches wide. You may hear it referred to as the Coin-Leaf Peperomia or the Raindrop Peperomia, and it comes with a very interesting floral style with one floppy spike that comes from the center of the leaves.
In spite of the fact that this plant has a tropical appearance, it’s a semi-succulent variety that doesn’t like moist soil. It’s an epiphyte that needs well-draining and very loose soil to be happy. It used to be a specialty plant, but it’s not common in a range of markets.
Peperomia Polybotrya Kunth by Dinesh Valke / CC BY-SA 2.0
17. Peperomia Prostrata
This reddish-stemmed trailing peperomia variety hsa round, small, fat leaves that are covered with a shiny translucence. The red-hued, springy stems will eventually turn into an eye-catching plant for hanging containers. The original form of this plant is uniformly green on the leaf surface, and you may find it sold as Pepperspot. In the variegated form, it’s called the String of Turtles, and it’s one of the most popular cultivars to come about recently. The round foliage comes with exotic mottling that looks like a turtle shell.
This peperomia variety is a slow grower, but it does very well when you plant it in bright indirect lighting. It likes some organic material in the soil, but it’s less prone to damage due to overwatering. It’s more uncommon and expensive, but they’re slowly becoming easier to find. Currently, the all-green variety is less in-demand.
starr-110215-1228-Peperomia by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
18. Peperomia Quadrangularis
When you get this peperomia variety, you’ll get faint pinstripes on very small leaves in an oval shape with semi-succulent, squared stems. The stripes are slightly lighter green over a dusky green background, and they can take on a reddish hue in strong sunlight. You may hear it called the Beetle Peperomia or the Angulata Peperomia, and it’s a very slow-growing epiphyte that doesn’t have an extensive root system. It can do very well in a small container, and the stems will get between eight inches and a foot at full maturity.
For the best results, keep this plant in well-draining soil and water it carefully. This species is very easy to find and it’s well-established. There are also variegated cultivars that are more flashy, and you can easily tuck several into a single pot.
Peperomia Quadrangularis by Leonora (Ellie) Enking / CC BY-SA 2.0
19. Peperomia Rotundifolia
This peperomia variety will produce vines that have fuzzy, small round leaves with very light veining. The stems will grow upright when they’re short to create a bushy, full pot if you plant them with several species and prune them. If you let them grow long, the stems will gradually trail from the container and intertwine to form a thick drape. It looks a little like the Jade Plant with the semi-succulent leaves and the lower water requirements, and this is why you may find it labeled the Jade Necklace or Trailing Jade.
Peperomia rotundifolia (habitus) by Hans Hillewaert / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
20. Peperomia Rubella
This Jamaican peperomia variety is compact enough to sit neatly on the desk, and it has smaller foliage with scarlet, sturdy stems. The leaves are green on the top and red on the bottom. It will max out at six inches tall before it falls over and turns into a trailing plant. Pruning it can help keep it upright. It likes to be in an area with diffuse light, and the soil should dry out a little between watering sessions. It’s a great terrarium plant due to the adaptability and unobtrusive growth habit. It’s sold as the Peperomia Cubensis, Itsy Bitsy Peperomia, and Rubella.
Peperomia Rubella by David Eickhoff / CC BY 2.0
21. Peperomia ‘Ruby Cascade’
The rounded, small foliage on this fast-growing peperomia variety is green on top with red undertones, and this makes it a colorful hanging plant. The stems will start with an upright growth habit and topple over as they get two feet long. It’s one of the faster-growing cultivars currently available, and it will adapt to a range of lighting conditions. It likes to be in bright light but the color will bleach in intense light. It will stretch out if the light is low, and it’s a great set-it-and-forget-it plant.
You want the soil to dry out between watering sessions so root rot doesn’t set in. It also doesn’t require humidity, and this makes it a great option for arid planting zones. This is most likely a hybrid peperomia variety, and the lineage isn’t very well-documented. However, it’s extremely popular in the United States.
starr-170208-6816-Peperomia_leaves_stems_longish_hairs by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
22. Peperomia Serpens (syn: Scandens)
For the person who loves Philodendron but has everything, you can easily mistake this peperomia variety for the Heartleaf Philodendron. Cupid Peperomia or the Serpens is a pretty plant that is very hardy. It’s a pretty variegated variety with cream to white or yellow splotchy margins on all of the leaves. It likes well-draining soil that you allow to dry out between watering sessions, and it loves bright but indirect lighting.
Peperomia serpens (Piperaceae) by Dr. Alexey Yakovlev / CC BY-SA 2.0
We’ve outlined 22 of the best peperomia varieties you can find and add to your houseplant collection. Most of them have very similar care requirements, and this makes it easy to mix and match them to create a stunning display in pots or hanging baskets that help to brighten up your room.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.