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How to Care for Peperomia Nivalis?

With fleshy stems and leaves, the Peperomia nivalis is a succulent plant that’s easy on the eyes, making it a beautiful centerpiece or an addition to a succulent garden.

Peperomia nivalis by salchuiwt via Flickr

If you’re weary of growing this plant indoors, don’t be. Although it’s a succulent plant, the Peperomia nivalis is not dependent on direct light, allowing you to successfully grow this plant indoors.

For a healthy, well-nourished Peperomia nivalis, follow my plant care tips below.

Size & Growth

One of the appealing features of this succulent is its small size. Because of this, it’s easy to find a suitable location for this plant, regardless of how small or large your living spaces are.

With a height that doesn’t go higher than 2 inches and a spread that’s usually capped at 8 inches, this Peperomia variety is a quaint little succulent that’s easy to accommodate.

The plant produces thick, oval-shaped fleshy leaves that are about 1-3 inches in length. As the plant matures, it forms white or light green panicle rosette.

Despite its small size, this is a plant that grows slow, much like other succulents do.

Light Requirements

One of the advantages of growing the Peperomia nivalis as opposed to many other succulents that are grown indoors is that the plant doesn’t need direct light.

It prefers bright, indirect light, performs well in filtered light, and adapts well even to low light conditions, without much of a fuss.

Therefore, if you are a fan of succulents, but can’t offer them direct light or strong, indirect light, this peperomia variety may be an excellent alternative.

It follows then that strong, direct light should be avoided. Some direct light in the morning or late afternoon will not damage the leaves of the plant.

Watering

If you’re heavy handed with the watering can, your Peperomia will unfortunately suffer. While the rule with succulents is that you should underwater it instead of overwatering it, this rule isn’t as applicable for the Nivalis variety.

This succulent has medium watering needs, so you must strive to strike a good balance between not being too generous with the watering can, but also not too stingy.

You should check the soil with your finger, and you should aim for consistently moist or damp soil.

A good quality potting mix designed for succulent plants also helps keep this plant well-hydrated, but not overhydrated.

Soil Type

The type of soil that works best for the Peperomia nivalis is one that can be characterized as well-draining.

If the soil retains only a little moisture while ‘discarding’ the rest, it will be easy to fulfill the watering needs of the plant.

You can buy commercially available cactus and succulent mixes that are usually formulated with various types of substrates that drain well including bark, sand, perlite, peat moss or humus.

If you’re planning on growing a lot of succulents or you’re setting up a succulent garden of sorts, you can even create your own mix. 2 parts peat moss to one part perlite or sand works great for these plants.

Temperature & Humidity

You can keep the Peperomia at a temperature that ranges from 65 F to 80 F, and it will be happy with it. Because this is the normal indoor temperature range, it’s an easily attainable requirement.

What the Peperomia doesn’t tolerate are temperature fluctuations, cold drafts, sources of extreme heat or cold. If you manage to keep the plant protected from these, your Peperomia will thrive indoors.

While in their natural habitat Peperomias might enjoy higher humidity levels, indoors, they’re not picky about humidity and will thrive in average humidity levels.

Fertilizing

For the most part, fertilizing is not something that succulents or cacti need regularly or often. Even when it comes to dosage, the weakest solution is fine. There’s really no need for strong formulations.

This is in part because succulents and cacti have painstakingly slow growth patterns, so they don’t use up all that much energy anyway.

Of course, not all succulents are the same, so the Nivalis is fine with monthly feeding during the growing season. It prefers fertilizers in the 20-20-20 ratio.

Use a water soluble, liquid fertilizer for best results. And make sure to dilute it well, so that you don’t accidentally over-fertilize the plant.

Potting & Repotting

If you want to go all out on a pot for your Peperomia, choose an unglazed terracotta pot that will absorb excess moisture preventing the dreaded root rot.

Also, this succulent doesn’t need repotting often. It’s fine with being root-bound. If you do repot, make sure you don’t oversize the pot.

Use a pot that’s around 2 inches larger in diameter. If you oversize the pot, you’ll have other problems to worry about, such as the potting mix taking too long to dry or drain, which will inadvertently lead to root rot problems in the long run.

Schedule repotting to early spring so as not to disturb the plant during the growing season.

How to Propagate Peperomia Nivalis?

You can propagate the Peperomia nivalis by taking stem cuttings, dipping them in rooting hormone and placing the stems in moist potting mix.

Mist the potting mix every time it’s about to go dry and keep the cuttings out of direct light, but make sure they get bright, indirect light.

Once there’s visible growth in the plant, you can go ahead and move the plant from its nursery pot. But keeping it in the nursery pot even after it’s rooted also works, since the plant doesn’t mind getting root bound.

Wrapping Up

A pleasing succulent that will even bloom if well taken care of, the Peperomia nivalis is not the most difficult succulent to look after.

When grown indoors, overwatering is potentially the biggest threat to the Nivalis. This is only made worse if a heavy potting mix is chosen for the plant, which will often become compacted or waterlogged, spelling trouble for your succulent.

Another potential risk is strong direct light exposure, but indoors that’s less likely to happen, especially if the plant is nowhere near a window.

Updated: August 2, 2021

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