A relatively new cultivar, the Peperomia ‘Napoli Nights’ is a hybrid between two Peperomia species (Peperomia Marmorata and the Peperomia Peruviana) invented in 2014.
Shaped like upside-down raindrops, its leaves are dark greyish-green with a silvery sheen. We like its prominent veins…. we think it gives the plant character! 🙂
This small plant doesn’t grow more than about a foot (30cm) tall.
Care-wise, the Napoli Nights is easy and requires very low-maintenance 🙂 Choose a well-draining soil, moderate humidity, and be careful not to overwater. When kept indoors, choose a spot that receives moderate indirect light, away from direct sun.
More good news – the Peperomia Napoli Nights is safe for pets and children.
Caring for your Peperomia Napoli Nights
Peperomia Napoli Nights require a couple of hours of indirect light a day. It grows well in most light conditions, as long as it is kept away from the extremes. That is, full shade or full direct light.
Direct light in particular, very easily damages your plant. Prolonged strong sunlight may cause wilting or scorched leaves.
We find that moderate indirect light leads to best growth. We place ours on an East-facing windowsill in our kitchen, where it seems quite happy! 🙂
Peperomia leaves are thick and succulent-like, meaning they can store water efficiently. They need less water than many other houseplants.
So be careful not to overwater your Peperomia Napoli Nights. Waterlogged soil causes yellow leaves and drooping stems. Persistent overwatering may also lead to root rot, a condition where roots start to brown and decay as water molecules crowd out their ability to breathe.
On the other hand, brown and crispy leaf edges indicate your plant is underwatered.
To ensure your plant gets sufficient hydration but never too much, always check the top 2 inches (5cm) of soil with your fingers before watering. You should proceed to water only if the topsoil feels dry to the touch. 🙂
If little soil molecules stick to your finger, the soil is still slightly damp. Hold off watering and check back again in a day or two.
Humidity & Air Circulation
Your little Peperomia Napoli Nights doesn’t ask for much. Average room humidity levels are acceptable for healthy growth.
But ideally, you want to raise the humidity slightly – to around 50-60% – to see it thrive.
The Peperomia Napoli Nights also enjoys a little bit of air circulation. Ensure there’s a little bit of air flow in your home.
Make sure your potted plant is protected from drafts and vents. Chilly climates are also a no-go. Ideally, keep temperatures to 65-75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C).
Dips below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) will lead to stunted growth and dropping leaves. Over a prolonged period, persistent low temperatures will lead to plant death. Your plant isn’t cold-hardy!
If you experience cold winters, definitely keep your Peperomia Napoli Nights indoors for stable and warmer temperatures.
The Peperomia Napoli Nights has a mound growth habit. They grow both horizontally and vertically, giving them a full, rounded appearance. 🙂
When fully mature, your Peperomia will only reach around 1 foot (30cm) tall and wide. So even the smallest apartment can accommodate this little one.
A word of caution for impatient gardeners (like ourselves!). Peperomias are generally slow-growers. If it takes a while to see any visible growth, don’t worry. Just be patient!
Soil or Growing Medium
When choosing a potting mix, opt for one that is well-draining.
While Peperomia Napoli Nights prefer slightly acidic soils, they can tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline soils all the same.
We like combining a commercial, peat-based potting soil with some perlite and orchid bark. Mix together:
- 1 part indoor potting soil
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
The added perlite and bark helps lighten the soil and increase its drainage properties. Peat makes the soil slightly acidic, which increases the availability of nutrients to your Peperomia Napoli Nights.
Lightly fertilize your Peperomia Napoli Nights with a nutritionally-complete, succulent liquid fertilizer. We’ve seen how much of a boost to our slow-grower this fertilizer gives!
One word of caution is NOT to overdo the fertilizing. Peperomias have small and fragile root systems, so we choose gentle, urea-free fertilizers formulated for succulents.
- Apply at half-strength every 3 weeks in the spring and summer months, when your plant is actively growing.
- Hold off fertilizing in the fall and winter months.
- Mix the liquid fertilizer directly into its water, making it extra dilute. This reduces the risk of fertilizer burn. So fertilize your plant as part of its normal watering schedule.
- When you first purchase your Peperomia, check whether its soil has been treated with a slow-release fertilizer to avoid doubling up on the fertilizer. This is a common practice in some nurseries. In this case, hold off fertilizing for 6 months, as too much fertilizer can lead to root burn and mineral salt build-up.
Your Peperomia Napoli Nights likes being slightly root-bound, so don’t repot unnecessarily. Doing so will only stress your plant.
Instead, repot only when you notice roots emerging from the pot’s drainage hole. As a rule of thumb, this should be every 2-4 years. Your Peperomia is compact with a small root system, so repotting is not common!
- The day before repotting, water your plant to reduce transplant shock.
- Use a pot with drainage holes that are just 2 inches (5cm) larger than the old one. “Overpotting” your plant increases the risk of overwatering, as a larger volume of unused soil retains too much moisture for your succulent-like Peperomia!
- Spring is the best time for repotting – at the start of the growing season, giving your slow-grower some time to establish in its new home.
When repotting your Peperomia Napoli Nights,
- Gently place your plant on its side, using your fingers to loosen any compacted soil around its roots so that your plant can wriggle free. Peperomia Napoli Nights roots are pretty thin and delicate, so be careful as these can break easily.
- Prepare your new pot, filling it partially with some fresh potting mix (see Soil section for details).
- Place your plant in its new pot, adding more potting soil to hold the plant in place.
- Gently tap down on the soil. Don’t be too aggressive in patting down the soil, as you still want some air pockets for the roots to breathe!
- Wait around 7 days before watering your plant. Your plant will naturally start looking for water, sending roots deeper into the pot, allowing it to establish well into its new home. Also, any damaged roots are allowed to heal during this time.
Hurrah – your Peperomia Napoli Nights is non-toxic to animals and humans.
Propagation through Stem Cuttings
An easy way to propagate your Peperomia Napoli Nights is through stem cuttings. All you need to do is to place a few leaves with their petioles attached (the small stem connected to the leaf) into a propagating medium.
- Gather all the items needed:
- Garden shears. You can sterilize them by dipping them into 70% isopropyl solution;
- Equal parts of indoor potting soil, perlite and orchid bark mixed together;
- a small pot with drainage holes;
- humidifier or clear plastic bag with holes
- Remove 6-7 leaves with their petioles attached. Cut the petioles to about half an inch (1.2 cm) long.
- Stick these leaf petiole cuttings into a lightly moist potting mix. The end of the petiole should be buried under the soil, but the leaf should remain above the soil’s surface!
- Place the pot of cuttings in a warm spot with loads of bright but filtered light. If you have a humidifier, place it next to the leaf cuttings and set it at 80%. Alternatively, you can use a clear plastic bag with tiny holes and secure it above the pot to boost humidity levels. When propagating, an exceptionally humid environment helps roots develop.
- Keep the potting soil lightly moist but never soggy. Use room temperature water when watering. If using a plastic bag, make sure to remove this at least an hour or two a day for fresh air.
- In about 8-10 weeks, roots should develop. You can confirm this by giving your plant a VERY GENTLE tug; a little resistance means the roots have formed.
Propagation through Leaf Cuttings
Another special way to propagate your Peperomia Napoli Nights is through the leaves themselves.
- Examine your healthy plant, and remove a couple of leaves.
- Using clean garden shears, cut the leaf across the center of the leaf. A clean horizontal cut (TRUST us!)
- Place the cut leaves, with the cut side down, into the moist potting mix – equal parts indoor potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark.
- Place the pot in a warm spot, preferably with a humidifier beside it set at 80%. Alternatively, you can use a clear plastic bag with holes and lightly secure it over the pot.
- Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. If using a plastic bag, remove it daily for an hour or two for fresh air.
- In about 10 weeks, you’ll notice new roots from the leaves and baby leaves popping up.
- When the new baby plants reach a few inches tall, you can take the old cut leaf off (they should come off quite easily).
- Now, replant your new baby plant in its permanent pot with light and well-draining potting soil.
Pruning is not required unless you see wilted, yellow, or damaged leaves. You can also opt to prune off extra growth to keep your plant compact and neat.
In both cases, use sharp and sterilized gardening shears. Don’t prune off more than 1/3 of the size of the plant, as this causes undue stress.
We like sterilizing our gardening tools by dipping them into a 70% isopropyl solution for 45 seconds. This ensures the shears are bacteria and fungi-free!
To be fair, your Peperomia Napoli Nights is usually low-maintenance and fuss-free. But here are the main issues that may arise occasionally:
- Yellowing of old leaves. This is normal. As leaves grow older, they yellow and wilt away, allowing new growth to emerge. Snip off old leaves, leaving the stem in place. Wait 2 days for the stem to dry off, and then snip off the stem too.
- Wilting leaves, droopy stems, and stunted growth. This is usually a sign of overwatering. Check the soil moisture to confirm. Ensure you are watering only when the topsoil is dry. Add bark to your soil mix to improve drainage properties.
- Bottom yellow leaves. This is usually a sign of overwatering or under-fertilizing. Check the soil moisture to confirm. Apply a nutritionally complete succulent fertilizer every month during the growing season.
- Dropping leaves. Is your plant in the way of a cold draft? Dropping a few leaves is normal, but excessive shedding usually indicates too-cold temperatures or chills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you grow Peperomia Napoli Nights under fluorescent lights?
Yes, absolutely you can. Using artificial grow lights is a good option if your Peperomia doesn’t get enough natural light.
Are Peperomia Napoli Nights succulents?
The Peperomia Napoli Nights have some succulent-like characteristics:
- thick leaves that are adapted to store water for dry spells
- they also can endure lower humidity levels (~50% is sufficient)
Despite this, most do not consider the Peperomia Napoli Nights a true succulent. They still have higher water and humidity requirements than a typical succulent, like the Mother of Millions.
Do note that the term “succulent” is not well defined with clear and specific criteria. Instead, it’s more like a sliding scale, with plants like Hoyas and Peperomias exhibiting some succulent-like characteristics. Others have many more adaptations and can tolerate much drier and arid conditions.
Similar Plants and Varieties
The Peperomia Napoli Nights looks very similar to the Peperomia Frost, just that the former’s leaves are a lighter green color.
Here are some of our favorite plants from the same Peperomia genus. All of them are pet and kid friendly!
- Peperomia Ginny – this is a beautiful, upright plant with large, elliptical leaves with tricolor variegation: cream and green leaves with striking pink-red borders.
- Peperomia Hope – a compact vine with lush, round button-like green leaves. This one is a beauty!
- Peperomia Prostrata – the String of Turtles plant is a vining plant with small, round leaves with variegation that resembles turtle shells. Another compact and unique species.
- Peperomia Obtusifolia – the Baby Rubber Plant is an upright plant with obovate, bright green leaves. Keeping compact, this hardy plant is very popular.
- Raindrop Peperomia – a small compact plant with beautiful raindrop-shaped leaves.
- Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia Argyreia) – a compact upright plant with leaves that resemble uncut watermelons 🙂
The Peperomia Napoli Nights is a very easy-going and low-maintenance potted plant.
For best growth,
- Provide moderate indirect light.
- Use a well-draining potting soil. Add perlite + orchid bark to commercial indoor potting mixes.
- Average room humidity is acceptable, but 50-60% is ideal.
- Be careful not to overwater, watering only when the topsoil is dry. Succulent-like leaves means your plant doesn’t need much water at all!
- Fertilize lightly using a succulent fertilizer incorporated into its water. Apply once every 3 weeks at half strength when your plant is actively growing.
- Keep your plant in mild indoor temperatures, 65-75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C).
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.