Peperomia Hope, also known as Trailing Jade, is a compact vining houseplant. While not a true succulent, it has small jade-colored succulent-like leaves that give its foliage a fleshy appearance. This species is typically found trailing down from hanging baskets.
If you are thinking of adding Peperomia Hope to your collection, there is good news! It is relatively easy to grow if you follow a few key pieces of advice:
- Bright, indirect light;
- Humidity >60%;
- Watering when the topsoil is dry;
- Well-draining potting mix with plenty of chunky amendments.
Pay special attention to Water and Soil requirements to prevent root rot, the most common problem for ailing Peperomia Hopes! 🙂
What is the Peperomia Hope?
Peperomia Hope is a popular houseplant from the Peperomia genus. This plant is compact, reaching 8 inches wide (20cm) by 12 inches long (30cm) when mature, making it perfect for small indoor spaces.
In nature, it grows as an epiphyte — on top of others for structural support and has aerial roots that absorb moisture and nutrients from the air.
Where can I buy a Peperomia Hope?
Etsy is a good place to look for reputable sellers. You might not be able to find this Peperomia from local nurseries.
Caring for your Peperomia Hope
Your Peperomia Hope will thrive in bright but indirect light when kept indoors. This means that East-facing windows are best, providing ample indirect light.
On the other hand, South or West-facing windows are exposed to harsh direct sunlight, so ensure you use a translucent curtain to diffuse light, so as to not scorch your plant. Alternatively, use a shade cloth, or place your plant 5 feet (1.5meters) away from the window.
North-facing windows only provide low light to your plants. In this case, we suggest using a grow light, which would be necessary for most houseplants, including your Peperomia Hope. Use a light meter to ensure the light intensity is at 800-2,000 foot candles for 5 hours a day, which is the intensity of bright but indirect light.
Overwatering your Trailing Jade is the number one problem for beginner gardeners.
Given that your epiphyte has aerial roots but lives in a tropical climate, it does enjoy moist growing media (resembling its tropical habitat), but not those that give it “wet feet” (given that its aerial roots never sit in water). Advice for watering your Trailing Jade is typically the “ensure your plant is moist, but not too moist” variety, which can be confusing!
Here’s how to deal with one of the most crucial components of care:
- Water your Trailing Jade only when the top inch of soil is dry, making sure to check using your fingers or with a moisture meter.
- As a rule of thumb, this usually works out to once every one to two weeks in summer, with watering frequency naturally halving during cold winter months. Of course this depends on evaporation rates, climate and light conditions. Always check soil moisture before watering.
- Water your plant just above the soil, ensuring you don’t get the leaves wet. Soak your plant until excess water flows through the drainage hole.
- Refrain from watering again until the top inch of soil is dry.
- Religiously empty the saucer or container dish sitting below the pot. Water pooling at the bottom is a disaster for epiphytes, which especially hate waterlogged roots.
- Place your plant in a small pot. Oversized pots usually lead to overwatering.
Signs of overwatering are stunted growth alongside mushy or yellowing foliage. On the other hand, underwatered Trailing Jades usually have leaves that curl inward, yellow and crispy leaves.
For more details, read our guide on how to save your overwatered plant here.
Like most tropical plants, your Peperomia Hope thrives in high humidity. Aim for >60% humidity for optimal growth. They are, however, tolerant of average moisture levels.
If your plant leaves start to curl, this is usually a sign that the air is too dry for your plant. Your plant responds by reducing the surface area from which water vapour can escape.
In this case, use a humidifier. This is the most effective and convenient way of increasing humidity levels for houseplants. Check out our guide on how to raise humidity levels in your home.
The ideal temperature for your Trailing Jade is 65 – 75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C). It is intolerant to winter chills and will struggle at temperatures below 60 degrees F (15 degrees C). Therefore, it is best to keep your plant indoors unless you live in a tropical environment that enjoys warmth year-round.
Since this plant is an epiphyte, it grows on trees in its natural habitat. The ideal growing media for Peperomia Hope is, therefore, one that allows its roots to breathe easy but retains some moisture as your plant is used to tropical climates.
The dilemma is that dense soils offer poor drainage, waterlog its roots and increase the risk of root rot. On the other hand, light and airy soils usually drain water too quickly, so your plant cannot absorb the water and nutrients it needs to grow healthy.
The solution is to use soil that strikes a good middle ground, being loose and well-draining but retains some moisture. Practically this means making your soil mix using 2 parts potting mix; 1 part perlite or pumice; and 1 part orchid bark.
Other pointers are:
- Use terracotta or ceramic pots, which are porous. This helps the roots to grow healthy.
- Any pot you use must have drainage holes so that excess water can run off!
- Use a small pot as your plant is compact and has small root systems. Using a too-large container encourages overwatering.
- When potting your plant, don’t pack down the soil too much, as this reduces airflow to the roots.
Being a slow-grower with small root systems, your Peperomia Hope is a light feeder. A liquid houseplant fertilizer is best for this purpose. Dilute it to half strength and feed it once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Hold off feeding from late fall to the end of winter as your plant enters dormancy.
Since your plant has minimal fertilizing needs, the risk of overfertilising is greater than under-fertilizing. Common signs that you’ve gone too far are a layer of white crust appearing on the topsoil. This white crust is mineral salt build-up from the fertilizer.
In this case, carefully remove your plant from the soil using your fingers to tease out the roots gently. If roots are brown, this is a sign of fertilizer burn. Cut off damaged roots and replace old potting mix with fresh potting soil. Repot your plant in the fresh mix.
Again, being a slow grower, repotting is required only very infrequently. Only repot your plant when roots emerge from the drainage hole.
You can use this opportunity to divide the plant into two. In either case, repot your plant(s) in fresh soil. If you are keeping the plant as one, use a pot that is 2 inches larger than the original. Be careful when repotting, as your plant’s stems are delicate and break easily.
Good news: Trailing Jade is considered non-toxic to pets and humans. However, always keep your Peperomia away from animals. Even though it is non-toxic, ingesting a large amount can still cause stomach pains.
There are three main ways to propagate a healthy and mature plant. The best time to do so is in June, ahead of the growing season.
1. Propagation by stem cuttings
This is the easiest method of propagation.
- Using sharp, sterile gardening shears, cut off a 4-inch section of stem with several leaves, making the cut just below the node. (The node is where the leaves grow from the main stem)
- Remove leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the stem.
- Place the stem into a jar with room temperature water, ensuring no leaves are submerged. There should be at least one node below the water (this is where new growth will emerge).
- Place the water jar in a warm spot with bright indirect light.
- Change out the water every two days with room temperature water.
- In 4-6 weeks, you should see new growth emerge.
- When the roots are about 3 inches long, repot your plant in a soil mix.
2. Propagation by leaf cuttings
- Identify a mature leaf.
- Using clean garden shears, cut off the leaf with its petiole attached. The petiole is the small stem from which the leaf emerges and joins the main stem.
- Repeat to gather three leaf cuttings.
- Place the petioles into a pot with the usual soil mix.
- Water this soil mix with room temperature water.
- Place the potted petioles in a warm spot with ample bright but indirect light.
- To increase humidity, prop a humidifier next to your potted plant.
- In about 8-12 weeks, your new plant will take root!
You can also propagate your leaf cutting in a water jar first, then transfer it into the soil mix once roots emerge. In this case, cut off leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the leaf-cutting, such that no leaves are submerged in water.
3. Propagation by ground layering
Lastly, you can propagate your plant through ground layering. This method takes advantage of the fact that your plant naturally grows roots at leaf nodes when it comes into contact with soil.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Identify a long trailing stem.
- Prop the surface of the stem onto a new potting soil mix, using hairpins to pin the vine down loosely.
- Your stem will naturally start taking root in the new potting mix.
- Ensure your potted stem sits in a spot with ample bright indirect light.
- In about 4-8 weeks, you should feel some resistance when tugging gently at the vine; this means roots have started to develop.
- Cut the stem close to the mother plant’s side to separate your old plant from the new.
Trailing Jades are usually resistant to pests, but infestations are still possible. Be sure to inspect your plant every week, as pests usually reproduce rapidly and can take over your plant in no time. Therefore acting swiftly is essential.
Here are some signs of usual pests and what to do about them:
- Mealybugs: These are the most common pests for ailing Trailing Jades, as they are attracted to the sweet sap contained in the plant’s fleshy leaves. Identify a mealybug infestation by spotting white masses on the underside of leaves. Another sign is a wax-like substance on stems and leaves. Here’s our guide on identifying and getting rid of mealybugs.
- Spider mites: similar to mealybugs, spider mites are attracted to juicy plant sap. A tell-tale sign that you have a spider mite problem is the appearance of webbing on the underside of leaves and stems. Spider mites use this webbing to protect themselves and their eggs.
- Fungus gnats: These are small, black flies whose larvae are found in your plant’s soil. Adult fungus gnats do not harm your plant, but larvae feed on plant roots.
In all three cases, using an Insecticidal Soap Spray is the most effective way to combat these pests. Following this plant care guide to ensure that your plant is healthy and regularly inspecting your plant for pests are the best ways to prevent infestations.
Why are the leaves dull and have leggy growth?
This is because your plant is not getting enough sunlight. Dull and leggy growth is a sign that a lack of sunlight is preventing your plant from carrying out enough photosynthesis.
Relocate your plant to a spot with ample bright indirect light. Alternatively, use a grow light at 800-2000 foot candles (this intensity is considered indirect light) to increase light exposure for 5 hours a day.
Why are the leaves dropping off?
There are two main reasons for this sign of stress.
Issue #1: It could be that your plant is exposed to a cold draft. Is it situated near an air vent or drafty door or window? Move your plant to somewhere where the temperate is stable and doesn’t fall below 60 degrees F (15 degrees C).
Issue #2: Otherwise, it could be that your plant is overwatered and is suffering from root rot. Check the plant’s soil to see if it is moist. If so, gently remove your plant from its pot and inspect its roots.
Brown roots are a sign of root rot. Thankfully, if only a portion of roots is damaged, your plant can be saved with quick action. Cut off any damaged roots and repot your plant in fresh soil.
Ensure you follow the Watering guide above to ensure your plant is not overwatered. Also, use a well-draining soil mix that sharply drains off excess moisture.
Why are there brown spots on the leaves?
Brown spots are usually a sign of fungus, typically due to overwatering.
- Check the soil moisture – if it is damp, gently remove the plant from its pot.
- Trim off any damaged roots (soft and brown) and repot in a fresh potting mix.
- Apply a broad-based fungicide to control the spread.
- Again, ensure that you use a well-draining potting mix and only water your plant when the topsoil is dry.
Why does my plant have soft, yellow leaves?
Soft yellow leaves are another sign that your plant is overwatered.
Follow the Watering and Soil sections to ensure your plant is watered correctly and in a substrate that allows quick drainage.
Why are my Peperomia Hope’s leaves turning pale?
This is usually a sign of a lack of nutrients. Though they are a light feeder, Peperomia Hope can benefit from some fertilizer, used at half strength, when the plant is actively growing.
Why are the leaf edges turning brown?
Brown edges typically indicate overfertilizing. Are you being too zealous with your fertilizer? Hold off and see if the leaves quality improves. Remember that your plant is a light feeder, so dilute liquid fertilizers to half-strength, and use only during spring and summer months.
Why are the leaves starting to curl?
This is usually a sign of not watering your plant correctly or your plant not getting enough nutrients.
Check if your soil is moist with your finger. If so, chances are you are overwatering your plant. If the soil is dry, check if you are underwatering your Peperomia Hope. Use the Watering section for more details.
If under-fertilizing is the issue, use liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer months to ensure your plant gets the nutrition it needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Peperomia Hopes have flowers?
They have tiny flowers that appear as little spikes that bloom year-round. These flowers are far from showy and are considered insignificant.
Are Peperomia Hopes succulents?
The Peperomia Hope, like the Peperomia Ginny, have succulent-like characteristics. They are able to store some water in their thick leaves and stems. However, they are not considered succulents.
Other succulent-like plants are:
- Peperomia Ginny
- Hoya Linearis
- Hoya Curtisii
- Hoya Krimson Queen
- Variegated String of Hearts
- Raindrop Peperomia
Does Peperomia Hope grow quickly?
No, they are a slow grower. They can reach 8 inches wide (20cm) and 12 inches long (30cm) at maturity. But you’d need to be patient to see this growth.
Where can I buy a Peperomia Hope?
Your best bet is Etsy!
Where did Peperomia Hope come from?
There are mixed accounts. Most research suggests that Peperomia Hope is a hybrid of Peperomia quadrifolia and Peperomia deppeana. However, some suggest it is also Peperomia pecuniifolia, not a hybrid.
What other Peperomias do you recommend?
Ready to give another easy-going Peperomia a try? We are partial to the Peperomia Ginny, with its tricolor leaves.
If you’re keen on a compact, vining plant, try the Peperomia Prostrata, known more commonly as the String of Turtles!
Another compact and beautiful plant is the Peperomia Frost. It captured our hearts with its heart-shaped leaves with silvery frosting.
We can’t forget the Peperomia Obtusifolia, a lovely upright-growing plant with lush cup-shaped leaves.
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.
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