The dwarf pepper or peperomia, as it is also called, is a multi-variety houseplant and partly also suitable for outdoor cultivation. Whether it has green or colored leaves, the dwarf pepper is an easy-care plant that is particularly effective in pots, traffic lights and small groups.

The right location for green-leaved dwarf pepper

Green-leaved dwarf pepper needs a light location, but does not tolerate too much sun.

Window sills to the east or west are ideal. In rooms facing south, however, the green dwarf pepper should not stand directly at the window or in corners where the heat accumulates every day.

In addition, normal room temperatures should prevail at the location for green peperomias. Neither cold drafts nor hot air from the switched on heating are tolerated by the plant. Temperatures below 12 ° C are particularly harmful to them.

The right location for multicolored dwarf pepper

In contrast to green dwarf pepper, the variegated leaves are much more sun-loving. Not only do they tolerate the radiation extremely well, they even need it to maintain the colored look. If their location is too shady, the peperomia will turn green.

The location of the colorful dwarf pepper can therefore be on a window sill facing south. However, in terms of temperatures, the varieties do not differ.
Plant outdoors

Since the dwarf pepper comes from the tropics, it can only stand outdoors in local regions if the temperature is at least 12 ° C. Of course, this also applies during the night.

Planting in the bed is therefore basically not sensible or at least involves some effort.

However, cultivation in pots, tubs or traffic lights can be carried out without any problems during the warm seasons.

If you still want to use Peperomia as a ground cover in the garden, you have two options. Either the plant is only annual. This is automatically the case because it is not frost hardy.

As a second variant, there is the option of placing the dwarf pepper in plant bowls. Flat and small vessels are sufficient for this. These then have to be taken out of the bed in early autumn and overwintered in the house.

With regard to the location, the green varieties should be a little more shady, while the colorful varieties can tolerate more sun. There are no special features to consider when planting the dwarf pepper.


In their original homeland, peperomias grow in stony, rocky locations. Therefore, they also need some mineral components in the substrate.

Sand or gravel optimally fulfills this purpose. The soil itself does not have to be too rich in nutrients for the dwarf pepper. Simple potting soil or bucket soil with the addition of gravel and sand is ideal. The substrate for the dwarf pepper should only be fresh, well-drained and loose. Soil on a peat base is also well suited.

Tip: Peperomia has very few roots that grow rather flat. A little substrate as well as smaller vessels and planting holes are therefore completely sufficient.


Caring for the dwarf pepper is actually very simple, but the measures must be adapted to the special needs.

This includes careful but regular watering, as well as coordinated fertilization. In some cases, targeted blending can also be advisable.


You can usually do without watering the peperomia in the garden. Because even warm dry periods are usually well endured. Only when there is no rain for weeks should additional water be given.

When cultivating in pots, buckets and traffic lights – especially in the room – regular watering is necessary. The following guidelines apply:

  • Abundant watering must be done between April and September
  • Only small amounts of water are tolerated in winter
  • The substrate should dry off between waterings
  • Irrigation water must never be cold
  • Waterlogging is urgently to be avoided
  • Tap water can be used without any problems
  • The additional spraying of the plant with lukewarm water is advisable in rooms with rather dry air, in the bathroom and kitchen it can be dispensed with

It is best to water in such a way that the soil soaks up and then drips off sufficiently. Excess water that collects in the planter or saucer should therefore be removed after half an hour at the latest. Alternatively, the pot can also be completely submerged and then set aside for a few minutes to drain. In the case of larger containers or planters used, however, watering is a little more careful.


From spring to autumn Peperomia sprouts strongly and therefore needs more nutrients in addition to watering. Again, the following rules apply:

  • Fertilize every three to five weeks
  • In indoor or outdoor culture from April to September
  • Liquid agents are suitable for cacti and green plants
  • Use only weak concentrations, normally not more than half the recommended dose
  • Do not fertilize during the rest phase in winter

If you follow the guidelines, you can not only accelerate growth. The flowering is also promoted by this and is usually richer.

To cut

A blend of the dwarf pepper is basically not necessary but an advantage. This is because it enables the peperomia to grow more vigorously and denser, makes the flowers richer and prevents the tips of shoots from breaking off. Much effort does not have to be made for this.

In spring, March is ideal, the plant is simply shortened by a third on all shoots. As a guide and if you are not sure of your judgment, it helps to actually work with a ruler. A sharp knife or scissors are good for this task.

Tip: Spray with lukewarm water after cutting and avoid direct sun. This gentle treatment means that the interfaces close more smoothly and do not dry out as easily.


The easiest way to propagate the dwarf pepper is by cuttings from the head. If you proceed correctly, the cuttings will take root after four weeks at the earliest. However, depending on the variety of peperomia, this process can take up to ten weeks to complete. The maintenance itself is quite easy during this time, the chances of success are high.

  1. Cut about ten centimeters long shoots from the dwarf pepper as close as possible under a leaf knot.
  2. Cleanly remove the lower leaves up to at least half the length of the head cutting.
  3. Mix equal parts peat and sand together.
  4. Place the peperomia cuttings in small groups in the substrate and water.
  5. Cover the substrate and shoots with a transparent plastic film and place the container in a bright – but not directly sunny place.

No fertilizer is necessary until the roots have taken root, but regular, weak watering is necessary. In addition, the film should be removed for about an hour every day to provide the young plants with fresh air and to regulate the humidity. Once the regrowing dwarf pepper plants have developed a sufficiently large network of roots, they also sprout new leaves. As soon as this occurs, the young peperomia can be transferred to the mixture of potting soil, sand and gravel described above and transported to their final location.

Care in winter

The dwarf pepper – no matter which variety it is – is not frost-hardy or winter-proof. If it stays outside in winter or is kept at temperatures below 12 ° C, it inevitably dies.

Peperomia needs a bright, cool but not cold location to overwinter. For example in an insulated basement, winter garden, hallway or in the living room. Because the plant can be cultivated at normal room temperatures, provided that the care is adjusted accordingly. That means:

  • Water as little as possible, as much as necessary in winter; the colder the location, the rarer and less water is given
  • Fertilization is to be avoided completely
  • In the case of a location above the heater or very dry, warm air, the plant should also be sprayed with lukewarm water once a week

There is nothing more to consider in order to successfully bring the dwarf pepper over the cold season.

Typical diseases and pests

The dwarf pepper is only susceptible to a few pests and diseases. These include:

  • Spider mites
  • Red spiders
  • Root rot
  • Sudden leaf shedding

With suitable care and regular controls, the infestations can be prevented or at least become apparent quickly so that they can be combated in good time.
The spider mites and red spiders occur mainly in winter when the plant is exposed to dry and warm heating air. They express themselves through webs. Colored dots are visible in these and on the leaves. Both types of pests can be combated with a few simple measures.

  1. The dwarf pepper is thorough to shower on the leaf tops and bottoms.
  2. When it is still damp, the peperomia is wrapped in plastic as airtight as possible and left that way for up to four days. Numerous pests die off as a result of this sauna effect.
  3. After the cure with high humidity, a systemic pesticide should also be used. This is added to the irrigation water and works from within.
  4. To avoid further infestation, the Peperomia should be sprayed weekly with lukewarm, low-lime water. The higher humidity has a deterrent effect on the parasites.

In the area of ​​possible diseases, it is mainly mistakes in plant care that can lead to an attack by pathogens. Especially with root rot, either too frequent watering or insufficient drainage is the causal reason. Against this, the only thing that can help is immediate drying and a change of the substrate. Even then, salvation of the peperomia is not guaranteed.

If the dwarf pepper suddenly loses all or at least a large part of its leaves, there are several possible causes. Including:

  • Too little or too much light
  • Excessive or insufficient watering
  • Missing nutrients
  • A location that is too warm, cold or draughty

If this occurs, the maintenance measures and the location should be carefully checked. If the errors are recognized and corrected in good time, the plant can usually still be saved.

Is Peperomia Poisonous?

The dwarf pepper is neither poisonous for humans nor animals. On the contrary, it can even be used by reptiles as part of the forage crop without any problems. Therefore, it is not only a wonderful and safe houseplant, but also ideally suited as a decoration for the terrarium. And because of its wide variety, it is particularly popular here.

At the right location, the dwarf pepper is a very easy to care for and long-term undemanding plant that is equally safe for humans and animals. Green, colorful or patterned, Peperomia is also a decorative addition to the balcony, bed, living room or terrarium.

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