Plant Lab

Peperomia Frost

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Peperomia Frost is a cultivar of the Peperomia genus, of the Piperaceae plant family which has over a 1000 species largely native to Central and South America. Peperomia Frost is found in the Brazilian rainforests. 

I quickly added this curious little beauty to my own peperomia collection because I wanted to give my lovely Peperomia Caperata some company by the window sill.

You see, Peperomia Frost has the same quilted heart-shaped leaves like Caperata held together in a compact mound. But the leaf coloration is a lot like the Watermelon Peperomia, frosty white with dark green veins. Caperata and Frost look lovely side by side.

Peperomia Frost Care

For ideal Peperomia Frost care, give it a well-draining soil using peat, compost, mulch or humus, bark, and pumice or perlite. Temperatures should lie in the range of 65-75°F (18-24°C). Humidity at 40 – 50% is quite enough although it can take more. The Peperomia Frost needs to be in bright indirect light and makes for ideal window sill plants. 

Soil

In their native habitats Peperomia Frost is often found in soil-less substrates in the cracks of trees, rotting bark or rock crevices growing as epiphytes do. For ideal Peperomia Frost care you need to give it a 50/50 of non-organic/organic mix.

The standard fail-safe mix is of course the 50/50 peat/perlite mix. However, you can get creative with making the soil mix using everyday materials. Sand, pumice, coco-chips, etc. make the soil gritty, porous and well-draining. 

Organic matter like mulch, sterile garden compost, organic manure, etc. can come in the place of peat. The organic matter improves moisture retentiveness just like peat, whilst keeping the roots warm and humid.

One of my favorite ingredients for Peperomia Frost is crushed bark. It aids both porosity as well as moisture retention. 

A smart Peperomia Frost care hack is to get a high-quality succulent mix from the store and add perlite for extra aeration and organic manure for nutrition. 

Try to grow Peperomia Frost in slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 6.6. The organic content helps in maintaining soil acidity. 

Pro tip: throw in a single layer of pebbles or gravel or kiln-fired brick bits in the bottom of the pot. You’ll need this for easy transfer of the plant at the time of repotting.

 

Light

Peperomia Frost care is best served in shade or filtered light and must be protected from direct sun rays. The leaves need the light to prepare chlorophyll and stay vibrant, but they wilt or burn in direct sun. 

That said, I’ve observed that they take well to slant diffused light of the morning sun, so I’ve given them an east window spot along my window along with my other peperomias.

If you have an outdoor open garden it’s ideal to grow Peperomia Frost under a bigger plant or huddled in the midst of other plants, that sort of arrangement works great to filter the rays. Otherwise, you’ll need a 40% shade cloth. 

Watch your plant closely for signs like dull pale leaves, which means too low light and sudden drooping or burned leaves, which indicates direct sun.

Watering

As far as Peperomia Frost care is concerned, the bigger worry is overwatering than underwatering. Don’t mistake this to mean the substrate needs to go bone dry. No. They need the soil to be consistently moist but not water logged. 

Let the soil dry out about 50% and then provide a dose of deep watering. The trick to proper Peperomia Frost care lies in the soil.

When you drench the pot, the water must run through the drainage holes in seconds indicating that the soil is quick draining. The plant shouldn’t have sit in water under any circumstance. Then you’re safe.

Reduce watering during the winter months. Only water when the leaves begin to look a bit droopy. Use lukewarm water in winters.

Important Peperomia Frost care tip: never water in sips keeping the soil constantly soppy wet. Whenever it’s time, water deeply. The intermittent partial dryness is good for the plant’s root systems.

Temperature

Being a rainforest resident, Peperomia Frost likes moderately warm environments. The ideal temperature range is 65-75°F (18-24°C). 

Frost tolerance is not its strong suit unfortunately. I’ve not had success with it when temperatures go below 55ºF (13ºC). The fleshy plant dies at the slightest sign of frost.

Likewise, it can’t take extreme high temperatures either. The delicate fleshy stems dry out. This narrow temperature range is where it thrives best and can be propagated easily.

If you live in the cold countries this plant will need a spot in your heated greenhouse in winters.

One Peperomia Frost care point is to keep it away from drafts of air-conditioners and heaters. They stress easily under extreme temperature fluctuations.

 

Humidity

Your Peperomia Frost can adjust well to the average household humidity conditions. In its native conditions the forest air is naturally quite damp and muggy. However, Peperomia Frost seems to be quite tolerant of dryness.

In fact in winters if your room humidity drops to around 50%, that too works for the plant. However, like most tropical plants, it will benefit from added humidity. You can improve humidity by using a humidifier nearby, misting occasionally, or with a pebble tray.

Peperomia Frost makes a great open terrarium plant too from a humidity perspective.

One word of caution with Peperomia Frost care is the good ventilation is as important as humidity. If you’ve been maintaining mugginess with humidity devices, just make sure that there is air circulation too so that the leaves stay dry and disease free. 

 

Fertilizer

I am not an advocate of chemical fertilizers for epiphytes of any kind. The ideal Peperomia Frost care hack it to stick to an organic feeding routine.

This is best taken care of while potting the plant. Just include rich organic manure in the soil mix and replenish the topsoil in the growing months. 

If you have been using chemicals in your garden, you could go for a triple diluted solution than what’s prescribed. So, for example, if the Rx ratio is 5ml per gallon of water, make it 5ml per 3 gallons of water. Use a liquid chemical that’s easy to dilute.

 

credits:plantophiles.com

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