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Peperomia sarcophylla is a pretty unusual-looking peperomia.
When I first saw one IRL my immediate thought was that it was an anthurium – it had dark greyish-green leaves and prominent white veining. Imagine my surprise when I saw peperomia on the label.
It’s a great option if you can’t get hold of an anthurium clarinerveum or they’re out of your budget. Here in the UK, you can get a decent-sized specimen of either of those plants for less than £30 but I know that in the US anthurium prices are still pretty high.
Is peperomia sarcophylla easy to care for?
Yes! The plant I tend to recommend to total house plant beginners is peperomia hope, and peperomia sarcophylla is pretty similar in terms of care.
Peperomia will thrive if given bright indirect light and watered when the soil is dry BUT they’ll do pretty well with a casual neglect or some well-intentioned over-watering.
Sarcophylla have thick, waxy leaves which indicates that they can store moisture and won’t be to fazed by tap water, low humidity, or being accidentally left to dry out for a month or two.
How much light do peperomia sarcophylla need?
Peperomia do best in bright, indirect light. A couple of feet away from a window is fine (or sat in a north/east-facing window), but it could burn if left in baking sun for too long.
The darker leaves of the sarcophylla suggest that it will be absolutely fine in medium light, but as with most plants, low light will result in leggy, weak growth.
I’m not 100% about this BUT I read that silver variegation such as we see on the sarcophylla, anthuriums, and spotted begonias is caused by empty cells under the top layer of the leaf, rather than a lack of chlorophyll (which is what caused the variegation in, e.g. Monstera). This multilayered epidermis is thought to help plants survive in lower light conditions – makes sense when they’re typically found below the forest canopy in the tropics.
How much humidity do peperomia sarcophylla need?
Considering Peperomia sarcophylla hail from Colombia and Ecuador, they do pretty well in ambient room humidity. Their thick, succulent leaves are pretty robust.
However, they can be one of the more finicky peperomia to convince to grow, so 60% humidity is best to encourage fast growth and large leaves.
How to water peperomia sarcophylla
Peperomia in general are pretty chill when it comes to watering. I’ve found that letting them dry out too much causes them to bloom, which is fine, but wastes a lot of the plant’s energy. If the blooms were pretty I wouldn’t mind, but they’re…bog-standard peperomia blooms.
When it comes to water quality, I’ve never had an issue with watering peperomia with tap water. If you have filtered or rainwater, great, but it’s not necessary.
My rule of thumb is that the thicker the leaves, the less fussy the plant is when it comes to water quality.
Best potting mix for peperomia sarcophylla
Something free draining but that retains a decent amount of water. ABG mix is probs too dense for them, so a mixture of coir, perlite, bark, charcoal and worm castings (3:3:3:1:1) will suit them well.
Best pot type for peperomia sarcophylla
I have kept them in terracotta, so if that’s your preference, they’ll be fine. However, terracotta does cause plants to dry out pretty quickly. I prefer to keep peperomia in plastic nursery pots.
Peperomia are popular hanging plants, but peperomia sarcophylla don’t lend themselves well to the trailing aesthetic. They’re pretty bushy and compact – more similar to a watermelon peperomia than a peperomia hope when it comes to their growth pattern.
Are peperomia sarcophylla toxic to dogs/cats/bunnies/kids?
Technically they’re non-toxic, so don’t worry about your pets. They’re horse-safe, so I can assume they’re also bunny-safe. However, don’t allow pets to eat vast quantities of them if you can help it. Any unfamiliar foodstuff can cause tummy upsets that you will have to clean up.
Do peperomia sarcophylla bloom?
Yes, but not *quite* as readily as other peperomia. If you’re after one specifically for the blooms
tell me why?? they’re super dull?? go for something like a Peperomia piccolo banda or Prostrata (string of turtles) which bloom for funsies all the time.
How to propagate Peperomia sarcophylla
You can either take leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. Peperomia are pretty easy to root, but I tend to put stem cuttings in water (just because it’s faster) and leaves on top of the soil, and just mist the soil when it dries out.
Peperomia are great, easy-care house plants at the best of times, and the Peperomia sarcophylla just takes it up a notch, with the big leaves and silver veining.
They can be a bit of a pain to get hold of, but I’ve seen them in my local garden centre pretty consistently over the last year. I found ONE (1) for sale on Etsy.