The Peperomia genus, also commonly known as Radiator Plant, is one of the two largest genera in the Piperaceae family. The genus, Peperomia Ruiz & Pav., was named and described by Hipólito Ruiz López and José Antonio Pavon in Florae Peruvianae in 1794.
Plants of the World Online lists 1,339 accepted species in the genus as of 3-5-18. The 2013 version of The Plant List named 1,161 accepted species plus 18 accepted infraspecific names. There were 705 synonyms of species rank and 281 infraspecific names. A total of 778 names were still unresolved at that time. Unfortunately, The Plant List is no longer maintained.
Peperomia species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Most species grow as small epiphytic plants growing on rainforest floors on decaying wood. Some species, such as peperomia ferreyrae, have epidermal windows on the upper part of their leaves.
Many Peperomia species are grown as houseplants for their ornamental foliage and most do not grow larger than 12” tall. Most of their flowers, although unique, are not pretty.
Although considered a succulent plant, they have different growing requirements than most succulents. Since their native habitat is in rainforests, they prefer a peaty, organic potting mix that remains somewhat moist but not wet. They should be watered once the top part of the soil dries somewhat. They do not like wet soil, only somewhat damp.
It is best to place them where they receive filtered light to part shade as to much sun will burn their leaves.
They like humidity, but misting is not necessarily needed unless they are in a dry environment during the winter. You can place the pots on shallow pans or plates with pebbles with water added to add humidity.
Indoors, they prefer bright light, but maybe not direct sun, such as in a window with an east exposure.
Many Peperomia species are easily propagated by leaf or stem cuttings and from seed.
I have only grown two species of Peperomia, but maybe someday I can try more. There are many species and cultivars available.
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