|Classified:||B.S.Williams ex Mast. & T.Moore, 1879|
|Propagation:||From From division, seeds, cutting|
|Adult size:||Vines of 10-30cm|
|Watering:||Allow the soil to dry before watering|
|Fertilization:||Monthly during active growth|
|Humidity:||High humidity preferred, low humidity tolerated|
|See more Peperomia|
String of turtles
Peperomia prostrata is a plant in the Piperaceae family. It makes an easy houseplant which is tolerant of a wide range of conditions.
Peperomia is derived from the Greek 'peperi' meaning 'pepper' and 'homoios', which means 'resembling'.
Prostrata is derived from the Latin prosterno, meaning 'prostrate', and refers to the creeping growth habit of the plant.
P. prostrata has small green round raised leaves with darker green striping like the shell of a turtle and red stems.
Like all Peperomia, the P. prostrata inflorescence consists of a 'rat tail' like spike which contains the thousands of unnoticeable tiny flowers. Peperomia plants aren't known for their flowers, as they are fairly unimpressive, resembling a bushy spike or tail.
P. prostrata wants fairly bright light. Some direct morning or evening light would be ideal, otherwise bright indirect light would be perfect. Do not place P. prostrata in hot and intense direct light or the leaves will yellow and the plant will become stressed.
Use a well draining soil mix that retains a little moisture and water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Allow the pot to dry through at least an inch or two down into the substrate before watering again.
P. prostrata have shallow root systems which rot fairly easily if left soggy and wet for extended periods of time. Unlike many genus of plants that either don't benefit from or are actively harmed by being misted, Peperomia have specialised cells within the leaves that allow some absorption of moisture and so enjoy and benefit from a light misting. It is better for the long term health of the plant to keep the soil slightly dry and mist the foliage if that fits into your care routine.
Floppy, dull leaves
If the leaves wilt it's a sign there is an issue with watering. The fleshy, succulent leaves and stems of P. prostrata hold a lot of water and the root system rots away easily if kept in wet conditions for too long. Check the soil, is it dry? If so, water the plant, making sure to soak the soil thoroughly. If the soil is wet then it's a sign that you're watering too frequently, ensure you allow the soil to dry before watering again.
P. prostrata has a shallow root system and so doesn't get rootbound too easily. The biggest reason to repot your Peperomia is to refresh the soil, as over time it will break down and compact which will prevent oxygen uptake in the roots, causing rot. Repot if it's been a year or two since you last repotted your plant and the soil is dense, hard and water doesn't quickly drain through the container. Choose a pot that's the same size or only slightly bigger than the plant was in before - too much substrate around the roots of the plant will cause rot.
Gently remove the Peperomia from its current pot and separate with care as much of the old potting mix from around the roots as possible. Transfer the plant into the new pot and then start adding the remainder of the potting mix around the plant. Firm the potting mix gently around the roots, but don’t compact it too much. Finally, water the plant thoroughly to ensure the soil settles.