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Peperomia caperata

Ripple Peperomia (Peperomia caperata) Care Guide

Native to Brazil, the Ripple Peperomia is an evergreen, flowering houseplant with rippled and wrinkled, heart-shaped leaves ranging from dark green to deep burgundy.

Peperomia caperata

Other names for this plant...

Peperomia Caperata Ripple Peperomia Radiator Plant

About The Ripple Peperomia

The Ripple Peperomia, with the botanical name Peperomia Caperata, is a tropical plant native to Brazil's rainforests. They are ideal for first-time or experienced indoor plant growers.

The slow-growing Peperomia Caperata is a popular houseplant due to its compact size and unique leaves. They have dark green leaves that are textured with a "rippled" or "wrinkled" appearance.

Part of the Peperomia family - which has over 1,000 species - some variants of the Ripple Peperomia sport red, silver, purple, or dark green leaves. This compact plant grows to roughly 8 inches (20cm) and is often grown more for its leaf foliage, instead of its flowers.

The good news is, that Ripple Peperomia Caparata care is really easy and they are well-suited for indoor conditions.


The Ripple Peperomia is part of the Piperaceae (pepper) family.

The Piperaceae family is a large family of flowering plants and has over 3,600 species. The main species can be found between two genera, namely Piper (with over 2,000 species) and Peperomia (with roughly 1,000 species).

Peperomia Ripple is just one species of over 1,000 Peperomia plants. A plant family that is known for its diverse range of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors - which I'll touch on in a moment.


Emerald Ripple Peperomia

Silver Ripple Peperomia

Red Ripple Peperomia


Radiator Plants are tropical plants native to Brazil and other parts of South America. They thrive in areas where temperatures are warm and humidity is high, like in the rainforests within these tropical and subtropical regions. In their natural habitat, they are understory plants, which means they grow on the forest floor, underneath larger plants and towering rainforest trees where they receive dappled light.

A common variant, the Emerald Ripple Peperomia is a stunning dark green native to Brazil’s rainforests and develops in dense clumps on the forest floor.


The Peperomia Caperata has unique, textured leaves that are usually dark green or burgundy but can also come in shades of red, silver, and purple. They have heart-shaped leaves with a "rippled" or "wrinkled" appearance, hence the name.

They produce white flower spikes during their growing season (in spring and summer) but flowers are usually relatively small and not particularly showy.

The plant is small and compact, making it suitable for smaller spaces. They usually grow to a height of 6-8 inches (with a similar width).

Cultivar variations:

  • Silver Ripple Peperomia features silvery leaves.

  • Red Ripple Peperomia features deep red leaves.

  • Emerald Ripple Peperomias feature dark green leaves with white stripes.

  • Peperomia Caperata 'Rosso' has red underside leaves.

  • Peperomia Caperata 'Frost' features silver-white leaves.


Due to its compact size and exotic-looking foliage, the Ripple Peperomia is ideal for tabletops, desks, and bookshelves; making it a great focal point in any room.

When deciding where to place these pretty plants in your home, window ledges are definitely not a place we would recommend. That's because Peperomia Caperata does not like to be in direct sunlight very much as too much sun can scorch their little leaves!

These easy-going slow-growers can also be used in terrariums or mixed amongst other indoor plants for added texture and color. They're a great, easy-to-care-for option that requires minimal maintenance and is versatile enough to fit into various interior design styles, from modern to rustic.

While these are generally considered indoor plants, this tropical plant can be kept outdoors in shaded areas if the climate is suitable enough.

Things to consider:

  • If you live in a dry climate or have lower humidity levels, consider using a humidity tray or room humidifier. Rooms with 40 - 50% humidity levels will create the ideal environment for your Ripple Plant to thrive.

  • Avoid placing them too close to radiators in winter or air conditioners in summer. (Don't let the name "radiator plant" fool you).

  • They might not love direct sunlight, but these plants to like a brighter room. The kitchen or a humid bathroom is the perfect spot for your striking little plant.

  • Because of their compact size, Peperomias look brilliant on side tables, the coffee table or as a feature on a bookshelft.


Peperomia Caperata prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower lighting conditions. We find east- or north-facing windows work best. While these plants can grow in darker rooms, you may notice less vibrancy in their leaves; if this happens, move the plant into a brighter area.

Curtains can be used to filter light onto these plants if you have south or west-facing windows. Ripple Plants also grow well in artificial light, making them an ideal choice for offices.


Watering is probably the most critical factor when it comes to Peperomia Caperata care. However, they only need watering when the top inch of soil feels dry.

  • When watering, ensure you use filtered or distilled water.

  • Water once a week during warmer months (spring and summer) and every other week in the fall and winter.

  • Water evenly to ensure it reaches the root zone. A quick way to gauge this is to make sure water runs out the bottom of the pot as that shows good drainage.

We have to mention that Emerald Peperomias are pretty drought-resistant, so if you happen to forget to water it from time to time, it's usually alright. On that note, the Emerald Peperomia variant HATES soggy soil and wet roots!

Our best advice would rather to underwater these tropical plants as opposed to overwatering them. Overwatering is a common problem we see which can lead to root rot.

Your watering routine is based on several factors, such as:

  • Pot size: A rule of thumb is to water until you see water drain out the bottom of the pot. This shows that water has reached the root zone and prevents waterlogging.

  • Environment: If your home or office has dry air (with little to no humidity), your Radiator Plant will likely need more water. They will need less watering in homes that have higher humidity or cooler temperatures.


Ideal temperatures are between 65-75°F (18-24°C), but not lower than 50°F (10°C).

Be mindful of where you place Peperomia Caperata plants - it's best to avoid cold drafts, heating systems, and air-conditioning that could affect their growth.


Moderate to high humidity levels are ideal for these indoor plants. They are not too fussy, but will love humidity levels of 30 - 80%. You can improve humidity by placing your plants on a pebble tray filled with water or keep a humidifier nearby.


Ripple plants thrive in a loose, well-aerated, well-draining potting mix.

The ideal soil mixture should have; two parts peat moss, one part horticultural sand, and one part perlite. This mixture will retain moisture and allow excess water to drain effectively from drainage holes of the pot.


Generally, it does not require pruning but you should remove any dead leaves by hand and if needed, trim back any growth to maintain its shape.


To initiate new growth during the growing season (spring and summer) feed your Ripple Plant with a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer or good-quality potting compost every 4 - 6 weeks. Stop feeding in the fall and during winter time; to prevent fertilizer burn when Ripple Plants become dormant in colder months.

Height & Growth

Ripple Peperomias are slow-growing, so don't be alarmed if your plant isn't gaining much height! These plants typically grow to a height and width of about 6-8 inches (20cm).

The growth season for Peperomia Caperata occurs during the warmer months, from late spring to early fall and they become dormant (less active) in the winter months.


Ripple Peperomia are non-toxic plants. However, as with all houseplants, it is best to keep children and animals away as they still shouldn't be consumed.


Yes, these indoor plants are generally considered safe for pets.

Common Problems

  • Brown leaves: Brown leaves or leaf tips may occur due to several reasons such as; cold drafts, underwatering, or being exposed to direct sunlight.

  • Yellow leaves: A common sign of overwatering or excessive light and sun exposure is when leaves turn yellow.

  • Drooping leaves: This occurs when the plant is not getting enough water.

  • Plant's leaves are dull: This can occur when the plant does not get sufficient light (i.e. grown in darker rooms).

  • Leaf drop: This may occur due to salt buildup in the soil.

  • Black stems: This occurs due to overwatering and indicates a sign of root rot.

  • Root rot: Caused by overwatering or poor soil drainage

  • Pests: Peperomia Caperata are generally pest-resistant but without the proper care, they can be susceptible to pests such as; spider mites, mealy bugs, aphids, scale, fungus gnats, and thrips.

Check your Peperomia Caperata regularly for any signs of infection or pests. If you notice a pest problem, wipe the leaves with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution (a natural insecticide). Prune and remove all infected areas and isolate the plant to prevent the spread of pests.


Can Ripple Peperomia get too much sun?

Yes. Even though Peperomia Caperata grows as understory plants in their habitat and are known to adapt to various lighting conditions, they can get too much sunlight. These plants much prefer dappled lights and higher humidity levels. Too much sunlight results in faded leaves, scorched leaves, or leaves with brown tips, so it's best to place your Ripple Plant out of direct sunlight.

Do Peperomia Plants attract bugs?

Peperomia Caperata are generally pest-resistant. They can, from time to time, attract bugs such as red spider mites, mealybugs, scale, or aphids.

Regularly check your plant every few weeks for any signs of bugs or infections. These are easily managed with insecticides.

Do Peperomia Plants clean the air?

Peperomia Caperata does have air-purifying properties, but they should not be solely relied on to clean the air. Some studies have shown that they can reduce levels of formaldehyde by 47%.