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Peperomia Obtusifolia 

How to Grow and Care for Peperomia Obtusifolia (Baby Rubber Plants)

The Peperomia Obtusifolia (Baby Rubber Plant) is an easy-to-care-for, succulent-type plant with green leaves that will do well in almost every room in your house.

Peperomia Obtusifolia
  • Baby Rubber Plant

Other names for this plant...

Baby Rubber Plant Pepper Face Plant American Rubber Plant


The Baby Rubber Plant is part of the Piperaceae plant family. This family, commonly called the pepper family, contains 3,600 species divided into two main genera: Peperomia and Piper (although there are five genera in the family). Plants in this family are flowering and can be small trees, herbs, or shrubs.


Baby Rubber Plants are found in the rainforests of South America. There are small populations of this plant also found in Southern Florida and Central America, in humid, tropical environments.


The Baby Rubber Plant is a type of succulent, with large, glossy oval leaves that can be variegated, depending on the cultivar. The stems are upright, but if allowed to grow, mature Peperomia plants will start to cascade down.

As they have succulent-like leaves, they are tolerant to drought conditions. When dry, they shrivel up a little bit but will plump right up if they get a drink.

Baby Rubber Plant
The Baby Rubber Plant is a type of succulent, with large, glossy oval leaves

There are different cultivars of Baby Rubber Plants, with the most popular being:

  • Peperomia obtusifolia 'Alba': When they're still young, this white-variegated Peperomia Obtusifolia has red-tinged stems and white patches on the leaves which fade as the plant matures.

  • Peperomia obtusifolia 'Minima': Minimas have dense, compact deep green foliage.

  • Peperomia obtusifolia 'Gold tip': Gold tips have white and cream marbled variegation that turns gold towards the leaf tips.


A young Baby Rubber Plant will be the perfect tabletop plant - right at home on a side table, coffee table, or even your office desk. These plants will also add a lovely pop of green to a bathroom counter.

As long as they get enough light, you will have a happy plant.

Once they get older, their upright stems begin to trail, turning them into cascading plants. At this point, you can relocate your Peperomia to a bookshelf or bar counter where they will be a lovely addition to your decor.


The Peperomia Obtusifolia loves bright, indirect light. Although they can survive a bit of direct sunlight, too long in the sun and the leaves will get sunburnt.

If you have a variegated Baby Rubber Plant, you will definitely want to keep it out of dark, shady corners or direct sun, as this will cause the variegation to fade. Non-variegated Peperomia Obtusifolia with dark green leaves will do just fine in low-light conditions, but they won't thrive.

The best spot for your Baby Rubber Plant is near a south, east, or west-facing window where there is partial sun in the morning, but no direct sun in the afternoon.


This species has some serious succulent vibes, which means they would much rather prefer you underwater them than drowning them.

Water them about once every week or two during the growing season (spring and summer), and allow the soil to dry out before the next watering. It won't tolerate sitting in water!

During winter, your Baby Rubber Plant will crave longer periods of drought, so space out the watering to every two to three weeks.


As these plants are found in rainforests, you would be correct in assuming they love hot environments. Keep your Peperomia Obtusifolia at a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure it receives the best care.

If you live in a cold region and your house often drops to below 50 degrees, it is best to leave this plant at the nursery and get a cold-tolerant plant instead.


Again, these plants are rainforest inhabitants, which means they prefer a humid environment.

Keep them away from areas where there is airflow, such as heating or AC units, and open windows.

Your plant will love a hot, steamy bathroom, or having a humidifier as a neighbor. You can also mist the leaves frequently or place them over a pebble tray with water during the summer growing season to promote healthy growth.


Despite rainforests being generally moist environments, these plants don't enjoy having wet roots and can easily get root rot.

The soil should be well-draining, with drainage holes in the planter.

They don't really mind the pH balance of the soil, as long as it is a loose, fertile, moist potting mix. Mixing peat, perlite and sand will do just fine.


These plants can get a bit bushy, so you may want to trim the leaves to keep them neat.

Cut off any dead or dying leaves and stems so that the growth can be directed into healthy leaves.

You can also pinch the tips of new stems - it might sound bizarre but this will encourage healthy growth, preventing your plant from becoming leggy.


Baby Rubber Plants aren't overly hungry and do well without any fertilizer. But, if you want to give them an extra boost, you can dilute all-purpose fertilizer and give your plants a dose once a month during the growing season.

Height & Growth

Plants in this genus are adored by plant lovers because they are so compact. They grow about 2.4 to 4.8 inches each year, reaching a height of 12 inches. These plants do love spreading out, and when properly maintained they can be 12 to 24 inches wide.


No, plants in the Peperomia genus are not considered toxic for animals or humans.


Peperomia plants are completely pet-friendly. But although they won't cause your pets any problems, we'd recommend you keep them out of reach of pets (and kids), just in case.

Common Problems

Even the easiest houseplants are prone to problems if they are neglected or forced to live in suboptimal conditions. Here are some common problems faced by Peperomia Obtusifolia:

  • Yellowing leaves: The main cause of yellow leaves is overwatering. This can lead to root rot and the eventual death of your little plant.

  • Drooping leaves: Droopy leaves can be a symptom of many problems. Your plant can be exposed to too much light, or you might be over-fertilizing it. Drooping leaves can also be a sign of underwatering.

  • Leaves falling off: If you notice your plant's leaves dropping off, it means that there was a sudden change in temperature, which the plant couldn't adapt to.

  • Brown spots on leaf tips: Brown leaf tips mean the environment is much too cold for your plant. The opposite can also be a cause - too much direct afternoon sun. Keep your plant in warm temperatures with plenty of bright light, but no direct sun!

Peperomia Obtusifolia FAQs

Is Peperomia Obtusifolia easy to care for?

Yes, these plants are incredibly easy to care for, making them a valuable addition to any plant collection. They do fine in either bright or low light (just no direct sunlight) and as long as the temperature doesn't drop below 50 degrees, your Baby Rubber Plant will be very happy.

Do Peperomia Obtusifolia like to be misted?

Because these plants love humidity, they will also love a good misting! This will replicate their home environments in tropical rainforests. Just avoid misting them at night when the temperature drops, as this can lead to a fungal infection.

Where should I place my Peperomia plant?

Almost any room will do! Place your Peperomia in a well-lit, warm room with humidity and no direct sun. Bathrooms or kitchens are perfect, but your plant will also do well in other rooms with regular misting or the use of a nearby humidifier.

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