Peperomia plants are a species of tropical plants native to Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. This group of plants has more than 1000 species that have thick leaves and thrive in harsh conditions.
The characteristic beauty of Peperomia plants is the leaves with many unique colors and patterns. Leaves can be red, green, gray, or purple; patchy, marbled, or solid; large, heart-shaped, or watermelon motifs.
Peperomia plants are easy to grow, easy to care for, and low maintenance, slow-growing plants that can maintain their beauty all year round. So many people love to grow this plant in their homes or offices around the world.
However, one problem that you will often face when caring for Peperomia plants is the problem of defoliation. Peperomia losing leaves is probably the most common problem you need to find a way to fix. To find the best remedy, you need to determine what is causing the leaves to drop. Let’s find out the reasons in detail in this article.
Why Is My Peperomia Dropping Leaves? – Causes And How To Fix It?
Leaf drop in plants is not an uncommon problem. Even this phenomenon is common in most plants from ornamental trees, fruit trees, and vegetables in the garden. The phenomenon of plants dropping leaves is one of the early warning signs of problems facing plants.
Losing leaves of Peperomia plants can be related to a variety of factors such as improper watering, waterlogging, lack of sunlight, extreme cold, or the natural aging process. Here are some of the basic causes of leaf drops in Peperomia plants.
Natural Aging Process
For plants, it is completely normal for old leaves to fall off. It is the natural aging process in plants. The old leaves at the bottom will fall off so that the plants can focus their energy on producing new, healthy leaves.
However, you need to pay attention to the rate of aging and the number of leaves that fall each time. On average, Peperomia plants will drop 1 to 2 leaves after a few months because this plant has a slower growth rate than other species. If leaves fall in large numbers and large numbers, then you need to determine another cause.
In addition, the number of fallen leaves should be less than the number of new leaves in Peperomia plants. It is important in determining whether leaf fall is a natural phenomenon of aging.
Watering Too Much
Water is an indispensable element for plant growth and development. It plays an important role in the biological action of plants. However, improper watering also causes plants to face many health problems.
Most of us tend to water more with the number of water plants need. This is due to the habit of daily watering and the failure to control the amount of water in each watering.
Peperomia plants do not like wet or watery environments. Soil that is too wet and waterlogged for a long time will cause the plant’s root system to rot. When the root system is damaged, it will not be able to carry out the task of transporting water, nutrients, and oxygen to the plant stem and leaves. From there, the leaves begin to droop, turn yellow or brown, and fall off.
To determine if the defoliation of Peperomia plants is caused by water, you need to check the moisture in the soil. You can use a soil moisture meter to know exactly how wet it is. In addition, you can also observe with the naked eye or use your finger to check the humidity. If the soil is too sticky, wet, and lumpy, then waterlogging is happening.
To deal with root rot in Peperomia plants, you need to follow the steps below.
- Gently remove the entire plant from the pot. Avoid cutting roots and damaging plant branches
- Use clean disinfected scissors to remove rotten and damaged branches. Because they cannot respawn when you plant in another pot.
- Clean the healthy root branches, use disinfectant to clean the roots.
- Replace with a new pot or new potting soil with the right nutrient content.
- Plant the plants back, water some water, and wait for the plants to respawn.
Poor Drainage Condition
You can water according to the amount of water and schedule that Peperomia plants need, but the problem is the drainage capacity of the pot and the potting soil. When water can’t get out of the transpiration hole, it stays in the soil for a long time.
In particular, indoor plants, often receive less sun than outdoor plants. As a result, the soil is more likely to dry out and lead to waterlogging and root rot. You can follow a few ways below to increase drainage and avoid waterlogging for plants.
Make sure your bonsai pots have drainage holes: Bonsai pots should have at least 1-2 drainage holes to remove excess water after each watering. These drainage holes do not need to be large but should be well-ventilated. You should also regularly clean the drainage holes to avoid moss or other obstructions blocking the holes. You can add some gravel or rocks in the drain hole to avoid clogging the soil.
Add perlite to the potting mix of Peperomia plants: You can increase the drainage of your bonsai pot by adding perlite to the soil mix. The voids that the potted perlite creates will help remove excess water and circulate air.
Using terracotta pots: Terracotta pots often have poor aesthetics and higher prices than plastic or porcelain products. However, terracotta pots with clay materials will help remove excess water better than other types of pots. Because clay is permeable, some of the water can evaporate out of the pot.
Lack Of Water
Lack of water is also one of the common causes of plant leaves falling. The root system cannot supply water to the leaves, so the cells lack water and cannot carry out photosynthesis and metabolism. From there, the leaves begin to turn yellow and fall in mass.
Peperomia plants do not need to be watered too often because they do not like moisture. However, the lack of water and long-term aridity will also make it difficult for this plant to survive. They are forced to shed leaves to save water and maintain life in the roots and stems.
You should check the moisture in the soil regularly with a moisture meter or finger. If the soil is too dry and loose, you need to water it immediately to revive the plants. You should water gradually every day for a week so that Peperomia plants have time to adapt and thrive again.
In addition, you also need to create a habit of watering according to the actual situation instead of the available schedule. During the hot summer months and high temperatures, you can water more. However, when temperatures are cold in the winter months, you should only water a little to keep the ground dry.
Lack Of Sunlight
Plants need sunlight to carry out photosynthesis and metabolism. Light will help make the leaves greener and healthier as well as limit conditions caused by pest attacks.
Lack of light is also the reason why Peperomia plants lose their leaves. However, this plant also does not like direct sunlight. Instead, indirect light with a warm intensity is ideal for the growth of Peperomia plants.
If the plant leaves shed a lot, stunted and drooping stems are a sign of a lack of sunlight. In addition, you can also observe that the branches will be thinner and tend to grow in sunlight. Therefore, you should put the potted plant next to the window about 1 meter to absorb indirect light for a few hours a day.
However, during the hot summer months and high temperatures, you need to move to a more stable temperature location to avoid overheating that will burn the leaves.
The Temperature Is Too Cold
As you know, Peperomia plants prefer warm environments in tropical regions. Therefore, extremely cold temperatures and strong winds also cause leaves to fall. Place your potted plant in a location with little wind rather than in a hallway, by a window, or in a well-ventilated area during the winter months. Because plants are prone to freezing and it is difficult to revive after being frozen for a long time.
In addition, Peperomia plants can also shed their leaves in the summer while in the room. The cause may be because you put the potted plant too close to the air conditioner or heat source in the house. The cool heat from the air conditioner can help you relax in the heat of summer, but it will harm Peperomia plants over time.
Fungi And Pests
Leaf drops in Peperomia plants can also be caused by fungi, harmful bacteria, and insects. Insects such as aphids, spiders, bugs, flies, etc. They can appear in the air and attack leaves directly. They will suck up the plastic and create black, yellow, or brown holes or spots.
You need to observe every day to detect and remove these insects early because they will quickly attack other leaves and the entire plant. Regularly clean the leaves on both sides with a damp cloth or use neem oil to remove white, yellow, or brown patches. Alternatively, you can also use a fungicide or insect repellent to spray the leaves on a scheduled basis to prevent harmful bacteria.
The defoliation of Peperomia plants can be related to many different causes such as improper watering, waterlogging, lack of light, extreme temperatures, pests, or natural aging.
You need to determine the cause of the leaves falling in order to find a solution in time. However, make sure the pot has good drainage holes, use more buffalo feet to avoid waterlogging, provide indirect light and keep the plants warm in winter.