On the windows of offices and apartments, a plant with shriveled leaves and flowers, similar to white flags on red poles, is sometimes found.
This flower is called Peperomia Caperata Lillian. In the article, we will consider what this plant looks like.
We will learn how to properly care for a flower at home, how to deal with pests and various diseases, and also study the types of reproduction.
Peperomia Caperata Habitat and Botanical description
Peperomia caperata (caperata Lillian’s), one of the many species of the genus Peperomia from the Pepper family. The name of the genus – “Like pepper” – is due to the fact that the leaves of peperomia, when rubbed, exude the smell of pepper. In English-speaking countries, peperomia is called “Radiator plant” – “Flower-radiator” and “Baby rubber plant” – “Little ficus”.Peperomia caprata (or Peperomia shriveled) got its name because of the wrinkled leaves. As for the Lillian variety, the name was given to it because of the distant similarity of inflorescences with lily flowers. Like most varieties of peperomia, Lillian arose naturally, without the efforts of breeders.
The flower was officially described only in 1958, although it was already known in indoor floriculture both in Europe and America. American botanist TJ Janker, an expert on the Pepper family, could not trace the origin of the species and used a herbarium specimen.
Peperomia Lillian is a low herbaceous plant, rarely exceeding 30 cm in height. The leaves are emerald green, shaped like a heart. On the seamy side, the shade is lighter.
The similarity of Lillian peperomia flowers with a lily is only external. In fact, on each long brownish-red peduncle, not one, but many small flowers, collected on the cob, bloom. The ear is wrapped in a snow-white cover leaf with a bell at the end. The bell is usually at an angle to the main part of the inflorescence. It is this covering leaf that resembles a lily flower. The homeland of the plant is the rain forests of Brazil.
Peperomia Caperata (Lillian) Photo
Further on the photo you can see what the flower looks like.
Peperomia Caperata (Lillian) Care
Florists note that peperomias are unpretentious plants. However, there are several rules of home care that must be followed for Lillian’s Caperata peperomia.
The plant is thermophilic and does not tolerate cold. In summer, the temperature should be kept at 22 ° C, in winter – about 20 ° C, but not lower than 17 ° C.
Abundant watering is required during the growth period – in the spring-summer period, but excess moisture is detrimental to the root system. In the autumn-winter period, peperomia should be watered very moderately. Peperomia will not die if not watered for several days.
The flower is photophilous, but cannot withstand direct sunlight for a long time. East or west facing windows are preferred. In winter, fluorescent lamps can be used to extend the daylight hours to 8-9 hours (taking into account the period of natural light).
Peperomia loves neutral soil. You can buy ready-made soil, or prepare it yourself by mixing turf soil, leafy soil, sand and peat in a 1: 2: 1: 2 ratio. The soil must be loose, otherwise, the root system will not be able to develop.
Young plants (up to 2-3 years old) are cut for decorative purposes – to form a bush. Adult bushes do not tolerate this procedure well. First, the plant is carefully examined, choosing the shoots to be removed. Then these shoots are cut with garden shears (it is advisable to pre-disinfect them). Also eliminates wilted leaves. In addition, inflorescences are sometimes removed so that the young bush can gain strength.
To feed peperomia, Lilian uses complex mineral fertilizers. From the beginning of spring to the end of autumn, it is fed 2 times a month, in winter – 1 time per month.
Peperomia Lillian can be grown in both a clay pot and a plastic pot. It shouldn’t be too big.
A young plant (up to about 3 years old) is transplanted every year, then every two years or less often, as needed. When transplanting, a pot is used with a diameter of 2 cm larger than the previous one, and a little deeper. To exclude stagnant moisture, a drainage layer of about 6 cm should be placed on the bottom (expanded clay, broken brick, eggshells, etc.). Before transplanting the plant, it is advisable to ignite or steam the soil in order to kill fungal infections and pests.The peperomia bush is carefully removed from the pot (holding the pot on both sides) along with a lump of earth. Then the soil is shaken off the roots and washed, being careful not to damage them. The soil in the new pot is moistened. The bush is placed in a new pot, the roots are straightened, sprinkled with earth, but not tamped. The soil is moistened again, and when it settles, a new one is added. The water from the sump must be drained.
In winter, the amount of watering and fertilizing is reduced and additional lighting is provided, as described above. In no case should the temperature drop below 15 ° C. It is necessary to exclude drafts – a jet of icy air can kill the plant.
Peperomia Caperata Propagation
The most common breeding method.
- The stalk is taken from the stem or top. The main thing is that there are at least two nodes on the handle.Reference. A node in botany is a section of a stem on which leaves, branches, aerial roots, buds and other lateral organs are formed.
- Cuttings are pruned in late spring or early summer.
- The knife must be disinfected.
- Cuttings can be placed in water and wait for the roots to appear. They can also be planted directly in prepared soil.
- Before this, the petioles are placed for two hours in a solution of potassium permanganate or a special agent that stimulates the formation of roots (the cut should be directed downward).
- After two hours, the cuttings are taken out of the solution, the cut is sprinkled with chalk or crushed activated carbon and dried for a day.
- Then they are planted in prepared soil. You can also use moss, sand, peat chips or vermiculite for rooting.
- For about a month – before the formation of roots – the cuttings are kept in greenhouse conditions. To do this, use glass jars or plastic bottles, cut to the required size. The soil should not dry out during this period.
- When the cuttings are rooted (this happens in 80% of cases), they need to be planted in separate pots.
Leafy cuttings are also used. All the same procedures as for cuttings are performed for individual leaves. An adult plant is selected (at least three years old). The petiole must be shortened as much as possible.
By dividing bush
A rather laborious method suitable for experienced florists. The seeds may well ripen at home, you can also purchase them in a special store.
- For sowing, shallow flat containers are taken, soil is poured into them, consisting of special soil for decorative leafy plants with the addition of river sand.
- The soil is moistened, seeds are laid out on its surface, after which another 1.5-2 mm of soil is poured.
- Using a spray bottle, moisten the soil again and cover the containers with glass or plastic wrap.
- The pots must be kept in bright light and at a temperature of 24-27 ° C (you can heat them from below).
- Every day you need to ventilate crops for 5-7 minutes to avoid rot.
- The soil is sprayed, preventing it from drying out.
- When 1-2 true (not cotyledonous) leaves appear, the plants are planted in peat pots with soil for peperomia.
- Six months later, when 6-7 leaves are formed on the shoots, they are transplanted into pots with a diameter of 7-8 cm.
Peperomia Caperata Bloom
This variety of peperomia is one of the few plant varieties whose decorative value is not only leaves, but also flowers. Therefore, the buds are not cut off, as in other species, but they are allowed to bloom. Blooms in summer. Since flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant, additional feeding is required during this period. If seed reproduction is not planned, it is better to cut off the faded peduncles.
Peperomia Caperata Diseases and pests
Proper care is the key to the health of Lillian’s peperomia.
With a lack of moisture, it can shed the leaves, while excess moisture leads to decay of the roots. Weakened plants can be affected by:
- spider mite;
In this case, you should treat the plant with special insecticides, or use improvised means. So, an alcohol solution helps from a mealybug – a piece of cotton wool is moistened in it and the plant is wiped. When a spider mite is affected, the bush is lathered with a sponge, then washed under a warm shower.
Peperomia Caperata Similar Plants
Peperomia Lillian has many close and distant decorative relatives of this species.
- Emerald ripple is another species. It is valued for its beautiful wrinkled leaves of a dark green color, but, unlike Lillian, its flowers are not so decorative. In English-language sources, the name Emerald ripple peperomia is sometimes used as a synonym for the name of the entire species (Peperomia caperata).
- Burgundy Ripple is similar to the peperomia of Emerald ripple, but differs in burgundy color of the leaves, reminiscent of Burgundy wine.
- Silver Ripple is distinguished by light green leaves with contrasting dark grooves.
- Lemon has an even lighter shade of leaves.
- White lady (“White lady”) – a variety with white spots on the leaves.
Peperomia caprata Lillian is a beautiful plant that is easy to grow at home. If you follow the simple rules of care, it will delight the eye for many years.