Plant update: Peperomia marcello


Hi, hello from one of my latest plant acquisitions — the peperomia marcello! (Sometimes called the amigo marcello.) Truth be told, I haven’t had the best of luck with peperomia (aka the radiator plant), mostly because I end up ignoring them and then shocking them with too much water or sunlight. But I’m holding out hope for this little cute plant in spite of my past tragedies with the rosso and obtusofolia. The thick, bright green foliage reminds me of my lipstick and goldfish plants — though hopefully, it’ll fare better than those poor babies that struggled under my care.

My history with them aside, what I really like about peps is that they’re relatively affordable and common when you compare them to something like trendy hoya plants, which are also semi-succulent and come in all kinds of novel shapes. I will give hoyas credit for having gorgeous flowers — for the most part, I just see those little fuzzy spikes on peperomia. Nonetheless, peperomias are underrated, so I have to give them credit where credit is due.

Identifying the Peperomia Marcello

Peperomia Marcello Leaves
The peperomia marcello has simple, vining light green leaves.

Where to begin with the marcello? It’s native to South and Central America, growing on rotten wood as a compact epiphyte. Peps have foliage that come in all kinds of shapes and colors for every mood you’re in, whether you love a watermelon texture or a splash of red. This specific plant has adorable leaves that are arrow-shaped and a limey green — there’s nothing that’s super distinguished about it, but it’s lovely in a quiet kind of way. From what I’ve gathered through a cursory online search, it should grow to be around five feet tall and one foot wide in the optimal conditions — peperomias grow relatively slowly.

Caring for the Peperomia Marcello

Like most plants, the peperomia plant appreciates temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees, with moderate watering when the top 1-2 inches dries out. Bright indirect light should do just the trick as well. Even though it is getting pretty cold, I popped my marcello out of the nursery pot and into a terracotta container so that it doesn’t get waterlogged. Since winter is coming, I won’t be watering it as much, maybe twice a month, but I’m planning to leave it in a tray of wet pebbles for extra humidity, which my old peps didn’t get a lot of.

That’s all for today, plant friends. It’s tough out there, but keep calm and grow on,  lovelies!

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