One of the top questions any houseplant parent has about their new plant friend is how and when to water it. If you’re asking yourself this question about your new peperomia, don’t worry. We’ve got you! Let’s take a closer look and how often to water a peperomia plant so you can keep that beautiful foliage healthy.
One of our favorite traits of peperomia plants—and one of the many reasons why they’re a favorite among houseplant fanatics—is that they’re fairly drought resistant, which means they aren’t going to shrivel up and die if you miss a watering or water them a few days later than you planned.
Peperomia’s supple, thick leaves hold onto water, which means they can go a little longer without a drink than many other houseplants that need to be watered more often. (We’re looking at you, maidenhair fern!)
We find that the best approach is a more intuitive one. It’s not as tricky as it sounds!
Watering Frequency for a Peperomia Plant
That still doesn’t answer your question, does it? The truth is, there’s no cut-and-dried answer to the watering question for any plant. While the tag on your new plant may say to water every 7-10 days, that’s only a guideline!
Many different factors affect how often your peperomia will need water. Drainage of your pot and soil, light, temperature, humidity levels, etc., can all affect how quickly your peperomia will dry out and need a drink.
So the best thing to do is monitor your plant and water when the soil is dry.
What does that actually mean?
Your peperomia’s soil should be completely dry before you water. If you’ve ever grown succulents, peperomia’s water needs are similar.
To test whether the soil is dry, stick your finger into the potting mix as far as it will go. If the soil is completely dry to the touch, it’s time to water.
You can also poke a wooden stick (like a chopstick from your last takeout order) into the soil. If it comes out dry with little to no soil sticking to it, give your peperomia a drink!
The most accurate way, however, to test whether your peperomia is ready to be watered is with a moisture meter. This is my favorite way to keep tabs on all my indoor plants’ water needs, and I recommend that every houseplant parent purchase one! (This is the one I like, if you’re wondering).
Use the meter to test the center of your plant’s root ball. When the meter reads 2 or even 1, water your peperomia. If you’re watering thoroughly, this will probably be every 10-14 days (possibly less during the summer). Check your plant’s soil every few days to make sure you aren’t letting the soil stay dry for too long.
How to Water a Peperomia Plant
Once you’ve determined that your peperomia is thirsty, what’s the best way to water?
Top and bottom watering both work well for peperomia plants. The important thing is that you water thoroughly, let the pot drain completely, and avoid getting water on the leaves. (Don’t forget to add a little Indoor Plant Food to your water to give your peperomia the nutrients it needs to grow and stay healthy!)
To top water your peperomia, simply add water to the soil until it starts to drain out the bottom of the pot. Empty the drainage tray immediately (more than once, if necessary) so your plant isn’t sitting in water.
To bottom water your peperomia, fill a bowl or other container with water and place your peperomia’s pot in the container. The water should reach about a third of the way up the plant’s pot. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, or until the top of the soil just feels damp. Remove the pot from the container and place in a sink to drain for 30-60 minutes.
Peperomia plants are easy to care for and will reward you with lots of beautiful, oblong leaves with spectacular color.
Don’t miss these other articles on houseplant care for beginners!