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In The Garden: Florida peperomia is ideal for carefree gardeners

By Staff | Apr 16, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Florida peperomia

Florida peperomia (Peperomia obstusifolia) is a native groundcover primarily used for natural landscapes and shade gardens in Southwest Florida.

The unique species is an epiphytic herb with thick succulent leaves 2-6 inches long. The plant grows 6-9 inches in height and spreads and forms clumps broader than it is tall. Preferring shade environments, the plant does best in moist, less fertile and well drained environments that mimic the moist hammocks and swamps where they are found naturally.

The plant is ideal for carefree gardeners as it is very easy to take care of once established. Characterized as a slow growing groundcover, the plant can be spaced close together to encourage them to fill in faster.

The plant is classified as endangered in its natural environment as its numbers have declined due to poaching, exotic species invasion and habitat loss. The Peperomia plant can be propagated by cuttings, which makes the plant all the better to share with friends.

The plant will cascade over the side of a hanging basket or planter, making for a beautiful shade ornamental piece. The Peperomia also comes in non-native variegated varieties that tolerate a few hours of sunlight.

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit “http://www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden”>www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.