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Are Peperomias Succulents in Disguise? The Plants That Challenge Definitions

Are Peperomias Succulents in Disguise? The Plants That Challenge Definitions

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Peperomia plants are beautiful and are popular houseplants. If you look closely at these plants, they share some similar characteristics with succulents, including the thick, fleshy leaves. This can lead many people to ask the question, are Peperomias succulents?

Even though Peperomia plants share the thick, fleshy foliage characteristic as many succulents, and they use these leaves to retain water to help them survive dry conditions, Peperomia plants are not succulents. These plants are merely considered to be succulent-like plants, not true succulents.

What does succulent-like mean regarding Peperomia plants? Can you use succulent soil for Peperomias? How does peperomia care differ from succulent’s care?

Let’s find out the answers to these excellent questions!

Are Peperomia Plants Succulents?

Peperomia plants are stunning and low maintenance, which is why these plants are so popular as houseplants. These plants have some interesting characteristics, which can confuse some people when trying to decide which category they can give to their Peperomias.

Peperomias tend to have thick leaves and low watering requirements, suggesting that these plants could be placed in the succulent category, but are Peperomias succulents?

To determine this, we need to look at what a succulent is. Many people think succulents are a genus or family of plants, but this is not the case. Succulent means a plant with a specific set of characteristics and is not a plant that belongs to one plant family.

The characteristics needed for a plant to be succulent are that that plant needs to have parts that are fleshy, thick, and engorged. The purpose of these plant parts is to retain water to help the plant thrive in dry climates and soil.

So, does this make Peperomia plants succulents? Peperomia plants are not considered succulents, but most are considered succulent-like. There are over 1000 different plant species in the Peperomia family, and there aren’t many from these that can be considered a true succulent.

The Peperomias you find in your local stores are the succulent-like Peperomias, as the true succulent Peperomias aren’t as popular among houseplant enthusiasts.

So, there are a few Peperomias that can be considered succulents, but the majority of them, and the ones you will most likely have in your home, are only succulent-like Peperomias.

What Does Succulent-Like Mean Regarding Peperomias?

You might be wondering now what succulent-like means regarding your Peperomia plant. Succulent-like implies that the plant is easier to care for than most other plants due to their ability to retain water to help keep themselves healthy.

Most Peperomias will fall into this succulent-like category as they have thick, fleshy parts that can retain water for when the plant needs it. These succulent-like characteristics that the Peperomia plants have, allow the plants to survive and thrive in drier conditions.

Your Peperomia will be forgiving if you forget to water them for a week. They will be able to survive without you watering them on a regular schedule if you are a busy person. This makes these plants easy to care for and perfect for beginners.

However, unlike true succulents, Peperomias cannot tolerate these dry conditions for extended periods. So, you cannot stop watering your Peperomia for weeks at a time like you can with a true succulent plant.

If you leave your Peperomia plant without water for too long, the plant will start dropping its leaves. This is a good signal that your plant needs to be watered, and you should not leave it for much longer without water.

Which Peperomia Plants Are Succulents?

As we mentioned, most of the popular Peperomia plants that you will find in stores and people’s homes are not true succulents.

However, there are still Peperomia plants that are considered true succulents, but they are more difficult to find as they aren’t as popular as the succulent-like types. So, if you are looking for a Peperomia plant that is a true succulent, which plants should you try to find?

There are very few Peperomias you can be on the lookout for at your local plant nurseries. However, one such plant is the Peperomia Ferreyrae. This is a Peperomia succulent that can be found if you look at plant nurseries rather than stores.

Another Peperomia you can look for is the Peperomia Graveolens. This isn’t a true succulent, but it’s more succulent-like than most other Peperomia plants. This means it can handle longer periods without water.

Can You Use Succulent Soil for Peperomias?

When you need to repot your Peperomia plant, you might be wondering what type of soil to use for your plant. If a Peperomia plant is succulent-like, can you use succulent soil for your Peperomia, or do you need to purchase other soil?

Peperomias need well-draining, aerated soil to thrive in your care. The roots of these plants require a lot of oxygen to stay healthy and active, so you need soil that will allow this.

When potting your Peperomia plants, you can use a succulent soil mixture. Alternatively, you can use normal potting soil mixed with perlite and orchid bark to help prevent the soil from becoming compacted around the plant’s roots. Peperomia plants should thrive in your succulent soil mix.

How Does Peperomia Care Differ from a Succulent?

So, most of the popular Peperomia plants are not succulents but are merely succulent-like. What are the differences in the care requirements for a succulent-like plant, such as a Peperomia, and a true succulent plant?

Succulent-like plants will require more frequent watering than true succulents. However, you need to ensure you don’t overwater your succulent-like plant because, like succulents, they are highly sensitive to this and could die.

Succulent-like plants prefer bright indirect sunlight and can be burned if left in direct sunlight. Succulents can easily tolerate being left in direct sunlight for days without negative results. Both plant types can grow leggy if they don’t receive enough sunlight.

Peperomias and true succulents prefer low humidity conditions, but they can both tolerate high humidity quite well.

Final Thoughts

Peperomias are beautiful plants that are low maintenance, making them easy to care for. These plants are often confused as succulents due to their leaves and sometimes stems being thick, fleshy, and able to store water for later use by the plant.

However, even though these plants have this characteristic, they are not considered true succulents as they cannot survive long periods without water as true succulents can.

These plants are still gorgeous and excellent to have in your plant collection and will fit right in next to other succulents you have. Don’t let the fact that these plants aren’t true succulents dissuade you from getting one of your own.

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