Even though the name sounds strange, Peperomias are all around us. People all over the world use them to decorate their homes and gardens. However, only a few of us know how to tend to the plant properly. So, how to prune Peperomia?
Peperomia plants are slow-growing, low-maintenance plants. For this reason, the plants don’t require much pruning. Still, occasionally the plant may need a little trim to grow healthy. To do that, you can simply pinch off leaves or use sharp pruners.
Let’s take a look at how to prune Peperomias and the benefits it has on the plant.
There are many benefits to pruning Peperomia, including:
- Removes wilting or unhealthy parts of the plant
- Gets rid of aging leaves and makes room for new ones
- Improves overall health of the plant
If you know what you’re doing, pruning can be a relaxing experience. For a few minutes, it’s just you and your plants.
Here’s a guide on how to prune Peperomia:
The first thing you want to consider when pruning a plant is timing. When you prune your Peperomia can have a huge effect on its health.
In the winter and fall, plants are at their weakest. The roots and stems are in their most fragile state. For this reason, you want to avoid pruning during this period.
The best time to prune your Peperomia is during the spring and summer. The warm weather will ensure that the plant is healthy and stable enough for any cuts you need to make.
Before you start pruning your plant, you need to have an end goal in mind. This will help you decide what type of pruning is best for your plant.
There are four main types of pruning:
The most common type of pruning is removing the wilted sections. Most plant owners are familiar with this method.
It involves removing any yellowing or unhealthy sections of the plant. Depending on how well you take care of your Peperomia, this may not be a constant problem.
If you find yourself having to remove many yellow sections, you may need to rejuvenate your plant. It may be an issue with watering or fertilizing.
As the name suggests, with the reduction method, you want to decrease the size of the plant.
Depending on the variety of Peperomia you have, the plant can grow pretty tall. Reduction pruning ensures that your plant stays in its designated area.
This type of pruning involves cutting the tallest stems on the plant. In addition, because of how sow-growing Peperomias are, you may only need to do this once or twice a year.
Another common type of pruning is thinning. Some people like their plants to be a little sparse. Now, Peperomias may not get incredibly tall, but the leaves can grow pretty wild.
Thinning involves taming the wild leaves and freeing up a bit of space for the plant to grow.
If this is the type of pruning you’re looking for, you need to be careful. With this type, it’s easy to over-prune. Doing so may end up damaging your plant.
Since Peperomias are decorative, many people want them to take a specific shape. One way to achieve this is by shape pruning your plant.
This process can be a little tedious. You may need to prune your Peperomia for months before it starts growing in the shape you want.
Shaping doesn’t usually involve making large cuts. Generally, you make tiny cuts along the outskirts of the plant, until you get your desired shape.
Once you figure out what you want to do to your plant, you can gather your tools and materials. To prune a Peperomia, you’ll need:
It should come as no surprise that to prune a Peperomia, you’ll need a pruner. Pruners are a sturdier version of scissors. They’re made of more durable materials and sharper blades.
When you’re dealing with a delicate plant like Peperomia, you want to be as gentle as possible. A sharp blade will go through a stem with much less resistance.
This ensures that you do as little damage to the plant as possible.
You can also use shears to prune, but you’ll have much less control. Pruners are a little smaller than shears. For this reason, they’re much easier to maneuver and pinch.
Check out this guide on how to choose the best pruners for you.
Peperomias are prone to many types of infections. These infections happen due to bacteria and fungi in the environment.
For this reason, it’s good practice to disinfect your plant before you prune it. Wet a cotton tab with plant-safe disinfectant, and wipe the entire surface of the plant.
This ensures that there are no microorganisms on the stems that can infect a fresh cut.
Gardening gloves are the best way to protect your hands while pruning. These are optional, you don’t need them to prune effectively. However, they can be incredibly useful.
The gloves protect you from your pruner, in case your hand slips while you’re cutting. In addition, they keep your hands and fingernails clean.
Aside from your pruner, plant stems can also do plenty of damage to your hands. When cut at an angle, the stems can be pretty sharp.
Therefore, to avoid unnecessary cuts and scrapes, it’s a good idea to put on a pair of gardening gloves. If you’re not sure what gardening gloves will work best for you, you can use this guide.
With your vision for your plant in mind, start identifying the part that needs to go. Depending on which type of pruning you choose, this will be a little different.
Whether you’re looking for yellow leaves or a stem to cut, take your time. You want to go through the entire plant thoroughly and identify and mark any part you plan to cut.
Doing so will help you know if you need to change your plan to not harm your Peperomia. At the end of pruning, you want your plant to still have enough leaves to grow.
The moment of truth when it comes to pruning is when you make your first cut. Using your pruners, start cutting at the marks you made on the Peperomia.
This is when your sharp pruners come into play. Prune the plant in sections. Every couple of cuts, you want to take a step back and look at your Peperomia.
Your cuts should be a swift, seamless motion. You don’t want to make a cut in more than one swipe. Doing so may damage the Peperomia stem you’re cutting.
Despite being low-maintenance, Peperomias are delicate plants that require just a bit of care. To care for them properly, you need to know how to prune Peperomia.
Start by deciding on what type of pruning you want to do, then you can move on to marking your plant and making small cuts with your pruners.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.