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Why is My Peperomia Drooping? (9 Possible Reasons)

Why is My Peperomia Drooping? (9 Possible Reasons)

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Peperomia is an easy-to-care-for plant, so it’s an excellent choice for beginners. It also purifies the air, so it’s a wonderful plant to put in your bedroom or living room.

However, it’s pretty common to see your peperomia drooping and the leaves turning downward. So, why does this happen to your beautiful plant?

Don’t worry because although it’s a common problem, identifying the reason why your peperomia is drooping will help you fix the problem and restore the look of your plant.

So, keep reading to learn more about this problem, all the causes, and the solutions.

Why is My Peperomia Drooping?

Peperomia is a low-maintenance plant that makes an excellent addition to your indoor setup. However, seeing the foliage drooping or wilting can be a little frustrating.

You’ll start to see that the leaves and stems, which are normally firm to touch, are becoming too soft and flexible.

Your plant will look unhealthy, and then it begins to wilt and droop after a while.

As a matter of fact, there are several reasons why this might happen. So, it could be a lack of care or too much care that’s causing the leaves to droop.

Moreover, some factors can be out of your control and still make your peperomia droop.

This is why it’s important to be aware of the signs that your plant shows to be able to find the cause of the drooping.

1 – Dehydration

Dehydration is usually the most common reason for your peperomia drooping.

When the plant is receiving enough water, the leaves and the stem look firm and healthy. Without enough water, you’ll start to see the stem and leaves looking more flexible.

Your peperomia becomes softer to touch and is unable to stand upright. You can also see the tips of the leaves turning brown to indicate that the plant is heavily dehydrated.

If you touch the soil, it will be dry to touch. Although this plant doesn’t require regular watering, dehydration can stress the plant and make it droop.

2 – Lack of Humidity

Because it’s an indoor plant, Peperomia can tolerate humidity inside the house. However, if you live in a dry climate, your plant can droop and wilt.

Peperomia and other indoor plants can suffer, especially in winter when you turn the heater on.

The weather becomes too dry in your house, and this can stress your plant.

The plant tries to conserve the moisture in its tissues by curling the leaves, thus preventing the water from evaporating. When the leaves curl, the surface area of the plant decreases, so it won’t lose much water.

3 – Overwatering

A lot of first-time plant owners make the mistake of overwatering their plants. Indoor plants, like peperomia, don’t need to be watered often and should only be watered when the soil is dry to touch.

If you notice that the water is soggy and the stems look floppy, then you might be overwatering your plant.

The leaves turn yellow and wilt because the plant is receiving too much water. You might also notice a bad smell emitting from the plant’s pot because the root ball is rotting.

4 – Low-Draining Soil

Your peperomia plant thrives in moist but not soggy soil. So, when it’s left in soggy soil for too long, the roots rot, and the plant starts to droop.

Eventually, your peperomia plant will die.

Root rot is one of the most common issues you might have to deal with when growing indoor plants in low-draining soil.

It happens when the spaces between the particles of the soil or the potting mix are always filled with water instead of air. As a result, the root ball stays moist all the time, so it eventually turns black and mushy, and it starts to smell bad.

Eventually, the root ball becomes unable to absorb the nutrients from the soil, and your plant will droop.

If you don’t take action, the plant will eventually die.

5 – Change in Temperature

Peperomia is a plant that grows in subtropical and tropical climates, so it thrives in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So, your plant will suffer when the temperature gets too low and drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to the cold temperature, the leaves will start to curl, and your plant will start to droop and wilt. After a while, the plant will die because the weather is too cold.

Once it reaches the freezing temperature, the water in the plant’s tissues will turn into crystals. These crystals will break the plant’s tissues, and it will eventually die.

Your peperomia plant will experience the same symptoms if the weather gets too hot. Temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit will also stress the plant and cause the leaves to curl and droop.

The plant will curl its leaves to reduce water evaporation and preserve moisture. Unfortunately, the leaves will also have dry edges, and the plant can become leggy.

This usually happens if you leave your plant outside on the porch.

However, as long as you’re using temperature control inside the house, your peperomia plant won’t be exposed to these extreme temperatures.

6 – Inadequate Sunlight

This plant thrives in medium to bright sunlight, so leaving it in the dark can cause the leaves to droop.

Peperomia is an excellent indoor plant, as long as you place it in a spot where it can receive enough sunlight. When kept in the dark, the plant will start to droop and grow fewer leaves.

At the same time, extended exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. Too much light can scorch the leaves and kill the plant.

7 – Overfertilizing

Using plant food or fertilizer during the growing season will help your peperomia grow and look healthy. However, using too much fertilizer can actually harm your plant.

The salts in the fertilizer will deposit in the plant, affecting its ability to absorb water from the soil.

As a result, you’ll start to see that the leaves are turning yellow, and they’ll have brown tips. Eventually, the plant will droop, and the roots will die.

8 – Repotting Shock

When you’re transforming your peperomia plant into a new pot, you need to be careful because this plant is sensitive and can easily suffer from repotting shock.

The repotting shock happens when you’re rough while handling the plant. As a result, the leaves will droop, and the plant might suffer greatly.

If you’re highly rough, your plant might even die.

9 – Pest Infestation

Although peperomia is resistant to indoor pests, it can get infected if you’ve been ignoring it for too long, it’s planted in infested soil, or it’s planted near infested plants.

When you don’t take care of the infestation, the leaves will droop and turn yellow. Certain types of pests can chew on your plant’s leaves and eventually kill the plant.

  • Mealybugs can infest the undersides of the leaves, and secretions of these pests cause mold that affects the health of the plant, causing the leaves to droop and eventually killing the plant.
  • Whiteflies are tiny flies that get disturbed when you move the plant. These pests suck the fluids of the plant, killing it, and the secretions of the insects cause mold, causing the plant to droop.
  • Spider mites are tiny reddish-brown bugs that leave yellow dots on the leaves. Eventually, the leaves will droop and wilt.
  • Thrips are tiny insects that suck the plant juices and specifically harm the young foliage. Eventually, the leaves will turn yellow or brown, and the damaged leaves will droop.
  • Fungus gnats are small black insects that live on the plant or in the soil. Although the adult insects don’t harm the mature plant, they lay the eggs in the soil, and the larvae feed on the roots, eventually killing them and causing the whole plant to droop and wilt.
  • Scale bugs are small insects with a brown or tan cover or scale. They produce secretions, known as honeydew, which leads to the formation of sooty mold that causes the leaves to droop and die.

How to Fix the Drooping Peperomia

Once you’ve decided on the right reason why your plant is drooping, you can find a suitable solution.

In most cases, if you act promptly, the plant will recover.

However, if you’ve been ignoring your plant for too long, it might not be able to overcome the stress, and it will eventually die.

It’s not always easy to precisely determine the reason why your peperomia is drooping. So, you might need to try different solutions and see which one works.

Pay Attention to the Plant

It’s true that your peperomia plant is easy to care for, but it still needs attention and follow-up.

If you notice that the plant is wilting or drooping, you should examine the leaves and the soil.

You might need to change its location or provide it with more water.

Clip off any dead leaves and clean the remaining ones gently to wipe off any dust. If you notice that your plant is infested with pests, apply a suitable pesticide to help it restore its look.

You can also give your peperomia a dose of fertilizer in the growing season to help it thrive.

Handle With Care

You should pay attention to is how you handle your plant the minute you bring it home.

It might droop a little if you’re too rough while transporting or cleaning it for the first time.

Plants take time to get accustomed to their new home, so you need to ensure that the plant receives adequate care with no major changes until it has been established.

If you’re transferring your plant to a bigger pot, you need to be gentle while handling the root ball.

Don’t expose the roots to the air for too long because they’ll dry out and won’t be able to absorb the nutrients and water from the soil. After repotting the plant, make sure that you expose it to the same amount of light and temperature, and you should water it as usual.

Water Your Plant Adequately

Overwatering and underwatering your plant can cause stress, leading to the leaves drooping. If you don’t pay attention to your plant, it will eventually die.

If you’ve been overwatering your plant, it might suffer from root rot, which turns the roots black and mushy, eventually killing the plant.

You can fix this problem by simply avoiding watering the plant for a few days until the soil is dry. However, you’ll have to do something else if you’ve been excessively overwatering your plant.

You’ll have to remove the plant from the soil and wash the root ball to remove all the soil. After that, you should examine the roots and cut off any black or rotten structures to help the plant recover.

Once you’ve cleaned the root ball, you should replant your peperomia plant in a new pot, avoiding overwatering.

If you’ve been underwatering your plant, you can pay attention to the soil. Your peperomia’s watering needs differ according to the weather and the growing season.

This is why you should avoid watering your plant according to a schedule.

Instead, examine the soil to see if it’s dry. If the first two inches of the soil are dry, then it’s time to water your peperomia. Typically, your plant needs less water in winter as the temperature drops.

Improve Draining

Leaving the plant in soggy conditions is one of the main reasons for root rot, which causes the plant to droop and eventually die.

So, you might need to improve the draining of the soil to solve this problem.

Peperomia plant thrives in chunky loose soil, with enough space for the air to ventilate the root system. You can use an orchid potting mix to grow your plant because this mix provides adequate draining.

If you’re using a regular potting mix, you can add peat moss or shredded leaves to improve draining. The pot you’re using should have adequate and enough draining holes to allow the excess water to pass through.

Control the Temperature and Humidity

Normal household temperatures are suitable for your peperomia plant, as long as you keep it inside. This is why you should avoid leaving it on the terrace, especially if it gets too cold in winter or too hot in summer.

It’s OK to leave your plant outside in the spring and fall, as long as the temperature remains adequate. This plant is hardy but is unable to handle the frost, so it will die if you leave it outside in the cold when the temperature falls to below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can help your plant retain moisture and humidity by placing it close to other plants. The vapor evaporating from other plants will help keep your peperomia plant moist and healthy.

If it gets too dry in winter, you can use a humidifier to restore adequate levels of humidity in the house.

Get Rid of the Extra Fertilizer

It’s true that a dose of fertilizer will help your plant grow, especially when applied in the growing season.

However, if you notice that your plant is drooping, it might be receiving too much food.

In this case, you need to remove the plant from the soil and gently flush the soil with water to remove the extra fertilizer and salts. Nevertheless, you should be extremely careful while handling the root ball, as you might damage it beyond repair if you’re too rough.

Cut away any rotten or black roots because they’re dead and won’t be able to absorb water. After that, transfer the plant to a new pot with a fresh potting mix and avoid fertilizing it for a couple of months.

If you feel that your plant needs some extra care, follow the instructions for using the fertilizer. You can even dilute it to make sure that your plant is healthy.

Treat Pest Infestation

If you notice that your peperomia plant is suffering from pests, you need to examine it fully to determine the extent of the damage.

In some cases, you can scrape off the pests and their secretions off the leaves. Preparing a cleaning solution of dish soap and water can help get rid of these pests.

You can also transfer the plant to a new pot. With a new potting mix, the pests will lose their home, and you’ll get rid of the larvae.

You can apply a small amount of neem oil to get rid of the pests. Choose cold-pressed neem oil to have all the benefits of this oil without harming your plant.

Use a cotton ball to wipe the leaves or spray them sparingly. You can also prepare a solution of neem oil and soap to keep your plant pest-free.

Final Thoughts

Peperomia is a hardy plant with strong foliage. Yet, it’s quite common to see the leaves drooping and wilting if you don’t under the plant’s needs.

It’s crucial to pay attention to different symptoms to determine why the plant is drooping. If you’re unsure about why this happens, you can try different solutions until your plant has restored its healthy look.