Peperomias are among the most common household garden plants out there. They’re characterized by their big, firm leaves. So, when these leaves go soft, you should start wondering, why are my peperomia leaves soft?
Peperomia leaves can go soft due to several factors, like overwatering, underwatering, low humidity, and diseases.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matter.
Common Causes of Soft Peperomia Leaves
Here are some of the factors that most often contribute to your peperomia leaves becoming soft and/or drooping. This section also includes tips on how to solve each issue.
1 – Overwatering
An abundance of water is often associated with healthy, well-nourished plants. However, too much water can actually harm your peperomia leaves.
When you water your peperomia plant too frequently, you’re actually creating unfavorable soil conditions for it. Peperomias thrive in soil that’s aerated and not overly compact.
Overwatering your peperomias has an adverse effect on the soil’s aeration. It deprives the plants’ roots of the air they need to maintain their health and function as they should. In essence, consistent overwatering suffocates your peperomia’s roots.
As a result of this, the roots will actually start to degenerate and die. In turn, they’re unable to carry out their function of providing the rest of the plant with water. This severely weakens your peperomia’s leaves, causing them to go soft and wither.
The journey of reviving your overwatered peperomia plant is akin to a phoenix rising out of the ashes. You must do away with the old to give way to new and fresh beginnings.
The first step is to make sure that you’ve correctly diagnosed the issue that’s causing your peperomia leaves to go soft. To do so, you must remove the plant from its pot completely and take a very close look at its roots. What you’re looking for is any indication of rotting.
If you do indeed find degenerated roots, your best course of action is to cut the rotted sections off. Only then will your peperomias have a chance to grow new, normally functioning roots.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to make sure to rectify the soil environment that caused the issue in the first place. Your best bet is to go ahead and completely replace the soil in your peperomia’s pot with moderately dry, well-aerated soil.
Going forward, you should take a meticulous approach to monitor the level of moisture in the soil. You should be very mindful of when you water your peperomias so as to not have the same issue again in the future.
Investing in a moisture meter will help make this process more of a science than guesswork.
2 – Underwatering
Just as excess water can have ill effects on your peperomias’ health and make their leaves soft, so can a deficiency in water.
Peperomias can survive a lack of water for a relatively long time thanks to their ability to store water in their leaves. This is also why you can tell that your peperomia lacks moisture when its leaves are soft to the touch.
If a peperomia is underwatered over a prolonged period of time, its leaves will start draining moisture from the stem. This weakens the entire plant and makes it highly susceptible to permanent tissue damage.
Again, the first step in counteracting this issue is making sure that you’re actually addressing the right problem.
In this case, it’s particularly essential to do so because adding more moisture to a peperomia that’s suffering from overwatering can have fatal consequences to your plant.
What you need to do is check the soil’s level of dryness. You can do this manually using your hand or by using a moisture meter. If the problem ailing your peperomias is indeed underwatering, the soil will be exceedingly dry.
Once you’re positive that the softness of your peperomias’ leaves is due to underwatering, you need to start compensating your plants for the water they’ve been yearning for. You should do so by watering them daily for a week and then returning to the regular watering schedule.
3 – Lack of Humidity
Another factor that may be causing your peperomia leaves to go soft is a low level of humidity in its surroundings.
Peperomias are indigenous to tropical habitats with high humidity, and they thrive in these conditions. Sometimes these conditions can be difficult to emulate in the household.
A lack of moisture in the surrounding air causes peperomia leaves to lose moisture at a rapid rate. This causes them to lose their firm quality and start to droop.
This issue can arise in summer or winter. However, it’s more prevalent in the winter months due to the dryness of the air caused by turning on the heater in your house.
This issue can be solved by boosting the humidity of the air in your peperomias’ immediate surroundings. You can do so by using a water spray to increase the level of moisture in the air.
However, you should be mindful not to overdo this. If you add too much moisture to the leaves, you run the risk of causing the same root issues caused by overwatering.
4 – Disease
The softness of your peperomia leaves can also be a product of disease. There are certain bacteria and fungus-borne infections that can wreak havoc on your peperomias if they contract them.
If you notice symptoms of bacterial or fungal infection, such as yellowness or spots on your peperomia’s leaves, here’s what you should do:
- If you have several peperomias in one pot, you should remove the infected plant into another pot as soon as possible to avoid spreading the infection.
- Apply anti-bacterial/anti-fungal treatments to the infected plant.
Going forward, you should always make sure that any equipment that comes into contact with your peperomias is completely clean and sterile. This will help avoid any future infections.
Peperomias are a great addition to any garden when they’re healthy. If you have peperomias that look soft or droopy, you may be asking, why are my peperomia leaves soft?
Whether it’s due to incorrect watering practices, low humidity, or disease, you’ll find the solution in the guide above.
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.