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Peperomia Ruby Cascade: 1 Critical Growing Secret

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Are you having a hard time keeping Peperomia Ruby Cascade alive, let alone thriving? I’ve written this post to help the countless people that have told me that they can’t keep this plant alive.

Learn all about Peperomia Ruby Cascade plant care and propagation in this post, including the one growing secret that will make ALL the difference!

These plants are semi-succulent in nature, and hence why some people have problems with them.

They are NOT technically succulents, so don’t go around spreading vicious rumors. The leaves are semi-succulent though which means they are a little…juicy. That’s all.

Peperomia Ruby Cascade can easily rot out on you if you don’t provide this plant with good overall growing conditions.

Before I get to the one super important piece of information that will help you grow this plant, it is really important to understand that you must have a combination of conditions correct in order to have a healthy plant.

LIGHT

Although it might seem really obvious to many, the topic of light is unfortunately a very misunderstood topic.

And I really believe that a lot of misconceptions are spread through social media (particularly on Instagram!). Which if you aren’t following me on Instagram, be sure to follow @ohiotropics.

If you want this plant to grow well and thrive, you must have it directly in front of a window. As close as possible and within a foot of a window for best results.

This really goes for any plant. It’s just that some plants are more forgiving than others. This one is not quite so forgiving.

So many people these days place plants several feet away from a window. No plant can thrive in those conditions. There are some that will tolerate it, but that’s about it.

I have two Ruby Cascades. One is in sitting under a skylight in my sunroom and the other is hanging right in front of a Southern exposure window (with blinds to diffuse the direct sun.)

I’m sure that larger Northern windows will be OK for these plants. Unobstructed Eastern exposure windows that get morning sun would be ideal.

Being semi-succulent in nature, if you have these plants in darker conditions, chances are that the soil will stay wet for a long time and thus cause rotting.

Most people lose this plant from rotting.

After you get the “light” portion correct, I’d like you to consider the following important topics.

Remember, houseplant care should be a holistic approach where you consider a variety of factors that result in a healthy houseplant.

WATERING

Due to the semi-succulent nature of the leaves, you’ll want to allow your Peperomia Ruby Cascade to dry out a bit in between watering.

Always soak your plant thoroughly and let the excess water escape through the drainage holes. (And yes, drainage holes are a MUST).

Be sure to always water thoroughly. There are so many myths about watering and overwatering is a very misunderstood topic.

Then allow the soil to dry out in between watering. The trick is to let it dry out enough, but not too much.

Depending on the size pot that you have your plant growing in, let the top inch or two dry out. It will be OK (though not preferable) to allow all of the soil to dry out in the pot, but not for too long.

If you let your Ruby Cascade completely dry out and stay dried out for extended periods of time, the lower leaves will dry up and the plant will become bare at the base.

How do you ensure that the soil will dry out in a reasonable amount of time? One important thing, as previously discussed, is LIGHT! Follow my tips in the light section.

Making sure not to overpot this plant (placing it in a pot that’s too big) will also help to ensure that the soil dries out quickly enough. My rule of thumb is only go up one pot size when you repot.

As far as fertilizing goes, I always recommend the following as a fantastic all-purpose fertilizer for all plants. It is available on Amazon and I use it for almost all my houseplants.

It’s called Dyna-Gro Grow and it is AMAZING!

I simply add 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon of water and use it every time I water during the growing season. I don’t fertilize during the winter months.

And now onto the “secret” to make sure that this plant will thrive.

SOIL

For any plant that has semi-succulent or succulent leaves (and also for true succulents), I use the same soil blend. Here is my “secret” that I referred to.

I used this soil blend after I propagated my plant. I had to chop my original plant after it grew a few feet and reached the surface of my spouse’s desk!

I simply used a combination of a good succulent/cactus mix along with pumice. I used approximately 2 parts of succulent mix and 1 part of 1/4″ size pumice.

You can purchase the following components on Amazon and I always have these on hand to repot and to pot up rooted cuttings!

Here is a great mix for succulents and cacti (and plants like Peperomia Ruby Cascade that need superior drainage).

I like to use the Espoma Organic Cactus Mix along with 1/4″ pumice.

Remember, use about 2 parts of the cactus mix and 1 part of the pumice.

This blend is very sharply draining and it has really worked beautifully for this plant. The specific pumice that I indicated in the link above is very high quality and uniform in size. Not all pumice is created equal so beware!

And you do get what you pay for…

PROPAGATION

Like I mentioned earlier, if you let this plant completely dry out for extended periods, the base of the vines will go bare.

But the upside is that this plant grows very quickly in my experience so it makes a great subject for propagation!

My original plant that I purchased grew a few feet long, so I had to chop it and make a new plant.

I took quite a few cuttings so that I could create a full plant. When you want to make a nice full plant, always take as many cuttings as you can. Otherwise you will be waiting forever!

I will show you what my cuttings started out at and what the resulting plant looked like less than a year later.

Here is what my cuttings started out as:

I choose the water propagation method because I like to see the roots growing and then I potted them up.

  • Take a pair of scissors and cut as many cuttings as you can (or as many as you are comfortable with!). My cuttings were all around 5 or 6 inches long or so.
  • Strip off the bottom leaves with your fingers. The bare part of the stem will be in water.
  • Place the cuttings all in water and change the water once a week or so. More often if you notice that the water is cloudy.
  • Place the vase in bright indirect light and wait for rooting.
  • Then plant the rooted cuttings in a smaller pot using the soil blend that I described earlier in this post.

(You can also use the soil propagation method as well. Dip the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone, and then place directly in soil.)

Here is what the rooted plant looked like just several months afterwards! Nice and full!

Here are a couple more tips that will help you that I think are very important!

Start off with a smaller pot. I planted my cuttings in a 3.5 or 4 inch pot. Don’t use huge pots starting off because the soil will take too long to dry out and you will risk rotting your plant out.

And finally, be sure to follow my soil recipe and my cultural tips in this blog post for best results.

Do you have a Peperomia Ruby Cascade? Comment below! I love to hear from my readers.

And if you are in love with Peperomias, check out my blog posts on Watermelon Peperomia and also the rare Peperomia perciliata that I planted in my terrarium!

It’s such a tremendous genus of plants for the houseplant lover! Do you have any questions? Comment below!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

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Regan

Thursday 14th of May 2020

Hi Raffaele! Just received this gorgeous plant from, of all places, Home Depot. I’ve been getting plants in droves during this quarantine and Ruby’s condition is impeccable compared to many other vendors, specialty greenhouses, personal growers, etc. I appreciate this article! I’ll heed your tips and see if I have the right combination of her “likes” 🙂

Question for you on general care an attention to this plant... mine is so healthy it’s layered on top of the soil with wrapping stems and lush leaves. Do I want to brush off the buried ones and expose as much of the plant as possible to light? There’s a ton of new growth and I see these little leaves stuck underneath. I’m a fidgeter in general and I’d love to get in there and untangle her but obviously I don’t want to upset any rooted stems or whatnot.

Do you have any insight to share here?

Thank you!

Raffaele

Friday 15th of May 2020

Hi Regan! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. If I understand correctly, I would just leave it alone. It sounds like the parts that are buried are resulting in all the new growth you're seeing. So let it be, and just proceed with good care!

Jenna Etherington

Monday 11th of May 2020

Great tips! I grabbed one in April or May of 2019 and I agree with all of this. There was hardly any info on the web about these guys at the time, and I felt like I was winging it. However, mine is thriving and I’m doing exactly as you are. I came here to read about propagation since mine has grown too long. I assumed It’d be much like a string of pearls but wasn’t for sure. Thanks so much for the tips. Can’t wait to propagate my guy.

Raffaele

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

You're welcome Jenna! I'm going to be propagating more myself off my original plant.

Francis

Saturday 11th of April 2020

I tried propagating my ruby cascade a few times but the roots always rotted in the water. Was I not changing the water enough?

Raffaele

Sunday 12th of April 2020

Hi Francis! It's hard to say without more details. Did you remove the leaves that were under water? If you don't, your water can spoil pretty quickly. Also be sure not to place your cuttings in too dark of a location...hope this helps!

Anne M Grubbs

Sunday 29th of March 2020

Thank you this is great info.

Raffaele

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

You're very welcome Anne! :-). I'm gad you enjoyed the post.

Autumn R Mosley

Saturday 29th of February 2020

I live in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon. Do you think a south-facing window is too much light or should this be okay? I'm nervous I'm going to kill this beautiful hanging Pot I just got.

Raffaele

Saturday 29th of February 2020

Hi Autumn! These plants prefer not to be in sun all day. But it depends on your own window. How much actual direct sun comes through on a clear day? Are there any obstructions outside? Or do you get several hours of sun there? A handful of hours are ok, but all day direct sunshine might be too much.