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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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Jacky P

Monday 21st of September 2020

Thanks for all the great info in this article. I’ve picked up this fun gardening hobby at the start of quarantine. Been enjoying growing herbs and tropical plants outdoors. I’m venturing on to indoor plants. Wanting to fill the Northwest corner with some plants. We have a west facing window. About 1.5 foot of wall from corner to window. If I hang my Ruby Cascade in that corner, would it thrive? Also have a covered patio facing west, is there an ideal spot out there as next option? I’m in SoCal zone 9b.

Jacky P

Friday 25th of September 2020

@Raffaele, thanks for your feedback. For the covered patio, it gets down to about upper 50s and gets approx 5 hours of sun. We still have the heatwave of mid to upper 90s. I’ll keep Ruby inside for now & bring her out for morning sun

Raffaele

Tuesday 22nd of September 2020

I would say you should be fine indoors in that first spot. In the covered patio, what's the coldest it get there? In SoCal I'd imagine you'd be ok, but I wanted to ask. You should be fine there though assuming it doesn't get too chilly at night. How man hours of direct sun does the covered patio get approximately?

Stephanie Frampton

Sunday 20th of September 2020

Loved this outside in my pots in Utah north facing but lots of light!

Raffaele

Monday 21st of September 2020

Glad you enjoyed it! I love this plant!

Maria Carman

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Thanks for such a detailed advice. I purchased this plant recently in two small plastic squarish pots. I repotted both immediately in a 6 inch pot. Now they are thriving but I have pampered them enough. Reading your article was truly a revelation. And now I know how to propagate it too. Will follow all you’ve advised to the letter. Good luck to all your endeavors.

Raffaele

Monday 14th of September 2020

You're very welcome Maria!

Marina

Sunday 9th of August 2020

Thank you so much for your post! I’ve had my Peperomia Ruby Cascade for about 3 months now and it’s grown so much! I noticed now though that the deep green has turned into light green leaves. Do you happened to know what would cause that? I thought maybe it’s too much light? But I haven’t moved it and it was loving the window (North east facing window). Hope you know what it could be!

Thank you!!

Raffaele

Monday 10th of August 2020

Hi Marina! There are two things that I can think of. The first is exactly what you mentioned. In higher light, sometimes leaves will turn a lighter shade of green and this will occur all over the plant. Another thing I noticed is that when I let my plant dry out too much, the leaves (especially at the base) will look more discolored and not as green. If you haven't waited too long, they will return back to normal with a good watering and consistent care. Hope this helps!

connie barry

Monday 3rd of August 2020

I had no idea these beautys were hard to grow?? I live in southern california and I am growing mine outside. It is thriving in a shady/morning sun location with filtered light through my palm trees. As an orchid grower we have one hard core rule: If a plant is growing and blooming where it is, dont move it!! Not an inch. I also cut off some pieces and stuck them in mixed succulent pots and most of these little babies are doing quite well. I grow my succulents in half succulent mix and half my own orchid concoction. My orchid mix which is mostly shredded coco husks, pumice and lava rock. Both are very well draining. I got my first Peperomia Ruby Cascade from Home Depot and it was really gorgeous, but they no longer have any so I ordered a bigger one from you as well as a few other new varieties. Cant wait to get them!! Thank you for the growing tips and comments everyone. Looking forward to sharing more ideas - Connie

Raffaele

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Thanks for sharing Connie! I agree with you that if a plant is doing well, don't change the location. :-)