How To Grow Your Peperomia Graveolens – Ruby Glow Like A Pro

The Peperomia Graveolens, also known as the Ruby Glow, is a beautiful filler plant that is an endangered plant species. So many people want to keep this gorgeous, leafy succulent from going extinct, but finding all the answers to your growing and propagation questions in one place is tough.

So, we have put together a very comprehensive list of all the techniques, tips, and tricks that you need to grow your plants like a pro.

Peperomia Graveolens
© Raimond Spekking

What Is A Peperomia Graveolens?

This unique succulent is a species of plant of the Piperaceae family, also known as the Pepper family. This succulent is a leafy plant that is native to Ecuador. The plant grows upward with stems and transparent leaves that are reddish on the underside and green and yellow on the top side.

In the spring, this leafy succulent can bloom with thin, long yellowish-white flower racemes that have no scent, which is ironic because ‘Graveolens’ means’ foul-smelling’.

We have an entire article on the foulest-smelling plant on planet earth called the Corps Flower. You can discover everything you need to know about it right here:

The carrion plant, as it is also called because it smells like a rotting corpse, is unbelievably stinky, and that’s how it has figured out its niche and how it survives in the competitive rainforest jungles where it lives.

To see how that works, click the link. It’s super interesting.

The pepper succulent that we are discussing in this article is sadly listed as “vulnerable” on the endangered plant species list. But hopefully, with enough propagation, the popular houseplant will grow into a larger population and possibly get its label removed as an endangered plant species.

What Is The Common Name Of The Peperomia Graveolens?

The common name for this really interesting plant is “Ruby Glow”.

The plant’s binomial name was given to it by Werner Rauh and Wilhelm Barthlott. The genus Peperomia comes from the Latin words ‘peperi’, meaning pepper or hot spice, and ‘homoios’, meaning like or similar. Graveolens is Latin for ‘foul-smelling’ which is odd, as we spoke of above, because the plants flowers are known to have no scent whatsoever.

The common name ‘Ruby Glow’ comes from the plant’s leaves being transparent and its reddish underside that practically glows in the sunlight.

History Of The Peperomia Graveolens

While there is no real recorded history of the beautiful succulent, the only information that can be provided about the plant is that it is native to Ecuador and was named by Werner Rauh and Wilhelm Barthlott.

There is no official year of their naming of the plant, just that history records who named it. This is fairly common because most records were kept on paper, and all it took was one fire or flood to destroy them.

Also, with early papers and inks, there was a lot of fading over time due to the way they were made. It even happens today with modern products. Just think of what some of those things were made of back then, so it’s a wonder we have as many records as we do.

Ruby Glow Like A Pro

How To Take Care Of A Ruby Glow Succulent?

To properly take care of your succulent, you must know the right type of soil, fertilizer, and the right amount of water and sunlight that will allow your succulent to thrive and be successful in your area of the world.

For soil, this plant prefers a well-drained soil in a pot that provides fast drainage. A homemade soil mix that works just as great, if not better than the expensive store bought varieties is, a mixture of one part perlite or sand and two parts peat.

If you don’t have peat, you can substitute it with potting soil. However, peat has been shown by many other gardeners to work exceptionally well for this plant.

A fertilizer that can add a great boost to growth and nutrients that can be ideally used in its growing periods is a half-strength balanced fertilizer.

Or you could use a fish based fertilizer diluted into a relatively compound so that it’s more akin to a watering than adding fertilizer.

The reason you should not use a full strength fertilizer on this plant is that it burns from chemical fertilizers very easily, it’s rather sensitive to them.

The best amount of water to give to your succulent is a generous amount and allow it to completely dry before watering it again.

You can use the dry and soak method that we refer too in most of our succulent guides.

This method is likely the easiest and most accurate way to ensure that you’re watering succulents correctly.

When the soil is bone dry to the touch, water the plant by soaking the soil all around it but don’t pour the water directly on the plant itself (more on that in a moment).

Then, when the water dries completely out and the soil is again bone dry, soak it once more.

The reason you should not pour water directly onto this or any other succulent is that the water may pool in the plant’s nooks and crannies where it can promote rot and pest infestations.

Never allow this or any other succulent that we know of to sit in standing water. You may quickly find yourself with a nasty case of root rot from which there may be no return.

The ideal temperature for your succulent is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius). Since this succulent is not cold hardy, it cannot survive in temperatures below 20° F (-6.7° C). Bring in your plant if you choose to grow it outside.

Once this plant freezes, you may very well have lost it, so don’t allow that to happen and all should be well.

Along with the right temperature, the plant does well in partial to full sun. If indoors, place the plant near or on a window that gets plenty of light. And if grown outdoors, put your succulent out in the sun for not more than 6 hours a day to prevent sunburn.

What you’ll find is that there are areas of your home both indoors and out where you’ll find corners or windowsills that only get 4 to 6 hours per day of direct sun as it passes. Many times, they will be located on the north and south sides of your home as the sun rises and sets from east to west.

Yes, you can go the other way too, and it just gets the morning or evening sun.

succulent care

What Is The Best Soil To Use For Your Ruby Glow Succulent ?

The best soil to use for your Peperomia Graveolens is well-drained soil or a homemade perlite peat mix. Along with having well-draining soil, it is important to have a pot that provides quick drainage to prevent the rotting that comes with standing water.

If you choose to do a homemade mixture, which we wholeheartedly endorse, use 1-part coarse sand or perlite and 2 parts peat. If peat is not available, then potting soil may be used as a substitute. However, many gardeners that have gone before you claim that peat works far better than commercial potting soil.

How Much Sunlight Should I Give My Peperomia Graveolens?

You should give your pretty succulent no more than 6 hours of full sunlight a day, no matter if you grow it indoors or outdoors.

If the area only gets partial sun or is lightly shaded, then you can leave the plant in that environment all day without worries.

How Often Should I Water My Peperomia Graveolens?

You should water your succulent as often as it dries out completely. By following the golden rule of only watering it when the soil feels bone dry, your succulent will not suffer from overwatering.

This dry soak method entails fully soaking the soil around the plant without pouring water directly onto it. Then when the soil is again bone dry, soak it again taking care to water the soil, not the plant.

Standing water on the plant or in the pot can cause rot and pest infestations.

However, you should cut down on the amount you water it during its dormant period in the winter. Only water it every 4 to 5 weeks during its dormancy.

wartering succulents

What Fertilizer Is Best For My Peperomia Graveolens?

The best fertilizer to use for your succulent is a half-strength balanced fertilizer, but you shouldn’t use this thing year-round. Instead, use the fertilizer during its growing periods in spring for an extra boost of growth and a healthy dose of the nutrients it will need to flower.

Are Ruby Glow Succulents’ Indoor Or Outdoor Plants?

These plants are both indoor and outdoor plants. They can light up a room or an office as a filler plant and it can vibe and thrive in your garden outdoors. However, if temperatures where you live tend to get below freezing and especially below 20° F (-6.7° C), bring it indoors for the time being.

Are Peperomia Graveolens Poisonous To Pets?

Plants of the Peperomia genus are non-toxic to humans and pets.

However, since it does have a very strong type of fiber that so many succulents do, it would be advised not to eat it or you may suffer cramps or diarrhea.

Are Ruby Glow Succulents Edible?

Most plants, if not all, in the Peperomia genus are edible. They can be used for medicinal purposes and can be eaten cooked or raw.

However, as mentioned above, you may wish to tread lightly when first consuming them as they have a very powerful fiber that can irritate your digestive tract and cause gas, bloating stomach pain, and diarrhea.

How To Propagate Peperomia Graveolens?

These succulents can be propagated from cuttings.
Use a sterilized cutting tool, such as a knife or scissors, and remove a leaf from the stem of the main plant.

Let the leaf callous over the next day or two and then place it in a pot with some well-drained soil that you just soaked using the dry and soak method we discuss at length above.

Over the next few weeks to a month, you’ll see roots running into the ground. Once they are well established you can begin watering your new plant just as you do its parent plant.

Why Is My Ruby Glow Succulent Dropping Leaves?

It’s common for this plant to drop its leaves during its growing season. But if you notice a large number of leaves dropping, it’s best to check if the fertilizer you use and the room temperature are correct with the settings we describe in the sections above.

What Are The Most Common Peperomia Graveolens Pests?

The most common pests for these plants are white flies, mealybugs, and spider mites.

Whiteflies can be detected on your succulent by feeling the leaves for sticky honeydew. You can find them on the underside of the leaves and around the veins. You can get rid of white flies by spraying soapy water or neem oil on the affected areas.

Mealybugs can be detected by the fluffy white wax on the leaves. You can get rid of them by using 50 percent diluted rubbing alcohol with water and rubbing it on the leaves or spraying the alcohol dilution on the plant in the affected areas.

Spider mites can be identified in the same way you would check for dandruff, shake your succulent over a sheet of white paper and you’ll see little moving spots, then you likely have an infestation.

To get rid of spider mites, mix 50% rubbing alcohol with water or use an insecticide. Just lightly spray the areas then come back and look at them once per day, re-applying as needed until they are all dead and gone. This is a great little succulent to grow that doesn’t require much maintenance and is pretty easy to handle, even for a complete green thumb.