Peperomia Rubella vs Verticillata: Comparing Houseplant Varieties

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Peperomia plants are popular choices for houseplants due to their wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Two interesting Peperomia varieties to consider are Peperomia rubella and Peperomia verticillata. As members of the same botanical family, these plants share some similarities, but they also possess unique features that make them stand out within the Peperomia group.

Peperomia rubella, also known as Peperomia “Itsy Bitsy,” is a beautiful, trailing plant native to Jamaica, with fuzzy leaves and a vibrant red hue on the underside. This rare find is an excellent addition to your indoor plant collection, bringing a touch of tropical charm to your space. On the other hand, Peperomia verticillata, commonly known as Red Log or Belly Button Peperomia, originates from Bolivia and is admired for its dark leaves and compact size, making it an ideal choice for a desk plant or small indoor garden.

In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between these two captivating Peperomia varieties, delving into their care requirements, growth habits, and standout characteristics. By understanding the unique traits of both Peperomia rubella and Peperomia verticillata, you can make a more informed decision when adding these plants to your collection.

Peperomia Rubella Overview

Appearance and Features

Peperomia Rubella is an attractive and eye-catching plant prized for its vibrant foliage. It has small, elongated, and oval leaves that display a reddish-green hue on the top side and a rich red on the underside. The leaves are attached to wiry, red stems that create a unique visual contrast to the green foliage.

Growth Conditions and Requirements

Peperomia Rubella thrives in the following conditions:

  • Light: Prefers bright, indirect light, although it can tolerate lower light levels.
  • Temperature: Enjoys temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Humidity: Appreciates higher humidity levels; consider placing it near a humidifier or using a pebble tray with water.
  • Soil: Well-draining, peat-based potting mix with added perlite for aeration.
  • Watering: Permit the uppermost layer of soil that is approximately one inch thick for the soil to dry out before watering thoroughly. Avoid soaking the soil to prevent root rot.

Common Uses

Peperomia Rubella makes a fantastic addition as a houseplant due to its compact size and colorful foliage. Its versatility allows it to be grown in hanging baskets, where the trailing vines can add a touch of drama to your indoor space. Alternatively, it can be placed on shelves or tables to showcase its texture and color. And, if you’re into terrariums, Peperomia Rubella can be an ideal candidate as it thrives in high-humidity environments similar to that of a terrarium.

Peperomia Verticillata Overview

Appearance and Features

Peperomia Verticillata is a charming trailing plant species from the Piperaceae family. It is known for its oval, small, and velvety-textured deep green leaves, which can grow in attractive whorls around the stem. These leaves give the plant a beautiful, dense appearance, making it an ideal choice for indoor gardens and decorative containers. The longest trailing variety of this species can grow up to 2-4 feet long, elegantly covering the pot.

Growth Conditions and Requirements

Growing Peperomia Verticillata requires a few essential elements to help it thrive. This species is native to the Caribbean islands and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome, giving it a preference for a humid environment. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, which can potentially cause the plant to die. To prevent this issue, wait until the roots are entirely dry before watering again, and ensure the soil doesn’t become excessively dry either. Find a balance in the watering frequency to keep your plant healthy.

Peperomia Verticillata prefers well-draining soil to prevent excess moisture from causing root damage. It also requires bright, indirect light, which is ideal for the plant’s growth and health. Keep the temperature consistently warm, as sudden changes may harm your plant. Moderate humidity levels support the well-being of Peperomia Verticillata, so maintaining a consistent environment is essential.

Common Uses

One of the common uses of Peperomia Verticillata is as an indoor houseplant due to its attractive appearance and relatively low maintenance requirements. It makes a lovely addition to hanging baskets, decorative pots, or even smaller containers on windowsills or tabletops. The plant’s trailing nature allows it to beautifully drape over the sides of containers, adding an eye-catching and vibrant touch to your indoor décor. Peperomia Verticillata is also popular among terrarium enthusiasts, as its compact size and humidity requirements make it an ideal plant for enclosed ecosystems.

It is important to note that Peperomia Verticillata is sometimes confused with Peperomia Rubella, as both species belong to the same genus and have similarities in appearance. In some cases, a hybrid cross, known as Peperomia Red Log, has been created between the two species, further causing confusion between them. However, Peperomia Verticillata remains a popular and beautiful choice for both indoor gardeners and terrarium hobbyists due to its unique appearance and easy-to-maintain qualities.

Key Differences

Leaf Shape and Color

Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata are both members of the Peperomia genus, but they exhibit notable differences when it comes to their leaf shape and color. Peperomia Rubella is known for its rounded, grey-green leaves with a red underside, while Peperomia Verticillata has whorled leaves that come in various shades, such as bronze, silver, and red.

Size and Growth Habits

These two species also differ in their size and growth habits. Peperomia Rubella is a small perennial shrub that can grow up to 50 cm in length, often found growing as an epiphyte. On the other hand, Peperomia Verticillata tends to have a more compact form, with some varieties, such as the ‘Belly Button’ cultivar, being reminiscent of the baby tears plant.

Care Requirements

When it comes to care requirements, both species of Peperomia need similar conditions, but each plant may exhibit specific preferences. Here are some key care requirements for both plants:

  • Light: Both Peperomia Rubella and Verticillata prefer moderate to bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Ensure that both plants have well-draining soil to prevent root rot caused by excess water. Avoid overwatering and maintain consistent moisture levels in the soil.
  • Humidity: Both species thrive in a humid environment, but they can tolerate lower humidity levels as well.
  • Temperature: Keep the plants at a temperature range of 65–75°F (18–24°C) for ideal growth conditions.

Peperomia Verticillata, in particular, requires special attention when it comes to watering, as it is susceptible to root rot if overwatered. As a result, it’s essential to let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

By understanding these key differences, you can provide the appropriate care for each plant to ensure their health and growth. Remember to keep a close eye on the specific needs of your Peperomia Rubella or Peperomia Verticillata, as they might differ depending on the environment and individual plant characteristics.

Choosing the Right Peperomia for Your Space

When deciding between Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata, it’s essential to consider the unique aspects of each plant and how they fit into your space. This section will explore the lighting conditions and maintenance preferences for both species, helping you make an informed decision.

Lighting Conditions

Peperomia Rubella

Peperomia Rubella, also known as the Red Log, is a hybrid cross between Peperomia Verticillata and Peperomia Red Log. It thrives in moderate to bright indirect light, making it suitable for rooms with large windows or areas receiving a good amount of natural light.

Peperomia Verticillata

Similar to Rubella, the Peperomia Verticillata enjoys bright indirect light. However, it can tolerate a wider range of light conditions, making it more versatile. Lower light environments may slow its growth or make it less full, but it will still survive.

Maintenance Preferences

Peperomia Rubella

  • Watering: Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Excessive watering may lead to the development of root rot.
  • Humidity: Appreciates higher humidity levels but can adapt to average indoor humidity.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining mix, such as cactus or succulent potting mix, to prevent soggy soil.

Peperomia Verticillata

  • Watering: Similar to Rubella, allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between waterings. Verticillata is also sensitive to overwatering.
  • Humidity: The Verticillata plant prefers higher humidity levels but can tolerate average indoor conditions.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining soil mixture, like cactus or succulent potting mix, to encourage healthy root growth and prevent waterlogged soil.

In summary, both Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata have similar preferences when it comes to lighting and maintenance. They both thrive in bright indirect light, appreciate higher humidity, and require well-draining soil. Keep these factors in mind and choose the one that best matches your home environment and personal style.


Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata are two distinct species within the Peperomia genus. Although they share some similarities, there are several noteworthy differences between the two.

Peperomia Rubella, a native to the Caribbean, is characterized by its small, round leaves, with green tops and red undersides. It is often grown as an epiphyte or pot plant, and it is known for being easy to care for and maintain. Peperomia Verticillata, on the other hand, boasts grey-green leaves arranged in whorls along the stems, and it can grow up to 50 cm tall1.

One interesting aspect of these plants is the hybrid Peperomia Red Log, a cross between Peperomia Verticillata and Peperomia Red Log2. This hybrid showcases some characteristics from both parent plants and adds to the diversity within the Peperomia genus.

Both Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata are ideal for indoor gardening, as they can thrive with minimal care and add aesthetic appeal to any space. These plants are also pet-friendly, so they are safe to have around your furry friends3.

In summary, while the Peperomia Rubella and Peperomia Verticillata are similar in their easy-to-grow nature and visual appeal, there are key differences between the two. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner looking to add some greenery to your home, either plant would make an excellent choice.


  1. Peperomia verticillata – Wikipedia
  2. Is Peperomia Rubella different than Peperomia Verticillata … – Reddit
  3. Peperomia Verticillata Care – Mistakes To Avoid – Plantophiles

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