Peperomia is a tropical house plant that is known for its pretty leaves and low requirement of maintenance. However, you may sometimes notice that your peperomia is starting to become leggy. It affects the look of the plant and also its overall health. So, why is your peperomia becoming so leggy?
Why is my peperomia so leggy?
The peperomia plant usually becomes leggy due to a lack of sunlight. As the plant attempts to rapidly grow upwards to obtain more sunlight, there is a lack of energy, and the stems and leaves start to become thin and tiny. It makes the plant look weak and makes the foliage sparse thus, affecting the overall appearance of the plant. If immediate measures are not taken, the plant could be irreversibly damaged. So, let us explore the reasons that cause it to happen and how to solve it –
Lack of Light
While peperomia is tolerant to low light, it still needs light to grow. So, if there is a severe lack of light, your peperomia will start to etiolate. Etiolation is the process of rapid growth that the plant undergoes to obtain more light. The leaves start to shrink, and the stems grow weak as the plant uses all its energy to rapidly grow towards the source of light.
The ideal solution is to move the plant to a location where it has access to bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. However, if it is exposed to excess direct sunlight, it may become sunburnt. So it is best to place your peperomia in an area of partial shade where it has access to abundant bright, indirect light. In the case of indoor plants, it is best to place it near a south-facing window, from where it has access to abundant light. If there are no windows with suitable light available, the best alternative is to use artificial grow lights.
Issue of Excess Sunlight
While the peperomia may become leggy in the lack of light, placing it in direct light for a prolonged period is not a viable option either.
Direct sunlight may lead to severe burns in your peperomia plant. Sunburns are usually permanent and may spoil the overall appearance of the plant. It can also cause the leaves of the plant to turn black. So, once the plant is sunburnt, the only option is to cut off the affected parts. Thus, it is better to take precautionary measures.
Healing a Leggy Peperomia
Usually, the leggy growth of the peperomia plant is permanent and irreversible. So, the best way to stop the leggy growth is to gradually introduce the plant to bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light and allow the peperomia plant to adapt. However, if the problem is too severe, prune off the affected parts with a sterilized knife to make way for new, healthy growth.
Thus, these are some of the reasons for leggy peperomia and the steps to help it heal back to its original health.