Sumo Gardener

Peperomia Graveolens Ruby Glow Growing Guide

Peperomia graveolens is one of the loveliest, most delicate houseplants you can grow. Its succulent leaves are tinged with a ruby-red underside that curls pristinely round to the surface to create a dense mess of narrow canoe-shaped leaves.

The coloring underneath each leaf gives them their common name, Ruby Glow, or Peperomia Ruby glow to be precise and makes for a wonderful, and I think quite friendly, houseplant. 

For tips on how to grow these gorgeous succulents at home, follow our in-depth guide, including propagation tips, and tips on how to revive a wilted Peperomia graveolens Ruby Glow.








Common Names:

Peperomia Ruby Glow






Trailing up to 2 ft

Sun Requirements:

Indirect light

Foliage Color:

Green and red

Flower Color:

Long yellow scapes


Uncommon indoors



Maintenance Level:


Poisonous for Pets:

Non-toxic to cats and dogs

What is Peperomia Graveolens?

Peperomia graveolens is one of over 1000 species of tropical succulents in the genus, Peperomia. Often called ‘radiator plants’, Peperomia can cope with extremely dry conditions, and recover well after an occasional but thorough watering.

Ruby Glow, Peperomia graveolens, is particularly well adapted to these dry conditions, thanks to its very succulent leaves, which store water in reserve to cope with the dry conditions and poor soils of their natural habitat.

Peperomia Ruby Glow Natural Habitat

Peperomia graveolens are native to southern Ecuador, where they grow on cliff faces, away from standing moisture, by rooting into any scraps of soil or stone they can find.

When it rains, they make the most of it, by packing existing leaves with water and developing new young leaves to store excesses. To recreate these conditions at home, all you need is a bright, sunny spot, with good ventilation and a pot filled with reasonably poor soil.

How to Grow Peperomia Graveolens

Growing Peperomia graveolens at home is really simple, because all Ruby Glow needs to thrive is light, occasional water, and something to put their roots into.

We’ve had one of these wonderful succulents for almost ten years now, and I think in that time I’ve probably watered it about four times a year as an absolute maximum, and it’s still thriving.

Follow our tips for preparing pots, positions, and soil for Peperomia graveolens below.

Soil & Drainage for Peperomia Graveolens

Free-draining soil is essential for any species of Peperomia, but particularly for Ruby Glow, which cannot cope at all with damp roots. If you have a bag of peat-free compost at home, mix it as one part, with three parts: sand, grit, or perlite.

Cover the base of a small plastic pot that is slightly bigger than the current root ball of your Peperomia, then place the plant in. Gently shake soil in to fill around the gaps, and then place the whole pot in a decorative pot, or hanging pot.

After that, water it in by completely soaking the soil until it drips out of the base of the pot, and then leave it until it dries out completely.

Light Requirements

Once potted up, place your Peperomia somewhere warm and bright. It can cope with direct sunlight, or bright indirect light, but needs to be warm, even though winter.

Placing it on a windowsill above a radiator is ideal as it will get light and heat through summer and lower light and heat through winter to mimic its tropical environment. 

Pot Size

If you ever need to pot your Peperomia Ruby Glow into a bigger pot, only do so very slightly, as excess compost means excess moisture.

Peperomia Graveolens Propagation

The only effective way to propagate Peperomia graveolens Ruby Glow is with stem cuttings. Stem cuttings from any type of Peperomia are simple to take and don’t require any special rooting hormone, or even soil.

Simply cut a stem back to just above a leaf, and then strip off the lower 4” of foliage. Submerge the bare stem in water (tap water works, but distilled water is better) and wait for about four weeks.

After four weeks, there should be strong root growth, and you can plant your cutting into free-draining soil, where it will continue to root. Keep the soil reasonably moist for the first few weeks, until it puts on new growth, and then care for it like any other Ruby Glow Peperomia.

Caring for Peperomia Graveolens

Humidity and Watering Peperomia Graveolens

The most common thing that can go wrong with Peperomia graveolens is over-humidifying and over-watering. Both will lead to yellowing or dropping leaves. 

If you ever notice this happening and the soil is dry, then that fine line between well-drained and too dry has been crossed, but watering thoroughly by dipping the whole pot in water until bubbles stop coming out will quickly recover it.

Other than that, I’d suggest watering Peperomia graveolens no more than once a month unless the soil is distinctly dry.

Pruning Ruby Glow

Peperomia graveolens do not need pruning but, after a problem period, you might notice that leaves near the base have dropped off, leaving bare stems. If this happens, simply cut those stems back to the base, and they should recover and form two new stems each, making for a fuller-looking plant.

Feeding Needs

Unless your Peperomia graveolens are showing clear discolouration it does not need regular feeding. I feed ours once a year in mid-spring, with a very diluted houseplant fertilizer. Feeding more than that can damage the root system, and encourage flowering, which won’t harm the plant, but will smell really bad. Graveolens, the species name, literally means ‘foul smelling’, but it only refers to the long, rat-tail-like flowers that can emerge after watering and feeding in early summer.

Peperomia Ruby Glow Pests and Diseases

Overwatering and overfeeding can cause problems with Peperomia Ruby Glow, but if they are well cared for, in free-draining soil, that shouldn’t be a problem, and until fungal root rot has completely set in, it’s possible to recover the entire plant or take cutting from it.

If the roots of your Peperomia graveolens have turned black, mushy, or smell of fermentation, then it is likely irrecoverable root rot caused by overwatering, but you can cut healthy stems and root them in water to create new plants.

In terms of pests, Peperomia graveolens don't suffer from anything other than common houseplant pests, with spider mites being the most common, thanks to their shared love of dry soil.

If you do notice spider mites, just spray the plant with a diluted neem oil solution, which should quickly kill them, and is safe for pets and kids once it dries.

Peperomia Graveolens Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Peperomia Ruby Glow dying?

The most common reason that Ruby Glow Peperomias die is overwatering, so check the soil. If it’s at all wet, but the top of the plant has spots, discolored leaves, or is dropping, it's almost certainly caused by overwatering.

How big does Peperomia Ruby Glow grow?

Peperomias Ruby Glow can grow 2-foot long vines, but it is rare, even in ideal conditions, and they more generally keep to about 0.5 to 1-foot long after a few years. They are very slow-growing succulents.

What is the best soil mix for Peperomia graveolens?

The best soil mix for Peperomia graveolens is anything free-draining, with just enough goodness to kick-start root growth. Any peat-free compost mixed with perlite will do the job (peat and peat moss hold water, so try to avoid them for long-term containers).

How do you encourage Peperomia graveolens to grow?

Protection from cold drafts, and adding humidity for a few days after watering can help to mimic the natural environment of Peperomia graveolens, and offers enough water to fill succulent leaves as well as make new ones before the soil begins to dry again.

Is Peperomia graveolens hard to keep alive?

Peperomia graveolens is not hard to keep alive, but if you make a mistake, it will tell you quite quickly. Thankfully, it will also recover quite quickly when you rectify that mistake, either by watering, reducing watering, or moving its location.

Do Peperomia Ruby Glow plants like to be root bound?

Peperomia Ruby Glow can live quite happily in root-bound pots, but it won’t aid their growth. They are slow growing, so can cope with tight spaces, and do so in the wild. However, if you want them to put on new growth, pot them into slightly bigger containers every two to three years.

For more Peperomia plants to choose from, check out our growing guides below:

Wrapping Up Our Peperomia Graveolens Growing and Caring Guide

Peperomia graveolens is a beautiful plant. As I said in the introduction, it’s friendly too. There’s just something quite jolly about those succulent little boats it calls leaves. Perhaps because they look like a toothless grin. I honestly don’t know, but something about them just makes me smile.

Hopefully, you’ll find joy in your own Peperomia graveolens Ruby Glow, now that you know how to grow your own at home!

About the Author Mabel Vasquez

Mabel has enjoyed a long career as a horticulturist, working in nurseries and greenhouses for many years. Although she loves all plants, Mabel has developed a particular passion over the years for herb gardens and indoor plants. Mabel has since retired from her horticulture career and loves sharing her many years of experience with our audience here at Sumo Gardener.

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