Loved for their incredible raindrop shaped leaves, this Peperomia variety is great for small spaces as they can be quite slow growers. Whilst their care needs don’t tend to be as complex as many other plant types, they are still quite specific with what they need to thrive and can’t adapt well to extremes. Because of this, it’s not rare to be faced with a range of common problems on your Raindrop Peperomia, from brown leaves to a drooping plant, if something isn’t right, your plant will tell you.
In this post, we will go through each of the main problems you might face with your Raindrop Peperomia as well as go through each of the possible causes to help you figure out what’s wrong with your plant.
Causes of brown leaves on a Raindrop Peperomia
Overwatering. This is probably the most damaging of issues as it can cause many issues beyond only brown leaves. Raindrop Peperomias don’t like super soggy soil as causes root rot and brown leaves to form as a result. To figure out if overwatering is the reason your Raindrop Peperomia is turning brown, check the moisture levels in the soil and replace if waterlogged. Moving forward cut back on how much you water your plant and ensure it has time to dry between waterings.
Underwatering. This often causes the leaves on your Raindrop Peperomia to turn light brown in colour, dry and crispy from the tips inwards. To confirm this is what’s causing the brown leaves, carefully take your Raindrop Peperomia out of the pot to inspect the soil. If it is very dry and powdery then water a little bit once a day for a week to avoid shocking your plant.
Lack of humidity. This also causes your Raindrop Peperomia to develop brown leaves from the tips inwards. There are a few really simple techniques to keep the humidity higher than normal for your Raindrop Peperomia and prevent more brown leaves; mist the leaves with a spray bottle, build a pebble tray or use a humidifier.
Causes of yellow leaves on a Raindrop Peperomia
Overwatering. This will most commonly cause the bottom leaves to turn yellow first. To check if this is the cause, take your Raindrop Peperomia out of its pot to double-check how much moisture is in the soil and replace if still waterlogged. This will allow your Raindrop Peperomia to begin the recovery process and hopefully prevent any more yellow leaves from developing.
Underwatering. In contrast, this will often cause leaves across the entire plant to turn yellow. Again, you want to check the soil to make sure before increasing how much you water your Raindrop Peperomia. If the soil is very powdery and dry then this is most probably the cause of the yellow leaves on your Raindrop Peperomia. Reintroduce water over the next week and increase how often you water your plant in future.
Fertiliser issues. This can be either too much or too little fertiliser which makes diagnosing the problem quite tricky. If you are fertilising more than once a month, then cut back on this completely as this could be causing the yellow leaves. If you aren’t fertilising at all, and haven’t refreshed the potting mix in a while, then a lack of nutrients could be the cause.
Too much sunlight. If your Raindrop Peperomia is getting too much bright light you’ll start to notice yellowy patches throughout the leaves. This is due to the sunlight burning the leaves which is unfortunately irreversible. Try moving your Raindrop Peperomia into a slightly shadier place, and if there’s no improvement move it a little further again until you find it’s the perfect spot.
Pests. A rarer cause of yellow leaves on a Raindrop Peperomia is a pest infestation. Inspect your entire plant, focusing particularly on the undersides of the leaves and the stem joints as this is where they like to live. To fight the pests, trim off the worst affected leaves to curb the infestation and then treat your Raindrop Peperomia with neem oil.
Natural ageing. If only the lower leaves on your Raindrop Peperomia are turning yellow then it might be nothing to worry about. Over time, your Raindrop Peperomia will drop some of its oldest leaves in favour of growing bigger healthier ones. The rate of natural ageing should be 1 or 2 of the oldest leaves every few months. Monitor the rate of yellowing to see if it’s above this to ensure there is no underlying problem.
A Raindrop Peperomia can lose leaves for a variety of reasons
Underwatering. Raindrop Peperomias will forgive you if you occasionally forget to water them but they will struggle with dry soil for weeks and weeks. Check the soil to see if it’s dry to touch, Crispy roots are another sign this is why your Raindrop Peperomia is losing leaves. A little bit of water once a day for a week should get your Raindrop Peperomia back on track and increasing how frequently you water in future should prevent it from losing any more leaves.
Overwatering. Once the root system becomes damaged, it can’t provide oxygen and nutrients to your plant so the leaves will droop and eventually fall off. Check the moisture levels in the soil immediately using a moisture meter to confirm if this is why your Raindrop Peperomia is losing leaves. If the soil is quite waterlogged and clumpy then replace it with fresh dry mix. You might be tempted to wait for the potting mix to naturally dry out but this just risks even more damage to your plant. We also recommend trimming off the soft, rotten roots as this focuses your plant’s energy on growing new healthy ones.
Natural ageing. Your Raindrop Peperomia might also lose leaves as part of its natural ageing process. As your plant matures, it’s normal for it to drop a few of its oldest and smallest leaves so it can focus energy on producing new growth. As long as your plant doesn’t lose more than a leaf or two every few months, there shouldn’t be much to worry about.
Why is my Raindrop Peperomia drooping?
Underwatering. The most common reason why your Raindrop Peperomia is drooping is a lack of water. Check that the potting mix is dry and then make sure to give your Raindrop Peperomia plenty of water and you’ll see it spring back to life in as little as a few hours. Consider amending your watering schedule if drooping is a common occurrence with your Raindrop Peperomia.
Shock or stress. If you have recently moved house or moved your Raindrop Peperomia to a new spot, then this change may be causing the leaves to droop. Plants can get quite stressed if their environment changes and will show this in a variety of ways. One of which is drooping their leaves. It should be a temporary thing and if the new spot is just as good as the old one then there should be no reason why your Raindrop Peperomia won’t return to normal after a few days/weeks.
Causes of curling leaves on a Raindrop Peperomia
Underwatering. One cause of curling leaves on a Raindrop Peperomia is a lack of water. Usually, this is one of the earlier signs so hopefully should mean you have a good chance at bringing your plant back to full health. Check the moisture levels in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Lack of humidity. Curling Raindrop Peperomia leaves can also indicate a lack of humidity. We recommend using a humidity monitor to test the area where your plant lives to see if it needs a boost. Luckily, increasing the humidity is super easy as you have quite a few options; misting the plant, using a pebble tray, showering your plant or investing in a humidifier.
Too much sunlight. Another factor to consider if your plant has curling leaves is lighting. If your Raindrop Peperomia is receiving a lot of intense direct light, your plant might curl its leaves as a result. The best thing to do is move your plant to a slightly shadier spot.
Natural curling. Before making any changes to how you care for your plant or any environmental factors, consider that it might be natural. Sometimes new Raindrop Peperomia leaves curl quite a bit and almost look like a dome. This is normal and is something that resolves itself as the leaf matures.
Causes of stagnant growth on a Raindrop Peperomia
Weather / season. If your Raindrop Peperomia isn’t growing any new leaves, but it’s currently autumn, winter or even the very beginning of spring, then this isn’t anything to be alarmed about. Most plants go into a dormant phase during the colder, darker months so you won’t really see much growth during this period. As long as your plant is in the right environment and is receiving the right care, you should start to see plenty of new growth soon.
Lack of sunlight. If your Raindrop Peperomia’s lack of growth is happening during summer then it might be a lack of sunlight that is to blame. Although they don’t like bright intense light, low light levels aren’t great for your Raindrop Peperomia so make sure to move it a little closer to the window.
Generally slow growers. It’s also important to note that Raindrop Peperomia plants are slow growers so you might be mistaking this for a complete lack of growth. They don’t pop out new leaves all the time, even in the height of summer so be patient and monitor how many leaves are growing each month.
For all of the issues above, the main thing is catching the problem early as this gives you the best chance at getting your Raindrop Peperomia back to full health. We recommend keeping a close eye on all of your plants, inspecting them each time you water as this helps to spot issues before they’ve really taken hold of your plant. The second most important thing is to act quickly once you have diagnosed the issue (time is of the essence). Don’t hope that the issue resolves itself, inspect the potting mix, measure different elements in your plant’s environment and take a look at the leaves closely to help you diagnose and solve the issue quickly.
To learn more about how to best care for your plant, and avoid any more problems popping up in future, check out our Raindrop Peperomia care guide.
Written by Billy Dawson