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Peperomia Ferreyrae: Everything You Need To Know

Peperomia Ferreyrae: Everything You Need To Know

Peperomia ferreyrae is a compact semi-succulent, beloved for its unique leaves and easy care. The plants are great starters that require little maintenance and thrive in the correct conditions.

To keep Peperomia ferreyrae alive and well, you must cater to the plant’s preference for warm temperatures. The plant requires medium humidity, bright but indirect light, and occasional watering. It also needs adequate protection from common pests like spider mites and mealybugs.

This article details how to provide your Peperomia ferreyrae with optimal conditions. I’ll give you all the information you need to care for the plants, explain how to repot them, and offer some warning signs against common threats. 

The Basics: What Is Peperomia Ferreyrae?

Peperomia ferreyrae is a compact succulent herb with bean-shaped leaves. The plant’s unique foliage inspired its common name: the Happy Bean Plant. Peperomia ferreyrae is also called the Pincushion Peperomia.  

This plant hails from Peru and South American rainforests. The leaves adapted to hold the succulent’s water reserve, making it drought-resistant. 

Because of the Happy Bean Plant’s native habitat, it needs moderate humidity. It also thrives well in moderate light and warm temperatures.

With adequate care in the home garden, this plant can live five to ten years. You can propagate it through stem cuttings if you want new or more plants.

This plant is a member of the Peperomia genus. All Peperomia plants are semi-succulents. However, the Pincushion Peperomia differs greatly in appearance from other members of its genus.


Peperomia ferreyrae

Peperomia ferreyrae is small and consolidated like tiny bushes. Plant owners can keep the succulents in the same manner as a bonsai tree.

The plant’s long and green leaves provide the succulent with its nickname because the foliage resembles bean and pea pods. These glossy leaves are considered rare and beautiful by most succulent enthusiasts. 

The foliage stores water, making the leaves fat and fleshy. Each leaf can grow up to 3 inches (7.62 cm) long.

Peperomia Ferreyrae Flowers

Peperomia ferreyrae

The Happy Bean Plant experiences some blooming in the spring and summer. However, they don’t grow large flowers.

The blossoms are discreet and often mistaken for another part of the leaves. The blooms grow in yellow and green clusters.

These blossoms can be harvested to propagate the peperomia without taking cuttings and risking infecting the succulent. 

Peperomia Ferreyrae Size

Peperomia ferreyrae succulents remain relatively small throughout their lives. 

On average, these plants grow from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) tall and between 4 and 10 inches (10 and 25 cm) wide. In some cases, they can grow up to a foot (30 cm) tall.

The plant grows slowly, making them ideal plants for small locations. They are unlikely to outgrow any tight space. 

Peperomia Ferreyrae Care

The Peperomia ferreyrae is an easy succulent to successfully maintain and care for, even for plant novices. This plant makes a great starter succulent when kept in a healthy environment. 

Best Temperatures

The plant comes from Peru and South American forests, so it needs warmer climates to flourish. Peperomia ferreyrae requires temperatures between 65 and 75 °F  (18 and 24 °C)

The plant has no cold resistance and begins to suffer in temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C). Plant owners keeping their Happy Bean Plant outside must monitor the temperature. 

You can use burlap to keep the plant warm in winter when grown outdoors. Alternatively, you can move the pot indoors when evening temperatures hit 50 °F (10 °C).

Peperomia should thrive best in US hardiness zone 9 and 10.

Light Requirements

Peperomia ferreyrae needs bright, indirect light to grow. Direct sunlight is beneficial in limited quantities. The plant thrives on two hours of direct sunlight, but any more is detrimental. 

Like most succulents, Peperomia ferreyrae is susceptible to sunburn, so monitor the leaves for signs of damage.

The most effective light exposure falls between medium and bright. Placing the plant in lightly curtained east or south-facing windows gives them the best light access.

If grown outdoors, you can place them in an eastern garden that receives gentle morning sunlight. Provide adequate shade from midday to late afternoon.


Excessive water damages Peperomia ferreyrae. The plants evolved to survive without a regular moisture supply, and too much water causes root rot.

Only water the plant when the soil’s top two inches (5 cm) dry out. This generally breaks down to once or twice a week during hotter summer conditions and once a month in the winter

When it’s time to water the plant, soak the soil thoroughly. Ensure the soil and pot both allow for adequate drainage. Then allow the dirt to dry before watering again.

Besides root rot, overwatering leads to mushy and damaged leaves and stems. 

The Happy Bean Plant carries only the softest plant scent. If your bean plant starts to stink, it’s probably experiencing root rot. Any abnormal smells need to be addressed.

Humidity Needs

Peperomia ferreyrae differs from most succulents by flourishing in humid conditions. Dry conditions actively damage the Happy Bean Plants. Moisture levels must remain at 50% or higher.

Happy Bean Plants deprived of adequate humidity can turn brown and wilt. Humidifiers, pebble trays, or misting two to three times weekly provide your succulent with the necessary moisture.

Keep the plant away from heaters and air conditioners that will surely dry the succulent out.

Soil Requirements

Using peat-based, well-aerated soil is ideal for Peperomia ferreyrae. The plant needs soil with adequate drainage. Otherwise, water settles around the roots and causes rot.

Adding perlite, vermiculite, gravel, and sand to your soil creates little pockets for oxygen and water and helps to improve a soil’s structure. The ideal soil mix is 50 percent peat moss and 50 percent perlite. 

Choose soil with slightly acidic to neutral pH levels (between 5 and 7). Such levels can ensure the soil nutrients are accessible to your succulent, encouraging them to flourish.

Peperomia ferreyrae doesn’t require fertilizers when grown in rich soil. The light-eating plants do fine on their own, but a half-diluted spray of fertilizer applied twice monthly during the growing season helps ensure a happy, healthy plant. 


Don’t worry too much about pruning your Happy Bean Plant. Many succulents require a great deal of cosmetic maintenance, but Peperomia ferreyrae doesn’t. 

Periodic trims are sufficient to keep the succulent healthy and attractive. 

Keep an eye out for dead or distressed limbs and foliage. Remove only the aged, diseased, or unwanted growths. Make sure your cutting shears are sterilized before use to avoid disease transmission.

Repotting Peperomia Ferreyrae

Repotting is jarring and risky to plants. However, the process needs to be done periodically as a Peperomia ferreyrae depletes its soil of all nutrients over time. 

You won’t need to worry about repotting the plant for two or three years. The shallow root system keeps Peperomia ferreyrae from growing hastily, and there’s no need to move it to a larger container until it’s outgrown the old one.

Once the plant outgrows its pot, repot it in a container one size larger. 

Repotting for Soil Nutrient Depletion

Whether or not your Peperomia ferreyrae outgrows its pot, the plant depletes the nutrients from its soil. This is especially true if they don’t receive fertilizer feedings during the growing season.

Repotting the Happy Bean Plant every two years with fresh and rich soil replaces the lost nutrients, keeping the plant happy and healthy. The process is simple:

  1. Prepare a slightly larger pot with ample drainage holes. A pot about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) wider than the older one should suffice. It doesn’t have to be too deep since Peperomia ferreyrae has shallow roots. 
  2. Prepare a suitable potting mix. Peat moss allows adequate drainage and moisture retention. Adding perlite can also enhance air circulation. However, you may need to add slow-release fertilizers because these materials don’t contain adequate nutrients.
  3. Place the pot in a bright spot indoors. Avoid direct sunlight that can stress the transplanted plant. Add a light curtain when placing your new pot next to a bright window.
  4. Wait until the soil dries before watering again. Peperomia ferreyrae tends to experience transplant shock after repotting. This manifests in wilted leaves and discoloration. If your transplanted plant displays these signs, allow it two weeks to recover. 

Propagating Peperomia Ferreyrae Cuttings

You may also want to take healthy stem cuttings to propagate new Peperomia ferreyrae. The best time to do so is in spring, during the plant’s growing season.

The process is pretty simple, following these five steps:

  1. Cut 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of the healthy stem. 
  2. Wait for the cuts to callous over. It usually takes 1-3 days in a well-ventilated and dry area.
  3. Plant the stems in a small container with a fresh and moist succulent mix.
  4. Cover the plant with plastic wrap. This keeps the necessary humidity around the young plant. 
  5. Place the pot in a bright spot but a good distance from the window.
  6. Ensure the soil remains moist, but avoid overwatering. Excessive water is damaging and won’t allow the plant to grow and flourish.

Maintain temperatures of around 68 °F (20 °C) and bright light until new growth appears. Allow plenty of time for the root system to grow.

Threats to Peperomia Ferreyrae

An inadequately maintained environment is the greatest threat to Peperomia ferreyrae. The Happy Bean Plants are low-maintenance. However, pests, temperature changes, and root rot may negatively impact a Peperomia ferreyrae.


Watch out for unwelcome residents on your plant. Pests feed on the plant’s sap, creating open wounds and lesions on stems and foliage.

The invaders are tiny and difficult to discern, but keep an eye on your plant for the presence of spider mites and white flies. These creatures can also potentially spread infection and illness to the succulent.

Peperomia ferreyrae is also susceptible to mealybugs. Signs of infestation include cottony white growths on the leaves’ undersides and stems.

Destroy small infestations with isopropyl alcohol. Apply a 70%or lower alcohol concentration directly to the pests. Test a small amount on your foliage first because too much alcohol burns the plant. 

If you note open wounds on your Peperomia, gently treat them with alcohol on a cotton swab or spray them with a neem oil spray solution. 

Root Rot and Sickness

Root rot is a common ailment in Peperomia ferreyrae. Overzealous plant owners water happy bean plants that don’t need moisture, damaging the root system. 

Once an infection permeates the roots, it inevitably spreads to the rest of the plant, often past the point of redemption. 

Watch out for signs of root rot, including the following:

  • scabby spots
  • discolored stems
  • mushy foliage

If you catch root rot early, you can still save the plant. Check the roots for any healthy, white veins. They’re a good sign that you can still repot the plant. Peperomia ferreyrae can’t be saved if the entire root system is mushy.

Pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi also negatively impact Peperomia plants. 

A healthy Peperomia ferreyrae has fat, green, bean-shaped leaves. Any changes in appearance can indicate a sign of disease.

If your plant shows mushy leaves, repot the succulent and remove any damaged roots and foliage.

Take particular notice of any brown spots developing on your Peperomia ferreyrae. Temperature fluctuations, poor watering practices, and reduced soil quality can cause this development, which literally eats your plant’s leaves.

Remove any brown spots you see and adjust the light, water, and soil conditions. Left unattended, the condition can spread and kill your plant.

Environmental Risks

Ensuring the plant’s environmental and nutritional needs are met is the first step towards maintaining a healthy plant.

Insufficient light will hinder a Peperomia ferreyrae’s growth. It also causes the plant to stretch and reach toward the sun, resulting in a process called etiolation. This weakens the plant and is irreversible.

Peperomia ferreyrae is not frost-hardy, and cold temperatures damage the plant. Abrupt temperature drops cause leaves to wilt and drop. 

Final Thoughts

The Peperomia ferreyrae is an attractive plant that’s relatively easy to maintain and propagate. The most essential aspect of keeping the plant alive and well is providing a warm and moist environment with well-draining, rich soil.

The plant can fit comfortably into small spaces and can brighten your home with its vibrant foliage. Given the right conditions, the plant can live between five and ten years.

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