What is Baby Rubber?
The scientific name for the baby rubber plant is Peperomia obtusifolia. This green-leaved flowering plant species is commonly referred to as the American rubber plant since it’s native to South America.
This evergreen perennial is also referred to as pepper face, peperomia frost, peperomia green, or blunt-leaved peperomia. The botanical name obtusifolia literally translates to “blunt-leaved.”
Despite being called baby rubber plant, Peperomia obstusifolia is in no way related to the true rubber plant whose scientific name is Ficus elastica. The baby rubber plant is from a large genus of more than 1000 species and many cultivars of the Peperomia.
The plant’s distinguishing features are thick upright stems, round cupped leaves, and a compact bushy appearance.
This is the primary attraction of this ornamental plant. It has glossy leathery leaves with petioles that grow close to the main stems. The non-woody stems are partly rounded and grow a few centimeters in length. The leaves have a fleshy succulent look and feel.
Baby rubber plant flowers are non-showy so they’re not the attractive feature of the Peperomia. White flower spikes with small white flowers may start appearing from spring to fall. They grow about 8cm in height above the leaves.
Types of Baby Rubber Plants
Peperomia obstusifolia may be grown as a hanging garden plant, ground cover in shade, or a low growing potted indoor plant.
There are two main varieties of baby rubber plants that you can find in the flower markets:
- Peperomia obtusifolia green
- Peperomia obtusifolia Variegata
Most baby rubber plants grow up to about 25 to 30 centimeters in height and must be pinched out at the tips to either direct, stop, or encourage growth. Under the right conditions, the hanging plant can grow 3’ to 4’ ft per annum.
We hope that this article acts as a good guide to growing Peperomia obstusifolia indoors. Following the plant care tips, we have given will ensure that your baby rubber plant thrives and enhances your interior.