Peperomia Leaves Turning Black (Causes And How to Fix it)


Although Peperomia plants are one of the easiest ones to grow, health issues are common. Black leaves on your Peperomia might be the first sign of a serious health issue. If you notice that the leaves on your Peperomia are turning black, you should take care of it immediately. 

Blackening of Peperomia’s leaves can be due to the incorrect watering, poor drainage, over-fertilizing, or pests. Environmental issues such as lack of light, humidity, and inadequate room temperature can also be issues that lead to your Peperomia’s leaves turning black.

Read on to learn some of the most common causes of leaves turning black on Peperomia plants and how to treat them. You will also learn how to protect your mint plant so that you can provide it with a long and happy life. 

Causes of Peperomia Leaves Turning Black 

Although it might be scary to see your plant’s leaves turning black, you shouldn’t worry. It is your plant’s way of showing you that it needs some special care.

In order for you to know what kind of care your plant needs, you should get to the root of the problem first. That is the first step in healing and reviving your beautiful Peperomia plant.

I will list and explain in detail some of the most common causes of this problem. That way, you can identify the one in relation to your plant and treat it right away. I’m here to help you get your plant to its happy and healthy self again!

Incorrect Watering

Not knowing how to water your plant properly can lead to various health issues. In this case, incorrect watering is one of the most common causes of Peperomia’s leaves turning black. 

Peperomia plants can go a long time without water. They hold moisture, so the owners often deal with the issue of over-watering.

Peperomia’s soil should never be too wet. They are prone to root rot and other diseases caused by incorrect watering – one of them being black leaves. 

How to Fix Incorrect Watering 

You should only water your Peperomia plants when the first few inches of the soil are dry. Watering it once a week will be just enough for your plant.

In winter, make sure that the water you are using to water your Peperomia plant is not too cold. The room temperature would be ideal. 

If you are unsure of whether or not you should water your Peperomia – wait. It is always better for their soil to be too dry than too wet. 

This article goes into more detail about Saving Overwatered Peperomia and shares some best tips to save the plant and avoid the watering mistakes.

Poor Drainage

Poor drainage leads to soil being soggy and too wet for Peperomia plants. When that happens, it is often the case that the leaves start turning black.

Water must be able to flow through the soil and out of the holes. That way the plant gets enough air and is able to breathe.

How to Fix 

There are a couple of ways you can improve drainage. The most important one is using the right pot. The pot with enough drainage holes for water to drain out is ideal for Peperomia plants.

Therefore, if your plant’s leaves are turning black, make sure to change the pot first. If you don’t have the right pot, you can drill them in your old one.

Moreover, you should make sure to use a potting mix that does not hold water. The soil needs to be moist but made so that the water can flow and drain out easily. 

Once the water drains out, make sure to discard it from the plate so that the soil doesn’t absorb it back in.

Over-fertilizing

This is another common cause of black leaves on Peperomia plants. These plants do not require a lot of additives and over-fertilizing can do more damage than good.

Using a regular houseplant fertilizer during summer is enough for your Peperomia plant to thrive. You should apply it once a month and make sure not to go over the recommended strength. 

How to Fix Over-Fertilizing Issues

If you decide to fertilize your Peperomia twice as often, make sure to dilute it to half the strength. Using water-soluble fertilizer during the season of growth is the best option.

If you do over-fertilize your plant, make sure to give it a long period of rest. Water it thoroughly, let the water drain out and give your Peperomia a couple of months without applying any additives. That way you will give it some time to recover and get back to normal. 

Temperature and Humidity

Peperomia’s leaves turning black is often an indicator that your plant is not happy with the temperature and humidity levels.

No matter if the room is too cold or too hot for your plant, both causes can lead to this issue. That is why it is important to know your plant’s requirements in order to fix this issue.

How to Fix Issues with Temperature and Humidity

You need to make sure that your plant is neither too hot nor too cold. The ideal temperature for your Peperomia plant would be around 18 to 25 °C (65-77 °F). 

These plants prefer average to warm temperatures. This slight change can heal your plant and bring it back to a happy and healthy self. 

Although Peperomia does not require high levels of humidity, it is still important to keep the air somewhat humid. Misting the area around your Peperomia plant is a good way to raise the humidity levels.

Low Light

Getting enough light is important for your Peperomia plants to stay healthy. They thrive in bright places with indirect sunlight. 

If your Peperomia’s leaves are starting to turn black, it is highly possible that you need to change its location. 

In low light, your Peperomia plant cannot produce chlorophyll. That is why it might be experiencing discoloration. 

How to Fix the Low Light Issue

While too much direct sunlight can burn your Peperomia’s leaves, too little sunlight can turn their leaves black.

The best way is to balance it out. Find your Peperomia plant a bright place, but without direct sunlight. The best option would be to place it on a window which is not facing the South. 

Wrong Type of Soil 

Growing your plant in the right type of soil is one of the most important things when it comes to plant care. As I have already mentioned, Peperomia plants should grow in well-draining soil.

Solution

Repotting your Peperomia plant into a healthy soil is essential to stop the leaves from turning black.

Since they prefer well-draining soil, mixing peat moss and perlite would provide your Peperomia with the right amount of drainage. 

It is always important to use a brand new potting mix when repotting your Peperomia plant. That way you are using sterile soil without any pathogens. 

Pests

Unfortunately, Peperomia plants are prone to pest infections. Often, pest infections can lead to the leaves turning black. They suck the juices out of the leaves which leads to discoloration. 

Some of the pests which can infect your Peperomia plant and cause the blackening of the leaves are aphids, thrips, whiteflies, scale bugs, etc.

How to Fix the Pests Issue

Before treating your plant, it is important to rinse it off and cut the affected leaves. To clean your plant from the insects, you should use rubbing alcohol. 

There are numerous insecticidal sprays that can help you get rid of the pests. If some of them don’t work, try a stronger one.

To avoid future infections, check if you are providing your plant with the right care. Better growing conditions will help you avoid pest infections.

Black Spots on Leaves

If you notice black spots on your Peperomia’s leaves, it is best to deal with the issue immediately. 

There are three leaf spot diseases which can cause this issue: Cercospora leaf spot, Phyllosticta leaf spot, or Rhizoctonia leaf spot.

How to Fix the Black Spots on Leaves

In the table below you can find the symptoms and the ways to treat these diseases.

Name SymptomsTreatment
Cercospora leaf spotBlack raised areas at the bottom part of the leaves.Spray the infected undersides of the leaves with products containing chlorothalonil, myclobutanil or thiophanate-methyl.
Phyllosticta leaf spotBlack and dry spots on the leaves. They are usually found on the leaf margins spreading across the leaf. Common with Watermelon Peperomia. It is important to prune and destroy the infected leaves. 
Rhizoctonia leaf spotA mushy, black leaf spot. It will be irregularly shaped with concentric rings in the infected area and can be formed anywhere on the plant. This is also treated by pruning and destroying the affected leaves. 

Tips to Protect Your Peperomia Plant 

In order to protect your Peperomia plant and avoid its leaves turning black, it is important to take proper care of it. Here are the things you should keep in mind if you want to keep your green buddy happy and healthy:

⦿ Use the right potting mix. The right potting mix plays a huge role in your Peperomia’s health. Soggy and wet soil leads to the blackening of leaves. It’s a good idea to mix pebbles, sand, or perlite with the soil to provide good drainage.

⦿ Know how to water it properly. If you forget to water your Peperomia plant – don’t worry. They can go for long periods of time without watering and prefer soil which is almost completely dry. Over-watering can lead to the leaves turning black, so wait for a week or two before watering your plant again.

⦿ Keep it in a bright place. Peperomia plants love light! Keep your plant in a bright room, but make sure that it’s not in direct sunlight. Too much sunlight can damage your plant, while too little leads to the blackening of leaves.

⦿ Don’t over-fertilize! If you’re going to fertilize your Peperomia plant, make sure to do so during the growing season. Fertilizing it every month during the season would be enough. After the season is over, you can rest and your plant will thrive.

You May Also Enjoy: Why Is My Peperomia Turning Yellow? (7 Causes And Solutions)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Peperomia leaves turning brown?

There are many possible causes of your Peperomia’s leaves turning brown. The most common ones are insect infection, nutrient deficiencies, and different diseases. 

If none of these are the issue, you should probably check if the environment is right. Make sure that your plant is getting enough light, humidity and that it is kept in a room with the average temperature. 

Another reason could be the incorrect watering technique, so make sure that you are not over-watering your plant.

I’ve written an entire article about brown spots on peperomia, which covers the causes and solutions for the problem.

Why are my Peperomia leaves falling off?

If your Peperomia plant is shedding leaves, it is usually a sign of overwatering. When the soil is too wet, it often leads to root rot. 

Damaged root systems limit  the plant’s ability to absorb more water. That is when Peperomias shed their leaves. They are threatened with drought and want to conserve water. 

Moreover, make sure your plant is not in direct sunlight, that it is getting enough humidity and that it is placed in average room temperature. Environmental issues could also lead to Peperomia plants losing their leaves.

How often should you water Peperomia?

Peperomia plants prefer dry soil, so make sure not to over-water them. Before watering, make sure that the top 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) are completely dry. 

You should water your Peperomia plants every 7 to 10 days. This is an average time, but you should be guided by the dryness of the soil first. 

If you are not sure whether it is time to water your plant – wait. It won’t do any harm to your plant to wait for a couple of more days, and you will avoid numerous issues that come with over-watering.

Watering Peperomia plants is the trickiest part when it comes to their care. Over-watering is one of the biggest issues plant owners have when it comes to these beautiful plants, so be careful.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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