Growing a baby rubber plant – Peperomia obtusifolia

(Question)

 

I was referred to you by a florist as they weren’t sure what was wrong with my plant. I’m not sure what kind of plant it is but it’s got a thick stalk and hearty waxy leaves. It has only been kept indoors, by the window. Direct sunlight in the early morning, indirect light late morning onwards. Regular soil, watered with aquarium water. Lately I have noticed some tiny black crawling bugs on the plant and have sprayed twice with Safers insecticidal soap. Now there seems to be damage to the leaves. Not sure if that’s related to the bugs or if it’s something different. Any help would be appreciated. Picture attached. Thanks!

I’ve attached a picture of the whole plant. Just to answer a few of your questions, I guess I could be overwatering. I usually water about once a week, with the aquarium water. Perhaps I should switch to sometimes watering it with plain water? Also, the picture of the leaf I originally sent to you (with the leaf discolouration) is the original cutting I took from a friend. The rest of the leaves that grew are a dark green with no discolouration.

I am not sure if the tiny black bugs flew or just crawled. I sprayed it so right now, I don’t see any bugs. But the brown spots are on some of the other leaves too, as you’ll notice in the picture.

 

(Answer)

This looks like you have a  Peperomia obtusifolia (Baby rubber plant) which is an easy to grow houseplant. I would suggest plain water, and be very careful about not overwatering, as you have suspected.

The black bugs could be fungus gnats
Fungus gnats are small, black, delicate flies often found hovering around plants. Adult gnats do not feed, but lay eggs in the soil which hatch into white, blackheaded, legless maggots. These maggots feed on fungi and decaying vegetable material but may also attack fine plant roots and cuttings. Note that these are flying pests…

This link will give you more information about your plant: brandon21.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Grow-Peperomia-Obtusifolia-Baby-Rubber-Plant