Keiki paste for stubborn stems: the Baby Rubber Plant
Peperomia obtusifolia (Baby rubber plant)
Here, I use Keiki paste to encourage new leaves on my Peperomia obtusifolia.
Ture to its common name, the peperomia obtusifolia is much like a new-born baby: round and a little pudgy. Indeed, obtusfolia is Latin for ‘blunt-leaved’.
However, its thick and slightly woody stem tends to make encouraging new growth trickier. Let’s see if the Keiki paste works.
Step 1: Finding nodes
First, find nodes along the stem of your plant. They are parts of the plant where new leaves emerge and will be visible as tiny bumps.
This plant has quite a thick stem so finding nodes should be easy.
Some nodes will be sprouting tiny leaflets already.
Nodes can also be found in the crevices just above or below existing leaves, as below. You can already see a tiny leaf emerging here.
Step 2: Applying the paste
Dip a cotton bud in the Keiki paste and get a pea-sized amount or less. Gently dab the paste onto each node.
Step 3: Wait
The Keiki paste can take up to a month to work. During this time, place the plant in optimal light conditions. Your baby rubber plant does best with direct morning light and full, indirect light for the rest of the day. An east facing-window is ideal
To help your new babies along, maintain at least 60% humidity around your plant with regular bottle-sprays or by placing it on a tray of moist gravel.
You should also use high nitrogen fertilizer to give your plant the extra nutrients to push out new growth.