Houseplant help! What are these spots?
June 9, 2021 9:52 AM   Subscribe

I have a peperomia ginny plant. The underside of at least half of the leaves have the exact same looking spots as in this photo. (note, this is not my photo)

What is this? I was thinking leaf scale, but I couldn't find any leaf scale pictures that matched exactly.

Thanks for any help you can provide!
posted by fourpotatoes to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Check out this FPP on houseplants. It's great!

I do think it's scale, but doesn't match exactly because scale itself is irregular.
posted by hydra77 at 10:18 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]

It's edema, likely from overwatering (especially overwatering in connection with cool overnight temperatures). Scale would be more uniform in size and shape.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 10:33 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]

Looks like oedema, as described here.

Another site says oedema is caused by overwatering:

Oedema, which is also called edema, is a physiological disorder that is caused by overwatering. Plants can take in more water than they can release, which causes the cells within the leaves to burst and form blisters on the bottom of the leaves.

The blisters can be brown, white, or tan and have a cork-like texture. In severe cases, leaves can turn yellow and die, and the stems of the plant can become infected, too. Since the blisters form on the bottom of the leaves, the top of the leaves will have little indentions where the blisters are.

Oedema is more common in house plants and greenhouses since it’s easy to overwater them and keep the air moist. In cool, moist air, Peperomia can’t release water like it needs to. If the plant is constantly being watered and is kept in cool conditions, oedema is likely to form. It’s also more likely to appear during the winter since the air is cold, and it doesn’t have a chance to dry out.

Fortunately, Peperomia can recover from oedema. Allow the plant to dry out almost completely before you water it and move it to a drier area. Severely affected leaves will need to be removed, but the entire plant shouldn’t die because of it if the conditions are corrected. New growth won’t show signs of infection. So, you can cut off all the infected leaves, and eventually, your plant will look healthy again.

posted by xo at 10:33 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]

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