Peperomia ferreyrae, also known as the “happy bean plant” is one of the most appropriately named houseplants I have encountered. This plant brings me so much joy as it sits in my kitchen window soaking up the sun with its soft spikes that resemble green beans.
Native to the tropical rainforests of South America, the happy bean plant is a great way to bring some tropical vibes into your home. In fact, this adorable little plant reminds me of a succulent version of a palm tree!
I’ll go over all the care requirements for this plant so you can keep it happy and thriving. Like most peperomias, this plant is very low-maintenance. This makes it a nice option for beginner houseplant parents that want to keep something other than a snake plant or spider plant.
Happy bean plant care at a glance
- Plant family: Piperaceae
- Plant genus: Peperomia
- Scientific name: Peperomia ferreyrae
- Common name: Happy bean plant, pincushion plant, green bean plant
- Native climate: South America
- Size: Small, shrub-like, slow-growing, reaching up to 12 inches
- Light requirements: West-facing or East-facing window. Bright, indirect light (4-6 hours daily).
- Water requirements: Water when top half of soil is dry. Do not overwater or water if soil is moist.
- Soil requirements: Well-draining with good moisture retention.
- Humidity requirements: Medium, 40-60% humidity is suitable.
- Temperature requirements: 65-75°F (18-23°C).
Happy Bean Plant Features
If you’re a fan of small, shrub-like houseplants, the happy bean plant may become one of your new favorites. Like many other peperomia plants, this plant grows relatively slowly, making it a good option for smaller spaces like the office or home.
With it’s vibrant green color and unique bean-shaped foliage, there’s no question why this houseplant is referred to as the happy bean plant. It’s an unfussy houseplant that will reward you with consistent growth at a manageable pace.
It is not uncommon for this plant to get a bit lanky, requiring some sort of structure to keep it supported. For this plant, I recommend using a wooden stake (or even a chopstick) to help keep it upright.
You can also place it next to the wall or a window to prevent it from toppling over. Pruning the plant on a regular basis will also encourage bushier, denser growth.
Happy Bean Plant Lighting Requirements
After bringing your new happy bean plant home, you’ll want to make sure it gets the perfect amount of sunlight and find the best location for it. If you think about the native habitat of this plant, it thrives in the rainforest with dappled sunlight.
This plant will do best in a West-facing window or an East-facing window that receives at least 4-6 hours of bright light. Indirect light is best, and you’ll want to avoid placing it in direct light which may scorch the leaves.
I had my happy bean plant happily situated in a West-facing window over the winter months when the days were short. I have since moved it to an East-facing window for the summer where it gets the perfect amount of sunlight to keep it happy.
If your Happy bean plant is not receiving its necessary light requirements, it will begin to rot and die. This plant is tricky as it will not show you it is unhappy right away with drooping leaves. It’s just that happy.
Like many other houseplants with thick leaves, it can be difficult to determine if this plant is not getting enough light. No-light or lower light conditions are not adequate for this plant.
If you have trouble providing your houseplants with enough natural sunlight, you may want to invest in a grow light. There are so many options available today, and many of them are aesthetically pleasing as well!
Happy Bean Plant Water Requirements
The thick, succulent-like leaves of this houseplant hold water in them, making it incredibly forgiving when it comes to a watering schedule. How often you water your happy bean plant will depend on the amount of light it is receiving, the soil mixture it is in, as well as the size of the plant.
The perfect time to water your Happy bean plant is when the top half of the soil mixture is dry. Over time, you will get used to lifting the plant and assessing it’s weight. This can help you determine when it needs water as well.
The happy bean plant is very susceptible to being overwatered. When in doubt, you are best off waiting to water this plant.
The amount of water will depend on the size of your plant. Always give your plant a good, thorough drink of water when it is needed. It can not be neglected as much as a snake plant, but you can get away with letting it dry out a bit.
I water my happy bean plant every 10 days or so. But, I find that it needs to be watered more frequently in the warmer summer months. Your Happy bean plant may also need more frequent watering if it receives more light, or if your soil mixture is very chunky. Be sure to consider all of these factors when determining when to water this houseplant.
Happy Bean Plant Soil Mixture Recipes
The happy bean plant is relatively unfussy when it comes to soil mixtures. Most importantly, you will want to make sure you use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent root rot. Excess water will drown the plant if your soil does not drain.
I like to use a slightly chunky soil mixture that has good moisture retention. I would not suggest using a pure succulent mix, at this many be too chunky and rocky, causing the plant to dry out.
Happy bean plant soil recipes:
- 50% indoor houseplant potting soil with 50% perlite for drainage
- 50% indoor houseplant potting soil with 40% perlite for drainage and 10% earthworm castings
- 50% coco coir with 40% perlite and 10% earthworm castings
Happy Bean Plant Humidity Requirements
While it is true that many tropical plants require high levels of humidity to be happy, the happy bean plant is very forgiving. This plant will do just fine with lower humidity levels. Those thick, green-bean leaves hold a ton of moisture, allowing them to survive in drier conditions.
I do not recommend using pebble trays to provide humidity for your happy bean peperomia. These can attract pests like fungus gnats, and these trays do not make enough of a difference to really matter.
If you are looking for a joyful plant that does not require high humidity levels, the peperomia green bean will fit the bill. I like to situate my humidifier closer to my tropical plants with thin, delicate leaves. These plants, like Calathea for example, appreciate the humidity much more.
Is The Happy Bean Plant Pet Friendly?
This semi-succulent plant is pet friendly, making it a great option if you have furry friends at home. However, my cat does not seem too interested in munching the leaves on this one, which is great. Cats tend to be attracted to stringy plants with thin leaves, like the popular common spider plant.
While I cannot say for sure if your kitty will taking a liking to your happy bean plant, rest assured, it is considered non-toxic to pets.
How Often To Fertilize Happy Bean Plant
Determining when to fertilize your happy bean plant will depend on the time of year. I fertilize this plant more when it is in it’s active growth phase. That being said, this plant is always growing, even in the cooler months. I fertilize with DynaGrow Foliage Pro.
I suggest fertilizing with a diluted liquid fertilizer with every watering during the summer. You can cut back on fertilizing to once every other month or in the winter. Adding a small amount of earthworm castings to the soil for this plant will also keep it happy, as the nutrients will release slowly over time and not burn the plant.
Keep in mind, when you bring your new plant home it may already be situated in a nutrient-rich potting mix. You can hold off on fertilizing for a month or so while the plant acclimates to you home.
Can You Prune Your Happy Bean Plant?
If you’re wondering whether you can prune your happy bean plant, the answer is yes! In fact, I recommend pruning your happy bean plant on a regular basis to keep it from getting too lanky.
Use a sharp pair of gardening shears or a sharp, clean knife to prune the plant as needed. This is best done when the plant is actively growing in the warmer months.
If you plan on propagating your happy bean plant, you can use the cuttings you prune off to propagate as well.
How To Propagate Happy Bean Plant
The happy bean plant is very easy to propagate. As stated above, it is easy to do after giving your plant a good prune.
To propagate this plant:
- Take an attractive stem cutting from the plant. You’ll want to cut close to the base and use sharp, clean shears to make the snip.
- Place the cutting in either soil, water, or sphagnum moss. I prefer propagating in water as you can see the root system grow each day. After the roots have formed to be a couple of inches long, you can transfer it to soil and watch it grow over time.
When To Repot Happy Bean Plant
Overall, this plant is slow-growing and it does not need to be repotted very frequently. Your happy bean plant can likely go a couple years without needing a new pot. That being said, every plant grows a bit differently. If your happy bean plant is extra happy, it may grow more quickly and require repotting.
If possible, I suggest repotting your happy bean plant in the warmer months when it is actively growing. Be gentle and try not to disturb the root system. If you are unsure if whether your plant needs to be repotted, gently slide it out of its current pot and assess the roots.
If the roots are wrapping around the sides of the pot, it may benefit from a larger home. Frequent repotting can stress the plant, so be sure to only do this when needed.
Happy Bean Plant Pests, Problems, and Disease
Luckily, this plant is not as susceptible to pests and disease as some other plants. The thick leaves are not as attractive to pests, and it is less likely for this plant to be a target.
Here are some issues and solutions to common problems that may arise with this plant:
- Aphids – Having aphids on your houseplants indoors can feel devastating. To control aphids on your happy bean plant, I suggest spraying it off in the sink as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to isolate the plant so the aphids do not spread to other houseplants. Then, treat the plant with a good insecticidal soap as needed.
- Spider mites – It is not as likely to see spider mites infest a happy bean plant, but it is possible. If you notice this pest (which can be difficult as they are very small), isolate and treat the plant as needed. You’ll want to treat the plant with an insecticidal soap to prevent the infestation from getting worse.
- Leaf drop – If you notice the leaves of your happy bean plant falling off, it could be be due to overwatering. Sudden temperature changes can also cause this to happen. So, try to keep the temperature constant where the plant is situated. Cold temperatures or drafty window sills can make this plant unhappy.
- Yellow leaves – Yellowing leaves may indicate your plant is in need of nutrients. If you have never fertilized this plant and you notice the leaves turning yellow, I would fertilize with a liquid plant food. Going forward, be sure to follow a regular fertilizing schedule.
- Plant toppling over– This plant tends to grow upright and can be very lanky. If you notice your plant starting to topple over, simply use a chopstick or wooden stake to support it. You can use velcro plant tape to secure the plant as well.
This variety of peperomia is one of my favorite indoor plants to keep. I consider it a must-have plant for any indoor plant collection. The bean-shaped leaves and compact size make it a unique and versatile plant for the home, and it truly brings me joy every time I see it!
With proper care, your green bean peperomia will reward you with healthy, new growth for years to come.