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How amazing is this plant resembling a Watermelon? Thus, giving it the name it deserves, the Watermelon Peperomia.
Now, don’t make excuses that you have enough houseplants. One has never enough indoor plants, right? You should definitely add Peperomia watermelon to add to your collection.
If you’re worrying over the care and maintenance of this plant, then, relax. Here is how you can provide the best growing conditions to keep this plant thriving.
Where Does the Peperomia argyreia Come From?
This peperomia leafage is native to South America. But, it also grows well in USDA hardiness zones 10-12.
It is a slow grower and compact compared to the other varieties. The plant looks like a succulent but the truth is, it’s not. It needs a little more watering and average humidity to thrive.
Furthermore, as the NC State University referenced, the Watermelon has succulent waxy leaves with green, and white patterns resembling the fruit. It’s also previously known as Peperomia sandersii.
BOTANICAL NAME: Peperomia argyreia
COMMON NAME: Watermelon Peperomia
PLANT TYPE: Broadleaf Evergreen Shrub/Tree
BLOOM TYPE: Spring and Summer
FLOWER: Green with Silver Stripes Leaves/Flower Spikes
MATURE SIZE: 6 to 12-inches tall
NATIVE AREAS: Northern South America
SUN EXPOSURE: Indirect Light
SOIL TYPE: Peat-based Soil
SOIL pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Watermelon Peperomia Care Basics
Taking care of the Peperomia argyreia is not difficult. You do not need much effort to keep it happy. Once you take this gorgeous plant home, place it in quarantine first. This would prevent bringing home uninvited guests. Check it regularly for any presence of pests or signs of diseases.
If the soil is dry, water it and keep an eye on it for the first few days. Your houseplant might go through some stress with the change in environment. If bought online, remove the damaged leaves as physical damage can still happen even if it is packed well.
Your Watermelon plant thrives in areas with bright indirect light. Do you plan to grow it indoors? Then we recommend placing your Watermelon Peperomias in a room that is well-lit to encourage growth. However, don’t place the plant close to direct sunlight as the leaves might get scorched.
Watermelon peperomia and other succulent peperomia can tolerate low to medium light settings at home.
The best location when placed indoors is east or west-facing room. At mid-day, your plant will get bright light, but it is not too intense. For southern-facing rooms, place your Watermelon plant away from the window or behind a light-shade curtain.
They can also thrive as n outdoor plant as long as it’s in a partial shade location. Indirect light is best preferred by peperomia plants.
Your plant will also adapt to the low light conditions. However, you must keep an eye and look out for these signs:
- The plant becoming leggy.
- It causes the stalk to stretch.
- The leaves lose their watermelon pattern.
- The stems become wrapped.
If your watermelon plant changes to these, it means that it’s not receiving much light. You have to find a better place to relocate your peperomia.
Your argyreia can easily grow at room temperature between 65° t0 85°F (18 to 29°C) as it is native to tropical climates having a warm temperature. When it comes to Watermelon Peperomia, make sure to prevent fluctuating temperatures.
If you do have a heater in the room during winter, never place your plant (in fact, no house plants) in front of it. The same applies to using your AC in summer. These drafty conditions could lead to physical damage to your plants.
Your watermelon plant can thrive at an average humidity level. They are also adaptable and can grow in drier environments. Nevertheless, a little misting during summer plays a vital role. It’s also beneficial to mist if you use an air conditioner or have a central heating system.
Do this by following these easy peasy steps:
- Take your clean bottle and fill it up with distilled water.
- Set the spray in a fine setting.
- Mist around your plant’s leaves.
You can do this once a week during summer as the leaves are prone to drooping. Alternatively, you can invest in a humidifier or make a pebble tray.
Okay, gardeners, this is where things get interesting. Compared to the majority of tropical plants, your Watermelon Peperomia needs watering often. Water the plant when the top layer of the potting soil is dry.
During spring and summertime, you can water your plant once a week, depending on the weather conditions. As with most houseplants, you can water your plant every three weeks in winter. Check the first three inches of the soil. If still wet, hold back until it is drier.
Although the plant loves water, you don’t want to deprive the Peperomia Watermelon of oxygen. Avoid a waterlogged condition on the soil. This peperomia plant can also handle a little degree of drought. But make sure not to prolong such conditions.
To water your plant, drench the soil and let it stand to drain the excess water. Here is where good drainage is important.
Your Peperomia Argyreia is a SLOW grower and needs only a small amount of water-soluble fertilizer. The recommended strength is to dilute an organic fertilizer. Apply them during the growing season.
We recommend that you use homemade fertilizers compared to artificial ones. You can make use of seal kelp, tea compost, or extracts from plants to make your fertilizer. As a result, your Peperomia Watermelon will get all the essential nutrients it needs.
During winter, there’s no need to feed your indoor plant. Neither must you overfeed it in the summertime as it can lead to mineral salt buildup.
Potting Your Peperomia
The only time you need to transplant your greenery is when it is required. The reason is that it can be stressful for your Peperomia. However, if you do notice your plant needs more room to grow, then consider repotting.
Luckily, your Peperomia argyreia is a slow grower and prefers to be root bound. Thus, you can do repotting only after two to three years. Keep an eye on the tubers and see if it starts poking out the drainage hole at the bottom. That’s the signal that your peperomia needs repotting.
Choose a one-size bigger pot with enough drainage. Remove the plant from its existing container. Make sure to shake it off the ground and give it a trim if needed. Once done, you can place it in a fresh potting mix.
Oh yes, before we forget! You can also prune your plant during repotting. Get rid of the dead leaves and excess growth.
One thing your Peperomia Watermelon loves is a rich soil mix that drains well. So why not get your hands dirty and make your own potting mix:
- Combine two parts peat moss with one part perlite.
- Add one part of coarse horticulture sand.
- Or you can alternate it with a commercial one.
Sphagnum peat moss works well when choosing organic matter, while inorganic matter the best is perlite or gravel. The fantastic thing is using peat moss is light yet airy, holding the right amount of moisture while perlite helps with draining the water.
So, you now have the Peperomia Watermelon in your home but would want to decorate your living space with more? Then, the best way to go is to propagate it. You can multiply your plant using these methods:
Propagate using Root-Stem Cutting
- Choose a stalk with a couple of leaves.
- Snip off one healthy leaf and keep one inch of the stalk.
- Take a shallow jar and fill it with distilled water.
- Place the cutting inside it and leave it standing in enough light.
- Wait a couple of weeks for the tubers to appear and transfer the stem to a small pot with moist soil.
Remember removing that leaf from the stem, great now we are going to propagate that leaf:
- Take the leaf and half it horizontally by cutting it.
- Get a towel and place the leaves on it to callus. Basically, what will happen is it forms new cells on the cambium, forming a new growing point and can grow roots, new stems, or leaves.
- Leave it on the towel to dry for up to five days.
- Once the leaf dries, place it in your moist potting soil.
- Place some plastic over the vessel to keep the moisture in.
- Once you notice the leaves forming a rhizome system, you can remove the plastic and look after it as normal.
Watermelon Peperomia Diseases & Pests
Typically your Watermelon Peperomia has no problems, and the main cause of distress is overwatering. The plant needs indirect yet bright light to continue to thrive and prevent bug infestations. However, some pests you do need to look for are:
- Mealybugs are small and white in color on the stem or leaf. You can spray or wash your plant with a natural killer or dip a cotton swab in 70% alcohol or use a liquid soap spray.
- Spider mites you see on tiny webs under the leaves. Prune away the affected leaves and treat them with alcohol swabs or Neem oil. Or use a bathroom hand shower to remove the pests.
- Whiteflies are another small insect infesting the plant. The fly hides under the leaves, and the secreted honeydew left behind causes a black fungus. Again, the best removal tool is a hosepipe or insecticidal soap spray.
Watermelon Peperomia Varieties and Similar Plants
In the Watermelon Peperomia family, you can find plants with similar foliage as seen below.
Polynesian Ivy Vine
Pelliona repens or commonly known as Trailing watermelon begonia is a trailing plant that provides a majestic hanging house plant with patterned foliage. It produces dainty flowers and loves bright filtered light, and is easy to care for.
This is sometimes called Metallic Peperomia for it has more pointed leaves with dark green yet silvery sheen tops with deep red bottom. In enough bright light, you may find this plant carrying flowers. You can place it in rooms that are on the darker side.
Variegated Peperomia Argyreia
This is variegation with a cream to white silver leaf color. Therefore, it needs the same looking after as the non-variegated form.
Frequently Asked Questions
The leaves will start to curl or deform and are caused by fluctuating temperatures as well
It happens when your plant is kept too moist as the leaves retain water.
It can be related to underwatering if you leave the soil dry through to the rooting system. Then, all it needs is some good watering and leave it to drain well.