Watermelon Peperomia is a pretty and decorative houseplant just like Rose Painted Calathea. It has beautiful tear-shaped green leaves with lighter stripes, resembling a watermelon.
1) General information for Watermelon Peperomia Plant
Also known as Peperomia Argyreia scientifically, watermelon peperomia is native to South America and grown for its attractive foliage. The leaves are enormous for the size of the plant as a whole. The leaves are soft to touch and connected to thin red non-woody stems. As a flowering plant, it can produce non-showy greenish flowers during summer on slim stalks. These flowers are small and unscented. Many growers tend to trim off the flowers since they are unattractive and deplete the plant’s energy, which could otherwise be used to create more appealing fleshy leaves. Grown indoors, this perennial plant can reach 6 to 12 inches tall or 15 to 30 cm. Also, it is non-toxic to cats and dogs, therefore if you have any pets in your household, there is nothing to worry about!
2) How to Care for Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) Plant
Sunlight: This plant loves indirect sunlight, preferably a shaded spot is the best because they reside undercover within trees with some sun and shade in their natural environment. The dark green veins on the peltate leaves (formed like a shield) become less visible when exposed to too much indirect strong light and when exposed to insufficient light, the entire leaf loses its “watermelon” silver variegation and turns into a darker green color.
Watering: The most important thing is not over or under-watering them. Over-watering can cause rotting, and under-watering can cause wilting.
To water, make sure that the soil is dry to the touch at the top. Then water thoroughly. Ensure that your pot has enough drainage. You will need to water your plant more frequently in the summer and when the air is dryer than in the winter or when the air is more humid.
Humidity: For watermelon peperomia average indoor humidity is usually fine. It doesn’t require high humidity like Zebra Plant. But it can still suffer brown leaf edges in dry air. If so, you can mist your leaves every now and surround your plant with other indoor plants. This, with placing a humidifier nearby or placing it on a tray of wet pebbles helps to increase the humidity. It is vital to do so especially during its growing season, spring and summer.
Temperature: Due to its tropical nature, watermelon peperomias prefer warmer weather. So you should maintain a room temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 26 degrees Celcius to keep them happy. When the temperature drops below 50ºF or 10ºC, these tropical plants become irritated.
Soil Type: A rich, well-draining potting soil is ideal for Peperomia. The ideal potting mix is a mixture of peat moss and perlite.
Fertilizer: You can use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every 2 – 4 weeks until the end of summer in the spring while the plant is growing.
Propagation: This plant is super easy to propagate. You can do so via leaf or stem cutting in soil or water. For leaf cuttings, just cut a leaf in half and plant it into the soil. New ones will grow from its veins. You can use a rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process. This is also the most common and effective way since the roots produce this way are stronger. For stem cuttings, place the stem with a leaf in clean water. Every few days, change the water. You will soon see new roots appearing.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Possible problems: Luckily, this plant does not have serious insect problems or diseases. Just like any other houseplants, over-watering will lead to root rot. Also; whitefly, spider mite, and mealybug infestations are common if the plant is weak.
Suggestions for problems: That kind of pest problem can be avoided by providing the correct balance of indirect light, water, humidity, and good ventilation.