The watermelon peperomia, aka Peperomia argyreia [pep-er-ROH-mee-uh ar-GY-ree-uh], is an herbaceous perennial native to South America (Brazil).
The variegated leaves resembling the patterns found on watermelon rinds earned the common name of “Watermelon peperomia.” It is one of the more popular Peperomia varieties.
The genus name “peperomia” comes from two Greek words: peperi (pepper) and homoios (resembling). “Argyreia” means silvery.
The watermelon leaf plant looks like the true black pepper plant. It is a Piperaceae (pepper) family member and is listed for growing in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12.
Peperomia Argyreia Quick Care Tips
- Botanical Name: Peperomia Argyreia
- Common Name(s): Watermelon Peperomia
- Synonyms: –
- Pronunciation: Pep-er-ROH-mee-uh ar-GY-ree-uh
- Family & Origin: Piperaceae family, native to South America (Brazil)
- Growability: Easy to grow
- Grow Zone: 10-12
- Size: Grows up to 6″ or 8″ inches tall and wide
- Flowering: Produces small, green, and unscented flowers in early summer
- Light: Bright, indirect light
- Humidity: Prefers at least 50% relative humidity
- Temperature: Ideal temperature range is 70° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit
- Soil: Rich, well-draining potting soil
- Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry
- Fertilizer: Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a water-soluble liquid fertilizer solution
- Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to whitefly, spider mite, mealybug, and root rot
- Propagation: Propagate through a leaf or stem cutting in soil or water
- Plant Uses: Used as a decorative indoor plant, tropical forest ground cover.
Watermelon Peperomia Care Instructions
Size and Growth
Pep watermelon is a popular plant with watermelon leaves. It has oval-shaped, waxy leaves with green and silver markings and a distinctive pattern that gives it the appearance of a watermelon.
When grown as indoor houseplants, this easy-care peperomia, the low-growing watermelon leaf plant, reaches 6″ or 8″ inches tall.
The plants are quite vigorous in the right environment, growing and reproducing quickly.
Flowering and Fragrance
The watermelon peperomia bloom is small, green, and unscented. They appear on 3″ inch-long, red flower spikes rising above the foliage.
The watermelon peperomia flower spike is typically green or yellow-green and is adorned with tiny, inconspicuous flowers.
Many growers of peperomia plants trim off the flowers. As a flowering plant, the flowers are not attractive and rob the plant of energy, which it could use to produce more attractive fleshy leaves with dark green stripes.
However, it is more common for peperomia watermelon flower to be grown primarily for its foliage rather than its flowers.
watermelon leaves plant Light and Temperature
For the most part, in the United States, Peperomia argyreia is a houseplant. It is best to keep it sheltered with bright to medium indirect light.
Choose a spot with medium light, as direct sunlight will scorch their leaves. Give them a drink when the top inch or so of soil feels dry.
Mist them now and then to help with humidity during the summer months. Ideal temperatures range from 18 to 26°C.
To keep these warm weather plants happy, maintain a room temperature of 70° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit. These tropical plants do not like it when temperatures drop.
These plants do well in bright light but do not handle direct sunlight. Even excessive indirect bright light causes the dark green veins on the peltate leaves (shaped like a shield) to become less prominent.
Watermelon leaves plant do well in warm, slightly humid conditions. Typical household temperatures and average indoor humidity levels are adequate for these tropical plants.
With too little light, the leaf loses the “watermelon” silver variegation and becomes darker green.
The watermelon leaf plant thrives in an east-facing window.
Watermelon Peperomia Watering
Although water requirements are low, keeping an eye on your watermelon pepperomia is important.
When watering, allow the top inch or so of soil to dry before watering again. Then, thoroughly water the plant.
Avoid soil that is formulated for plants that prefer dryer soil, like cacti and succulents, as it won’t absorb enough water to sustain the plant.
If the semi-succulent leaves droop or feel a bit thin, it may also be time to water.
Remember, under-watering can cause your peperomia plant to wilt. In contrast, over-watering can result in root rot.
Increase humidity levels higher during the spring and summer growing seasons.
CARE TIPS: Place the Peperomia watermelon leaf plant on a tray of wet pebbles or keep a humidifier in the room.
Water less during the semi-dormant season (late fall and winter).
Watermelon Plant Care: Fertilizer
As with most houseplants, it’s best to under-fertilize your Watermelon pepper plant rather than over-feed. Use a water-soluble liquid fertilizer solution at about half or one-third of the labeled recommended strength.
Feed peperomia watermelon plants about once a month during the growing season. Feed once every two or three months during the dormant season.
watermelon leaves plant Soil Mix and Transplanting
So, what is the best soil for watermelon peperomia?
Peperomia watermelon does well in rich, well-draining soil or potting soil that retains moisture but doesn’t become waterlogged.
A soil similar to its natural habitat in tropical rainforests or forest canopies would be best.
A light, porous soil mix combined with coarse sand, perlite, peat moss, compost, coco coir, or vermiculite is a suitable potting mix for watermelon succulent, as it allows air to circulate and water to drain away freely.
When selecting a rich potting soil or mix full of soil amendments, use 1 part perlite and 1 part peat moss.
A pH level of 5.0 to 7.0 is optimal to ensure adequate nutrient uptake.
When repotting Peperomia, be careful not to give it too much room. These plants like to be slightly root-bound, so it’s best to opt for a pot that seems a little bit too small.
However, make sure the pot has a drainage hole.
Grooming And Maintenance Of Watermelon Plant Leaves
These plants do not tend to wander or stray. Pinch off dead watermelon plant leaves as needed.
Cut back the flowers altogether if you prefer a leafy plant. Otherwise, cut them back after blooming is complete.
Propagating Watermelon Pepper Plant
It is almost impossible not to propagate the watermelon peperomia plant. Grow the plant from a leaf or stem cutting in soil or water.
To propagate indoor plants from leaf cuttings, cut a leaf in half and press it into the soil.
Don’t forget to remove watermelon plant leaves with stalks or petioles and dip them in a rooting hormone before planting.
The use of the rooting hormone speeds up the rooting process. New plants will grow from the veins.
To propagate watermelon plant peperomia from stem cuttings, leave the stem on the leaf and place it in clean water.
Change the water every couple of days. You will soon see roots appear.
Growing from leaf cuttings in the soil is the preferred method. The roots produced this way are stronger than those raised in water.
In addition, you can also multiply your Silver watermelon peperomia plant using soil propagation.
Watermelon Flower Plant Pests and Plant Diseases
The Peperomia argyreia plant does not have any serious disease or insect problems. Like most houseplants, overwatering will lead to root rot problems.
Weak plants are susceptible to whitefly, spider mite, and mealybug infestation.
Providing the right balance of indirect light, water, humidity, and good ventilation helps prevent pest problems.
Suggested Uses For Watermelon Peperomias
In its native South America, the Watermelon pepper plant is a tropical forest ground cover. This colorful evergreen does well in tropical outdoor settings in partial shade.
You will have the greatest success as a house plant with proper watermelon plant care, such as providing ample warmth, humidity, and dappled light.