Watermelon Peperomia Care at Home: Your Complete Guide

The watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) is easy to care for, even if you don’t consider yourself a plant expert. This sweet little houseplant brightens any space with green and silver striped leaves coupled with vibrant red stems. Plus, it remains small even once it reaches maturity, so it’s a great addition to any desk or a small shelf.

Ultimate Guide to Watermelon Peperomia Care (Peperomia argyreia)

What to do Before Planting

Like other types of peperomia plants, these plants don’t take up a lot of room, and you don’t need to worry about fitting them into your house. However, you’ll still need to find a proper location.

These plants like at least a few hours of indirect light, but most importantly, they don’t receive any bright, direct sunlight. You don’t want the sun’s rays hitting the plant’s leaves.

Once you’ve found a suitable spot, pick out a pot that is the same size as the container your plant came in. These plants like being a bit rootbound, so don’t increase the size of your pot.

What’s the Best Soil Mix?

My Favorite Locations to Position Watermelon Peperomia Plants

Watermelon peperomia plants prefer a well-draining soil mix that can hold water and nutrients.

To make a potting soil that your watermelon peperomia will love, mix the following:

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part compost
  • 1 part peat moss or coco coir

Alternatively, you can look for a pre-mixed potting mix labeled as well-draining. I like the special pre-mixed potting mix from Bloomscape.

How to Plant

The watermelon peperomia is easy to plant if you know a few details.

We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; these plants like being a bit rootbound. That means you shouldn’t choose a much bigger pot than your plant.

Once you’ve found a proper container, fill the bottom third with a well-draining potting mix, such as that described above. Place your plant into the pot, and top with potting mix.

 Water your plant with room temperature water and place it in a suitable location.

Light Preferences

In nature, these plants reside in the understory, and their light requirements reflect this. They prefer at least five hours of light daily, yet they cannot withstand bright, direct light.

One of the best places for them is near any window covered with a curtain or shade that filters the light. You can also place your plant in the interior of a room as long as it receives some light.

Temperature and Humidity

Watermelon peperomia temperature ranges are optimal between 60-80ºF, although they can handle brief periods below that range. They don’t do well with hot or cold drafts, so keep them away from exterior doors and interior vents.

They don’t do well in dry air and prefer humidity above 50%. Spritz the plant with water every few days to raise the humidity levels in a dry house. Or you can place a tray filled with pebbles and water under the base of your plant’s pot.

Watering

With fleshy leaves that hold in moisture, these plants are more susceptible to overwatering than underwatering, but they can suffer from problems due to either. You want to prevent the soil from completely drying, but also allow the soil to dry out in between waterings.

A good rule of thumb is to let the top inch or two of soil near the base of the plant dry out before watering. Various factors impact how long this will take, but you can expect to water every 1-3 weeks in the summer and every 3-5 weeks in the winter.

When you’re determining when to water, consider the following factors.

  • Light – The more light a plant receives, the faster its soil will dry.
  • Temperature – Higher temperatures increase transpiration, so you’ll need to water more frequently.
  • Humidity – The higher the humidity, the less you’ll need to water.
  • Growth – Plants slow their growth in winter and therefore use less water.

Fertilizing

These plants don’t have advanced nutrient needs, but they will benefit from a regular dose of houseplant fertilizer suitable for watermelon peperomia plants.

Dilute a standard indoor houseplant fertilizer to half of the recommended strength. Use this mixture to fertilize your plant every few months in late spring through early fall. You don’t need to fertilize during the winter.

Pruning

There’s no need to prune these little plants, but you can trim them whenever you feel like their growth is getting a little out of control. Use a sharp, clean pair of shears to cut the plant’s stems.

Common Problems and How to Treat Them

10 Things They Don't Tell You About Watermelon Peperomia Plants

Dropping Leaves

If your plant is losing its leaves, this is likely due to one of two reasons.

The first reason is that you are overeating your plant. If the soil is constantly damp, decrease the frequency of your waterings.

Remember to allow the top one to inches of soil to dry out before watering. When you check for moisture, check near the middle of the pot, as the sides dry out quicker.

Another possible reason for leaf drop is cold temperatures. If your plant is in an area with air temperatures below 60ºF, move it to a warmer area.

Cold water can also shock your plant and cause it to lose leaves. Water your plant with room temperature water.

Rotting Tissue

If your watermelon peperomia’s leaves or stems are soft and mushy to the touch, they are rotting. The number one cause of root rot is overwatering.

Even if you aren’t watering very often, your plant may be suffering due to poor soil or an improperly draining container. Make sure you are using well-draining potting soil and a container with drainage holes.

If your plant is rotting, you may be able to revive it. Cut away any rotting tissue, repot your plant in fresh soil, and decrease the amount you water.

Yellowing Leaves

Guess what? Yellowing leaves and drooping watermelon peperomia leaves are another sign that you are overwatering your plant or using a pot and/or potting soil without proper drainage.

Follow the advice listed above to fix this problem.

Wrapping Up

As an easy-to-care-for plant with gorgeous foliage, the watermelon peperomia makes a great addition to any home. Give it well-draining soil, a bit of sun, and warm temperatures to keep it happy.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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