My watermelon peperomia plant (Peperomia argyreia) is one of my favorite houseplants due to its bouncy form and cute, striped leaves. And I love that its small size means it tucks in just about anywhere. I also like that it’s pretty easy to care for, as long as you know what makes it happy. When it comes to soil, I’ve found that watermelon peperomia plants like well-draining and well-aerated soil. These plants hate sitting in wet soil, so a mix with excellent drainage is essential. I’ll cover some details about my favorite soil mix so you can replicate it at home.
Ideal Soil Types for Watermelon Peperomia Plants
As I mentioned above, watermelon peperomia plants prefer well-draining and well-aerated soil. In the wild, these plants often grow as epiphytes. That means they grow on other woody plants rather than in the soil.
Since they’re epiphytes, these plants are susceptible to overwatering and root rot. However, choosing a well-draining soil limits the chances these problems will occur.
Materials like perlite, pine bark fines, orchid bark, and pumice all improve drainage and aeration. Therefore, I like to ensure some of these materials are in my potting mix.
As far as pH goes, watermelon peperomia plants prefer a soil mix with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. That means the mix is slightly acidic to neutral. Fortunately, most potting mixes naturally fall in this range.
Best Homemade Soil Recipe
It’s easy to make your own watermelon peperomia mix at home. There’s no magic soil recipe, so don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients until you’re happy with your mix. That said, I’ve found a few different options that work well.
If you don’t want to purchase a bunch of different ingredients, you can make a good potting mix with two simple items: a general houseplant potting mix and pine bark. Combining one part general potting mix with three parts pine bark will create a potting mix that has excellent drainage yet can also hold some water.
And if the thought of buying a handful of ingredients doesn’t scare you away, you can create a more carefully crafted mix. First, purchase a mixture of ingredients that offer drainage and hold water. These include peat moss, perlite, pine bark, and pumice.
Once you’ve gathered your materials, combine them at the following rate:
- One part peat moss
- One part perlite
- One part pumice
- Two parts pine bark
If you find this mix isn’t holding enough water, you can mix in a bit of extra peat moss.
Best Pre-Mixed Options
I tend to use pre-mixed soils rather than blending my own. If I find the pre-blended soil isn’t working well, I mix in extra materials for drainage (perlite or pine bark) or water-holding (peat moss or coco coir).
I like to start with an orchid potting mix since watermelon peperomia plants are epiphytes. These mixes provide excellent drainage and ensure that your plant won’t be sitting in water. There are several good organic mixes available online (via Amazon), my personal favorite being Epsoma’s.
In most cases, I’ve found that this mix works great on its own. However, my house falls on the humid side. If you live in a dry climate or in a house where heat or air conditioning is constantly running, your air is likely drier than mine. Therefore, you may find it beneficial to mix a few handfuls of peat moss into the orchid mix. This will increase the amount of moisture the mix can hold and keep your plant happy.
How Often Does Soil Need Changing?
As long as your watermelon peperomia plant is healthy, you don’t need to change the soil. Change the soil when you repot your plant, and switch it out if you notice a soil-borne disease like root rot.
What Are Signs You Might Be Using the Wrong Soil?
Poor drainage, root rot, stunted growth, and wilting leaves can indicate your plant is growing in the wrong soil. However, these issues can also be caused by improper watering practices. Therefore, investigate the whole environment before repotting into new soil.
What Soil pH Is Best for Watermelon Peperomia?
Watermelon peperomia plants prefer soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. This means the mix is neutral to slightly acidic.
Watermelon peperomia plants brighten rooms and bring joy to the people who see them. Make sure to choose a well-draining potting mix to keep your plant happy. Start with a potting mix designed for orchids, or create your own well-draining mix.