Tips for the Beautiful Watermelon Peperomia Plant

 Tips for the Beautiful Watermelon Peperomia Plant

Watermelon Peperomia: An Easy-Care Houseplant

Watermelon peperomia is a beautiful perennial houseplant that brightens any space with its silver-green striped leaves and bright red stems. They are a great gift for beginner houseplant enthusiasts as they are very easy to care for.

It is a slow growing plant that is suitable for small spaces and is definitely gorgeous.
What's better than peperomia watermelon? To be two, maybe even three.

About Watermelon Peperomia

Peperomia argyreia is not related to the sweet watermelon for which it is named. It is a member of the Piperaceae family, the same pepper family that is used to produce peppers for homes around the world.

It is also often called watermelon begonia, although it is not related to begonia.

Generally growing about 6 to 11 inches tall, they are a good choice for indoor gardeners who grow them in hanging baskets and containers. The plants also do well outdoors in warm climates found in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12.

During the summer, watermelon peperomia can produce flowers that look like little spikes instead of flowers.

It is native to the tropical forests of northern South America, and often grows on decaying wood and other materials found on the forest floor.

The story goes that the plant got its common name from American horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey, who was mentioned in Charles P. Heiser's 1985 On Plants and People.

1. Find a place with proper lighting.

Watermelon Peperomia thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. However, too much light will fade the bright colors of the leaves. The east-facing window provides excellent lighting. When growing outdoors, place the plant in filtered light or light shade.

If there is not enough light, the plant also becomes leggy. Lack of natural or artificial light causes the stems to spread and may lose their bushy appearance. To encourage compact growth, cut long stems and move to a bright spot. You want to publish additional papers.

2. Pick a Pot

Peperomia watermelon is well suited for growing in containers and hanging baskets. Drainage is important, so make sure the bottom of the container has a drainage hole. Choose a pot that is no larger than your plant will grow, as this plant likes to be fairly rooted.
Typically, a 4 to 6 inch decorative container can last over a year before the next pot size.

3. Prep the Soil

Watermelon Peperomia will grow in any good quality commercial potting soil or homemade mix, including compost, peat moss or loam. A handful of perlite or sand also enhances drainage.

To make potting soil your plants will love, mix the following:
1 part compost
1 part perlite
1 part peat moss or coco coir

4. When and How to Water

In general, it is recommended to use room temperature water to water your plants. To provide the best for your plants, rainwater or bottled spring water are your best options. Spring water contains all the necessary minerals, while tap water may contain a lot of salt or other chemicals that can be harmful to plants or at least inhibit their growth. Your plants will be happier and healthier with spring or rain water.
Allow the pot to dry completely, and never leave the plant in water, as the roots are susceptible to rot.

Various factors affect how often you should water peperomia watermelons. Check your plant once a week. If the topsoil is still wet, reduce the watering frequency to every two weeks, but always remember to monitor the soil.
This plant receives additional moisture. If you live in a dry climate, you can mist the plant regularly or place the pot in a stone tray to increase humidity.

5. Stay Within a Good Temperature Range

Watermelon peperomia prefers temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees and should not be left to cool below 60 degrees in the evening. This plant will tolerate cold weather but will drop its leaves when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.
They also don't like hot or cold drafts, so keep them away from exterior doors, interior vents, and open windows.

6. When and How to Fertilize

When fertilizing watermelon peperomia, use a balanced, liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Avoid granular fertilizers, which tend to be too strong and can burn the plant.
According to the World of Flowering Plants, this plant is photophilous, and too many nutrients can cause excessive growth, causing the plant to become leggy rather than dense and compact.
A good rule of thumb is to dilute standard houseplant fertilizer to half the recommended strength and fertilize it every few months.

7. Prune If Needed

There is really no need to prune these beautiful plants, but you can prune them when you feel they are getting out of control. Sometimes, cutting the stem in early spring helps enhance fertility by encouraging more branching.

In general, spring and early summer are the best times to prune indoor plants because warm weather and bright light help them recover faster. When pruning, always use sharp, clean shears to cut the plant's stems.

8. How to Propagate

Watermelon is one of the easiest plants to propagate peperomia.
You may want to use hanging glass planters for propagation. They are a great alternative or addition to the countertop jar method.

First, you want to make sure it's a healthy, well-established plant and make sure it doesn't have any scary critters like plant pests.

Peperomia can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Simply cut a leaf along the stem and place it in water. Within 6-8 weeks, you will start to see little white roots. Once the roots are about 2 inches long, you can plant them in soil.

You can also plant the stem directly into the soil, as shown in this YouTube video by Adela B. This can be the most effective way to propagate this plant.

Cut the leaves along the stems, then cut the petiole (or stem) to less than an inch long. Plant directly in moist, loose soil with the leaves facing straight up.

You can also cut a healthy leaf in half horizontally and insert the leaf parts into the soil (with the cut side in the soil).

Keep them moist and watch them take root! It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to see any roots, so be patient. It will be worth the wait!

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