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Named after the characteristic look of its leaves, the watermelon peperomia plant has become very popular as an indoor plant. It brings a solid decorative touch to any room considering the watermelon patterns on the silver-striped green leaves. The exotic appearance of the plant is completed by the vibrant stems showcasing a reddish-purple hue.
If you’re interested in adding the watermelon peperomia to your home, you’ll be glad to find out that it’s not particularly difficult to grow and care for. This is a beginner-friendly plant that’s primarily appreciated for its foliage style. It’s a native of South America and grows in a fairly compact form. Spike-life flowers appear during spring and summertime.
1. Care Requirements
Although watermelon peperomias are generally considered easy to grow plants, they have some specific needs that have to be met for them to thrive. The plant can adapt quite easily to an indoor environment and won’t take up too much space. It tends to grow in a round shape resembling a small bush.
2. Light Requirements for Watermelon Peperomia
When it comes to light requirements, watermelon peperomia plants tend to prefer indirect light. A strong dose of direct sunlight can be damaging to the foliage because this plant is adapted for a tropical jungle environment where it sits in the shade of other foliage.
While you don’t have too much reason to worry about meeting this plant’s light needs, it’s important to avoid spots that are too shady. Insufficient light affects the health of the foliage and might even cause the disappearance of the beautiful watermelon pattern. Therefore, it’s essential to find a proper balance. Keep the plant in a spot where it can receive bright indirect light.
3. How to Water Watermelon Peperomia
Similar to other tropical plants, watermelon peperomias don’t require a lot of water. It’s typically more harmful if you overwater this plant rather than forgetting about watering it. Figuring out the best watering schedule for your watermelon peperomia should take into account humidity. In most cases, watering once a week should suffice.
The best way to understand your plant’s need for water is to check some notable signs. If the soil is dry and the foliage colors start to fade, you need to consider watering the watermelon peperomia more often. Drooping could be a sign of an inadequate water supply but it might also indicate overwatering.
If you’re worried about overwatering, it’s recommended to choose a high-quality soil that plays a beneficial role in terms of drainage. The soil should be rich in organic matter but pretty much any standard indoor potting mix works fine. Keep in mind that some moisture absorption is important. Therefore, avoid soil for succulents that’s too dry and might cause wilting of the foliage.
Most indoor environments should easily allow the watermelon peperomia to thrive. This plant grows well if the temperature stays within 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering its adaptability to tropical conditions, the plant is quite vulnerable to cold. It might be able to tolerate brief drops in temperature below 60 degrees but you need to be careful with it during the winter period.
Even if watermelon peperomia thrives at room temperature, some factors can influence the temperature around it and cause problems. Avoid both cold and hot drafts that could be harmful. The general rule of thumb is that a comfortable temperature for you will ensure proper survivability for the plant as well.
Watermelon peperomias can experience growth problems in dry air. That’s to be expected considering the adaptability to a jungle environment. However, the plant can typically flourish in average indoor humidity. It can benefit from an occasional misting treatment to boost the humidity during hot summers.
Slightly humid conditions are ideal for this plant. Consider pairing watermelon peperomia with other indoor plants from your collection to maintain its humidity levels. Remember to keep the plant out of drafty areas where the air is too dry.
7. Fertilizer Needed for Watermelon Peperomia
Due to not being a heavy feeder, the watermelon peperomia plant doesn’t benefit much from frequent fertilization. If you want to ensure optimal foliage growth, the best solution is to use fertilizer just once a month during the warm times of the year such as the summer. Try a balanced fertilizer for houseplants such as this one on Amazon. Keep in mind that fertilization is ineffective without meeting the primary growth requirements of the plant.
Whether through division or leaf cuttings, the watermelon peperomia is a breeze to propagate. If you’re looking to share your plant, it’s recommended to wait until the growing season when propagation is most effective. That’s when the plant produces offshoots that can be taken and replanted in other pots.
Cutting a leaf is an easy propagation method because you just need a healthy leaf complete with its stem. Cuttings can be kept in water or soil and then transplanted without too much effort after the roots sprout and grow for some time.
9. Pests and Diseases
The watermelon peperomia can be affected by various pests and diseases. Examples include fungus gnats and aphids which are known to be damaging to this plant. Diseases can appear due to improper care methods, especially if you overwater the plant.
If you notice curling leaves on your watermelon peperomia, the cause is likely underwatering. Inspect soil quality because it might be too dry for the roots to properly absorb moisture.
It might take some trial and error when it comes to watering this plant. Just make sure you avoid overwatering at all costs. The watermelon peperomia is very susceptible to root rot that happens when the soil isn’t draining properly from excess water.
Yellowing leaves is a disease that’s also caused by overwatering. Other causes include pests or environmental stress. In more severe cases, the leaves of the plant turn to an unsightly brown with a mushy texture. Some considerable environmental changes are in order to restore the health of the plant.