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Home » Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Watermelon peperomia is the common name used for a popular species from the Peperomia genus named Peperomia argyreia. Named watermelon for its similarity of appearance to the rind (skin) of a watermelon.

Watermelon Peperomia Description

a peperomia argyreia in an elongated pot
rare tropical house plants

A native to South America the Peperomia argyreia is a small plant grown for its attractive leaves. They grow up to 12 inches tall and the mini watermelon peperomia only grows up to 6 inches. Because of their small bushy rosette appearance they’re best suited when grown outdoors as a ground cover or grouped together with other plants indoors.

Foliage: For the size of this plant as a whole the leaves are fairly large. These peltate leaves (stem attached centrally) are kind of oval in shape and display an outstanding mixture of green and silver stripes. The leaves have a fleshy feel to them that are attached to thin non-woody red stems.

Flowers: Non showy flowers can appear during summer on slim stalks (flower spikes) that are greenish in color. They are not even worth a mention if a grower is looking for attractiveness in flowers. They’re all about foliage.

Care level and growing: These are very easy to grow and can make a good plant choice for the beginner. Keeping to the basics of care instructions will allow these plants to thrive. Most important is enough light, no overwatering and cold conditions.

I would display them close to other plants that have similar care needs to help them look more attractive, otherwise they can look a bit isolated because of how small they’re. They can be placed in a planter and look great, but you will need to make sure other plants share the same care needs.

Watermelon Peperomia Facts

Origin:South America.
Names:Watermelon Peperomia (common). Peperomia argyreia [Syn. P. sandersii] — (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx):6 – 12in tall.
Poisonous for pets:Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Watermelon Peperomia
Watermelon Peperomia Potted
Watermelon Peperomia Foliage

Watermelon Peperomia Care

Temperature:Prefers temperatures of 65-75ºF (18-24ºC), and no lower than 50ºF (10ºC).
Light:A bright room with the plant placed in a shaded spot is ideal, without direct sunlight. In their natural habitat they reside undercover within forests with some sun and shade so we need to try and replicate this. Sitting back from a west, east or even south facing window is best.
Watering:It’s important not to water these plants too much or underwater them. Over-watering can cause rot and under-watering will make them wilt. To get watering just about right, allow the soil to dry to the touch at the top and then water thoroughly, but much less during winter.
Soil:A peat based soil is best used that drains well. 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite is a good mix.
Re-Potting:You will not need to re-pot one of these very often as they quite like to be pot bound. After about 3 years you may need to move to a slightly bigger pot, to be done during spring. You can replace the top soil once very spring.
Fertilizer:During the spring while the plant is growing use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every 2 – 4 weeks until the end of summer.
Humidity:Average indoor humidity should be fine. You can mist the leaves every now and again during summer months if the air becomes dry. Being around other indoor plants will improve humidity.
Propagation:The most common and easiest way to propagate a peperomia of this type is by leaf cuttings. Remove leaves with petioles (stalks ) and use rooting hormone on the cut before planting in seedling and cutting compost. About 1 inch of stalk with a leaf should be fine and keep the soil moist and warm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Watermelon Peperomia an air-purifying plant?

Yes. This plant is both pet-friendly and air-purifying so there are really no negatives! By housing this plant, you are improving the look of your room and the air quality too!

How fast does Watermelon Peperomia grow?

They are typically small and slow growing, so they’re ideal for small spaces.

What size pot should I use?

If you have the miniature Watermelon Peperomia, a pot around 4 inches should be fine. If you have the normal sized one, a container between 4-6 inches will do.

Can you propagate Peperomia Argyreia?

Yes. This can be done either in soil or in clean water. Simply cut off a stem with both a leaf and petiole intact, replace the water occasionally, and wait for root growth. This should happen within a month or so. When this is visible, simply repot the plant and wait for it to grow into a whole new plant!

What does it mean when my plant starts to droop?

If the leaves are curled or drooped, it could mean that the plant is underwatered. If the stems are drooping and becoming long, it usually means the plant is lacking sunlight.

How do I know if I’m overwatering my Peperomia Argyreia?

Typical signs of overwatering include wilting leaves, brown roots, rotting soil and smells, yellow leaves, and brown spots. 

How do I save my overwatered plant?

First, remove the damaged leaves. Then get rid of any mold that may be covering the soil, before trying to look at the roots through the drainage holes. If you can’t get a good enough look, take the plant out of its pot, remove any damaged roots and leave the remainder of the plant to dry out. Then, simply repot the plant with new soil and adjust your watering routine!


Watermelon Peperomia Thick and Full

Providing you give them enough water, these plants will pretty much look after themselves, without growing out of control like the invasive Asian Kudzu vines or English Ivy. The plant is often happy enough in its pot, so don’t bother repotting for 2-3 years.

Placing them in a spot of medium light will help mimic their natural habitat under forest canopies. If its gorgeous stripes start to fade, that’s how you know you’re giving it too much sunlight. But if its stalks are growing long and begin to distort its shape, it’s not getting enough.

Avoid windowsills, this plant doesn’t like huge amounts of direct sunlight. If your place is lacking natural light anyway, this plant is equally as happy to grow under fluorescent light, so you can stick it on a desk, and it will still be happy!  

Low maintenance, unique and attractive, the Watermelon Peperomia is the perfect plant if you want to bring your home to life with minimal effort. Whether it’s a workspace, kitchen, or bedroom, this plant is adaptable and is guaranteed to spice the place up a bit.

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Scott Kuipers
Scott Kuipers
1 year ago

Hi,I’m wondering about the depth of planting for these Peperomia. Many of the stem seem to rot at the base. Should the crown be above the soil level?

Mary Lloyster
Mary Lloyster
Reply to  Scott Kuipers
1 year ago

Hi, Scott Kuipers! Plant your peperomia seed as deep as the packet suggests, which is generally about 1/4 inch deep, and water well so the medium is moist but not saturated. If the stems of your peperomia feel soft and mushy and are turning brown, your plant has root rot. Make sure to repot your plant into fresh, clean soil and a clean pot, and trim away any blackened or squishy roots. Would you like to write some plant care tips for our community? If you have some tips on how to grow your indoor plants healthy and productively, feel free to contact me by email, and we can work something out. Thank You!

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