Peperomia argyreia- This beautiful plant gained its common name because of its look-alike watermelon foliage. It is native to the rainforests in northern South America and some of the countries you can find it in is Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Known for its tropical climate and intense sunlight, you’ll find temperatures here remain between 22-34 degrees. There’s also a relatively consistent rainfall pattern even in areas that experience seasonal rainfall. The combination of heat and moisture result in a high humid output.
Taking its native habitat into account we can start to understand how to care for our Watermelon Peperomias.
Light: Watermelon Peperomia like bright light but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. They can do well in partial shade too.
Water: This plant does not like wet feet. So make sure that your plant’s soil dries out between watering. And then when you do water, make sure to water moderately in spring and summer and very sparingly in winter. When your plant is under watered and is in need of hydration, the stems will droop and the leaves will curl in. When it is hydrated you will notice that the leaves are ‘plumper’.
Soil: Due to not liking wet feet, chunky and well-draining soil is best for this plant.
Temperatures: The Watermelon Peperomia does not like cold temperatures and usually starts to suffer below 13 degrees.
Humidity: Being a subtropical plant, Watermelon Peperomia does like humidity but is not as dependent on it as some tropical plants.
Repotting: These plants do not mind being slightly root bound. So there is no need to repot them unless your plant is showing strain. They are also relatively slow growers.
Propagation: You can propagate your Peperomia through leaf cuttings. The best time to do this is in spring or summer.
SA-specific: The Watermelon Peperomia that flooded South Africa in July 2021 is potted in a loose mix of potting soil and perlite. Do not repot your plant in Winter. The soil is good enough, although you can remove the coco coir from the top of the soil to avoid rotting.