Sun exposure:
Dappled shade, partial shade

Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) has red stems and attractive green- and silver-streaked waxy leaves that resemble the skin of a watermelon, giving this evergreen perennial its common name. Originating from the tropical forests of South America, watermelon peperomia thrives in a warm room in partial shade. It’s an easy house plant to grow and produces spikes of insignificant green flowers in summer.

How to grow watermelon peperomia

Grow watermelon peperomia in free-draining, peat-free compost which can retain some moisture. Choose an acidic or neutral soil mix, as watermelon peperomia won’t thrive in alkaline soil. Water with rain water regularly, but allow the top of the compost to dry out in between watering. In winter, reduce watering and keep compost almost dry. Feed plants once a month during the growing season with half-strength balanced liquid fertiliser and top dress with fresh compost every spring. Watermelon peperomia benefits from being pot-bound, but will need repotting every two to three years.

Place your watermelon peperomia plant in a lightly shaded spot in the summer months – near a window but out of direct sunlight is ideal. It copes well with lower light levels and can be successfully grown in offices with artificial lighting. Peperomia argyreia thrives in fairly humid conditions, so stand plants on a tray of damp pebbles and mist leaves regularly. Avoid draughts and radiators which cause temperatures to fluctuate and dry out the air around your plants. Watermelon peperomia requires temperatures of 18-24°C to grow well, though it can cope with temperatures down to 10°C.

Watermelon peperomia is a compact, slow-growing house plant that's easy to propagate by division or cuttings – even for beginners. Divide plants by removing from the pot and gently teasing roots apart so the biggest offshoots come away with their roots. Pot these up and water well. Take stem and leaf cuttings in spring or summer. Place stem cuttings in moist gritty potting compost or put them in water to root before potting them up. Leaf cuttings should be cut in half and inserted – cut-side down – into compost, then kept in a propagator until rooted.

Peperomia argyreia is generally healthy, but can be susceptible to sap-sucking insects such as mealybugs and scale insects, so check plants regularly to avoid problems developing. Many issues with poor plant health are associated with over- or under-watering. If leaves droop or curl, it can indicate that conditions are too dry. Yellowing leaves suggest your plant is being overwatered. Watermelon peperomia should grow large leaves. Long stems and small leaves indicate light levels are too low – try moving your plant to a brighter spot, but still out of direct sunlight.

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Advice on buying watermelon peperomia

  • Make sure you can provide the right conditions for your watermelon peperomia before buying
  • Always check plants for signs of pests or diseases before buying or planting

Where to buy watermelon peperomia online

Plant calendar

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Peperomia and wildlife

Peperomia has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Peperomia poisonous?

Peperomia has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Cats
Is not known to attract Dogs
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock
Is not known to attract People