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Watermelon Peperomia: 1 Vital Care Tip and How to Propagate

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Watermelon peperomia, or Peperomia argyreia, is a beautiful foliage houseplant named after the fact that its leaves resemble watermelon rinds. And what beautiful foliage it is! I’ve known many people that have killed this plant, but if you follow my tips, you can succeed so keep reading!

This plant is truly easy to grow if you follow my lead!


Although this plant is mainly grown for its foliage, it is a flowering plant. No one would purchase it for its flowers, but they do bloom!

Take a look at the green flower spikes that they produce.

watermelon peperomia

Like I said…no one grows these plants for their flowers! Let’s talk a little about how to care for Peperomia argyreia.

I’ll mention some basic care tips for this plant, and later on will talk about what I consider the absolute most important factor in keeping this plant alive (and thriving) and also how to propagate it.


Watermelon peperomia definitely prefers bright conditions, but mostly indirect light. These plants can not take too much direct sun otherwise their vivid foliage coloration will wash out.

These plants are well suited to larger Northern exposure windows, and Eastern exposure windows as well where they would receive some morning sun. If all you have is a window with a lot of direct sun, you may want to diffuse the light a bit.

Just keep in mind that the higher light you have these in, the more quickly they will dry out, so you’ll need to monitor that carefully. More on that in the watering section.


Watermelon peperomias are considered to be light feeders so avoid too much fertilizer otherwise your plant may lose its characteristic compactness.

I like to fertilize regularly, but very dilutely. This is the method I really use for all my houseplants.

My favorite fertilizer has become Dyna-Gro Grow. It is a complete fertilizer that contains all the necessary macro and micro nutrients for plant growth and is urea-free. I’ve achieved fantastic results with this fertilizer.

Of course, I would like to mention that fertilizers are NO substitute for poor cultural conditions. You should provide fertilizer on top of proper light, watering, etc.

watermelon peperomia


Watermelon peperomia are definitely freeze babies and they like to stay warm. These plants come from the tropical regions in northern South America. If at all possible, keep this plant above 60F (about 16C).

As a rule of thumb, for tropical houseplants, I like to tell people that if you are comfortable, then your houseplant is OK when it comes to temperature.

Always avoid any really cold drafts.


Now we are getting to some of the most critical care tips for Watermelon Peperomia.

These plants are very sensitive to extremes in soil moisture. I’ll get to the best soil mixes to use for these plants later. For now, let’s talk a bit about watering.

Try not and let this plant completely dry out. If you do, what you’ll notice is that the lower leaves and petioles (the “stems” attached to the leaves) will droop.

Withhold water for even longer, and the entire plant will be droopy and start to collapse.

Ironically, the same thing will happen if they stay wet for too long. If these plants stay wet for too long, they are prone to rot.

So you’ll want to find a happy medium and avoid “overwatering.”

Simply wait until the surface of your soil is dry before giving it a thorough watering. Never let these plants sit in water. Always discard extra water that comes through the drainage hole of your pot.

If you notice that your plant is drooping, and also the leaves are turning yellow, you should immediately feel the soil.

Your soil has gone either completely dry or your soil is wet.

I haven’t been the best all the time with watering all my plants since I have SO many and it’s hard to keep up out of busyness or laziness…and for me, this has happened many times because I’ve allowed my soil to get bone dry.

So what I do is remove any leaves that are severely yellowed or very droopy, give it a good water and try not to let it happen again.

On the other hand, if your soil feels wet…then you have to determine why. Does your pot have a drainage hole? If not, repot it into one that does.

Did you let your plant sit in water in a saucer for a long time? Always, always discard excess water. And try not to let it happen again.

Potting Mix

I’ve been a stickler for potting mixes. You should put in a little more effort into choosing a good potting mix for your plants. Having your houseplants thrive depends on many factors.

You can’t just have one thing right. You need to have multiple things right (watering, soil mix, light, etc) in order to truly have a thriving houseplant.

Potting mixes are one of the most important factors. I rarely will use a potting mix straight out of the bag anymore. Depending on what I have on hand, I will either add some perlite, orchid bark, or pumice to a prepackaged potting mix.

Why do I do this? Because drainage and oxygen to plant roots are vitally important! By introducing a larger particle size (from the perlite, bark, or pumice) to the potting mix, it will do 2 things for you.

First, it will improve the rate at which water drains. Secondly, there will be more oxygen available at the plant roots because you improved the soil structure.

So it will be less likely that you will “overwater” your plants. “Overwatering” kills your plants because waterlogged soil is depleted of oxygen.

I’ll get to propagation soon, but I grew a beautiful Watermelon Peperomia in a soil blend to which added pumice. In my most recent project, I added orchid bark to a potting soil.

I strongly advise you to consider adding either perlite (I prefer the larger size perlite), orchid bark, or pumice to your potting mixes. Regardless of what you are planting! You will not regret it.

I have all 3 items on hand at all times because I like perlite in all my mixes. I grow plenty of orchids so I always have orchid bark, and I love using pumice for my succulents, so nothing will go to waste!

So don’t underestimate the importance of a good potting mix! Going the extra effort of adding additional components to your prepackaged soil mixes will go a long way.

Watermelon Peperomia Propagation

These plants are very easy to propagate. There are two ways that you can propagate and I will show you photos of one way that I’ve done it.

You will need to choose a healthy leaf. Don’t use a leaf that has yellowed or that is heavily damaged.

Simply cut a leaf off the plant (actually, you’re going to be cutting the petiole which is the leaf “stem”). Then you can either propagate it in water or place it in soil.

I like to water propagate so I placed all my cuttings in vases:

watermelon peperomia

The time they take to root will vary, but mine rooted within about a couple months or so. The roots will form right where you cut the petiole, and the pups or small plants will follow shortly afterwards.

Take a look at this cutting that actually produce two sets of pups! You can see pups were produced further up on the petiole because the petiole was damaged. Talk about putting a positive spin on things…

watermelon peperomia

Once your cuttings have roots, or you can also wait until the pups start to grow, you can pot it up in soil.

watermelon peperomia

A few months later, here is the same pot (and this is also after neglected to water it a few times!)

watermelon peperomia propagation

Of course if you prefer soil propagation, you could have dipped the cutting in rooting hormone and placed it right into soil instead of water.

Another method to propagate Watermelon peperomia is to take leaf cuttings. You actually would cut the leaf horizontally in half and insert the leaf segments into the soil (with the cut side inserted in the soil).

This method is supposed to produce pups more quickly, but I haven’t tried it myself.

One last tip, if you are propagating anything, always do multiple cuttings (if you can) because not every cutting will grow roots.

Lastly, check out my YouTube video where I show how I repotted and propagated my Watermelon Peperomias!

Want to grow other kinds of Peperomia? There are lots! I’ve also written about the gorgeous Peperomia Ruby Cascade and the rare Peperomia perciliata that I planted in a terrarium.

They’re an amazing genus of plants for the houseplant enthusiast!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:


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Tuesday 6th of October 2020

Hi Raffaele,

I recently bought a watermelon pep and it’s producing new leaves which is awesome, however they are growing twisted and deformed and not looking like the original leaves that are normal. Do you know why my new leaves are twisting as they are growing? I’m watering about once a week and it’s sitting in a sunny position so I don’t think that’s the problem... any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!


Tuesday 6th of October 2020

Hi Rosa, right before you water, are you judging how dry the soil is? Is it completely dry? It's probably soil moisture related. If they go really dry, it could be affecting the new leaves especially. How much direct sun is it getting?


Friday 12th of June 2020


I'm a new plant parent and I've done all of my research on peperomias. I have a watermelon peperomia and a few leaves are drooping. The others are doing well although with blemishes (it was in bad shape when I bought it from the nursery).

Right now it's in my bathroom because it gets a lot of afternoon sunlight. The window is about 9 feet up and big enough to light up the room. I did repot it about 5 days ago, with all purpose potting mix, orchid mix and pumice. I watered it after I repotted and the same drooped leaves perked back up. Now it's drooping again. I'm not sure if there's too much of the other mediums causing the soil to dry quicker?


Friday 5th of June 2020

Hey! I just bought my first Peperomia and have watered it twice.. I dont think I am overwatering but the stems are coming off at the base.. I lost five this morning.. any suggestions?


Saturday 6th of June 2020

It's hard to say without knowing what your conditions are at home and what you're doing to care for the plant with respect to light, watering, etc. Have you been doing anything differently from what the blog post suggested?


Thursday 21st of May 2020

Hey, why do you put clay over the drainage holes when you're propagating, wouldn't this cause the newly formed roots to rot because there's no drainage? Great video 😊


Thursday 6th of August 2020

@Natalie, Thank you for asking this! I was thinking the same thing!!!!


Tuesday 26th of May 2020

The clay shard doesn't lay flat. It's curved on the inside so it stops the soil from going through the hole but it allows water through. :-).

Carol C.

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Hi Raffaele, I truly appreciate all of your expert plant knowledge. I have learned a lot from your blog. My Watermelon Peperomia is Putting out new growth but some of the leaves are deformed. I read this is a possible calcium deficiency? It’s in a terra cotta pot. I just started using the Dyna Gro fertilizer you use. Is there enough calcium in it to correct this issue? Thanks in advance for your response. Carol

Carol C.

Saturday 25th of April 2020

@Raffaele, Thank you for responding back to me. Hopefully my Watermelon Peperomia is on it’s way to being a healthy plant!




Friday 24th of April 2020

Hi Carol! I'm so glad that you are enjoying my blog :-). If it indeed is a calcium deficiency, that fertilizer will take care of it because it is a complete fertilizer! If you look on the label, it even has instructions on what to do for nutrient deficiencies if I remember correctly!

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