How to Grow and Care for Watermelon Peperomia

by Sarah Peel

 detailed view of the green and whiteish stripes on the juicy leaves of the peperomia watermelon

The Peperomia Argyreia, or Watermelon Peperomia, gets its name because its  leaves resemble the skin of a watermelon. These plants are native to South America where they grow as ground cover in the forest. In their natural habitat they receive some shade and partial sun. They are also sometimes referred to as Watermelon Plants or Watermelon Begonia. They’re an excellent addition to your plant collection because of their relatively easy care nature. They’re also a great choice for anyone who is looking for a pet-safe tropical plant, as they are non toxic.

They do not flower.

Light Requirements 

The ideal lighting situation for your Watermelon Peperomia is somewhere that it would receive plenty of bright, indirect light. These guys are tolerant of low light, but their foliage will become a deeper green, and the leaf patterns may not be as pronounced if they spend extended periods of time in low light.


Watering and Humidity 

When it comes to watering your Watermelon Peperomia, it’s best to let the soil slightly dry out before you water again. The thick, waxy leaves on this plant enables it to retain quite a bit of water, so it’s best to slightly underwater vs. watering too much.

Too much water can quickly lead to root rot, and too little water can lead to a droopy, sad-looking Watermelon peperomia. 

Since these guys naturally grow in high humidity conditions, they will enjoy higher than average humidity but will do just fine in regular household humidity. You can try to increase humidity during the winter months by using a humidifier or placing it on a pebble tray.

Soil/ Fertilizing 

These plants enjoy soil that is well draining. A mix containing coco coir, perlite, sand, and other well-draining additives would be ideal. They also don’t mind being root bound (which means their roots like to be "cosy" in the pot) so be mindful of this when choosing the pot for your Watermelon Peperomia. 

Watermelon Peperomias do not require a lot of fertilizer but you can fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer.

(Our all-natural Elixir is a great one!) If using another brand, be sure to always dilute your fertilizer and start by using about 50%-60% of the manufacturer's recommended amount, and monitor your plant’s reaction. Too much fertilizer too quickly can lead to fertilizer burn. 

Propagating Watermelon Peperomia 

There are a variety of ways you can propagate your Watermelon Peperomia in order to have new plants for yourself or to share. 

Cutting Leaves in Half 
For this method you will need to select a healthy looking leaf, cut it in half using some sharp shears, fill a small container with soil, place your cut halves in the soil and water them (cut side will go into the soil). You can then place a clear cover or plastic wrap over your container, which will create a warm humid environment for your propagations to start growing. Once your leaves have grown little plantlets you can transfer them to soil. 

Whole Leaf with Petiole 
Cut a leaf with the petiole still intact (the part that joins the leaf to the stem), and place it in damp soil, with the petiole going into the soil. 

You can cover your pot or container again with a lid or plastic wrap/bag. Wait 4-6 weeks for your new plantlet to start growing. Once the plant is big enough you can either keep it in the pot or transfer it to a separate pot. 

Stem in Water 
For this method you will simply take a cutting from along the stem of your plant with a leaf or leaves still attached. Place your cutting in water, in a well lit area and wait for roots to appear. 


Decor and Styling

Watermelon Peperomias work well for a variety of styling options. They make a great addition to a wall shelf or a bookshelf. They also work well when they’re grouped with other plants. You can use an elevated planter for your Watermelon Peperomia to give it more of a statement look, or you can place it in a hanging planter to save some floor space.

Common Problems


Symptoms : Black or browning leaves, mushy leaves, leaves falling, wet soil.

Solution: Remove all of the affected leaves, pot into fresh, well-draining soil, reduce watering frequency.

Low humidity

Symptoms: Leaves curling under, brown crisping leaves

Solution: Use a humidity tray, group your plants together, use a humidifier to increase humidity in the area, or mist from a height.


Always remember to inspect your plants regularly for any visible signs of pests! Don't forget to look on the soil and under leaves. Neem oil and diatomaceous earth are good all-natural options. Since Neem Oil is somewhat difficult to work with (it's very thick at room temperature), our all-natural Plant Tonic acts as pest control and a leaf shine


Watermelon Peperomia is NOT toxic to people, cats and dogs if consumed. 


About the Author

Tonnice Richards is the teacher and plant lover behind Planties In a Knot on InstagramAs the creator of @plantiesinaknot, Tonniece Richards shares what she has learned by caring for her plants throughout the years. She provides plant tips, and shares her plant wins and fails with her followers. She believes in the importance of improving mental heath and well-being through plant care.