Peperomia argyreia (Watermelon Peperomia)

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Scientific Name

Peperomia argyreia (Hook.f.) E.Morren

Common Names

Watermelon Peperomia, Watermelon Begonia

Synonyms

Peperomia argyraea, Peperomia arifolia var. argyreia, Peperomia sandersii

Scientific Classification

Family: Piperaceae
Subfamily: Piperoideae
Genus: Peperomia

Flower

Color: Green
Bloom Time: Summer

Description

Peperomia argyreia is a compact, nearly stemless, rosette-forming perennial. It typically grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall as a houseplant. Each round, glossy, fleshy leaf is up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long and attractively striped with green and silver in a manner reminiscent of watermelon rind. Leaf stems are an attractive red. Small greenish flowers on spikes up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, rise slightly above the foliage in summer on red stalks. Flowers are interesting but not particularly showy.

Photo via plantica.cz

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 12b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 60 °F (15.6 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Peperomia are not particularly hard plants to grow, and their small size and delicate leaves make them perfect for desktops and dish gardens. They will rarely overtake their neighbors or shade them out. In short, they are perfectly mannered and attractive little plants. The biggest problem facing Peperomia are usually related to watering. They like steadily moist soil, but can be very sensitive to overwatering. Overwatered Peperomia tend to wilt (paradoxically) or have raised, scab-like protrusions on their leaves. Don’t be alarmed if your plant loses a few bottom leaves, but massive leaf-drop is usually due to a temperature change or fertilizer problem. Lastly, Peperomia are susceptible to mealybugs, so keep an eye out for cottony white masses on the stems or undersides of leaves. Peperomia thrives when slightly pot-bound, so don’t over pot them.

Repot plants in spring, especially to refresh the existing soil, but place either back into the same size container after root-pruning or go up only one pot size. The largest Peperomia remain relatively small, so they will never grow into large specimen plants. Most Peperomia species can be relatively easily propagated from leaf cuttings, similar to the way African violets are propagated… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Peperomia

Origin

It is native to South America.

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