Peperomia argyreia (Hook.f.) E.Morren
Watermelon Peperomia, Watermelon Begonia
Peperomia argyraea, Peperomia arifolia var. argyreia, Peperomia sandersii
Bloom Time: Summer
Peperomia argyreia is a perennial plant that forms compact, nearly stemless rosettes. As a houseplant, It typically grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Each round, glossy, fleshy leaf is up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long and attractively striped with green and silver, reminiscent of the watermelon rind. Leaf stems are an attractive red. Small greenish flowers on up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long spikes rise slightly above the foliage in summer on red stalks. Flowers are interesting but not particularly showy.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 12b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 60 °F (15.6 °C).
How to Grow and Care
This plant is well suited for planting in containers or hanging baskets. Drainage is critical, so make sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom. Peperomia grows in any good-quality, regular commercial potting soil or a homemade mixture containing ingredients such as compost, loam, or peat moss. A handful of sand or vermiculite promotes drainage.
Watermelon Peperomia thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Although most Peperomias thrive in bright light, too much light fades the bright colors of the variegated foliage. Indoors, a window with an eastern exposure provides excellent light. Outdoors, grow the plant in light shade or filtered light.
Water the plant deeply when the top of the soil feels slightly dry. Let the pot drain completely, and never allow the plant to stand in water. Check outdoor plants daily during warm weather. In fall and winter, water sparingly and allow more time between each watering, so the soil has time to dry a bit more than usual. If the air is dry in summer, increase humidity by setting the container on a humidity tray. See more at How to Grow and Care for a Watermelon Peperomia.
Peperomia argyreia is native to South America.
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