Peperomia argyreia (peperomia sandersii) has already become one of the favorite plants for many gardeners. When you hear such an interesting name for a plant, you probably wonder what do watermelon leaves look like? It’s pretty simple. It was named so for its unusual, even in the world of plants, motley-striped, reminiscent of watermelon, plant leaves color.
The alternation in its color of light stripes with neighboring stripes of dark shades, like the meridians on the earth’s globe converging at two points – “poles”, creates the appearance of the small watermelon fruit. When viewed from a distance, it generally seems that you see a volumetric structure, similar to a ribbed one. But a look from the side destroys this illusion – before the eyes, there is just a flat leaf with an arcuate venation, wide-oval in shape. Today we will tell you more about this interesting plant and all about peperomia watermelon care.
How to Care for Watermelon Plants?
The first and one of the most important points in proper watermelon plant care is maintaining the correct temperature regime. This plant needs a temperature of at least 50ºF (10ºC). The preferred temperature is 65-75ºF (18-24ºC).
Light for Peperomia
The plant will grow best in a fairly bright room, but be sure to avoid direct sunlight. The variegated color of the watermelon plant leaf will fade with a lack of light, while the excess of the sun can damage the beauty of the leaves with burnt spots. Therefore, it is ideal to place the plant in a shaded area where the plant will receive soft, diffused light.
At watermelon peperomia care, it is very important to water the plant on time and in sufficient quantity. It is best if the water for watering the plant is at room temperature. Water abundantly during the growing season and when the plant begins to bloom. At other times, watering should be done as usual. Important: a lack of water, just like an overabundance, will negatively affect the appearance of the plant. In the first case, the plant will begin to wilt, and in the second, it may start to rot.
The plant needs an average level of humidity in the room. In summer, on hot and dry days, you can spray the leaves of the plant. In the cold season, the plant does not need spraying.
Soil for Peperomia
The best soil option for this plant is loose soil with a variety of nutrients. If you did not find the right one, then do not worry, you can do it yourself by mixing in equal amounts such components as sand, hummus, garden soil, and peat soil. If you are thinking about which flower pot will be most suitable, then give preference to deep containers, since it is important for the root system to feel free.
Fertilizers are usually applied throughout the season, from early spring to autumn. It is recommended to fertilize the plant no more than twice a month. You can use various mineral complexes for this. In winter, the plant does not need fertilization.
The plant does not need mandatory pruning, but it is desirable to carry it out for various sanitary purposes. For example, when dried shoots or improperly growing stems appear on watermelon peperomia. Sometimes it happens that too heavy branches, breaking off, can damage the entire stem, so it is also advisable to get rid of such branches. By pruning, you can also improve the appearance of the plant. Erect shoots should be cut off when they grow up to 7-9in. 2-4 fresh shoots will grow in the cut area.
How to Propagate Watermelon Peperomia
Reproduction of peperomia is done in different ways. You can choose a method depending on your capabilities and experience. Now we will tell you more about each method.
Germination from Seeds
This method should be resorted to in early May. Seeds must be soaked before planting. After some time (usually an hour or two), the seeds can be spread out on the surface of the substrate and sprinkled with soil. To create a greenhouse effect, you can cover the container where you placed the seeds with plastic wrap. You can see the first sunrises after two months. If you want to transplant the plant into separate pots, make sure that a third leaf has appeared on the shoots.
Rooting of cuttings should be done in early spring. To do this, you should cut off the shoot, which has 2-3 independent buds. These shoots are planted in nutrient soil and covered with plastic wrap or plastic bottles to create a greenhouse effect. As soon as you see the first roots begin to form, the plant should be transplanted into pots. In general, this entire procedure takes about a month. This time is enough for the root system to begin to develop normally.
In addition to the above methods, you can also propagate the plant using leaves. To do this, insert the carefully cut leaves into the substrate with an edge and cover them with a plastic cup. You can also propagate the plant by dividing the bush. To do this, carefully dig up an already mature plant and divide the root system into several parts. Place the separated parts in separate containers.
Possible Difficulties in Growing Plant Peperomia
Usually, peperomia calmly tolerates small misses in care, but due to regular mistakes, the bush can begin to get sick. The causes of the problems can be judged by the appearance of the leaves of the plant:
- Foliage begins to fall off when the ground dries out or due to an extremely low temperature in the room.
- Foliage withers and wrinkles due to exposure to bright sun. Direct rays can leave burns on peperomia, especially often on unshaded southern windows.
- The edges of the foliage turn brown due to extreme temperature changes or cold drafts.
- Yellowing of leaves and the appearance of spots may indicate an excess of fertilizer.
- Stems and leaves rot due to too much moisture in the soil. Frequent stagnation of liquid in the ground, combined with low temperatures, often leads to the blackening of the petioles.
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