If watermelon peperomia is among your favorite houseplants, the next logical step is to get as many of them as possible.
And why not? With their oval-shaped leaves with stripes giving them the appearance of watermelons, they are simply adorable as ornamental houseplants.
It doesn’t require much thought to guess that it’s the search about how to propagate watermelon peperomia brought you here.
After all, propagating houseplants remains the most convenient way to get more of your favorite plants, especially on a tight budget.
Or perhaps, you simply can’t be bothered about taking a trip to a garden store to buy more if you can propagate them at home, right?
In this article, you’d learn everything it takes to grow more peperomias from the parent plant.
You’d also discover all the crucial care tips and tricks necessary to nurture the budding plants into healthy, adult watermelon peperomia like an experienced gardener.
How To Propagate Watermelon Peperomia
Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) propagation is unlike most plants because the leaves are the primary rooting material.
While in theory, it is possible to propagate them in water and soil, the reality is, that you’re likely to be more successful with soil propagating only.
Propagating watermelon peperomia in water comes with tons of frustration.
Firstly, it takes months for the cuttings to root. If you are patient enough, you’d have to wait for over 3 months for the first, tiny signs of sprouting roots.
Then, add a couple of months more before the roots are long enough to be transplanted to the potting soil.
Most people don’t have that sort of patience. Also, leaving the leaf cutting in water for so long, the possibility of root rot is always lurking.
All these make rooting watermelon peperomia leaf cuttings in water not worth the effort.
So this article is all about the tried and tested method of propagating watermelon peperomia: soil propagation using leaf cuttings.
Before we begin, let’s go over some care tips that are, basically, the ideal watermelon peperomia growing conditions.
You’d need to ensure these conditions are always present to propagate the cuttings successfully.
Watermelon Peperomia Growing Conditions
Soil – Peperomias are not particular about soil type. They would grow in any standard potting soil for houseplants.
If you are DIYing the soil, make sure you add enough perlite for proper drainage.
Lighting – They grow best in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight, especially midday sun, would scorch the leave and ultimately kill the plant.
But a few hours of direct morning sun would be great if you can manage it.
Watering – Newbie gardeners usually have a problem with watering, or more specifically overwatering.
The plants love moist soil. But when it comes to peperomia, the line between moist and soggy (over-watered soil) is hairline thin.
Your best bet is to allow the soil to almost dry out completely before watering again.
Also, you can use the leaf to help determine when to water the plant. Well-watered peperomia leaves tend to be stiff to touch.
When the leaves become soft and sort of sad-looking, it means your plant is thirsty and needs water.
And when watering, it’s best to irrigate just around the base of the plant as opposed to watering the whole pot.
And quit watering when water begins to drip out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Fertilizer – If you have to, feed them about once a month in the growing season because watermelon peperomias are not heavy feeders.
However, this isn’t necessary during propagation because your potting soil should have enough nutrients for the young plant.
Watermelon Peperomia Propagation: Getting Your Leaf Cuttings
Properly getting leaf cutting sets the stage when it comes to propagating your peperomia.
This is straightforward and involves pruning leaves from the pot. There are a couple of things to keep in mind to improve the chances of success:
- Prune only the matured leaves with leggy or long stems
- Pick relatively larger leaves
All you need here is a pair of sharp shears or scissors. Before you start cutting, clean the blade with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them.
This prevents the transfer of bacteria from the blades to the plant.
If you don’t have alcohol, simply wash the blades with soap solution, rinse, and allow them to dry before starting.
This is also a great way to sterilize the blades.
Now you can cut the leaves. Cut as many leaves as possible and include about 3 inches of the leaf’s stem or petiole.
But the petiole would not be needed. Cutting out a long petiole is to ensure that the stem (petiole) left in the pot is close to the soil as possible.
Leaving long stems sticking above the soil isn’t pretty.
Keep in mind that the cut section of the stem in the pot would not grow back to produce new leaves.
Watermelon Peperomia Propagation: How to Root Watermelon Peperomia Leaf Cuttings
This section is on how to propagate watermelon peperomia using leaf cuttings.
- Leaf cuttings
- Potting soil
- Pair of scissors
- 2-inch pot
- Cut out each leaf’s petiole as close to the leaf as possible. You can discard the cut petiole.
- Using the scissors, cut the leaf horizontally to create two leaf cuttings of equal size. So you want to cut across the center of each leaf.
Each half would be planted in the potting soil.
Tip: If you have several leaf cuttings, you can skip step two and simply use a whole leaf.
- Fill the pot with the potting soil and create a couple of mini trenches on the surface of the soil.
- Stick one cut half of the leaf cutting in the trench with the cut section going in first. Cover the leaf with soil until almost half is underneath the potting soil.
Repeat the same process with the other half in the second trench.
If possible, ensure that the remaining petiole on the leaf is at least touching the soil.
Essentially, the second leaf cutting might be buried a little deeper.
If you are propagating whole leaves, simply make your trenches and plant them as described in step 6. The petiole end of each leaf goes into the trench.
Tip: You can plant many cuttings in a single pot as long as there is space. Simply give about an inch gap between cuttings.
This makes for a fuller plant arrangement when the plants reach maturity.
- Moisten the soil with a little water. Resist the urge to water the whole soil as that might be too much water for the cuttings.
The leaves could rot instead of sprouting roots. Just moist the soil around each cutting.
- You can use a clear plastic sheet to wrap the pot. This helps to raise the humidity and promote rooting. Place the pot in bright, indirect light.
Tip: Instead of the plastic sheet, a ‘humidity dome’ is a great option. But it needs to be big enough to cover the pot.
- To freshen the air, unwrap the pot for a few minutes to let in air every few days. Then close it up again. This prevents the growth of molds.
Caring for Watermelon Peperomia Leaf Cuttings During Propagation
Watermelon peperomias are slow growers. So don’t expect to see new leaves sprouting in a week or two.
You’d have to wait at least a month. While waiting, ensure that you stick to the watering routine by keeping the soil moist.
Also maintain the other growing conditions in terms of light, temperature, and humidity.
In about 6 weeks, you should see new leaves sprouting. That indicates the roots are established. Remove the plastic sheet to promote leaf growth.
By the third month, you should have thriving young plants to gift to friends or add to your plant collection.
Tip: Expose the growing plants to a lot more light if you think the stems are too thin. More light exposure also promotes a compact, fuller growth.
Propagating watermelon peperomia is similar to most houseplants in one crucial respect: the process is quite easy.
With the leaf cuttings and regular houseplant potting soil, you can grow several new plants as long as the right growing conditions are provided.
But unlike most plants, it is difficult for the cuttings to root in water leaving the soil method as the most viable means of propagation.
We recommend that several of the cuttings be propagated to improve the chances of success.