Wouldn’t you agree if I said Mini Watermelon Peperomia looks like a small watermelon kept in a pot?
Mini Watermelon Peperomia makes a great decorative plant with its silvery stripes on delicate waxy leaves.
Just like icing on the cake, their care demands are also low, making it easy for you to keep them happy.
Generally, Mini Watermelon Peperomia prefers 5 to 6 hours of bright indirect light, 60 to 80°F temperature, 40 to 50% humidity, and watering once 7 to 10 days. Additionally, it requires fertilization every 2 to 4 weeks in active growth, well-draining and retaining soil, occasional pruning, and repotting every three years.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia grows slowly and justifies its name with watermelon-like stripes on leaves.
When kept as an indoor plant, it can be a highlight of the house and grows vigorously when provided with proper care.
Continue reading for the complete care guide for growing this doppelganger of Watermelon.
Table of Contents
- Mini Watermelon Peperomia: Overview
- Where to Buy Mini Watermelon Peperomia?
- Mini Watermelon Peperomia- Complete Grow & Care Guide
- Toxicity of Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Propagating Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Common Problems of Mini Watermelon Peperomia
Mini Watermelon Peperomia: Overview
Mini Watermelon Peperomia hails from tropical forests of South America and thrives in warmer climates.
It is also known as Dwarf Peperomia because they are compact with growth on smaller petioles.
Let us have a quick overview of the Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
|Scientific Name||Peperomia verschaffeltii|
|Common Name||Mini Watermelon Peperomia, Peperomia Dwarf Watermelon, Sweetheart Peperomia|
|Native Area||Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia|
|Growth Zone||Zones 9-11|
|Growth Size||Up to 6 inches tall|
|Growth Speed||Slow to moderate growth|
|Growth Type||Erect and bushy|
|Grown For||Glossy silvery striped foliage|
|Container||Glazed or plastic pot|
|Flower||Green or white flowers blooming in clusters|
|Flowering Season||During growing season of spring and summer|
|Foliage||Greenish white and silvery stripes resembling watermelon|
|Toxicity||Non toxic to pets and humans|
Where to Buy Mini Watermelon Peperomia?
Peperomia verschaffeltii, aka Mini Watermelon Peperomia, has been the talk of the town as an aesthetically beautiful indoor plant, so it is not surprising you want one.
You can easily get your hands on the Peperomia plants via online stores, exotic plant retailers, and nurseries.
For your easiness, I have listed some online stores where you can buy the Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
|Online Store||Delivery Period|
|Jomostudio||Within 7 days|
|Garden Goods Direct||Within 3 to 5 days|
|Amazon||Within 2 to 3 days|
|Etsy||6 to 9 business days|
Mini Watermelon Peperomia- Complete Grow & Care Guide
Mini Watermelon Peperomia is an excellent minimal care indoor plant.
Native to South America, Peperomia thrives to its maximum potential when provided with mimicked natural habitat.
Moreover, its lower maintenance requirements fit with the present hustling society.
Here is a quick care guide to let you get acquainted before we delve deeper.
At least 5-6 hours
of indirect bright sunlight
7-10 days in spring and summer
Once a month in fall and winter
Well-draining, water retaining soil
pH level: 6 to 6.6
Balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer
once a month during the
60-80°F (15.55°C to 26.67°C)
High humidity levels (40-50%)
After 2-3 years in spring or early summer
Stems and Leaf-cutting
1. Bright Indirect Sunlight and Proper Location
Mini Watermelon Peperomia is a tropical plant native to South America, so it gets plenty of sunlight under the canopy of trees in its natural habitat.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia needs ample bright indirect sunlight of at least 5 to 6 hours every day to thrive.
Moreover, they can not sustain in direct sunlight as it can sunburn the leaves and affect the overall growth.
If you are wondering where to place your Mini Watermelon Peperomia, put it in an east or west-facing window.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia can also be placed in a south-facing window, but to maximize its growth potential, keep it at least 3 feet away.
In addition, you can use some sheer curtains to filter the harsh sunlight.
Your Mini Watermelon Peperomia can also grow well under artificial fluorescent lights.
Further, you can see the following symptoms if you provide them with unfavorable lighting conditions.
|Signs of Low Light||Signs of Extreme Light|
|Stunted and Leggy growth||Curling of leaves|
|Leaves starts dropping||Tips of the leaves star browning|
|Less pigmented leaves||Dry and cracked soil|
|Soil remains sggy||Paler leaves with yellow hue|
Tips to Provide Optimum Lighting Condition
- Rotate your plant occasionally to ensure all parts receive equal light throughout.
- Place them under the shade of trees for outdoor Peperomia to mimic their natural habitat.
- Use damp cloths to rinse the plant leaves if it is getting harsher light.
- If you live in a darker apartment without enough sunlight, you can use fluorescent light to grow them.
- Give your plant 10-12 hours of grow light during winter to ensure sufficient sunlight.
You may be interested to read: “What Light Color is Best for the Plant’s Growth?“
2. Watering Weekly
Depending upon the temperature and time of the year, watering needs may vary for Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
They don’t like sitting in the pool of water and will not thrive on underwatering as well.
Therefore, watering Mini Watermelon Peperomia once the top inch of the soil dries out or once a week during spring or summer will be efficient.
When the weather is hot, it needs frequent watering. Therefore, avoid using a watering schedule and check the soil for watering needs.
Winter temperatures cause the soil to dry out very slowly, so you should water the plant once a month.
When watering, thoroughly drench the soil and let the excess water drain out.
For the next watering, use chopsticks to check if the topsoil layer is dry. Water your plant if the top inches are dry.
This method of letting the soil dry between watering helps prevent overwatering.
Additionally, water your Mini Watermelon Peperomia directly into the soil rather than watering it overhead, which could rot the delicate leaves.
There are various signs your plant will give if the watering condition is unfavorable; some are listed below.
|Brown and mushy roots||Underside of the leaves turn brown|
|Ultimately can kill the plant||Wilting of leaves|
|Splitting leaves||Decayed lower roots|
|Leaves curling||Raised, scab-like protrusions on the leaves|
Tips to Ensure Proper Watering
- Water the plant using distilled or rainwater and ensure they are not too hot or too cold.
- Let the tap water sit for more than a day before feeding them to your plant.
- For optimal watering, make sure to water until it oozes out of the drainage hole.
- Follow the bottom watering technique for your Mini Watermelon Peperomia to promote healthier root growth.
- Invest in a moisture meter to keep the moisture level and water per the requirement.
Pro tip: Insert chopsticks into the soil, it is the time to water your plant if the top few inches of soil are dry.
3. Warmer Temperature
Being native to tropical and subtropical climates, Mini Watermelon Peperomia enjoys warmer temperatures.
Generally, Mini Watermelon Peperomia can grow well in temperatures between 60°F to 80°F (16-27°C).
Likewise, it prospers in USDA zone 11, so plant it in a similar location or mimic its native habitat if you plan to grow them indoors.
They actively grow during summer and spring when the temperature is warm.
But in contrast, they do not survive well in colder temperatures, and severe cold can also kill them.
Peperomia verschaffeltii, does not tolerate temperatures below 40°F and adversely affects your plants growth.
You should keep the plant far from the cold drafts or airflow from air-conditioning and cold air flowing through the window.
Even though Watermelon Peperomia is called the radiator plant, try not to place them next to the hot radiator in winter.
Signs of Temperature Issues in Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Leaves can droop at a higher temperature
- Crispy leaves
- Yellowing and falling of leaves
- Wilting of the plant
Tips to Maintain Ideal Temperature
- To compensate for higher temperatures, ensure proper watering to maintain the moisture content in the soil.
- Use heating pads or frost blankets during the winter season to keep them warm.
- Opt for pine straws or dried grasses to trap the heat on the soil by placing them on top of the soil.
- Keep them under incandescent grow light if the temperature decreases.
- Do not place them near a window where it gets cold air.
- Bring them indoors during the frosty cold winter.
- Prepare a DIY mini greenhouse to maintain its needs as per the requirements.
4. Moderate Humidity
Like any other tropical plant, Mini Watermelon Peperomia is also not too picky about its humidity needs.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia will prosper in moderate humidity ranging from 40 to 50%.
They prefer warmth but do not feel so about high humidity. It can thrive ideally in average indoor humidity.
Mini Watermelon Peperomias can withstand low humidity for a while because of their leaves’ ability to store water for later use.
However, do not leave it in dry air for an extended period. The plant will begin to wilt, and its leaves will curl and droop due to the low humidity.
On the other hand, excess humidity may result in fungal infections in plants.
The following signs will occur due to humidity issues in Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
|Low Humidity||High Humidity|
|Leaves begin to droop and curl||Mold on the plant|
|Leaves splitting||Leaves may rot|
|Brown edges on leaves||Fungal growth|
Tips to Maintain Ideal Humidity
- Use a pebble tray as a natural humidifier so that the moisture from the tray will also moisten the leaves.
- Place them along with other plants to create extra air moisture.
- You can also invest in a humidifier to maintain the desired humidity.
- Mist your plant during the morning hours to maintain the humidity during the spring and summer.
- Place them in the bathroom or kitchen as the humidity is slightly higher in these places.
- Get yourself a hygrometer to check the moisture your plant is receiving.
5. Well Draining and Moisture Retaining Soil
Mini Watermelon Peperomias foliage will grow lusciously if provided with a good soil mixture.
They adore slightly acidic to neutral soil pH ranging from 6 to 6.6 for their best growth.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia grows well in a standard potting mix that is well-draining, moisture-retaining and has good air circulation.
They like to be moist, so try to plant them in soil with sufficient moisture retention.
Soil with high organic matter retains moisture for longer, requiring less frequent watering.
In addition, using mulching can also help retain moisture. Some of the best mulch is pine bark, shredded native cedar, orchid bark newspaper, etc.
However, moisture-retaining does not mean soggy, so the soil must be well-draining.
Use perlite to make the soil light & porous and to improve drainage as well as retention of the water.
Likewise, to provide enough nutrients through the soil, use vermicompost, making the soil light and porous.
Tip: Use a mixture of coco coir, orchid bark, peat moss, vermicompost and perlite in the ratio 1:1:1:1:1 for your Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
Watch the video for more information,
Here are some Commercial Potting Mix for Mini Watermelon Peperomia,
|Glee Potting Mix||Has hydrafiber technology, which contains highly refined wood and bark fibers|
|Noot Organic Indoor Potting Mix||Provides quick drainage and also helps in retaining moisture.|
|Miracle-Gro Potting Mix||Comes with fertilizer added to the potting mix.|
|Espoma Organic Potting Soil||Symbiotic fungus endo & ectomycorrhizae are present.|
|100% Organic Material Orchid Bark||Contains different nutrients and vitamins that help boost the plant’s health.|
You can read our article on Best Soil for Watermelon Peperomia Plant
6. Regular Fertilization
Watermelon Peperomias are slow growers, have modest fertilizing needs, and thrive without requiring high nutrients.
To encourage the healthy growth of Mini Watermelon Peperomia, apply a diluted organic houseplant fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season.
However, you should not fertilize them during the dormancy period as they barely consume fertilizer.
Fertilizing your plant during winter leads to the accumulation of nutrients in the soil, causing salt build-ups in the soil.
Tip: Apply liquid fertilizers only after diluting them to their half strength. Also, avoid applying the fertilizers directly on top of the plant.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia will show different signs if they have fertilization issues. Some of them are:
|Signs of Over Fertilization||Signs of Under Fertilization|
|Crust of fertilizer on the soil surface||Slower growth|
|Root burn||Pale foliage|
|Leggy and spindly||Yellow leaves|
|Leaves starts dropping||Frail stem|
These plants grow well on all-purpose fertilizer or mulch. Apply a weaker solution of liquid fertilizer to a potted plant.
Additionally, if your home generates a lot of organic waste, you can also use that as fertilizer. Use banana peels, egg shells, and tea leaves for your indoor plant.
I have some recommendations for you if you want to use commercial fertilizer.
- Covington Liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer
- Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food
- Osmocote Flower and Vegetable Smart-Release Plant Food
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
Tips to Fertilize Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Thoroughly water before and after applying the fertilizer to your plant.
- Ensure to apply fertilizer a few inches away from the base of the plant to avoid chemical burn.
- To save your plant from overfertilization, flood the soil with water allowing water to flow from the drain holes for several minutes.
- If your plant exhibits under fertilizing signs, consider providing them with mild plant food.
- In case of overfertilized symptoms, investigate the roots for potential root rotting and proceed to repot if the condition is too severe.
7. Growth Rate, Foliage, and Flowering
Mini Watermelon Peperomia, as the name suggests, is a tiny plant. They are compact and do not take a lot of space in the room.
When fully grown, the Mini Watermelon Peperomia can reach a maximum height of 6 inches.
Moreover, the leaves of Mini Watermelon Peperomia are green with silver lines replicating the leaves of Watermelon.
Unlike other Watermelon Peperomia, Mini Watermelon Peperomia has a shorter stem, so it doesn’t grow to a significant height making it very compact.
The small stems are maroon-reddish and thin, and the leaves are fleshy in texture.
Furthermore, it goes dormant during the winter, whereas it actively grows in warmer spring and summer.
With proper care and requirements, you will likely see a bloom of Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia produces an unattractive, scentless flower that resembles a long string. Watermelon Peperomias are known for their foliage, not flowers.
Further, the flowers are small, usually green, yellow, or brown.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia usually bloom during spring and summer when they are happy, healthy and is mature.
These unusual spike-like flower blossoms have a life span of nearly two weeks. Eventually, these flowers produce seeds, but they are hard to extract.
You can also prune off these unattractive flowers to preserve energy and encourage better foliage growth.
Learn more about the Peperomia flower.
8. Repotting Once Every Three Years
Mini Watermelon Peperomia thrives in pots, so don’t rush to repot it as soon as it starts to grow.
They will enjoy being snug in their pot as their root system is shallow; due to this, they can do well in smaller indoor pots.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia prefers repotting once every three years in a slightly larger pot than the current pot during the spring or summer.
Repot the plant to a pot that is only 2 to 3 inches larger than the current pot, as the larger pot will require more water.
However, you must ensure that the pot has a proper drainage hole so that water does not clog and the soil does not become soggy.
When the volume of the root system exceeds the pot and starts coming out from drainage holes or above the soil surface, consider repotting your plant to fresh soil.
Additionally, Mini Watermelon Peperomia favors deep, tall ceramic pots rather than plastic pots.
Here are a few container recommendations for your Peperomia.
|Greenaholics Ceramic Flower Pot||Features 5" and 6" sizes with beautiful design|
|Elly Décor Terracotta Planter||4+5+6 inch, Set of 3, Planters with holes in the bottom|
|Plastic Planter HomeNote||Comes in five different sizes 7/6/5.5/4.8/4.5 Inch|
Steps to Repot Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Choose the pot 2-3 inches bigger than the current pot with proper drainage.
- Fill the new pot with soil mixed with perlite, fertilizer, and peat moss.
- Water the plant generously two hours before repotting as dry soil can damage the roots.
- Transfer the plant carefully to the center of the new pot.
- Fill it with fresh potting soil on the top.
- Put a layer of pine bark pieces on the top to retain the moisture.
- Water them generously for roots to form quickly in the soil.
- Place them in bright indirect sunlight in an east or west-facing window.
Things to Keep in Mind During Repotting
- Use a ceramic pot for better growth and optimal excess water drainage.
- Make sure you use a new potting mix and discard the previous soil to avoid salt buildup.
- Sterilize the new pot to avoid any fungal diseases.
- Do not fill the plant with soil up to the top; leave an inch for fertilization in the future.
- Apply fungicides to the root ends to avoid the risk of potential infections.
9. Occasional Pruning and Grooming
Mini Watermelon Peperomia is a slow grower, so it does not require frequent pruning.
In general, Mini Watermelon Peperomia requires annual pruning of leggy, yellow, and infected parts to maintain the plant’s aesthetic beauty.
You can prune your Watermelon Peperomia by pinching or snipping off pieces at the stem. The stem will sprout new growth at the nearest node below the cut.
Additionally, wipe the foliage occasionally to remove the collected unwanted dust particles.
Pro tip: Prune during the summer for better growth of the Mini Watermelon Peperomia.
Tips to Prune Mini Watermelon Peperomia
- Sterilize the pruning tools before you start pruning.
- Prioritize removing old, decaying parts or leaves of the plant to encourage healthy plant growth.
- Prune off deformed or yellowing leaves using sterilized sharp pruners at a 45° angle.
- Do not cut more than one-third of the plant at a time. Too much pruning off may induce shock in the plant, halting the growth.
- Use the pruned parts for further propagation if the cut is healthy.
Toxicity of Mini Watermelon Peperomia
The Mini Watermelon Peperomia is not only beautiful but also safe for you and your pets.
According to ASPCA, Mini Watermelon Peperomia is consided non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Although they are safe, it is best to keep them out of the reach of your pets because nibbled plants do not look attractive or healthy.
If your pets consume it, they may experience stomach upset, but nothing too serious.
Therefore, it is better to avoid any accidental consumption. Keep your plants safely away from your pets’ and kids.
Propagating Mini Watermelon Peperomia
Did you know Watermelon Peperomia is referred to as a friendship plant?
You may easily propagate this plant and give them to your friend as a symbol.
Propagating Mini Watermelon Peperomia can be done via stem and leaf cutting during the active growing season.
However, stem cutting is preferred more due to its easy steps and optimal chances of successful propagation.
1. Propagation by Stem Cutting
Propagating the Mini Watermelon Peperomia by stem cutting is one of the simplest methods.
So, let us begin the propagation via stem cutting, shall we?
Step 1: Get the Cuttings
- Identify and choose one of the healthy stems for propagating.
- Ensure the selected stem has a healthy leaf on top of it.
- Cut off the stems neatly at a 45° angle leaving 2-3 inches of stem to stay right up when planted in soil.
- Make sure there are no leaves on the bottom part but leave the top leaves.
Step 2: Rooting in Water
- Place it in a glass or vase with a wide neck to easily transplant if needed.
- Fill the container with clean water and submerge the cutting only halfway.
- Use rooting hormone for better growth of the roots.
- Change the water weekly or when it starts to get dirty.
- Place the jar in a warm place with sufficient ample sunlight.
- When the roots start to grow an inch, you can transfer them to the soil.
2. Propagation via Leaf Cuttings
You can propagate the Mini Watermelon Peperomia by leaf-cutting, but it will take longer to grow into a lush plant.
It requires patience but can be rewarding when the plant grows.
You can use the broken leaves or cut healthy leaves straight from the plant. Use a seedling tray or rectangular container if you have many leaf pieces.
Follow the steps to propagate it easily.
- Cut the leaf in half above the petiole with a clean cut using a sharp scissor.
- Prepare potting soil consisting of compost, peat moss, and perlite.
- Place the half leaf with the petiole in the soil, but it will also propagate if it is just above the soil.
- Water the plant lightly or use a mister to avoid overwatering.
- To create humidity and retain moisture, wrap the plant in plastic wrap or use a container with a lid.
- Place it in a spot where it gets warm indirect sunlight.
- Roots will form within 2-3 weeks.
- Remove the lid or plastic wraps after roots start forming.
- When the plants are big, place the plant in a regular pot without damaging the roots.
You might want to look at the video explaining propagation via leaf cutting.
Common Problems of Mini Watermelon Peperomia
Mini Watermelon Peperomia is a pest-resistant plant. However, your Mini Watermelon Peperomia is not free from problems and is prone to suffer from plant pests and horticultural diseases.
Here I have listed pests and diseases your plant may encounter if you do not take its care properly.
1. Common Pests
No matter how much care you provide them, a small mistake can infest your plant with pests.
The most common pests affecting the Mini Peperomia plant are mealy bugs, aphids, and scale.
They usually target the unhealthy, yellowing, or decaying part of the plant, so ensure to keep your plant healthy, followed by timely pruning.
You can see different signs when these pests infest your plant.
|Mealybugs||1. White cotton-like substance appears on leaves.
2. Curling, wilting and falling off foliage
|Spider Mites||1. Discoloration and yellowing of leaves.
2. White or yellow spots appears in leaves that feels like sand particle while touching
|Aphids||1. Curling and falling off leaves
2. Stunted growth
- Wash the plant using insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests.
- For DIY, use neem oil to suffocate the pests.
- Prune the infected leaves and isolate the plant from others until it recovers.
- If you can get rid of the insect using your hand, then drop the eggs and pest in soap water.
- Use yellow sticky traps to trap the insects.
- You can use a mixture of diluted alcohol and spray them on both sides of the leaves to kill pests.
- As a final treatment, apply malathion solutions or pyrethrin spray to control the pest infestation.
Here is an article to help you out with applying Neem oil to an indoor plant.
- Do not put the infected plant with the uninfected plants as the pests will transfer.
- Regularly wipe clean the leaves of the plant using a soapy solution.
- Isolate infested plants as soon as possible before they spread further and infect other healthy plants.
- Regularly inspect your plants for potential pest infestations and apply 98% isopropyl alcohol on plant leaves.
- Water the plant into the roots directly, or you can follow the bottom watering approach.
- Ensure efficient air circulation inside the house and keep the humidity in check.
- Use sterilized scissors and pruning tools while grooming the plant.
2. Fungal Diseases
Your Mini Watermelon Peperomia is more likely to get infected with fungal diseases when humidity is too high.
Besides high humidity, your plant can encounter various fungal diseases due to damp soils and overwatering.
|Fungal Disease||Causative Agent||Signs|
|Cercospora Leaf Spot||Cercospora abelmoschi||Looks like weeping blister and can be yellow, brown or black which forms like margins.|
|Phyllosticta Leaf Spot||Phyllosticta sp.||Large spots with tan centers|
|Rhizoctonia leaf spot||Rhizoctonia solani Kühn||Mushy dark brown or black spots on the plant|
|Phytophthora and Pythium stem and root rot||Phytophthora parasitica||Roots are blackened and mushy|
|Southern Blight||Sclerotium rolfsii||Masses of white cottony mycelial growth and brown mushy area at the soil line|
- Isolate the infected plant immediately to prevent further spread.
- Prune away the affected foliage and apply fungicide to the plant.
- Inspect roots; if they are too severely rotted, consider throwing them out.
- But if the condition is salvageable, repot the plant after cutting rotted roots and applying fungicides to the cleaned roots.
- Cercospora leaf spots can be treated or controlled by using fungicide containing chlorothalonil.
- Improve environmental conditions such as low light, sudden chills, excess humidity, poor air circulation, and overwatering.
- For the Phyllosticta leaf spot, encourage better air circulation inside the place and remove dead parts of the plant.
- You can follow the cultural manipulations, biological treatments, and soil with heat techniques to cure southern blight.
- Always use sterilized pots and potting mixtures and grow plants on raised benches to avoid infestation from the native soil.
- Use rainwater or distilled water as they are sensitive to chlorine and fluoride water and can cause disease.
- Ensure the plant receives just the right amount of fertilizer, sunlight, water, temperature, and humidity.
- Inspect your plants regularly, and if you see any signs of infection, immediately take action after quarantining the plant.
- Before adding new plants to your plant collection, thoroughly inspect the plant.
3. Viral Problems
The viral problem which can occur to your Mini Watermelon Peperomia is the Ring spot virus.
When the ringspot virus infects the plant, there will be various signs like:
- Light or dark pigmentation
- Leaf distortion and stunting
- Brown areas on the leaves
- Infected leaves fall off the plant.
There is no other option but to eliminate or prevent these issues because no chemicals can treat the virus disease.
You must be careful about not transmitting this virus to other plants. Clean the tools used for the infected plants, not to transfer the diseases.
Mini Watermelon Peperomia is one of the best indoor plants you can own due to its low maintenance.
Provide them with the proper care I have mentioned above, and you will see beautiful foliage.
Related article; Large Watermelon Peperomia: Complete Grow & Care Guide