Watermelon Peperomia, a plant native to South America, is famous among all plant lovers who like to keep plants and enjoy indoor gardening despite having a hectic schedule.
This Peperomia variety showcases huge beautiful leaves that resemble a Watermelon. Those leaves need constant care and good soil to maintain their composure.
Watermelon Peperomia does well in rich, well-draining potting soil with some addition of perlite, coco coir, or sand, or you can combine them for better yield. The ideal soil pH for Watermelon Peperomia should be around 6 to 6.6.
Whoever learns about this mesmerizing plant wishes to have one.
However, it’s not an easy task to grow one. Moreover, one must be aware of the soil needed to grow this plant.
Why worry? I am here to help you. You need to stay on the page and read until the end to discover everything in detail.
Table of Contents
- What Kind of Soil does Watermelon Peperomia Need and Why?
- Prepping the Soil/Potting Mix for Watermelon Peperomia
- Common Signs that You are Using the Wrong Potting Mix
- Best Commercial Potting Mixes for Watermelon Peperomia
What Kind of Soil does Watermelon Peperomia Need and Why?
Soil is an essential factor for the optimal growth of indoor plants. Most of it depends on the soil quality the plant grows in.
Whenever your plant appears sick, you should inspect the soil quality as poor soil also serves as the root cause of many problems.
Let’s look at the essential soil requisites of Watermelon Peperomia.
|Water Retention||Little retention|
|Temperature||Near 70°F (21°C)|
|Soil pH||6 to 6.6|
Although Peperomia can work its way around the soil you provide, there is no guarantee that the plant will flourish.
According to science direct a plant with soil that has poor water retention quality has a slow root growth.
Watermelon Peperomia does great with an orchid pot with a good opening and good aeration.
The drainage system should be up to mark to avoid water from pooling up at the pot’s base.
When looking for the soil type for Peperomia, you should consider the following soil properties.
1. Soil Texture
Soil texture refers to the proportion of sand, silt, and clay in soil layers.
The soil’s quality and fertility are highly dependent on the presence of foreign bodies in the soil, i.e., soil texture.
Watermelon Peperomia prefers light and rich soil that has rounder aggregates. This soil allows air and water to flow easily around the plant’s roots.
Soil texture is something you shouldn’t ignore while caring for your plant’s soil because of the following reasons.
- It determines the soil quality and fertility.
- Good soil texture means good water retention.
- They help you improve the soil aeration.
2. Soil Structure
Soil structure refers to how the soil components are organized to provide the soil with a particular shape. The way the soil appears is the soil structure.
According to fao.org, soil structure is classified by grade (degree of aggregation), class (size), and form (types of aggregates).
The best soil structure for Watermelon Peperomia is granular or crumb structures. This type of structure allows water and air to pass easily through them.
Soil structure is important because:
- It promotes good water and air circulation.
- It provides shape to the soil.
- Beneficial microorganisms found their home in the soil.
3. Well-Draining Soil
Drainage is an important property when it comes to indoor plants care. Most houseplants hate to stand on soggy and damp soil.
Soil with improper drainage leads to one of the most dangerous diseases in the plant kingdom: root rot.
The Soil has mainly three types: silty, clayey, and sandy.
Silty soil is composed mainly of the broken grains of quartz; clayey is the black color material that is formed by clay minerals, and sand is, well, sand.
Clayey soil is famous for its non-drainage property, while sand and silt are quite the opposite.
As Watermelon Peperomia prefers well-draining soil, you should manage the proportions of all three soil components and mix them for your plant.
4. Water Retention Capacity
Retaining water is essential for some household plants. Although Watermelon Peperomia doesn’t demand much water retention, at least a certain amount needs to be retained for better functioning.
Being a succulent-like plant, Watermelon Peperomia doesn’t need much moisture in the soil. But still, a certain amount is required to make the roots stronger.
The stored water is helpful between the watering schedules of the plant when the plant doesn’t have access to the moisture and nutrients from an external source.
If your plant’s soil is poor at retaining moisture, you can add coco coir, compost, vermiculite, or peat moss to your soil.
You can also increase the clay content in the soil to improve water retention.
Remember, do not overwater your plant to avoid problems as they can be dangerous for them in the longer run.
5. Soil Aeration
Soil aeration is an important factor to consider for the well-being of a plant.
It is the phenomenon of the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen between the plant soil and the atmosphere in order to prevent oxygen deficiency.
Soil aeration has loads of benefits as it:
- Makes way for the better uptake of oxygen by the plant,
- Reduces the compactness of the soil,
- Increases the chlorophyll content and the rate of photosynthesis,
- And lets the plant grow in a full flow.
According to BMC, soil aeration also negates the negative effect of Sodium Chloride (Salt).
You can improve the aeration by turning over the topsoil and adding organic matter.
Watermelon Peperomia prefers sandy soil as it is better in providing aeration to the soil.
6. Soil Temperature
Soil temperature and the plant’s health go hand in hand. If the soil is warm enough, plants like Watermelon Peperomia can fully utilize the resources and nutrients available in the soil.
Watermelon Peperomia hates low-temperature surroundings and soil. So, in a way, by providing warm soil, you are helping the plant to grow the way it wants.
It prefers a soil temperature that hovers around 70°F (21°C).
In low temperatures, plants cannot absorb much water, and hence the photosynthesis in the plant ends up slowing down to the extent where the plant will take physical damage.
Similarly, in high temperatures, the plant cannot accustom itself to the temperature rise, and hence the nutrition and water uptake are significantly slowed down.
7. Soil pH
A soil pH test is basically done to measure whether the soil is acidic or alkaline.
If the scale shows anything less than 6.5, the soil is acidic; between 6.5-and 7.5, it’s neutral, and anything above 7.5 is alkaline.
Soil pH is dependent on the process, climate, and the method it was formed. Over time, the acidity of the soil increases, i.e., the pH decreases.
According to qld.gov.au, the pH of soil affects the number of chemicals and nutrients that are soluble to soil water and hence affects the nutrient uptake by the plant.
The perfect soil pH range for Watermelon Peperomia is from 6 to 6.6.
Soil with a pH of less than 5.5 has various effects on the plant. Some of them are:
- Aluminum toxicity hinders the development of root hairs and makes them appear swollen.
- Manganese toxicity turns the roots and the lower leaves brown.
- Lack of calcium reduces the plant’s growth rate, and the root tips may die.
- A lack of magnesium can cause chlorosis in plants.
Whereas if the soil is too alkaline, the excess sodium results in slow cell development and stunted growth.
You can add lime and dolomite to increase the pH of your plant’s soil to the desired level, whereas Crushed sulfur and some ammonium-based nitrogen fertilizers can help reduce the pH in plant soil.
8. Nutrient Enriched
Most plants do not vie for extra nutrients in the form of fertilizers as the soil provides them with what they need.
Nutrients are essential for the plants to thrive and come out with stronger roots and foliage.
Not only that, but nutrients also provide the plant with the strength to fight different diseases.
Watermelon Peperomia needs a soil mix that has an adequate amount of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), other nutrients, and minerals.
If your soil doesn’t already provide the plant with the above nutrients, you can go for fertilizers that specialize in these nutrients.
You must tend to your plant from time to time and fertilize them when needed. Beware of overfertilizing as it can cause excess salt buildups at the base of the plant.
Your Watermelon Peperomia usually prefers a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
Prepping the Soil/Potting Mix for Watermelon Peperomia
To grow a Watermelon Peperomia, use a loamy and well-drained potting mix. You can get the mixes from the market but preparing it on your own has a different kick to it.
One must be careful in mixing the potting soil for houseplants, as the wrong composition can result in an unwanted mix.
Organic (peat moss) and inorganic (gravel, perlite) play an essential role in preparing the best potting mix suitable to plant Watermelon Peperomia.
However, the right balance overall is necessary.
Let’s look at all the materials required to prepare a potting mix.
|Coconut Coir||1. Does not alter soil pH
2. Holds moisture in soil
3. Makes soil porous and light
|Vermiculture||1. Rich in nutrients
2. Supports microbial growth
|Peat Moss||1. Retains soil moisture
2. Holds Nutrients
3. Enhances Soil Aeration
|Perlite||1. Makes soil light and porous.
2. Improves drainage
3. Helps retain Water
|Compost||1. Encourages healthy microbial growth
3. Nutrient packed
We have listed some recipes below so that they could be helpful.
- 25% Coco coir
- The exact amount of Orchid bark
- 25% Perlite
- 5% Activated charcoal
- 10% Worm castings
- 40% Vermiculite
- 30% Potting soil
- 30% Peat moss
- 40% Loamy soil
- 20% Sand
- The exact amount of Perlite or Pumice
- 20% Coco coir or Peat moss
If you witness that the soil you are using is not providing good drainage, you can add sand, pumice, or perlite to make the soil loose for drainage.
Similarly, if you want your plant to retain moisture well, add peat moss or coco coir to improve retention.
Common Signs that You are Using the Wrong Potting Mix
Watermelon Peperomia is quite graphic when it comes to showing problems.
If you leave some stones unturned in caring for this plant, it will show you signs that you cannot miss. But, it’s always better to prevent your plant from being stressed.
Let’s look for the common signs exhibited by this plant.
- The foliage will begin to curl. This shows that the water in the pot is not draining properly.
- The leaves turn yellow and begin to drop—inadequate aeration due to compacted soil.
- Roots will begin to rot. If your soil holds too much water and there is poor water infiltration, you will witness root rot.
- The overall growth of the plant is slowed down either due to contaminated water or lack of nutrients.
- You’ll smell a foul odor from the plant soil. This can be caused by root rot or some pests infestation.
There could be other reasons. Read this “Why Are The Leaves on My Peperomia Limp and Drooping?“
Best Commercial Potting Mixes for Watermelon Peperomia
You can prepare your potting mix or go to a local store or order a commercial potting mix online.
The second option seems easier, but the first one gives you the pleasure of raising your plant from the very beginning.
Anyway, it is your decision to make. Here is a list of some commercial potting mixes.
1. Glee Potting Mix with HydraFiber Technology
Glee is made up of Sphagnum peat moss from Canada, HydraFiber, limestone, gypsum, a wetting agent, and fertilizer.
- You get it in a 0.4 cubic foot bag, which expands and fills 25 quarts.
- It has hydrafiber technology, which contains highly refined wood and bark fibers that work for moisture management.
- With the correct quantity, you can feed your plant for six months.
- It can be too hard to break down.
- The smell is the worst part.
You can buy this product on Amazon.
2. Noot Organic Indoor Plant Soilless Potting Mix
Noot organic soil is the ideal blend of coconut husk, chips, and coco coir blended with coarse perlite to give optimal airflow for roots.
- It contains 10-15-12 NPK fertilizer beforehand and can be used directly.
- There are strains of beneficial fungii and bacteria that help in cell development.
- It helps you recover quickly from root rot and can sustain temperature fluctuations.
- Safe for pets and small children.
- Is known to attract bugs and gnats.
- The smell is very rancid and pungent.
You can buy this product on Amazon.
3. 100% Organic Material All Natural Orchid Bark
Organic Material Orchid Bark is a 100% organic material with no unnatural or synthetic ingredients. It is sourced and manufactured in the United States.
- It provides quick drainage and also helps in retaining moisture.
- It contains different nutrients and vitamins that help boost the plant’s health.
- Sometimes comes with live bugs in the bag.
- The product may be damp and musty at arrival.
You can buy this product on Amazon.
4. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
Miracle Gro potting soil includes one or more of the following ingredients: processed forest products, peat, coir, and/or compost.
The potting mix is made from processed forest materials like as sphagnum peat moss, perlite, fertilizer, and a wetting agent.
- Provides excellent and fast draining.
- Comes with fertilizer added to the potting mix.
- It consists of sand, peat moss, forest products, and perlite.
- Full of worms and gnats eggs that are ready to hatch.
- Contains big leaves, twigs, and barks.
You can buy this product on Amazon.
5. Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix
Epsoma organic soil for plants and vegetables is a rich blend of sphagnum peat moss, humus, and perlite that has been supplemented with earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and feather meal.
- It can be used as indoors as well as outdoors in potting soil.
- Symbiotic fungus endo & ectomycorrhizae are present.
- No synthetics and chemicals are used.
- Retains too much water.
- Loaded with fungus gnats.
You can buy this product on Amazon.
Many people do not give much importance to the soil while taking care of plants. But, you must know that soil is one of the most essential requisites for a plant.
It is the base on which a plant stands, which adds to its importance.
So, the key is to get that amount and quality of potting mix right to bless yourself with a healthy plant.
If you are here, you might want to look at this : “Peperomia Varieties with Pictures“