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Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia): Home

Watermelon peperomia (peperomia argyreia); photo courtesy of Flickr cc/ Leonora (Ellie) Enking
Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) on the forest floor in Central America; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Leonora (Ellie) Enking

Watermelon peperomia (Peperomia argyreia)

An important factor in determining the suitability of a plant to your home and envisioning the care it will need, is to know the origin of the plant. Plants that are native to desert regions will require substantial amount of sunlight and loose, fast-draining soil. Plants from the floor of a rainforest will need some protection from strong sunlight and generous humidity.

There are many Peperomia species and cultivars, and while they are largely evergreen, tropical plants they can differ considerably in their habit (bushy, training, upright) and leaf type. On the whole, peperomias are small and slow-growing, so ideal in limited space. Easy to care for, most popular peperomias are native to mossy, tropical forest floors or tree crooks and need, fast-draining, peaty soil. Peperomia argyreia is a bushy type native to the Brazilian forest,with fleshy, variegated leaves. The thick leaves allow it to sustain itself in moderately dry soil. It has unusual, long, slender, white flower spikes that are typical of peperomias and grows no taller than one foot high.


A spot near a window with bright light for a few hours a day but away from direct sunlight is appropriate for this variegated species. A north-facing window can be ideal. (Green-leaved peperomias need more protection from the sun.)

Water and Humidity:

Do not let the leaves wilt, but let the soil nearly dry between waterings. Water needs are reduced in the winter. Do not shock the roots by using cold water. Mist weekly or stand pots in a wet pebble tray during the summer months. If temperatures rise above 75°F., be aware that additional humidity will be necessary.


Average household temperatures are fine. Keep no cooler than 55º F., but above 65°F. is preferred. Protect from cold window or air conditioning drafts, or proximity to window glass in the winter.


Plants have very small roots and do not care for re-potting so save this for when it is clearly necessary. Then, re-pot in the spring to one size larger pot, using a peat-based potting mixture.


From April to September, feed with a standard houseplant food, at half strength, every four weeks.

What to Watch for:

The most common problem is over-watering which can quickly kill a plant. If temperatures are too cool in winter or the compost has been allowed to dry out entirely, leaves will drop.