Peperomia is ubiquitous in the houseplant hobby: we just love this genus! There’s the ripple Peperomia, raindrop Peperomia, baby rubber plant and many more, but today we’re talking about one specific species: Peperomia argyreia, better known as the watermelon Peperomia. This popular number is extremely easy to multiply, allowing you to obtain new plants for free to keep or give away.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about watermelon Peperomia propagation and the many different available methods!
Taking a watermelon Peperomia cutting
Looking for quick watermelon Peperomia propagation results? If there are good stems on your mother plant that you can take cuttings from, this is the way to go. When I say stem, I mean a main stem (like a little trunk) that leaves sprout from, not a leaf stem. We’re discussing those below!
In order to take a watermelon Peperomia stem cutting, just use some clean and sharp scissors. “Behead” the sprout in such a way that you end up with a cutting that has a leaf or two (for proper photosynthesis) and enough stem for it to stay upright when planted in soil.
No worries about the headless stem on your Peperomia mother plant: she’ll re-sprout just fine and start looking like her old self again in no time.
The really cool thing about Peperomia is that many species can be propagated using leaves. And I’m not talking full leaves either! Just a small part of a leaf is enough to grow multiple new plants. This is something limited to just a few houseplant species, including the popular Begonia.
So how do you take a leaf cutting? However you want, really: you can snip a leaf from the main plant and include however much of the stem you like, including no stem at all. You could even opt to cut the leaf in half or in quarters. If you’d like to propagate in water, a bit of stem can come in handy, but for soil anything goes.
Tip: Don’t have a mother plant to propagate yet? You can buy a watermelon Peperomia online.
Watermelon Peperomia propagation from cuttings or leaves with stems
I’ll start off by saying that it’s really not necessary to propagate your watermelon Peperomia in water. These guys root so well in soil that it’s not always worth the effort of having to go through a water stage! Water propagation is also not the handiest option if you’re using leaf pieces, simply because they’d easily become submerged and rot.
Still, many houseplant enthusiasts still prefer watermelon Peperomia propagation in a nice vase or glass just because it’s very decorative. So if you got your hands on a stem cutting or a leaf cutting with a stem, you can opt to do the following:
- Find a suitable glass or vase. Avoid ones with a very thin neck, because Peperomia cuttings tend to produce plantlets that can be damaged if you try to remove them from a skinny vase.
- Fill the container with clean water and pop the cutting in there so that the stem is submerged around halfway.
- Place the whole thing in a light and warm location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause algae growth and overheat the water.
- Be patient, changing the water regularly. The first roots and plantlets can start appearing within a week or two during summer, but it can take much longer during the cold and dark winter months.
- Don’t worry about any plantlets growing underwater, they’re able to handle this just fine for the time being.
Potting your new plants
Once the roots on your cutting(s) are an inch or two (~5 cm) long and plantlets have a few leaves each, you can pot up your brand new watermelon Peperomias. I usually opt not to separate plantlets yet at this point, unless they’re already big enough to sustain themselves properly.
Plant the whole thing in such a way that the root system is covered, but plantlets and mature leaves aren’t. You may need to help the plant out with a support stick (like a chopstick) at first to prevent it from falling over while it settles.
The whole thing can look a little limp at first, as the roots have to get used to soil. Just keep the medium very lightly moist and be sure to provide plenty of light. As soon as you see the first signs of fresh growth appearing, you know you’re in the clear!
Watermelon Peperomia propagation in soil has its pros and cons: it’s nice not to have to pot up new plants later, but you miss the ability to be able to see the roots and baby plants develop. Still, the species roots so easily that this is the easiest way to go about things.
We’re talking soil propagation for cuttings or leaves with stems here. More info on dealing with “micro” propagations of (partial) stemless leaves can be found in the next paragraph.
Here’s how you do it:
- Prepare (a) planter(s) with drainage holes, filling them with the kind of soil watermelon Peperomias like. A rich potting soil with some perlite for added drainage works well.
- Bonus step: dip your cuttings into some rooting powder if you have it on hand. It can really speed up root formation.
- Stick the cutting or the leaf stem into the soil in such a way that it doesn’t fall over.
- Lightly moisten the soil (and keep it that way. Using a spray bottle can be helpful to avoid soaking things too much).
- Bonus step: place the planter in a mini greenhouse or in a clear plastic bag to help keep humidity in. You can remove this once you see the first signs of new growth.
- Getting impatient and want to know if your cuttings have rooted? Just give them a light tug! Any resistance means a root system has formed. New growth, whether plantlets or leaves, is a sure sign of success.
Watermelon Peperomia propagation from leaves (without stem)
As mentioned before, if you’re propagating Peperomia leaves without a stem, it’s easiest to do so in soil. The process is really simple and almost identical to that described above for soil propagation.
A few things specific to leaf propagation: If you have a lot of leaves or leaf pieces to propagate, it’s probably a good idea to use something like a seedling tray or a big rectangular container. Ideally, it would have a lid or dome to place over it to hold in humidity.
- Whole leaves: dip the point where the petiole meets the leaf in rooting hormone if you have it. Lay the leaf cut-side down on the soil and gently press it down a little.
- Partial leaves (I prefer half leaves over all other methods): dip the cut edge in rooting hormone. Stick the leaf halves or pieces cut-side down into the soil.
Spray the soil so it’s gently moist; it should remain that way until new plants are ready for a normal watering schedule. Place the lid or dome on your propagator or mini greenhouse, or pop the whole thing in a clear plastic bag. Some even like to use a heat mat, but it’s not a must.
Keep the propagations in a bright (but not sunny) spot and wait. Especially during summer, the first little plantlets will pop up before you know it! The humidity dome can be removed as soon as they do.
If you have any more questions about watermelon Peperomia propagation or if you want to share your own experiences with this easy houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
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