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Peperomia argyraea

Previously known as:

  • Peperomia argyreia
  • Peperomia arifolia var argyreia
  • Peperomia sandersii
Description

Watermelon Peperomia is a tropical evergreen herbaceous shrub that has an erect and bushy habit and is native to South America. It is a member of the Piperaceae or pepper family. The plant grows up to 8 inches tall and can be used as a houseplant in temperate climates. The decorative, watermelon-striped, waxy leaves and cream-colored, spiked inflorescence add interest to this plant. The leaf attachment is a rare true peltate. It is named Watermelon Peperomia because its leaves resemble the rind of a watermelon.

This plant prefers bright indirect sunlight. It is intolerant of wet soil, very dry soil, and cold drafts. Over-watering will cause root rot and under-watering will cause the plant to wilt.  Allow the soil to dry to the touch at the top before watering and reduce watering in the winter months. They will not need to be repotted often as they thrive being pot-bound.  This houseplant is not toxic to cats or dogs. 

 The plant tends to be small and looks better in groupings of plants with similar cultural needs.  This plant is used as a specimen or as a desktop plant.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are smooth and striped like a watermelon
  • Petioles and stems are red
  • Inflorescences are numerous creamy spikes
  • Leaf attachment is peltate

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant has no serious pest or disease problems. They are susceptible to typical houseplant pests such as mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Root rot can quickly occur from overwatering.

More information on Peperomia.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Costa Rica'
    has a maroon dimple at the base of the leaf
  • 'Harmony's Gold Dust'
    has a speckled gold variegation
'Costa Rica', 'Harmony's Gold Dust'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#white flowers#showy leaves#interiorscape#cream flowers#herbaceous perennial#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Costa Rica'
    has a maroon dimple at the base of the leaf
  • 'Harmony's Gold Dust'
    has a speckled gold variegation
'Costa Rica', 'Harmony's Gold Dust'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#white flowers#showy leaves#interiorscape#cream flowers#herbaceous perennial#fantz#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Peperomia
    Species:
    argyraea
    Family:
    Piperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Leaf Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Brazil
    Distribution:
    Native: Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast; Introduced: Ecuador, and Venezuela
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Insignificant, green, appear on stalks in the summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white-cream in color and minute. Flowers have 2 stamens and no perianths. Inflorescence is an erect spike (spadix), axillary, and 2-4 inches in size.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Waxy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are broadly ovate, acute, rotund, entire, concave, silver-gray above with dark stripes along main veins, waxy, peltate, green in color, and have a showy mixture of silver and white stripes. Petioles grow up to 5 inches and are red.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are non-woody, erect, unbranched, and dark red in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade