Peperomia argyreia

Common Name: watermelon begonia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Piperaceae
Native Range: Brazil
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. In St. Louis, this plant is easily grown as an indoor plant in a peatty potting mix in bright indirect light. Avoid direct sun. Water moderately but consistently, allowing the soils to almost dry on top before rewatering. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Likes high humidity in summer, so consider setting plant in a humidified room or on wet pebbles. Propagate by tip, stem or leaf cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Peperomia argyreia, commonly called watermelon begonia is native to South America. It is a compact, nearly stemless, rosette-forming perennial. It typically grows to 6-8” tall as a houseplant. Each round, glossy, fleshy leaf (to 3.5” long) is attractively striped with green and silver in a manner reminiscent of watermelon rind. Leaf stems are an attractive red. Small greenish flowers on spikes (to 3” long) rise slightly above the foliage in summer on red stalks. Flowers are interesting but not particulary showy. Synonymous with P. sandersii.

Genus name comes from the Greek words peperi meaning pepper and homoios meaning resembling. The plants resemble, and are closely related to, true black pepper (Piper nigrum).

Specific epithet means silvery.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Mealybugs, spider mites and white fly can be problems. Susceptible to rot if soils are kept too moist. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Houseplant for bright indirect light locations.