How to: Propagate a Watermelon Peperomia
Is your new “it” plant a watermelon peperomia? No? It should be, because they’re awesome and pet safe. We love them at Leaf and Paw – their shiny, almost sparkly unicorn leaves are gorgeous and teardrop shape steal my heart. And what’s better than one watermelon peperomia? Two. At least two. Maybe three.
My Watermelon Peperomia, Walter Melon, was getting leggy and crazy, not compact and short as he was initially. Due to winter in NY and not-the-best plant placement, I was left with a Peperomia Agyreia that needed some TLC. I cut a few leaves and back and thought – can I make a few more Walter Melons?
The answer is yes and here’s a short and sweet post about watermelon Peperomia propagation, much like the plant itself. It was actually difficult to find Peperomia propagation tips online, too, so some of this was trial and error. My particular approach works best for Peperomia Agyreia, not necessarily all Peperomia, which is why it needed a post all by itself.
Prepping for Propagating
In a nutshell, Watermelon Peperomia needs to be cut in a certain way to optimize root development. It’s a little unconventional from your typical propagation procedure. For instance, I typically use rooting hormone on any plant cutting I perform, but not these little leaves. Rooting hormone actually suffocated the stem and didn’t help roots to grow at all, so I left it out. Also, I am keeping my cuttings in a makeshift greenhouse to help with humidity, something that greatly increased healthy roots despite the propagation being done mid-winter in NY.
So far, I’ve documented how to propagate Monsteras and Rubber Trees, but if this is your first propagating rodeo with Leaf and Paw, then you’ll need some basic hardware and a stare-down before you get started.
Before you do anything, look closely at your peperomia, but not like, in a creepy way. You want to make sure Peppy ticks these boxes:
-It’s a healthy plant
-It’s established (not newly propagated or rooted plant)
-It does not have any pest friends
Trying to propagate your plant with any of these issues will lead to tears and heartbreak for you and Peppy. The most important thing with propagating any plant is its health and mental state – you want to be sure both are in the green.
How to Propagate
What you’ll need:
-A pot filled with high quality potting mix, moistened.
-A glass dome or plastic freezer bag (I recommend buying a dome to use for future propagating)
-A sterilized knife or blade
-Cutting board or surface (I bought a marble board specifically for cuttings)
- Take off those leaves.
Trim off 3-4 healthy leaves from the Mother plants. Cut at the end of the stem using a sharp, clean knife or blade.
- Trim ’em.
The petiole is much too long as-is, so let’s trim it down. I usually cut the petiole in half then again for the length I want. You want 1/4 inch left.
- Plant him up.
Now it’s time to grab that planter with loose and moist potting mix. I used a 4″ pot for two leaves, anymore will crowd the pot. Have more cuttings? You’ll need another planter.
- Make a casual greenhouse.
Place your glass dome over the cuttings or place the pot in a plastic zip top bag, leaving 25% of the top open. I prefer the dome, but the bag works well, too. The only tricky part is remembering to water them. The bag (naturally) fogs up with moisture and it’s just hard to tell when it’s time to water. Do yourself a favor and just put a reminder on your phone to check the soil every 4-5 days.
- Care for him.
Keep soil moist and place in a warm location without direct sun. I usually recommend a bathroom window or a south window in a warm house. It’ll take about 4-6 weeks to see new roots.
It’s hard to tell in the above photo, but in about 2 months, you should see baby roots. To check, gently scoop up your cutting and brush off the bits of soil – you should see something like this:
That’s a good sign! They may be tiny but they’re mighty. In another 4 months or so, you should see some leaves. Keep this plantlet in a bright warm spot to make sure he grows up to be the best he can be.
Propagating in Water
You can also propagate Watermelon Peperomia or any type of Peperomia cuttings in water! Some types of Peperomia make babies (similar to how Pilea Peps do), which can be cut off the mother plant and put in water to encourage root growth. In addition to the propagation by cutting method, I tried this as well. I cut a small plantlet off of Walter and placed it in a tiny vial filled with purified water (no chlorine, please). After 2 months, I see some baby white roots growing!
Have you tried propagating your Watermelon Peperomia? Have some questions? Leave a comment!