Watermelon peperomia are small, adorable plants with very unique leaf patterns. So, if you own one, you should at some point in its lifetime propagate it to grow more of the same plant.
How to propagate watermelon peperomia? The fastest way to propagate watermelon peperomia is by either through stem cuttings or leaf cuttings. You can root stem cuttings in water or soil. For leaf cuttings, you can cut the leaves in half or plant them whole with the petiole. It usually takes 3 to 6 weeks for the cuttings to root.
How to Propagate Watermelon Peperomia
The Watermelon Peperomia is one of the easiest plants to propagate because it roots very easily. However, for efficiency’s sake, you want to focus all your time on two methods.
That’s because these two methods are the easiest to do, provide the fastest growth and highest success rates.
These are leaf cuttings and stem cuttings.
In a small survey of home gardeners I did a while back, I noticed that leaf cuttings was the more popular of the two. For the most part because it is easier to take leaves than it is to take stems from your Peperomia.
Plus, taking a few leaves is less noticeable when it comes to the overall look of the plant, whereas cutting a long stem can change the entire look of your plant.
In any case, I’ll go through the two methods below step by step.
Tools You’ll Need to Propagate Watermelon Peperomia
Whether you’re propagating your watermelon peperomia via leaf cuttings or stem cuttings, you’ll need a few tools on hand to get the job done.
It is a good idea to prepare them and have them around your work area so you don’t have to stop everything in the middle to look for an item.
Here are the tools you’ll need.
- A healthy Watermelon Peperomia
- Sharp pair of scissors, pruning shears or knife
- Rubbing alcohol
- Well-draining soil
- A small pot
- Plastic bag
- Rooting hormone (optional)
Propagating Watermelon Peperomia from Leaf Cuttings
As mentioned, leaf cuttings seem to be the more popular method when it comes to propagating Watermelon Peperomia.
That said, there a couple of very effective ways of propagating the plant through leaf cuttings. They are:
- Taking an entire leaf with its petiole and propagating soil
- Taking a leaf, then cutting it in half then planting the halves in soil
Both methods are similar.
More importantly, they are very easy to do and yield very high success rates. However, as far as speed goes, in terms of rooting and producing shoots later on, the whole leaf method is better.
However, keep in mind that leaf propagation only works for non-variegated peperomia varieties. That is those with solid-colored leaves.
Also, don’t propagate the leaves in water, use soil instead. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty and want to do water propagation instead, use stem cuttings instead (I’ll show the process below).
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
Propagating Watermelon Peperomia Leaves in Soil
When propagating peperomia leaf cuttings, you can either use:
- A leaf cut in half
- An entire left with the petiole
The process for both is the same. However, the difference lies in how you plant them.
That’s because with half leaves, you’ll be taking the middle (where the cut is) and planting it into the soil. So, you have the half leaf standing up on its side.
On the other hand, with the full leaf, you’ll be planting the petiole into the soil.
Take a Healthy Leaf and Cut the Leaf in Half
Being by taking a leaf. Because we’re going to propagate a half leaf cutting, you don’t need the petiole.
Then take a sharp pair or scissors and cut the leaf in half.
Before you do, make sure to sanitize the blades of the scissors to ensure that there are no pathogens passed from the cutting tool to the plant.
Dip the Edges in Rooting Hormone
To speed up the initial growth process, dip the cut ends into rooting hormone. Because of the shape of the leaves of your watermelon peperomia, the cut ends will be the widest part of the half leaves.
Plant the Cut Edge of the Leaf Down into the Soil
Prepare a small container with potting mix. Depending on how many leaves you intend to propagate, you may get different sized containers.
That said, the containers should not be too big as the half-leaves won’t take a up a lot of space.
Place the half leaves down on the cut side with the rooting hormone into the soil. If you propagated one leaf cutting, you’ll have two half leaves. Just space them out.
Each half will eventually grow its own set of roots.
If you’re planning to grow more new plants, just take more leaves and cut them in half. Then, line them up in a small pot in rots. Make sure to have enough space between the cuttings.
If you don’t have small enough pots, you can use Tupperware or plastic containers and fill them with pre-mixed soil.
Then, water the soil lightly and place the cuttings in bright, indirect light.
Cover the Pot with a Plastic Bag
To increase humidity which helps the cuttings grow, you can cover the container with a plastic bag.
The plastic bag will trap the moisture that evaporates. This increases the humidity surrounding the cutting which helps it grow faster.
Wait 2 to 4 Weeks
In about 2 to 4 weeks, you should see the first parts of your new baby plant.
Eventually, new roots and leaves will emerge and you can put the plants up individually.
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How to Propagate Watermelon Peperomia from Stem Cuttings
Propagating watermelon peperomia from stem cuttings is another effective way to grow more new plants. And while it takes a little more work to get a stem compared to a leaf, my experiments show that stem cuttings root faster and produce shoots and leaves sooner than leaf cuttings.
So if you prefer the easier way to propagate, leaf cuttings are your best bet.
But if you don’t like waiting for the plant to take more time to root and develop leaves, stem cuttings is a better option.
In any case, here’s how to propagate Watermelon Peperomia from stem cuttings.
Choose a Healthy Stem Cutting
The first stem in propagating your watermelon peperomia from stem cuttings is to choose a healthy stem. Depending on how many new plants you want you can choose a stem tip, a longer step or multiple stem tips.
That said, all you need to grow a new watermelon peperomia plant from stem cuttings is a stem with at least one node and 2-3 leaves.
Note that the node is very important since it is where the roots of the new plant will emerge from. Therefore, if your cutting does not have any nodes, you won’t get a new plant out of it.
Therefore, if you want to propagate more than one new plant from a stem cutting, you can take a long stem then cut it into sections. Just make sure each section has at least one node and a few leaves.
You can then grow each of those sections into new plants.
Take the Stem Cutting
Once you’ve selected the stem or stems to propagate, it is now time to cut them from the parent plant.
Use a pair of scissors or pruning shears. But make sure to disinfect the blade with rubbing alcohol first.
Next, cut the stem just below the node.
I like to have stem cuttings that are at least a few inches long. This way you have enough stem to get into the water or the soil.
That said, peperomia are small, short plants so just try to get enough stem so it is easy to keep it in water or bury into the soil.
Remove the Lower Leaves
Before propagating in water, you want to remove any leaves that will likely end up in water. Any foliage that touches the water and stays there will eventually rot.
So, you want to remove them beforehand.
That said, keep the upper leaves.
Place the Stem Cutting in the Water
With peperomia propagation, you want to choose a small container. Here you may need to get a little creative since you want a container that holds the stem cutting but keeps a good part of the stem and all the leaves above the water line.
When placing your cutting in the water, make sure all the nodes are submerged. Try to avoid getting the entire stem into the water so the plant can breathe.
You can use a glass container or a non-transparent one, either works.
Change the Water Regularly
Make sure to change the water every now and then. For most houseplants, this is about once a week. However, because peperomia cuttings are very small, you don’t need a lot of water.
Therefore, a better way to keep track is to change the water when it begins to get cloudy.
Wait About 2 to 4 Weeks
Now it is time to wait.
It takes between 2 to 4 weeks for the stem cutting to root.
The advantage of using a glass or see-through container is that you can see the roots as they develop. This way, you know when to move them.
In the meantime, keep the stem cutting in a well-lit location. Ideally somewhere warm and humid with medium to bright, indirect light.
These conditions will help the new plant grow faster.
Transfer the Cutting into Potting Mix
In about 3 or so weeks when you see the roots develop, you can transplant your watermelon cuttings into potting mix. Use a light potting mix. The plant is not picky about the kind of soil provided that it does not hold too much water.
Plant the cutting into a small pot filled with the light potting mix.
Again, place it in bright, indirect light.
Over the next few months, you should see your cutting grow into a plant and sprout a few leaves.
Propagating Watermelon Peperomia Stem Cuttings in Soil
Finally, you can propagate the stem cuttings in soil.
This method is very similar to propagating the stem cuttings in water. And you’ll be taking the stem cuttings and removing the lower leaves the same way.
But instead of allowing the cuttings to root in water, you’ll plant them directly into soil.
This method has its pros and cons.
On the plus side, you don’t need to start in water then transfer the cuttings to soil later on. Instead, you just plant one (into soil).
On the downside, because the cuttings go into soil, you cannot see the rotos. Nor can you tell whether they are growing or not.
So, you do need to choose which one you prefer. I do suggest that you try both to see which one suits you better.
Anyways, here’s how to propagate watermelon peperomia stem cuttings in soil.
Dip the Cutting into Root Hormone
Instead of placing the cuttings in water, dip the cut end into rooting hormone. This will speed up the rooting process. I’ve also notice that while it is an optional step, it does help increase propagation success rates.
So, if you have rooting hormone at home, use it.
Fill a Small Pot with Potting Mix
Get a small pot that’ just right for the size of your cutting. Try not to get an overly big pot because the volume of the soil will increase the risk of root rot.
When you water a lot of soil, the small stem cutting and its very young roots will end up sitting in too much water for very long periods of time.
You can use pre-mixed soil or standard houseplant potting soil. Peperomia are not very fussy about the soil they grow in.
Plant the Cutting into the Soil
Make a small hole wit your finger in the soil and insert the stem cutting. Try to get a part of the stem into the soil but don’t put it down all the way in.
Then, move the soil to keep the cutting in place.
Water the soil until moist. You’ll will want to keep watering the soil every few days to keep it moist. But avoid getting it too wet.
Also, keep the cutting in bright, indirect light. This is the ideal spot for the cutting to grow quickly.
Wait About 3-4 Weeks
It will take between 3 to 4 weeks for the roots to develop and grab hold of the soil. You’ll also likely see the plant grow during that time.
After about 4 weeks, you can test the roots by lightly tugging on the plant. It should resist your tug and not just slide out of the soil.
If the latter happens, then roots did not grow or did not grow enough.
Instead, the plant’s resistance tells you that the roots have taken hold of the soil and somewhat established themselves in it.