Home Plants Pellionia Repens – Trailing Watermelon Begonia

Pellionia Repens – Trailing Watermelon Begonia

by gardeningit
Pellionia Repens

Pellionia Repens, an evergreen herbaceous vine having lush green foliage, is a beautiful terrarium plant that is also grown in hanging pots. This plant is also known as Trailing Watermelon Begonia; however, it is not a Begonia at all. Its leaves greatly resemble the wavy leaves of the plants of the Begonia species. This perennial vine has small elliptical, green-grey leaves and white-green flowers that rarely bloom indoors. If you wish to grow this pretty plant in your home, here is a care guide for your help.

Common Names

  • Wavy Watermelon Begonia
  • Trailing Watermelon Begonia

Classification

  • Family: Urticaceae
  • Genus: Pellionia
  • Species: P. repens

About the Genus Pellionia

Pellionia is a genus of angiosperms from the Urticaceae family. This genus is often overlooked as it does not have many species. But the few species that have been classified into it are extremely gorgeous.

Origin and Distribution

This species is native to Southeast Asia. However, it is widely grown as a houseplant for its lovely foliage and appearance.

Pellionia Repens Features

Foliage and Stem

This lovely plant has small grey-green leaves that grow on pinkish-green stems. These elliptical leaves have dark green borders and lime green to silver-green splashes in the middle. The undersides have purplish to pink margins. Pellionia repens has inconspicuous flowers that are white to green in color.

Evergreen

This gorgeous species is an evergreen vine that keeps its foliage fresh and functional throughout the year. No autumn or fall can force this plant to shed all of its leaves. It only shed its leaves when they turn yellow or too brown to be kept on the branches.

Height

This small adorable houseplant grows up to 6 inches tall. Its foliage can cover more width than height. You can grow it in small pots and use them as tabletops. You can also place its pot in a small closed glass bottle or a terrarium.

Temperature Tolerance

Begonia Pellionia is a warmth-loving plant. It does not like too much heat or too much cold. If you want to grow it outdoors, you will have to take extra care of it in extreme summers and winters. Growing this plant inside the home is the best choice, as it will be safe from temperature extremes. Also, inside the home, do not place it near an air conditioner or fan. Cold drafts can also damage its foliage.

Humidity Tolerance

This plant cannot tolerate low humidity. It loves growing in an environment that resembles its natural habitat, where the moisture level is always soaring high. To protect this plant from any low-humidity damage, grow it in a terrarium. In a closed terrarium, humidity levels always stay high, so this plant will grow properly.

Drought Resistance

This beautiful plant can tolerate droughts and days of low water availability. Its stem and leaves tend to store extra water inside them and use it during harsh conditions. So if you forget to water this plant for some days, do not worry about its life; it can grow pretty well on its own for some days.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Another amazing feature of Pellionia repens that you are gonna love is that it is resistant to diseases and pests. If you fear handling stubborn pests and insects, this plant is a great choice for you. It won’t welcome any pests to your home or its foliage. If any pests still find a way to the pretty leaves, you can get rid of them by using a common insecticidal or bactericidal soap.

Growth

This plant is a fast-growing species that produces new leaves and buds nearly every month. If you want to increase its growth rate, grow it in a well-lit spot with maximum light exposure. You can also try pinching the stem; it will encourage more branching and growth rate.

The best USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 10 to 12.

Toxicity

Luckily, this plant is not toxic to humans or pets. You can grow it inside your home without the fear of your young toddlers going near it. But still, do not leave this plant alone with your pets. They can harm its foliage, right?

Maintenance

This beautiful Pellionia deveauana is a low-maintenance plant that does not need much care and attention. It has a small list of care requirements. All you have to do is water and mist it regularly and feed it twice a month.

Dormancy

From September to January, when the temperature and light intensity is too low, this plant goes into dormancy. It does not stop growing completely, but its growth rate is negligible. This is why it does not need feeding in these months. It also does not need much watering during these days.

Related Posts:

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Pellionia Repens Care

Pellionia repens care involves regular watering and frequent misting. It needs fast-draining, organic soil with pH 6-7.5 to grow properly. The humidity must be around 40-90%, and the optimum temperature range is 12-32°C. You should add fertilizer to its soil twice every week. The ideal growth zones are 10-12.

Water Requirements

The only way to kill this hardy plant is to let its soil dry out completely. Pellionia repens does not like dry soil. It loves to stay moist and hydrated all time. As soon as its soil starts to dry, water the plant thoroughly. This can happen after every two to three days.

A thorough watering lets water run to every inch of roots and soil. The excess water will flow out of the drainage hole. Always use lukewarm water; the roots are sensitive to too hot or too cold water.

Soil Requirements

It is best if you use a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline potting mix for this plant. The soil’s pH can range from 6 to 7.5. You can stabilize your soil’s pH by adding several ingredients. Add a layer of peat moss to decrease the pH; add wood ashes to the potting mix to increase the pH level.

The potting mix must be organic-rich and fast-draining. The best potting mix is the one that you make yourself at home. You should add perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, orchid bark to make a good-draining potting mix. Perlite also increases the aeration and airflow to the roots.

Sunlight

Pellionia deveauana is a quite forgiving plant that does not fuss about light exposure as long as it is not under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can turn the edges crisp and brown. Indirect, bright sunlight is best for its proper growth. The brighter the light, the deeper is the coloration of its leaves.

Watermelon Pellionia can also be grown under low light conditions or artificial lights. But then the plant won’t have such fresh color of its leaves. It is recommended to place its pot near an east or north-facing window. These two spots will provide the plant with sufficient light exposure.

Temperature Requirements

Houseplants that are native to tropical regions are better adapted to warmer temperatures. These cannot survive temperature extremes. If grown in colder regions outdoors, they can die of chilly injuries. And if they are grown in hotter climates outdoors, they can die due to the scorching heat. In the same way, Pellionia repens grows best in warmer temperatures. The ideal temperature range for its proper growth is 12-32°C (55-90°F). It is a houseplant, so it would be best if you grow it indoors. The temperature does not fluctuate much inside the home, so this plant will grow without any temperature extreme risks.

Humidity

Moisture in the air is important for transpiration and temperature regulation. If the humidity falls below a certain level, the plant starts to lose its freshness and colors. Begonia Pellionia requires 40-90% humidity in its surroundings. This humidity level is higher than average household humidity. It must be regulated indoors. You can try different DIY ways to increase the humidity in your home. Place this plant over a pebble tray to solve the humidity problem. Misting regularly is also effective to increase the humidity significantly.

Fertilizer

Fertilization is really necessary to help the plant grow by providing it with food. This plant needs proper fertilization in the growing season. From spring to summer, feed it with a liquid fertilizer two times a month. Always dilute the fertilizer twice before adding it to the soil. In winters, cut down its feeding frequency as the plant is in its resting stage.

If you want to feed the plant with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, you should feed the plant every week. Never over-feed Pellionia repens; excess fertilizer can build up in the soil as salt and kill the plant.

Grooming and Pruning

This plant is a fast grower, so it needs to be trimmed down now and then. In the months of active growth, whenever you notice any yellowed or infected leaves, prune them with a good pair of gardening shears. Cutting the old leaves puts the plant out of pressure and makes space for new growth. Pruning out the infected leaves will protect the healthy parts from being infected.

One thing to always keep in mind while pruning is to disinfect the shears by using ethanol. If you use unsterilized shears, your plant can get infected with various diseases as its wounds will be exposed to the outside.

Repotting

This plant prefers to stay root-bound for some time. After almost three years, when this plant outgrows its present pot, move this plant to a bigger pot. Do not use the previous potting mix in the new pot, as the previous one does not have many nutrients left. Renewed potting mix will have fresh nutrients that will help the plant grow healthily. Occasional and yearly repotting is strictly forbidden for this plant as Pellionia repens goes into transplant shock and has a hard time recovering from it.

Propagation

Propagation of Watermelon Pellionia is just as easy as trimming its foliage. You can propagate it through stem cuttings. The best time to propagate this plant is from spring to mid-summer. During these days of active growth, this plant quickly grows into a young plant. Follow the following steps to propagate your Pellionia repens:

  • Take a sharp blade and sterilize it by using ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • Use this blade to cut a stem cutting of this plant.
  • The cutting must have several nodes on it.
  • If it has roots, it’s well and good.
  • Take a container and fill it with sphagnum moss.
  • Place the cutting in its center with the nodes under the potting mix.
  • Water the cutting and place it in bright sunlight.
  • New growth will appear in some weeks; once you notice it, move the plant to a proper pot.

This is it.

Summary

Pellionia repens is a small, evergreen vine that can be grown indoors in terrariums or hanging baskets. It is a low-maintenance houseplant that does not require much care. If you are not so good at growing a houseplant, you surely can grow this one, as it grows on its own for most of the time. You can also grow it in your office space as it can survive low light conditions. This plant can beautifully adorn any space and every corner, whichever you want.

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