If left unattended, persistent underwatering can result in a number of major problems, but even sporadic underwatering can cause drooping leaves. The soil is dry, making the leaves feel considerably thinner than usual and quite tender to the touch.
We advise removing your plant from the pot to assess how dry the potting mix is before you start watering more regularly. The worst case scenario is thinking that your Watermelon Peperomia requires more water since its leaves are soft and drooping, when in fact, the opposite is true or temperature changes are to blame.
Underwatering is the most likely cause if the plant feels relatively light when lifted and the potting soil is completely dry. Your first inclination may be to drown your plant in an attempt to compensate for the lack of water, but doing so might actually worsen the situation and shock the plant.
Instead, watering your Watermelon Peperomia plant a small bit once every day for a week is the easiest way to restore it to full health after it has been underwatered. After a week, you should return to your regular maintenance schedule, taking care to remember all of your regular waterings. To help you monitor whether your Watermelon Peperomia needs more or less water, we advise purchasing a moisture meter. A self-watering pot like this one, which just makes everything so much easier, can be worth the investment if you want to eliminate all of the stress associated with watering your Peperomia.
Overwatering can also cause drooping in Watermelon Peperomia
Even while a Watermelon Peperomia’s drooping and limp leaves are typically caused by a lack of water, overwatering can potentially have the same results. This is because in soggy soil, the roots will begin to decay and cut off the plant from essential nutrients and water. Additionally, the stems weaken to the point that they can no longer support the plant. This is what makes them sag and turn rather thin and mushy.
Take your Watermelon Peperomia plant out of its pot right away and examine the root system if you have any suspicions that it may be experiencing overwatering and root rot. Remove any decaying roots with care. These won’t recover fully, and eliminating them can encourage the growth of new, healthy roots. It is crucial that you immediately replace any potting mix that is still clumpy and wet with new material. Waiting for it to dry out naturally runs the danger of damaging your Watermelon Peperomia more.
Water your Watermelon Peperomia only when the potting soil seems dry during the coming weeks, and hopefully your plant will start to recover. Once more, purchasing a moisture meter can significantly aid in preventing future overwatering.
Lack of humidity can be a real problem!
If you don’t believe that your Watermelon Peperomia’s soft leaves are a result of watering problems, then it can be a result of a dry environment. A plant may transpire more often in extremely dry air, which causes it to lose moisture via its leaves. They could feel considerably softer and droop down as a result.
The air in your home might dry out much more quickly in the winter because of heating and less ventilation.
Here are several methods to raise humidity for your Watermelon Peperomia to stop its leaves from drooping:
Mist the leaves
One of the simplest ways to raise the humidity in your Watermelon Peperomia and prevent the leaves from drooping is to use this method. We advise using a spray bottle to spritz the leaves a few times per week. (We adore these Amazon amber glass ones.)
The best advice is to spray the leaves in the morning to give them time to dry off. When temperatures drop at night, leaves that are still damp are far more likely to rot and droop.
Build a pebble tray
This is a terrific fix for Watermelon Peperomia plants that are wilting from a lack of humidity, albeit it does need a little DIY. Small stones should be placed in a dish that has water halfway up the sides. Stack the stones with your Watermelon Peperomia on top of them. The humidity will rise around your plant as water slowly evaporates during the day.
When building a pebble tray, the main thing to watch out for is that the water doesn’t rise high enough and the roots end up sitting in water, which increases the danger of root rot.
We advise relocating your Watermelon Peperomia there if your kitchen or bathroom has good lighting. Due to cooking and taking showers, those rooms naturally have a greater humidity level than the rest of your house. Just be careful not to place your plant too close to the cooker as this could quickly burn the foliage and cause a number of additional issues in addition to just drooping, mushy leaves.
Buy a humidifier
The best course of action is definitely to get a humidifier if you are concerned that the lack of humidity may become a significant issue. You won’t need to worry about anything because it maintains the humidity in the space at a constant level. It will keep the leaves on your Watermelon Peperomia from drooping, softening, and it may even help keep the leaves from turning dry and brown. The advantages of humidifiers, however, don’t just apply to your indoor plants; they are also fantastic for clearing out our skin and promoting better sleep.
Check out our humidity guide if you want to learn more about how to increase humidity for your Watermelon Peperomia or any other indoor plants.
Cold temperatures may also be a contributing factor in a Watermelon Peperomia plant’s soft, drooping leaves. To truly flourish, watermelon peperomia need warm surroundings, and they can be severely startled and harmed by cold air and drafts.
The constant flow of cold air from the outside can really shock and harm the plant over time, causing drooping leaves as well as brown spots or leaves falling off completely, even though you might not notice the cold air coming through cracks in doors and windows if your Watermelon Peperomia is right next to them.
As air conditioning vents may be quite harmful to your plants during the summer, make sure to move them away from any windows or doors that are close to your Watermelon Peperomia and draft-proof them. Consider purchasing a heat pad like this one to use over the winter. It just makes life so much easier, and you can combine a few plants on it to maximize the warmth!
These are the most frequent causes of drooping or mushy leaves in Watermelon Peperomia plants. If underwatering is the problem, it typically goes away after a day or two of being watered, but other problems could take several weeks to resolve. After making any changes to the environment or your watering schedule, pay special attention to how your Watermelon Peperomia is doing because plants, like people, can be a little finicky when things change.
Check out our Watermelon Peperomia care guide to learn more about taking care of your Watermelon Peperomia as well as how to identify and resolve other frequent problems.
Why are the leaves on my peperomia soft?
Although peperomia don’t appreciate constant moisture, take careful not to drown your plant. Water according to a regular schedule when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry.
You can see weak, drooping, and potentially dropping leaves if you unintentionally let the soil of your Peperomia plant dry completely. A thorough soak is necessary if the soil is very dry over the entire container.
How to soak-water your plant is as follows:
- Without the saucer, put your plant in the sink or bathtub. Pour roughly 3 to 4 cups of water into your basin. Check to see if the water is warm.
- Give your plant at least 45 minutes to absorb water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
- After giving your plant a soak, feel the soil’s top to see if the water has gotten to the top 2-3 inches.
- Water your Peperomia slightly from the top of the soil to assist hasten soil saturation if not all of it feels saturated.
- Drain the sink or tub once the soil of your plant is evenly moist, and then leave it to rest while it completely drains. Put the plant back in its proper place on the saucer.
Keep in mind that when the soil goes from bone-dry to saturated, it can cause stress for your Peperomia and may cause leaves to drop. Allow it time to adjust.
In a slightly humid climate, your Peperomia will flourish. By regularly spraying the leaves of your plant, using a pebble tray, or placing a humidifier close by, you can raise the humidity level in the area around it.
What does a watermelon peperomia that is overwatered look like?
When the soil becomes wet and mold grows, root rot occurs. If not addressed, this rots the roots, which will kill your Peperomia.
Brown, squishy roots and discolored or wilted foliage are signs of Root Rot in Peperomia.
Root rot is sometimes promptly thrown out by plant owners, but if you notice it early enough, you can save your Peperomia.
The best results will be obtained if you buy fresh potting soil and a clean pot for your Peperomia.
Clear the contaminated dirt from the pot and remove the Peperomia. Your plant’s roots will be exposed as a result, and you will be able to tell which ones are bad.
They’ll be mushy and brown. To lessen the chance of reinfection, remove them and cleanse the healthy roots. Repot the plant in new soil and a fresh pot after allowing the roots to somewhat dry out.
Mold Growing on the Soil
Mold growth in the soil can also be caused by excessive irrigation. The surface of the soil will develop white specks (the mold). Even while this particular mold isn’t immediately dangerous, it should nonetheless be eradicated.
Sometimes all that needs to be done is to scrape off the top layer of dirt and discard the mold. You can also get rid of the mold by softly misting the soil with a hydrogen peroxide solution that has been diluted. Repotting is the recommended course of action if the mold is deeper.
Set your Peperomia in indirect light for a day or two after removing the mold to allow the soil to dry out. If you don’t overwater it again, this should restart your plant and permanently eliminate the mold.
Plant Looks Shriveled and Mushy
Additionally, mushy stems and a shriveled appearance on your Peperomia are signs that it has been overwatered. When you touch a stem, it should be hard; if it mushes between your fingertips, something is amiss.
Stems that are mushy frequently indicate a fungus infection. Sometimes it’s as straightforward as root rot (although a pretty advanced case if it has spread to the stems). Take the same Root Rot precautions as previously recommended, and remove the affected stems. (Source: Extension & Outreach at Iowa State University)
It is a clue that your roots have decayed from overwatering if your Peperomia appears withered. Later on, the plant might exhibit symptoms like its leaves becoming black. After removing the plant’s infected areas, give it time to dry out.
The Leaves are Turning Yellow
Yellow leaves on a houseplant generally indicate a number of problems. It almost exclusively indicates overwatering in Peperomia. The causes of yellowing peperomia leaves and possible remedies are covered in further detail in this article.
Making sure the soil has adequate drainage is a crucial component of watering your plant in the best way possible. Your Peperomia will thrive in a situation where there is excessive irrigation and poor soil drainage.
Water ought to be able to easily pass through the soil and exit your pot’s drainage holes. Your soil can be too dense if you observe that the water doesn’t reach the bottom.
The water can flow more easily by adding some large rocks, recycled plastic, or shattered pieces of another pot.
Always drain standing water that enters drainage holes. This will lessen the likelihood that the plant will attempt to take more than it is able to.
The Leaves are Limp and Droopy
Another indication of overwatering is limp and drooping leaves. They might even catch your attention right away! This does not indicate that a disease has already spread, unlike yellow leaves (pun intended).
Your leaves may be limp and droopy, but you haven’t yet noticed any other warning signals (such as mold or mushy stems).
This is advantageous! Reduce watering and let your Peperomia plant dry out (a day or two of indirect sunshine might be quite useful).
You should notice an improvement in your Peperomia’s leaves once your plant has had a chance to dry out a bit. As the plant dries, keep an eye on the entire thing to make sure you didn’t miss any additional infection symptoms.
However, there is a significant chance you can swiftly resuscitate your plant if you spot the changes in your leaves as soon as they occur. Good work!
The Leaves are Curling
Leaves of peperomia Curling is frequently a symptom of overwatered, damaged roots. The actions outlined above are the solution to this.
It’s crucial to get rid of any plant components that have illness. Curled leaves that appear healthy otherwise should go back to normal as soon as the soil dries up. Water your Peperomia less frequently and give it time to dry out.
Once you’ve balanced your Peperomia’s water consumption, the leaves should start to revivify. Remove the curled leaves if the majority of the leaves have normalized but a few are still wilted.
Why are the leaves on my watermelon limp?
We experienced a prolonged cold spell in the beginning of May, with daily average air temperatures in the 50s F. The lows are in the 40s F, with some evenings reaching the upper 30s F. It is fortunate that most of southern Indiana did not get a frost when the temperature fell below 32F, but early-planted melon plants have experienced chilling injury as a result of the prolonged low temperatures. Growers found a significant amount of plant wilt in the recently planted field. Old leaves die or display symptoms in less severe circumstances, yet growth points continue to be green (Figure 1). In more severe instances, entire plants started to wilt before dying. This observation of the early May watermelon and cantaloupe crop in southern Indiana is not exceptional. If I recall properly, this occurred in the previous five years in 2020, 2019 and 2017.
Cool roots lack hydraulic conductivity, which significantly reduces water uptake from the soil and causes plants to wilt. Under bright and windy conditions, the wilt is more pronounced because the lower humidity encourages water loss on the leaf surface. If the low temperature period was brief and the roots can once again absorb water, plants can recover from wilting. However, keep in mind that soil takes longer to warm up than air. Insect damage is another problem that can make newly planted seedlings wilt; for more information, see Elizabeth Long’s story about the seed corn maggot in the following issue.
A small change in temperature could be significant. Therefore, a variety of factors, including the field’s location, topography, and use of row coverings, are important. The physiological state of the seedlings is another crucial factor to take into account. When transplants are put in the field, their roots grow first. As a result, even plants that appear to be roughly the same size from above the ground may have different root establishment. It is obvious that plants with more extensive root systems are better able to withstand low-temperature stress.
According to evidence, watermelon is more resistant to chilling harm than cantaloupe and cucumber, with cantaloupe being intermediate and cucumber being most vulnerable. Genetic diversity exists even within a single species. Unfortunately, descriptions of cultivars sometimes exclude this kind of information. Grafting also has an impact. Compared to non-grafted watermelon plants, grafted watermelon plants on either hybrid squash rootstock or citron rootstock are more resistant to chilling harm. When compared to the citron rootstock, the hybrid squash rootstock is more cold-tolerant.