You might be quite worried when you first notice that the leaves on your Watermelon Peperomia have turned quite soft, limp and droopy. However, if you’ve caught the issue early, and there don’t seem to be any other warning signs such as brown or yellow leaves, then you should be able to fix the problem once diagnosed.
Below you’ll find the most common reasons why your Watermelon Peperomia has soft and drooping leaves.
The most common cause of soft, drooping leaves on Watermelon Peperomia plants is a lack of water.
Consistent underwatering can lead to a variety of serious issues if not solved in time, but even just the occasional underwatering can result in drooping leaves. The lack of moisture in the soil means the leaves will be quite soft to touch and feel much thinner than usual.
Before you start watering more frequently, we recommend taking your plant out of the pot and seeing how dry the potting mix feels. The worst thing would be assuming that your Watermelon Peperomia has soft, drooping leaves because it needs more water but it’s actually the opposite, or even caused by changes in temperature.
When lifting up the plant, if it feels quite light and the potting mix is bone dry, then underwatering is the most likely culprit. Your first instinct to solve the issue, might be to drown your plant to overcompensate for the lack of water, but this can actually cause more damage and shock your plant.
Instead, the best way to bring your underwatered Watermelon Peperomia back to full health is to water your Watermelon Peperomia plant a little bit once a day for a week. After a week you want to go back to a more normal care routine, making sure that you don’t forget any of your routine waterings. We recommend buying a moisture meter to help you keep an eye on when your Watermelon Peperomia needs more or less water. If you want to take all of the worry out of watering your Peperomia it could be worth investing in a self-watering pot like this one, these just make everything super easy!
Overwatering can also cause drooping in Watermelon Peperomia
Although the most common cause of drooping and soft leaves on a Watermelon Peperomia is a lack of water, overwatering can also have the same effects. This is because the roots will start to rot in waterlogged soil and cut off the plant from much-needed water and nutrients. It also means the stems become quite weak and can’t physically hold up the plant. This is what causes them to droop down and become quite soft and thin.
If you suspect that your Watermelon Peperomia might be suffering from overwatering and root rot take your plant out of its pot immediately and inspect the root system. Carefully trim away any rotten roots. These won’t come back to full health and removing them can encourage new healthy roots to grow. If the potting mix is still clumpy and soggy, it’s really important that you replace it straight away with fresh mix. Don’t wait for it to naturally dry out as this risks causing more harm to your Watermelon Peperomia.
Over the next few weeks, only water your Watermelon Peperomia when the potting mix feels dry and hopefully your plant can begin to recover. Again, getting a moisture meter can really help you avoid overwatering again in future.
Lack of humidity can be a real problem!
If you don’t think that your Watermelon Peperomia has soft leaves due to watering issues, then it may be caused by a lack of humidity. Really dry air can mean the plant transpires a lot more, which is when it loses moisture through the leaves. This can cause them to droop down and feel much softer.
This problem is a lot more common in winter as heating and less ventilation can mean the air in your home dries out a lot quicker.
Here are a few ways to increase humidity for your Watermelon Peperomia to prevent drooping leaves:
Mist the leaves
This is one of the easiest ways to increase the humidity for your Watermelon Peperomia and can stop the leaves from drooping. We recommend misting the leaves a couple of times a week with a spray bottle. (We love these amber glass onesfrom Amazon).
Top tip: mist the leaves in the morning to allow time for the moisture to evaporate off the leaves. If the leaves are still moist as the temperatures drop at night, they are a lot more likely to rot and droop.
Build a pebble tray
This requires a little DIY but it’s a great solution for Watermelon Peperomia plants that are drooping due to a lack of humidity. Fill up a tray with small stones and fill it up halfway with water. Place your Watermelon Peperomia on top of the stones. Throughout the day the water will slowly evaporate around your plant increasing the humidity.
The number 1 thing to look out for when making a pebble tray is that the water doesn’t reach high enough so that the roots are sitting in water which will risk root rot.
If you have good lighting in your kitchen or bathroom then we recommend moving your Watermelon Peperomia in there. The humidity level in those rooms is naturally higher than in other areas of your home because of showering and cooking. Just be careful not to put your plant too close to the cooker or this will burn the leaves pretty quickly and you’ll have a few more problems than just drooping soft leaves!
Buy a humidifier
If you’re worried about the lack of humidity becoming a real problem, then buying a humidifier is probably the best way to go. It keeps the humidity in the room at a consistent level so you don’t have to worry about a thing. It will avoid the leaves on your Watermelon Peperomia drooping, turning soft and can even help to prevent dry brown leaves too. But the benefits of humidifiers doesn’t stop at your houseplants, they are even great at clearing our skin and helping us get a better nights sleep.
We always recommend this humidifier from Amazon as a great place to start.
Another potential cause of soft drooping leaves on a Watermelon Peperomia plant is cold temperatures. Watermelon Peperomia need warm environments to really thrive and can get quite shocked and damaged by cold air and drafts.
Whilst you might not notice the cold air coming through cracks in doors and windows, if your Watermelon Peperomia is right next to them then the constant stream of cold air from outside can really shock and damage the plant over time, causing drooping leaves as well as brown spots or leaves falling off completely.
Make sure that you draft-proof any windows or doors that are close to your Watermelon Peperomia as well as moving them away from any air conditioning vents as these can be quite damaging to your plants during summer. Through the winter months, consider investing in a heat pad like this one, this just makes things super easy and you can group a few plants on there to make the most of the warmth!
So those are the most common reasons why Watermelon Peperomia plants might start to develop drooping or soft leaves. If underwatering is the issue, the problem usually fixes itself a day or two after watering, but the other issues may take a few weeks to solve. Keep a close eye on your Watermelon Peperomia after changing anything about the environment or your watering routine just to see how it gets on as plants (like humans) can be a little fussy when things change.
If you want to find out more about caring for your Watermelon Peperomia, as well as how to diagnose and fix other common issues, check out our Watermelon Peperomia care guide.
Written by Billy Dawson