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Watermelon Plant- Peperomia argyreia

The leaves of this unique-looking house plant really do look like the rind of a ripe watermelon. The stems are also reminiscent of the fruit-they are a rich red, just like the edible flesh of a ready-to-eat watermelon. I purchased this houseplant as a gift to myself, and I'm very happy I did. I was strolling through the houseplant section of a Davis store and just had to have it!

In my research on how to care for this plant, I discovered it is a bit like Goldilocks, and it likes everything “just right”.  It thrives in soil that is not too wet nor too dry and needs sunlight that is abundant, but not too direct. The temperature of an air-conditioned house is ideal. Interestingly, it prefers to be a bit rootbound rather than in a container with abundant space, so pick a receptacle that is just the right size for the plant right now.

The cream-colored flowers that form during the summer months are simple, straight up and down, and pretty understated. The real attraction of this plant is its foliage. My Peperomia is thriving on my living room coffee table in a cute container I've been trying to fill with just the perfect plant for many years now. This Watermelon plant seems to be the one!

photos by Jennifer DeDora
photos by Jennifer DeDora

watermelon peperomia 2
watermelon peperomia 2

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watermelon peperomia 3

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watermelon peperomia 4

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watermelon peperomia 5

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 2:43 PM

Our Buddies in the Garden

When you venture into your pollinator garden, look for the beauty, color, diversity and the...

A honey bee nectars on lavender in a Vacaville garden. The soft pastel colors almost resemble a painting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee nectars on lavender in a Vacaville garden. The soft pastel colors almost resemble a painting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee nectars on lavender in a Vacaville garden. The soft pastel colors almost resemble a painting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A katydid nymph crawls on a blanketflower, Gaillaria. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A katydid nymph crawls on a blanketflower, Gaillaria. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A katydid nymph crawls on a blanketflower, Gaillaria. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Gulf Fritillary butterfly, Agraulis vanillae, nectaring on lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary butterfly, Agraulis vanillae, nectaring on lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Gulf Fritillary butterfly, Agraulis vanillae, nectaring on lantana. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, perched on a Cosmo and looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, perched on a Cosmo and looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, perched on a Cosmo and looking for prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Goodbye! A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, exits a lavender patch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Goodbye! A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, exits a lavender patch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Goodbye! A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, exits a lavender patch. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 8:57 PM

Meet 'The Moth Man' at Bohart Museum's Moth Night

Meet "The Moth Man." If you attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology's annual Moth Night...

These three entomologists were trained directly or indirectly by Jerry Powell (1933-2023) of UC Berkeley. From left are Dan Rubinoff, John De Benedictus and Paul Opler (1938-2023) at a gathering of lepidopterists in 2019 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.  Powell and Paul Opler (1938-2023) co-authored Moths of Western America, published in 2009. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
These three entomologists were trained directly or indirectly by Jerry Powell (1933-2023) of UC Berkeley. From left are Dan Rubinoff, John De Benedictus and Paul Opler (1938-2023) at a gathering of lepidopterists in 2019 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Powell and Paul Opler (1938-2023) co-authored Moths of Western America, published in 2009. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

These three entomologists were trained directly or indirectly by Jerry Powell (1933-2023) of UC Berkeley. From left are Dan Rubinoff, John De Benedictus and Paul Opler (1938-2023) at a gathering of lepidopterists in 2019 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Powell and Paul Opler (1938-2023) co-authored Moths of Western America, published in 2009. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 4:23 PM

Ettamarie Peterson: The Queen Bee Who'd Rather Be a Worker Bee

Ettamarie Peterson, fondly known as "The Queen Bee of Sonoma County," will be displaying...

Encouraged by the workshop instructor to hold newly emerged  bees, Ettamarie Peterson shows a handful of bees at the  Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Encouraged by the workshop instructor to hold newly emerged bees, Ettamarie Peterson shows a handful of bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Encouraged by the workshop instructor to hold newly emerged bees, Ettamarie Peterson shows a handful of bees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ettamarie Peterson stands next to Miss Bee Haven, an eight-foot-long ceramic-mosaic sculpture of a worker bee at the UC Davis Bee Haven. It is the work of Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ettamarie Peterson stands next to Miss Bee Haven, an eight-foot-long ceramic-mosaic sculpture of a worker bee at the UC Davis Bee Haven. It is the work of Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ettamarie Peterson stands next to Miss Bee Haven, an eight-foot-long ceramic-mosaic sculpture of a worker bee at the UC Davis Bee Haven. It is the work of Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2024 at 4:38 PM

And Breathe-Seasonal Changes in the Garden

Group of plants. photos by Nanelle Jones-Sullivan
June 21st is considered the longest day of the year, or the “summer solstice.” On this day, I rage against the dying of the light, then accept that my onions and garlic will not get bigger, shift my focus to my summer fruiting plants, and breathe.

I grow “Dwarf Tomato Project” plants from seed each year because while they aren't widely available at stores, I can grow many plants with different fruit colors, shapes, sizes, and foliage in “self-watering” or sub-irrigation planters.

The plants have a thick central stem, compact growth, and dark green, crinkly, or “rugose” foliage. Even in June, before the fruit ripens, the foliage is attractive.

Regular leaf.
Potato leaf.

They may be regular or “potato leaf” plants. Regular leaves are multi-lobed, with serrated or tooth-like edges. Potato leaf plant leaves are not divided and have smooth edges.

                 

 

 

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2024 at 11:34 AM

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