GardenSeeker.Co.Uk Pruning Businesses Search Gardening Gifts

Pellionia - Watermelon Begonia.

:Pellionia repens

The Pellionia is neither water melon or begonia!

The Plant: The Pellionias are evergreen perennials, with a trailing habit and variegated foliage. Grown as indoor plants, they can be allowed to grow as they wish over a large pot, or trimmed to shape as and when required. Nipping out the ends of shoots is the best way to keep a compact plant.

They are rampant as ground cover plants in many parts of South east Asia, and adore the warmth and humidity normally associated with that region.

Pellionia daveauana (P. repens) has ovate leaves with a pale centre and darker margin and veining, and a creeping growth habit.

Pellionia pulchra also has a creeping growth habit but with larger, blunt, almost oblong leaves measuring up to 8 cm long by 2 to 3 cm wide. The underside of the leave is reddish-purple whilst the top surface has an olive-green background with deep green mottled veining.

Pellionia repens

Care of Pellionia

Its needs: The Pellionia plants require a winter minimum temperature of no lower than13C, and can be grown in semi-shade or good light but avoid direct sunlight. The essential factor is the high humidity needed for growth. Mist the plant regularly all through the year, and provide extra humidity by placing the pot over or near to a saucer of water.

Problems with Pellionia

 Feed regularly through the summer and water freely from spring to autumn, but reduce watering over winter, taking care not to allow the roots to dry out.

Pellionia can be grown in a dark corner providing it gets some reflected light from a white wall for instance. If grown in this manner, two to three weeks is enough and then into lighter conditions for a week - before moving back.

Good for: The Pellionia plants are ideal for growing in terrariums, bottle gardens or hanging containers. They are easy to maintain and can be propagated from softwood cuttings.

Problems with Pellionia

If grown in suitable humidity, red spider mite should not be a problem. Aphids including mealybug can take hold if not inspected regularly. As it is a plant that can be largely left alone insect pests can weaken the plant before realizing they are there.

Growing and Maintaining Pellionia

Pellionia, also known as the trailing watermelon begonia, is a gorgeous houseplant that brings a touch of the tropics to any indoor space. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you grow and maintain this beautiful plant:

Ideal Environmental Conditions

Pellionia prefers a warm and humid environment, much like its native Southeast Asia.

  1. Temperature: It thrives in temperatures between 16°C to 24°C (60°F to 75°F). Avoid placing it near cold drafts or heating vents.
  2. Humidity: Pellionia loves high humidity. You can maintain this by misting the plant regularly, using a pebble tray filled with water, or using a room humidifier.
  3. Light: Pellionia does best in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause leggy growth.
  4. Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix. A combination of peat moss, perlite, and compost works well.
  5. Watering: Water your Pellionia when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. It likes to be moist but not waterlogged.

Dealing with Pests

Pellionia can occasionally attract pests like aphids and mealybugs.

  • Aphids: These tiny insects suck sap from the plant, causing the leaves to yellow and curl. If you notice them, you can treat the plant with insecticidal soap or a mixture of water and dish soap.
  • Mealybugs: These pests look like small cottony masses on the plant. They can be removed by dabbing them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap.

Regularly inspect your plants for signs of these pests, especially underneath leaves and along the stems. Isolate infested plants to prevent the pests from spreading.

Maintaining Healthy Growth

  • Fertilization: Feed your Pellionia every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. No need to feed during fall and winter.
  • Watering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to dry out. If the leaves start to yellow or the plant wilts despite regular watering, check the roots for signs of rot.
  • Pruning: Regularly prune your Pellionia to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. You can do this by pinching off the tips of the stems.


If your Pellionia isn't thriving, consider the following quick fixes:

  • Leggy Growth: If your Pellionia becomes leggy or spindly, it might not be getting enough light. Move it to a brighter location, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Brown Leaf Tips: This could be a sign of low humidity. Increase humidity by misting the plant, using a pebble tray, or using a humidifier.
  • Yellow Leaves: This could indicate overwatering. Let the top inch of the soil dry out before watering again.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the lush, tropical beauty of Pellionia in your home.


Pellionia is very easy to propagate in the growing season by stem cuttings. Either use semi-ripe or ripe cuttings.

Easier still is to simply remove some of the rooted stems where they touch the soil.

Pellionia Propagation Guide

The Pellionia, also known as the trailing watermelon begonia, is a stunning houseplant known for its lush foliage. Propagation not only helps you multiply your plant collection but it can also keep your plants healthy and compact. Here are the most common propagation methods:

  • 1. Stem Cuttings

    This is the most popular method for propagating Pellionia.

    • Start by selecting a healthy stem that's at least 4 inches long. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
    • Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (optional) to encourage root development.
    • Plant the cutting in a pot filled with moist, well-draining soil. A mix of peat and perlite works well.
    • Place the pot in a warm, bright spot, out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist.
    • Roots should develop within a few weeks. Once the cutting has developed a strong root system, it can be repotted as needed.

    Pros: This method usually has a high success rate and can be done at any time during the growing season.

    Cons: Overwatering can lead to rot, so it's important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

  • 2. Plant Division

    This method is ideal for mature, overcrowded plants.

    • Gently remove the Pellionia from its pot and separate the root ball into two or more sections, each with an equal amount of roots and shoots.
    • Repot each division into a new pot filled with fresh, well-draining soil.
    • Water thoroughly after repotting and place the new plants in a warm, bright spot out of direct sunlight.

    Pros: This is a quick way to produce mature plants. It's also an opportunity to refresh the soil and remove any dead or diseased material.

    Cons: This method can be stressful for the plant and should only be done in the early spring, before the plant enters its main growth phase.

Regardless of the propagation method you choose, it's important to care for your new plants properly. Keep them in a warm, humid environment and water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Remember, patience is key – it can take several weeks for new plants to establish themselves.

Back to A-Z - Houseplants


Popular Gardening Sections

Card image cap

Learn - all aspects of lawn maintenance, how to build and maintain a pond, care and grow vegetables and fruit, fit for your table.

Card image cap

Identify Weeds in The Garden - How to deal with weeds. Diseases and Pest which harm your garden and plants, learn how to prevent, deter and erradicate your garden problems.

Garden Problems
Card image cap

Pruning Guide. Shrubs flower better with correct pruning. Many illustrations and examples of what to do - and when. Includes evergreens, roses, flowering shrubs, spring flowering shrubs and pruning for stem effect. This is our most viewed and comprehensive section,

Card image cap
Gardening Businesses

Gardening Businesses listed in the UK counties and USA states. County and State Listings of businesses involved in Garden supplies and services. If you wish to be added to the Directory, please send us your information. Having problems, use the search box

Card image cap

In this section you will learn about Gardening Basics, Containers, Landscaping, Propagation and Soil.


Copyright © GardenSeeker.Co.UK - 2000 - 2022

Advertising listing / Privacy Policy
Contact Us

| Protection Status