Watermelon Pellionia

Pellionia pulchra

Synonyms: Watermelon Begonia, Polynesian Ivy, Rainbow Vine, Begonia daveauana, Pellionia daveauana, Elatostema repens.

Not a Begonia, not a Pilea, but in fact another member of the Urticaceae, or Stinging Nettle family. A very easy plant to grow, adaptable, hardy and fantastic in a hanging basket.

Pellionia is an attractive hanging basket plant, favoured for its vibrant colouration and distinct patterning on the leaves. This plant is tougher than it looks too, thanks in part to its succulent stems. It can be grown in part sun with only moderate watering, but also does very well in the shade and with more watering. The leaves will be considerably larger when grown in the shade, but the colouration is most intense if the plant gets a bit of direct sun.

The flowers of Pellionia are unremarkable: just white globules held on stalks above the plant. However, the flowers respond to changes in temperature by releasing their pollen, which comes out like little puffs of smoke.

Watermelon Pellionia suffers few pest and disease issues. May attract aphids or scale occasionally, but this is easily treated. Prune any long trailing stems every so often to encourage branching and more top growth.

Applications

  • Indoor plant
  • Shade plant
  • Patio plant
  • Hanging baskets

Care

Tip prune occassionally to encourage the plant to thicken up. Watermelon Pellionia requires a decent sized pot in order to grow to its full potential. Does best in rich, well-drained soil. Use quality fertilizer such as Troforte or Organic Link regularly to produce strong, healthy growth.

Features

  • Colourful patterned leaves.

  • Pendulous habit.
  • Small white flowers.

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Size

Height: 30cm
Width: 50cm

Light

Part Sun to Shade

Watering

Moderate watering. Do not over water.

Growth Rate

Moderate.
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