How to grow and care for Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) Indoors

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Houseplant, Watermelon Dischidia

Botanical name: Dischidia ovata
Family: Apocynaceae

Watermelon Dischidia also called Dischidia ovata 'Watermelon' is a fast growing plant which bears oval shaped leaves with markings which resemble the rind of the watermelon fruit and hence the common name, 'Watermelon Dischidia'.

The trailing stems in Watermelon Dischidia cascade beautifully down the sides of a pot or a hanging basket.

The stems bear tiny roots at at every node (where the leaf joins the stem) by which they attach the plant to the growing medium or any surface they come into contact with.

Watermelon Dischidia is native to India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Australia where it grows as an epiphyte on trees.

The Best Indoor Growing Conditions for Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata)

Light for Watermelon Dischidia

Watermelon Dischidia prefers bright light away from hot direct sunshine; some morning sunshine is beneficial to this plant. Low light results in a leggy plant while too much sunlight causes the leaves to turn reddish. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Watermelon Dischidia

Water your Watermelon Dischidia moderately during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as the growth of your Watermelon Dischidia is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your Watermelon Dischidia has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.


Temperature for Watermelon Dischidia

Average warmth between 18-260C during the growing season is ideal for your Watermelon Dischidia.

Keep your Watermelon Dischidia away from draughts as it does not like sudden changes in the temperature. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Watermelon Dischidia

Average room humidity is ideal for your Watermelon Dischidia. Watermelon Dischidia has no need for high humidity.

Ensure good air circulation for your Watermelon Dischidia to prevent fungal diseases.

Fertizer (Feeding) for Watermelon Dischidia

Feed your Watermelon Dischidia twice during the growing season with a succulents fertilizer. Watermelon Dischidia is not a heavy feeder so be careful when feeding.

Withhold feeding for your Watermelon Dischidia in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Watermelon Dischidia

Watermelon Dischidia has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot the plant at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot.

Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.

Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting. The best soil should be loose and free-draining like bark soil.

How to prune Watermelon Dischidia

Pruning your Watermelon Dischidia involves removal of any dead leaves and stems to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Trim the stems of your Watermelon Dischidia at the beginning of the growing season if they become straggly to rejuvenate growth.

How to Propagate Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata)

Watermelon Dischidia can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

How to propagate Watermelon Dischidia from stem cuttings

Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Watermelon Dischidia. Ensure each cutting has 2-3 leaf nodes. Allow the cuttings to dry (callous) for about 3-5 days to avoid rotting.

Press the cut end into moist free-draining soil or lay the stems on top of the soil and lightly press the leaf nodes into the soil.

Place in a warm place and maintain the soil moist until they are rooted. Allow substancial growth before transplanting your new Watermelon Dischidia.

Common Problems in Growing Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) Indoors

Why is there sudden loss of leaves in my Watermelon Dischidia?

Watering your Watermelon Dischidia with very cold water is one cause of sudden leaf loss.

Water your Watermelon Dischidia with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

The second cause of sudden leaf loss in your Watermelon Dischidia is underwatering.

Water your Watermelon Dischidia moderately and allow the soil to dry out between waterings but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Why does my Watermelon Dischidia have brown dry leaf spots?

Brown dry leaf spots in your Watermelon Dischidia are due to underwatering.

Water your Watermelon Dischidia moderately during the growing season while allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Why are the leaves of my Watermelon Dischidia wilted and discolored?

Overwatering during the cold season is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in your Watermelon Dischidia.

Reduce watering for your Watermelon Dischidia during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Also, ensure the pot for your Watermelon Dischidia has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

Why is my Watermelon Dischidia rotting at base of the stem?

Rotting plant base and stems collapse in your Watermelon Dischidia is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid overwatering during the cold season. Use the upper stem to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts.

Why does my Watermelon Dischidia have elongated stems and misshappen?

Elongated stems and misshappen in your Watermelon Dischidia during the cold season is due to too much water; water less and maintain the soil barely moist.

If elongated stems and misshappen in your Watermelon Dischidia happens during the growing season, then the cause is too little light.

Watermelon Dischidia prefers bright light with some direct sunlight. Too little light will cause the plant to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.

Which plant diseases affect Watermelon Dischidia?

Common diseases in Watermelon Dischidia are Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot.

Isolate the affected Watermelon Dischidia to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Which are the common pests in Watermelon Dischidia?

Common pests in Watermelon Dischidia are Mealy Bugs, Aphids, Scale Insects and Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected Watermelon Dischidia to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) toxic?

Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) produces a milky sap which can irritate the skin. Always wear gloves when handling your Watermelon Dischidia.

Watermelon Dischidia is non-toxic to both humans and pets if ingested.

Other Dischidia Plants for Growing Indoors

  1. String of Nickels Plant (Dischidia nummularia)
  2. Million Hearts Plant (Dischidia ruscifolia)

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