Botanical name: Dischidia ovata
Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) 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 cascade beautifully down the sides of a pot or a hanging basket or a pedestal.
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.
Dischidia ovata is native to India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Australia where it grows as an epiphyte on trees.
Watermelon Dischidia is a spectacular plant for any houseplant collection. Buy beautiful Dischidia ovata (Watermelon Dischidia) online from Etsy.
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Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) thrives in bright light away from direct sunlight average warmth, moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil and two feedings during the growing season.
Dischidia ovata has no need for high humidity or frequent repotting as it has a small root system. Pruning is needed to keep it neat, to discourage pests and diseases and to control growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Watermelon Dischidia grows best in bright light with some morning sunshine but away from direct hot sunshine.
Low light results in a leggy plant while too much sunlight causes the leaves to turn reddish.
Water Watermelon Dischidia thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Significantly decrease watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as the growth is minimal at this time.
Ascertain that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.
Average warmth between 18-260C during the growing season is ideal for Watermelon Dischidia. Keep it away from draughts as it does not like sudden changes in the temperature.>
Average room humidity is ideal for Watermelon Dischidia. It has no need for high humidity. Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.
Feed Dischidia ovata twice during the growing season with a succulents fertilizer. It is not a heavy feeder so be careful when feeding. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
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 than the current one and ensure that it 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 for Watermelon Dischidia should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.
Dischidia ovata is prone to root-rot if the soil gets soggy (retains too much water), therefore, Cactus and Succulents Soil is ideal as it drains easily. Purchase quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for Watermelon Dischidia online from Etsy.
Pruning Watermelon Dischidia involves removal of any dead leaves and stems to keep the plant neat and reduce pest and disease infestations. Trim the stems at the beginning of the growing season if they become straggly to rejuvenate growth.
Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.
Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Dischidia ovata. Ensure each cutting has 2-3 leaf nodes.
Allow the cuttings to dry (callus) 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, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until they are rooted.
Allow substancial growth before transplanting your new Watermelon Dischidia after which you can begin routine care.
Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) problems indoors are mainly due to cultural faults and include yellowing leaves, dropping leaves, brown leaves, dying, pests, root-rot among others. Read on for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Watermelon Dischidia leaves may turn yellow due to overwatering, underwatering, little light, cold drafts, pests and underfeeding among other reasons.
Watermelon Dischidia may be dying due to a number of reasons. One of the reasons is root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
Also, avoid overwatering especially during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, therefore, the plant does not use as much water as when it is actively growing.
Watering Watermelon Dischidia with very cold water is one cause of leaf drop. Water the Dischidia ovata with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.
The second cause of leaf drop (loss) in Watermelon Dischidia is underwatering. Water the plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Decrease watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
Brown dry leaf spots in Watermelon Dischidia are due to underwatering. Water the plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Cut down on watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
Overwatering during the cold season is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in Watermelon Dischidia. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.
In addition, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.
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.
Elongated stems in Watermelon Dischidia during the cold season is due to too much water, therefore, water less and maintain the soil barely moist during the cold season.
If elongated stems happen during the growing season, then the cause is too little light.
Watermelon Dischidia prefers bright light with some direct morning sunshine. Too little light will cause the plant to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.
Place the plant in a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct morning sunlight or use a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Besides root-rot, the other common diseases in Watermelon Dischidia are powdery mildew and leaf spot disease. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with a fungicidal solution as per the manufacturer's instructions.
The common pests in Watermelon Dischidia are spider mites, scale insects, aphids and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like neem oil or insecticidal soap among others.
Watermelon Dischidia (Dischidia ovata) produces a milky sap which can irritate the skin. Always wear gloves when handling Watermelon Dischidia. It is considered toxic to both humans and pets if ingested.