Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) Care, Pruning, Propagation and Common Problems

Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) bears small variegated leaves in green and silver, with darker stems and is perfect for the terrarium, bottle garden or a hanging basket plant.

The Watermelon Pellionia has a high humidity requirement and does not like cold draughts but if provided with these requirements it is a beautiful hanging basket indoor plant.

Satin Pellionia, Pellionia pulchra

Botanical name: Pellionia pulchra
Family: Urticaceae
Common names: Satin Pellionia, Watermelon Pellionia


Pellionia pulchra is native to South East Asia in Burma, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Related Plants

Another variety of Pellionia that is grown indoors is Pellionia repens commonly called Polynesian Ivy Vine which bears a pale central band on each leaf where the outer margin may be olive or bronzy green.


Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) is non-toxic to humans and pets as outlined by ASPCA. Satin Pellionia is safe to grow indoors.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add Pellionia Plants to your collection, they are available online on Etsy.

Pellionia pulchra Care Indoors

Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) prefers medium to bright light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soils coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Pellionia pulchra requires regular pruning to keep the plant neat and tidy, to encourage a bushy growth as well as get rid of the insignifacant flowers to redirect energy to growth.

Repotting is only needed when the plant becomes extremely pot-bound. Keep reading for more on the best growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Satin Pellionia, Pellionia pulchra


Water Satin Pellionia liberally during the growing season and keep the soil moist at all times. Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and loss of the plant.

Light Requirements

Satin Pellionia grows best in medium to bright light away from direct sunlight as it can cause scorching on the leaves.

Do not expose Watermelon Pellionia to direct sunlight as it can result in unsightly sunscorched leaves.

Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Pellionia pulchra can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature for growing Satin Pellionia is an average warmth within the range of 18-260C. Too cold temperatures may lead to reduced growth. Keep it away from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop.

Satin Pellionia prefers a humid environment inorder to thrive. To elevate humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Watermelon Pellionia can also be grown in a plant terrarium as a high humidity and warmth can be maintainted inside a terrarium. Learn more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Potting Mix

The best potting mix for Satin Pellionia should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multipurpose potting mixes are ideal for Watermelon Pellionia. Buy quality multipurpose potting mix on Amazon.


Feed Satin Pellionia with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period. Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may cause fertilizer burn.


Repot Satin Pellionia during the growing season only when the plant has become extremely pot-bound as it grows best when the roots are confined.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of the plant. Take a look at these Self Watering Planters with Drainage Hole on Amazon.


Pruning Satin Pellionia involves pinching any flower buds as they appear. The flowers require a lot of nourishment from the plant which may affect its proper growth.

Remove any dead foliage frequently to keep the plant tidy and also discourage pest and disease infestations.

Pinch off the growing tips to encourage a bushy, compact growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy too soon.


Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or by plant division.

How to propagate Satin Pellionia from stem-tip cuttings

Take stem-tip cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Satin Pellionia. Ensure each cutting has at least one set of leaves and 2-3 leaf nodes.

The stem cuttings root easily and there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Insert the cuttings in moist, free-draining soil. Ensure that the rooting container has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Place the set up in warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight. Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth on the cuttings is observed.

Transfer the new Watermelon Pellionia to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant, transfer several cuttings into one pot.

How to propagate Satin Pellionia by plant division

Water the Satin Pellionia thoroughly at least one day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Take the plant out of its pot and carefully divide it into several sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves.

Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the pot with free-draining, rooting soil and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the section.

Place the section in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base while taking care not to bury it too deep; maintain it at the same soil level it was in the previous pot.

Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place away from direct sunlight.

Allow the new Watermelon Pellionia to be well established after which you can begin routine care.

Satin Pellionia, Pellionia pulchra

Pellionia pulchra Problems

Satin Pellionia (Pellionia pulchra) problems include brown leaf tips, leaf drop, wilting, mildew, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in Satin Pellionia are caused by dry air (low humidity) especially where the temperatures are very high.

To raise the humidity for Watermelon Pellionia, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in the moist areas in the the home like the bathroom.

Satin Pellionia can also be grown in a terrarium where a high humidity can be maintainted. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Brown, wilting leaves

Satin Pellionia brown, wilting leaves are brought about by underwatering which results in too little moisture in the rootzone. If there isn't enough moisture for the plant to take up, the leaves begin to wilt.

Water Watermelon Pellionia liberally and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Decrease watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Leaf drop

Leaf drop in Satin Pellionia is due to sudden drop in temperature as a result of exposure of the plant to cold draughts.

Protect the Watermelon Pellionia from cold draughts to prevent sudden drops in temperature and maintain an average room temperature with a minimum of 150C.

Brown-grey dust on the leaves

Brown-grey dust on the leaves of Satin Pellionia is an indication of powdery mildew disease which is prevalent in a warm humid environment.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it accordingly. Ensure that there is free air circulation for the plant to reduce disease infestations.


Common pests in Satin Pellionia are aphids, scale insects, whiteflies and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other plants and treat it accordingly. Read more on how to identify and control houseplants pests.

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